Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Help My Career is in a Crisis! Part 1

Evaluate where you are

Understanding where you are in your career is critical when trying to attain success. It is important to evaluate where you stand against the grand scheme of things. In order to determine if your career is in a crisis and help you rise above the crisis, I would like to suggest a few guidelines I learned and follow, which also determines the basis from which I write. The following few guidelines could be used for anyone who is in the beginning, intermediate or advance levels of their careers.
First, make sure of what it is you want to be/do, without any shadows of doubt. Otherwise, you’ll waste years of your time. So do researches before you embark on the journey. Second, setting annual goals in the beginning of each year should be the first career objective you set for yourself. Please know, but do not dwell on the big picture (ultimate objective your striving for) when trying to make your dreams happen, or it can become overwhelming. In order to reach your career objectives, you should set smaller objectives, anywhere from 3 to 5 per month, to help you stay on course. When trying to reach the pinnacle of succession, it is important to have an accountabilities person or mentor--someone you can meet with weekly, biweekly, or monthly (I like to meet once a month, otherwise the meetings become overwhelming), who will discuss your objectives with you and hold you accountable for making them happen. Having an accountabilities partner helps you to stay focus on your tasks because you know that you have to answer to someone. Hopefully the person you have chosen to help you in your journey also can serve as a mentor and give you helpful ideas and aid in guiding your path.

Now, that I have listed the guidelines, let’s discuss and evaluate where you are in comparison to the grand scheme of things. Ask yourself these questions:

Where do I ultimately want to be?
Where am I now? Be honest with yourself.
I know that the truth hurt, but this is an opportunity to gage how much work you have done and how much you need to do, to get where you want to be. And, it’s true what they say; the truth will set you free.
How much time do I invest in my career? Daily? Weekly?
How much money do I invest into my career?
I will never forget when I came to the realization that while I invested much time to my career, going on auditions, practicing monologues and songs, etc., that I did not invest money into my career. Truthfully, it was disheartening to know that I invested lower than 20% of money into myself. I tried to skate around the “money thing”, taking the cheaper route. All that did was prolong my successes. I’m going to say this, and please listen to me and learn from my mistake. YOU HAVE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF! If you don’t, how do you expect anyone else to invest in you. Quit going for the cheaper headshots, cheaper reel, and cheapest vocal coach. You spend more money in the long run. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. You get what you pay for.

Be honest with your self

Remember to be honest with yourself. No one else has to know of your realizations. Gage your performance level. Are you good, great or excellent? Are you AEA, SAG, or AFTRA ready, or should you wait to gain more experience. Do you need a few more film classes, comedy classes, voice lessons, and/or a vocal coach? Are you lazy, on again, off again, lack aggression, too shy, or trying to be something your not (leading actress vs. supporting vs. character actress). Should you be singing lead, or doing background? Are you trying to be Beyonce when you are the India Arie type, or are you trying to be Jay-Z, but have lived the life of Carlton, from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? The sooner you deal with who you are, the better, only then can begin to develop your strong suits. Embrace who you are and sell yourself! We are living in a time where you can turn on your television and see all types; big, short, tall, Black, Asian, Latino, freckled faced, big eyed, bald headed, gay and straight. HELLO PEOPLE!!!WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT! If that is not enough to persuade you to be you, then I don’t know what will. You don’t have to put yourself in a box anymore. The more you embrace who you are and become confident with yourself, the more confidence other people will have in you.
Focus on your strengths-your strong suit.

Real talk:

I have always had talent, since I could remember, at least dating back to 11 years old, do I remember being dramatic and doing poetry and getting training, but I lacked confidence in self, and the skills I had. In my opinion, this slowed my successes down. I had to be honest with myself, in order to get to the next level of my career, but my lack of confidence was a huge thing that was holding me back.


After, my bout with honesty, I can now say that I am aggressive, bold and confident of who I am, what I want, what roles I desire to play, what roles I can play, how many Oscars I want to win, and I am on the right path to bigger success.

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