Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
Your Own Motivation Can Make Or Break Your Career!
When I decided to leave the company I was working for, that was my biggest decision of my professional life and maybe even in my entire life to date. Aside from all the things I have talked about with regard to clarifying what it is you want and setting goals, one thing that is key is motivation. I personally could never have made a decision like that to leave a great company having had great career possibilities, benefits, good salary, and just plain good old job security, without strong motivation.
In my book, I talk about different ways that I use to create and maintain the motivation I need to get the things done I need to get done. But there is one technique, if you will, that I use more than others and that helps me a lot to keep my motivation high.
What makes me even want to insert this subject into the site and the book for young and aspiring actors? It is things I hear every day from people, along with my own desire to achieve my goals.
So, you might be asking, what is it that I hear?
The Things We Sometimes Say
How many times have you heard someone tell you about something they want to do? Maybe they tell you they want to get a job, go on a diet or lose weight, start going to the gym, start taking classes, get an agent or write a book maybe! Then what happens? You see the same persona fter a few months and you pose the question, So, hows the diet coming along? or, Have you started taking classes yet? or, like many people asked me over the last six months, So Tony, hows the book coming along?
Whats interesting is the response you get at least 50% of the time. Uh, its coming along ok. Or, Actually, I havent started yet. Ive been so busy. I just havent had time. Or, Thats old news. Ive changed my mind. Im working on something else now.
Dont get me wrong. Im not by any means trying to say that I have it all right and everyone else has it wrong. If that were the case, I would be talking to you through a movie screen or a television monitor right at this very moment. Im just trying to make a point.
There are so many things to do for us actors to keep our careers on track. Get the trade papers each week, check out casting sites, submissions online and off, cover letters, postcards, mailings, drop-offs, making new contacts, going to classes, rehearsals, work, auditions, preparing and updating auditions, preparing and updating audition material, getting new headshots, updating or crating your résumé. All that of course is in line with our overall strategy. How on earth do we keep going?
Powerful Motivation: The Answers To The Question Why?
There is something that is key, something that I learned in my training as a trainer and in my research of many successful people do in different walks of life and what they do to help them consistently achieve their goals. What is it? Its the Why.
Why is your goal so important to you? Its a question I asked myself over and over again, before I left Nike. Its a question I asked myself when I decided to embark on this mission to become a host and actor. I thought back to goals I had set for myself even years ago, goals that in the end I reached and I asked myself today, what the answer to that question would have been back then. I discovered something really interesting that was coincidentally in line with what I had learned later. In cases where I had not achieved my goals that I had set for myself, I didnt have very many reasons why they were so important to me.
On the other hand, in cases where I had achieved my goals, I had a lot of reasons why they were important to me. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the reason, but if you say you really want something, those reasons are inside you, but you just have to pull them out. The answer, Because I know its what I want. Or, I just feel that its right for me. Or Because someone told me I have talent. Or, Because I want to be on the big screen and appear on magazine covers, be rich or famous. as your only answers to the question, Why are your goals so important to you? might get you off to taking the first step, but if youre in this for the long haul, or in any goal you set for yourself, then that might not be strong enough motivation to keep you going day after day after day.
And so my friend, I share with you my favorite paragraph of my book Acting Career Start-Up: Four Key Factors For Success. I wasnt thinking about the subject of motivation when I wrote it, but it came naturally and it let me know that Im on the right track! Im driven every day. Its one of the things that lets me know I will be successful. Its what gave me the drive to deep writing my book and then to immediately put together a website with over thirty pages for my target audience. Here it is:
So, I can say that this book, the website and the rest of this project that I have created give me motivation by giving me that chance that I have created for myself to be able to practice my acting on video, write, help others, promote myself and others, rediscover parts of myself, learn about the industry, communicate to a large audience, create opportunities for myself and for others, put myself on the line, have fun, have the flexibility I need to concentrate on developing my craft, make a living doing something I love, spend time with my son, learn, make a difference, tell stories, dream, have an audience, perform, innovate, express myself, share, challenge myself, study, blow off steam, develop my creativity, explore, be myself, grow, give, be humble, share, positively affect peoples lives, meet the right people to further my career, audition, reach my goals, make money, teach my son how to make money, make new friends, believe that what I want is possible, lead, be an example, work, and prepare myself for an inevitable evolution and creation of my own timeline of innovation.
There are forty-five reasons in that paragraph. And they are where I get a big part of my motivation. So what does that mean? It means that no matter which way I turn, Im constantly reminded and thinking about one or another of those reasons. I cant stop thinking about it, because I have made myself aware that they are all reasons why Im doing what Im doing. Its important to me that all these things be part of my future. They are all in line with my life purpose and my vision of the future. My motivation is high, very high.
What Are Your Whys?
So heres my question to you. What are the reasons why you are doing what you are doing? Why did you decide to become an actor? I challenge you to come up with more reasons than I did. And I sincerely hope you do. Writing a paragraph like that is a great feeling.
If you cant seem to create the necessary motivation to stay on track and follow your goals consistently and relentlessly and with tenacity and if your acting career is really important to you, you might need some help. A great role model is Leslie Becker. And the reason I bring her up from time to time, is because shes walking the talk. Shes a working actress who coaches and teaches as well. Leslie has a goal-setting workshop in which one of the key focuses is to help actors stay on track. I havent taken that class, because I have other priorities. I say this to say that I really cant tell you how the class is, but if I needed help in that sense, I would definitely consider going to her.
Create Great Possibilities
I found something else that helps motivate me when the chips are down, for example when you think youre not making headway, when things seem to be not going your way, when you feel like all your efforts are in vain, when you find yourself empty handed with no one seemingly interested in you, no call-backs, no results! Were all human and we are all affected by these things that inevitably happen to all of us at one time or another.
What I found, or rather, what I have created that helps me motivate myself are Possibilities. Possibilities are powerful. Keep planting the seeds of possibilities. If you do that they will one day begin to sprout. When I find myself down at times, because I dont have work, or business is down, I immediately think about all the possibilities I have created for myself. I think about the proposals I have sent out, the contacts I have made, the more than one thousand people on my mailing list, the joint venture contacts I have made, my book, the people who want to work together with me, the companies that have contacted me and so on. When I think of all those things, I get psyched again and it is almost impossible for me to remain down in the dumps, because I have created Probabilities for myself!
Avoid Starting From Scratch!
So you are never starting from scratch. You always have a trump card in your pocket, a card you can pull out and play if necessary. If nothing else, it is a seed you have planted and that has great potential to grow into something. In our case as actors it could be anyone of the following:
· Mailings that you did recently and could get responses.
· A showcase that you signed up for.
· A new job that you interviewed for in a casting directors office
· Just having signed up and paid your tuition for an acting class you are about to start
· Having started an new project together with other actors that will help all of you to be able to get noticed easier in the near future.
· Having a list of industry contacts who know you and who have seen your work.
· Having already put together a plan about how to make money that has to do with teaching, writing a book, ebook, putting together a website (for example) around a subject you are passionate about.
· Having set a joint venture or partnership with someone in the industry or a friend that has the potential to make money.
· Having presented your idea of how to pursue your acting career with purpose to your parents.
The ideas are infinite. The important thing to remember, when you are sitting around and if and only if it your case, that you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself, that there is always something to do! Always! If you're not motivated, go and get the motivation you need. So get up and move your butt and doing something, anything that will help you further your career.
Two Last Things
Also remember that true motivation comes first and foremost from the realization that YOU and only YOU are responsible for the results you get. I say this knowing full well that at times we are aided by a stroke of luck. Two more things to think about and to remember:
1) Getting into the habit of taking responsibility for your own actions is a mentality, a mindset that will help you throughout your life. It is easy to blame others, but people who take responsibility for their own actions, usually achieve more in life.
2) Id like to leave you with this saying:
The more prepared I am, the more luck I seem to have.
Being lucky is often about being in the right place at the right time. But very often it is not by chance that things happen. It is because we positioned ourselves to have a better chance at being lucky! Knowing that you created possibilities for yourself and that you positioned yourself for success, even if you aren't enjoying the success you want in this moment, is motivation in itself.
Click here to find some quotes that you might find helpful in making you think about your own motivation and how to create it.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY