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Finding Your Inner Stockard

By Doug Shapiro, Accelerated Artist Career Coach



The “Business” can be frustrating for so many reasons and I’m not going to list them here, you’ve gone over them enough times in your head. It’s time for a mental shift, you fearless actor, you. I hereby challenge you to break the cycle of helplessness and “burn-out” and reignite your passion—that passion that made you first declare, “By gum, I am a Professional!”  How do you reignite that passion?  By doing tangible things that prove you VALUE yourself. You can do small tasks every day to remind yourself of your integrity as an artist. As a promoter of your work. As a visionary!

When you value yourself as an artist, you begin to accept that your time is yours to command. You don’t have to accept just any job to get your name out there.  I often share with my clients the example of Stockard Channing on Inside The Actors Studio. Don’t even get me started on how much I love and respect Stockard Channing. When asked how she determines the roles she accepts, she said that she must be able to answer “Yes” to TWO of the following three questions:

  1. Does it pay?
  2. Is it a good business move? (“This theatre company is a step up from the ones at which I’ve been working.” “I should definitely be working with this director.” “This role would round out the ol’ resume and reflect my brand.”)
  3. Is it a role I’m burning to do?

If my Stockard can not answer “Yes” to two out of three, my Stockard says “No.” Guess what? It’s okay to respectfully decline an offer when it doesn’t meet the standards of what you are looking to do as an artist! By the way, when you let go of a potential unsatisfying gig, you’ve just created the space for the the gig that does meet your professional needs to enter in its place. Embrace your inner Stockard!

We’ve all felt overwhelmed by the feeling that there’s “too much to do” to promote the business of ourselves. When this happens with one of my clients, I remind them, “Hey! You’re in the driver’s seat!” Yes, you have the power to choose how you want to spend your time. If you’re getting burned out by going to every cattle call audition that comes up, it is your choice to say that you are going to decide which projects are interesting to you and only go for those. You also have the power to shift your business tactics. Step away from the general auditions for a month and focus on researching the industry. Focus on mailings. Focus on enriching your support system.  The choice is yours.

You have been blessed with a valuable and sacred ability. You are the Stockard. Now go show the world what you will do!

Please share with your peeps!