In honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day here in the United States, I have to share a quick story (and then I’ll reveal the 15 Habits That Will Increase Your Acting Success.)
Yesterday, Ray Charles’ Georgia On My Mind was playing on my Pandora playlist. My 6-year-old was coloring at the kitchen table and asked, “Mommy, is this Martin Luther King singing?” Fascinated by his question, I asked, “What made you wonder that, honey?” My son replied, “Well, he’s singing about the peace he finds, and that’s what Martin Luther King was all about…peace.”
It was a moment that took my breath away: My kindergartner knowing of the peace that MLK Jr. was seeking and me letting my son know this amazing leader did it all with love and not hate.
I honor Martin Luther King Jr. today as his brightly lit legacy continues to remind us all to stick with love:
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Since our destiny is created by our habits, and our habits are created by our choices, it really all comes down to the habits + choices we are making in our own lives + careers daily that will effect our success in the long run.
” Many of life’s circumstances are created by three basic choices:
the disciplines you choose to keep,
the people you choose to be with,
and the laws you choose to obey.”
~ Charles Millhuff
So, this is a great time to ask yourself 3 important questions.
- Are the disciplines you choose to keep helping or harming you?
- Do you surround yourself with people who uplift you or who put you down?
- What habits do you choose consistently and how do they effect your success + happiness? (I believe in both)
Here are 15 Habits That Will Increase Your Acting Success:
1) I always prepare for each audition
Do you stay up late and party the night before an important audition? Do you prepare for 10 minutes and then go watch tv or get on the internet? It’s great to feel “free” in the audition room, but part of that freedom comes from excellent preparation. Don’t wait until the last minute to review your audition material. Look at it the moment the call comes in, print it out and then become a detective.
Look for clues in the writing, read between the lines to really understand who your character is, and rehearse the material in with different intentions. You’ll feel a lot more confident when you go to audition. Remember, luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. So be disciplined about your preparation and watch your luck improve!
Don’t’ just take it from me, here’s some of Anthony Hopkins’ latest wisdom…
“When I’m preparing a role I learn my lines very methodically –
I go over and over them until the images of the character I’m going to play become clear,”
“Then I go on the set and hope it’ll work out, and if it does, it’s fine,
as long as I am relaxed and as long as I am prepared.”
2) I continue to hone my skills
Whether you drive around perfecting the accents you’ve claimed to do well on your resume, or are in an acting class every week, flexing your acting muscles will not only build your confidence, it will help increase your acting success in the audition room. Keep in mind that your competition either is in class, has a great coach or other great ways to play the “acting success game” at the highest level.
3) I connect with opportunity makers every week.
Letting those who can actually hire you know you exist + what you have been up to is vital to your acting success. For example, if you are taking improv classes + doing stand up comedy, don’t wait until you book a job to let people know who you are. Casting directors, directors, producers + writers you have worked with (your fan list) and those you would like to work with (your future fan list) make up two areas of opportunity makers you can connect with anytime. So, instead of doing s big mailing a few times a year, you can connect each week to a few people on your “fan list” and your “future fan list.”
Depending on your relationship, you can either connect through social media, email or snail mail. And it doesn’t always have to be about you. You can congratulate a Casting Director on their Artios Award, or reach out to a filmmaker whose work you saw at a film festival. The point is, you should always be connecting.
4) I appreciate my representation
Instead of waiting for December to show your agents or manager some love, why not try appreciating them a few times a year. You could send a quick email and say thank you for all they are doing that you don’t see, or an old fashioned thank you note when you book a job. Either way, both tokens of your appreciation will be very well received, a lot more than another box of chocolates will be at Christmas time.
5) I invigorate my mind, body + soul through exercise
Instead of seeing working out as a chore, view it as an appointment you make to exercise your own self-love. If the body is a temple, then think of exercise as a spiritual appointment you would never want to cancel.
6) I choose healthy foods that make me feel good
Every time you put something in your mouth, ask yourself two questions…
1) How am I feeling right now—starving, hungry, anxious, relaxed, worried?
2) How will this make me feel after I eat it—heavy, sluggish, light, healthy, nervous, relaxed?
If you can slow down long enough to discover WHY you are eating what you are eating, and how it will make you feel, you can change your eating disciplines and change your body.
7) I read something positive each night before bed
The last thing you see before you go to bed affects your subconscious mind as you sleep. So instead of watching the latest crime drama, why not wind down with something uplifting. It will affect your brain in a positive way and you might sleep a little better too.
8) I release energy suckers
When you come from a place of self-love, you no longer tolerate energy suckers (people who tend to suck all the energy out of the room and you). If you have a parent, friend or roommate who is constantly draining your energy, try to limit the amount of time you spend talking to them. Odds are you will not change them, but you can change your reaction to them. It’s one thing to be there for someone, but to consistently engage with people who leave you feeling down is going to take it’s toll on you. Letting go of energy suckers allows more room in your life for people who will uplift you.
9) I no longer play the complain game
Do you find yourself complaining about traffic, callbacks, casting directors and other actors? Do you join in when other actors are complaining too? All complaining does is give you something negative to do with your time, which only perpetuates more negative circumstances. Try to switch your focus to what is working in your day and you will attract more to feel good about.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”
10) I take nothing personally
What if your encounters with the unfriendly assistant, the casting director who doesn’t smile, or the producers that barely say hello didn’t affect your personal well-being? What if you took nothing personally and didn’t make it about you? What if you just empathized for them and their day and their burden. You’d probably feel a lot lighter and feel a lot more joy and happiness. Try it for a week and see what happens!
“Begin challenging your own assumptions.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
~ Alan Alda
11) I show kindness to everyone I meet.
The assistants of today are the casting directors of tomorrow. When you show kindness + respect to every single person who crosses your path, you will stand out from the crowd. It’s best not to put anyone on a pedestal, nor is it smart to treat anyone as if they are beneath you. Gratitude, appreciation + kindness go a long way whether you are at an audition, on the set or even at the post office.
12) I let go of my beliefs of “how it should be”
What if you could let go of any struggle you feel is going on in your life or career. When you let go of “how it should be” your mind will begin to quiet and you will feel more at peace. It’s our endless mind chatter of where we wish we were, who else is where we want to be and who is doing what that gets in our way! Imagine letting all that energy go. Imagine leaving all that mental chatter outside of the audition room as well.
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
13) I cultivate a success mindset.
There will inevitably be days as an actor where you will feel like you are not enough or like you are not doing enough. There are going to be times where you feel frustrated, sad, or maybe even hopeless. The key is to set yourself up in advance with the resources, tools and support you need to keep going + stay up during the down times.
14) I take time to quiet my mind each day
Quieting the mind takes practice. Create a ritual for yourself of 5 –20 minutes a day of quieting your thoughts. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. So create a new law for yourself, obey it for 21 days, and watch things transform for you.
15) I expand my ability to receive
What would the end of the year look like, if you worked on your inner abundance + your inner worthiness, now? In order to receive more abundance this year, you have to first expand the flow of abundance within you.
Begin by answering these questions….
- Are there any actions you might stop taking?
- Are there new habits you can choose to cultivate?
- How can you treat yourself more lovingly?
- What are three actions you can take this week to expand you ability to receive?
And remember, sometimes an “action” can be an “inner action,” Since whatever it is you want to invite into your life, you first have to see yourself having in your own mind. Visually seeing it on the inside, is always the first step toward achieving anything on the outside.
Here’s to your increased acting success + this being your best, most abundant year yet!~ Wendy Braun
P.S. Feel free to leave a comment + let me know how YOU plan on making this your best year yet + which of the 15 habits resonated with you most.