What Should Actors Do Everyday?
A young Marlon Brando used to go to court trials as an observer and people watch.
Japanese actors practicing the Noh tradition spend countless hours perfecting their concentration by pretending to thread imaginary needles.
Broadway powerhouses gargle apple cider vinegar before bed and upon awakening.
When you think of “actor” and “daily routine” these may be the things that come to mind.
Boy, sounds nice right? If only jobs, opportunities and the prospective powers that be were constantly trying to break down our door and all we had to worry about was our craft! Wouldn’t that be nice?
However, it’s unrealistic and frankly not the life you’ve chosen. In order to find success, most actors must become highly capable entrepreneurs and run effective businesses. Simply focusing on their product will not be enough.
The truth about the work
At its core, Artist’s Strategy’s curriculum is all about identifying professional goals and the various avenues we can take to accomplish them. Utilizing the various tenets of any successful business – Marketing, Product Improvement, Financial Management, etc. – we are able to take our career into our own hands and stop waiting for a “big break.” In other words we are running a business from the ground up and we need to act as such.
So what should actors do everyday? They should be accomplishing action oriented business tasks that will support the vision for their careers at large.
Easier said than done.
This is why we help our clients build five year plans that break down macro career milestones goals step-by-step to weekly micro goals. By doing this we are able to take seemingly insurmountable dreams and create bite sized easily accomplishable pieces, all of which can be finished in a 7 day span of time.
This ensures that the work we are doing with our precious time has purpose and direction, and that every day we are building a sustainable career one small step at a time.
Yes, our work must include improving our craft, but that is only one element. Every single day the actor must be taking the actions necessary to ensure a stable existence in this unstable industry. That is the real work…the rest is just play, isn’t it?
A note about time management
Doing the real work effectively, you’ll realize there are a thousand and one things you can do to move your business forward. It can be overwhelming!
To improve your time management skills, simply identify how many hours a week you have to dedicate to your work. And in order to do that, map out what a general week looks like. By the time you’re finished, you’ll probably be shocked by how much time you actually have over a span of 7 days.
Are there consistent times you have available? Is 1pm-5pm a pretty safe bet? What about 8pm-11pm? Could those be your business hours? Could you dedicate that time to shaping your creative future?
We are *not* believers in nonstop work, we are believers in consistent, effective and smart work. So if you find that about 25 hours seem to be available to you, I’d safely assume you have 12-15 hours a week to continue to grow your creative business. Even 12-15 focused hours a week is sizable when you consider the amount of time you may be currently dedicating to your effort.
Now the work each day will be different; maybe Tuesday you prioritize marketing and Saturday you prioritize infrastructure and product improvement. We must diversify our efforts to increase the likelihood of success.
What’s most important is that every day, you give the attention and effort needed to building your career.
That or get “discovered”…good luck with that!