Quote by Sheryl Sandberg
Because perfect might never get done.
I love this quote because it reminds us that we don’t need to overthink everything. This is super relevant to many areas of your life, but for actors, I’ve made a short list to explain my theory and why it will make your life that much better if you adopt this mantra.
- Self-tapes: It’s super tempting to try to get the “perfect” take. But when you do them over and over again, it will start to show. Casting is less concerned with you getting every word correct, and more about the story you’re telling. Think about it, when you go into a live auditions, you get one, maybe two tries at it. You need to stay in that mindset so when they call you in for a live audition (virtual or in-person), you need to be ready to nail it. Do the work before, then trust yourself. If every self-tape takes you hours, you’re gonna start to dread doing them–and that will show, too.
- Organizing: I know, I know, what does organizing have to do with acting? Well, a lot. Have you ever seen someone walk (or run) into a casting office for an audition, bag hanging off a shoulder, frantically looking for the sign-in sheet, script crumpled in hand? I have–actually, I’ve been that person. It doesn’t feel good. In order to be present and in the moment, you need to be in a state of peace. But when you’re not organized, it can quickly snowball, leading you to roll into your audition like a ball of stress. It’s not good for you, and it’s distracting to others. Even though you might not have to go in to a live casting studio anytime soon, you still need to treat virtual auditions the same. Create an in-home workspace that makes it easy for you to stay focused. We all know that stress is no good–but a messy environment can lead to stress. So make a point of setting up a nice go-to audition space. But don’t think you need to go from living room to pristine home studio in one go. Do a little bit every day or few days. Tidy up a special corner of your living room that you already know has good natural lighting, or invest in a $50 ring light on a tripod that can be tucked away neatly. Having this designated area, no matter how small, will allow you to easily take on the task of auditioning from home with ease.
- Networking/Connecting/Social Media: Ever had an idea pop into your head like “I should reach out to the casting director and congratulate them on that Emmy win.” or “I had such a good shoot that day with so & so, I should find them on social and add them as a friend.” or “this is hilarious, I should definitely post this!” But then you struggle with what to write, or how best to reach out, or you worry that that person won’t even remember who you are, or nobody will like your post and you’ll look stupid? I have! But here’s the truth: NOTHING TERRIBLE WILL HAPPEN. The worst thing would be that you hear nothing back. But, that doesn’t mean that people didn’t appreciate you reaching out. Not everyone operates the same way. I sent a “Happy Thanksgiving” email to a casting director I had a connection with eight months ago. I didn’t hear anything back, but a few weeks after that email was sent, I got invited to read for a role. Coincidence…maybe. But maybe, just maybe, my email jogged their memory and they thought, “oh yeah, I forgot about her, bring her in.”
- Personal Development: That includes working out, learning something new, meditation–all of that. Doing a five minute stretch after a long day at work is better than just slumping down and binging Netflix. Reading five pages of book you’ve been meaning to read for weeks is better than not picking it up at all. Sitting in silence and taking five deep breathes is better than just caving into one distraction after another. You get the point. Something is better than nothing. Every little bit counts. Eventually, you’ll create a habit, then instead of five minutes, you’ll be doing 10, then more and more, next thing you know, you can play a song on your guitar! Invest in yourself–it’s worth it!
I hope this post helps you look at some of your daily tasks a little differently. drop me a line if you have any tidbits you’d like to add, or any new things you’ve accomplished by adopting this mantra.