Creativity and freedom are useful keys for you to not only build your craft, but also your business and career. This is especially important when you feel frustrated or beat down trying to win auditions. The overwhelming world of show business often requires you to cut through the clutter, and find the right path toward success.
Success has often been described as ‘the freedom to become whoever you want to be.’
This statement is doubly true for you as an actor, who gets to shed your own identity, and inhabit that of a totally fictional character.
It’s no wonder then that we consider professional, working actors to be so successful and so “lucky” to be in the creative profession they have chosen. This sense of freedom goes far deeper, though. It also molds the foundation of your business success.
What would it really mean to be free enough to become whoever you want? Imagine being free from expectations, limitations and hesitations.
To some this might sound incredibly freeing. To others, it might sound intensely structure-less and without any security – read: terrifying.
Most individuals who choose acting as a profession certainly come closer to the former, even if huge parts of them still experience the insecurities of the latter.
The foundation for consistent, daily acting success lies in maintaining the core of that freedom, together with a creative structure that offsets the pitfalls of paralyzing insecurity.
How Creativity and Freedom Work for You
In my years of working with actors, I’ve noticed two primary qualities that drive their deepest needs: creativity and freedom. While each individual actor has his own set of unique personal needs, creativity and freedom keep you married to this non-linear profession, and all the traditional sacrifices that come with it.
Consider this: Once school or college is finished at age 18, and a career or job decided upon, the majority of the non-acting population spend little time examining the fulfillment of their lives. Actors, on the other hand, tend to keep this reality very lively.
(RELATED: Learn new strategies to get more auditions and master the business side of acting. Click here to learn more now.)
Not only do you need to make choices for the characters you will become in your acting work, you must also make constant choices to stay in your profession until you achieve financial stability through your acting work.
If you haven’t yet realized that this regularly brings up the question ‘Who am I?’, think again. Most actors squander far too much energy asking themselves questions like ‘Am I really a waiter or an actor?’ or ‘Am I an admin assistant/ personal assistant or an actor?’ or ‘Am I a dog walker or an actor?’
Strategy Kills Struggle
I experience actors struggling day in and day out, whether it’s with the strategies to get the best auditions, or the mindset to make it all work.
Alarmingly, actors who don’t find a healthy, proactive structure for their business of acting, by default often live the same year over and over. They hope to get big breaks, and be chosen as the next shooting star. Don’t let that be you.
Worst of all, they let other people’s definitions of success and business dictate their choices, until we work together to free them from other people’s paradigms and into their own success strategies.
Because you’re reading this, you’re going to make conscious business of acting decisions that will grow your business in the short and long-terms, just like you work on your craft to deliver the best performances.
Here’s the big difference: The desire to create, or have creative expression, is intrinsic to all humans. Most people find great, daily iterations of this in relationships, children, cooking, crafts, sports, etc. For an actor, it is more fundamental, more visceral.
The need to create an entire persona, with one’s entire person, is your overwhelming need. The pure infinity of choices available to you, latent in every new character you play, is intoxicating. It’s a rush of both adrenaline and emotional/spiritual connection that lacks parallel in most professions.
When this creative need is joined with a need for freedom, the road ahead gets foggy. The freedom here might be a) the freedom to find the next great part, or b) the freedom from responsibility to make ends meet, or c) the freedom from bad relationships.
While creativity must be given free reign for great acting craft, your long-term freedom is built upon solid business decisions.
A working structure that you create for yourself allows you both the freedom you desire, as well as the security to do more, fail more, and achieve more. Actors who build a solid business structure fail bigger and better than they did before, and get bigger payoffs that go deeper than before. This is your big opportunity.
Using Your Craft for Your Business of Acting
So many actors misinterpret freedom for Time and Space. In practice, too many of them invest an unbalanced amount of time on both money jobs and pleasant distractions or self-medicating. Does this sound familiar for you or anyone you associate with?
To nip this in the bud, you can go farther, and ask yourself better questions on how to build your marketing (networking), sales (auditioning), accounting and strategic planning (big picture, not just job-to-job). This is exactly what I do with proactive actors.
The real magic comes when you apply creatively-driven business strategies to your daily practices. This simple structure results in more auditions, better jobs, more team members, and more powerful relationships.
This may just be the real freedom you seek. Best of all, when you structure your business practices to be as creative as your craft work, you also get deeper satisfaction when you’re not on stage or on set.
When you use – instead of struggle against – your greatest needs for creativity and freedom, both get fulfilled in one fell swoop.
1) Ask yourself: Which motivates me more: creativity or freedom? What are the compromises or sacrifices that I already make for this?
2) Now, ask yourself: What strategies or systems can I create to get more creativity or freedom? What would I like more of in terms of both? What am I willing to do to achieve that?
3) Start crafting and executing these strategies. We can do it together, if you like. Use timelines!
If you are not reaching your goals, let’s get you accountable. You don’t ever have to waste time again. Especially as an actor, time is not on your side. Go be more creative today!