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The top 5 Ways to Ask for What You Want


By Christina Shipp, VP + Biz Coach Accelerated Artist

Do you find yourself giving up your personal power or putting entertainment professionals up on a pedestal? Do you throw yourself into the winds of mercy and behave the way you perceive industry types think you ‘should’? Do you cow-tow in agent or producer meetings, and never express your own point of view?

I challenge you to answer this: what do YOU want in your life and career? Because sooner or later—and sooner, if you’re sick of being a broke or unknown actor—you’re going to have to ask for it, and from someone who has more resources than you currently do. (When it’s said you’re in sales and marketing, it’s because you are in sales. And marketing.)

So, if you’re a people pleaser well versed in keeping your mouth shut, how can you empower yourself to actually, actually do it: communicate and ask? Gasp. Well, it’s gonna be easy, when you use the following 5 steps.

1: Eradicate the idea that you are beneath anyone in this industry, and that includes agents, casting directors, and bigwig producers and execs. Empower yourself with the knowledge that we are all colleagues in this business, and that we all work together to achieve amazing results.

How: Identify your limiting statements. They reflect what it is you believe. Frequently, especially when you haven’t been paying attention, they’re not typically pleasant. Universal limiting thoughts include telling yourself: Stupid! I don’t deserve.. I’m not good enough.. and ALL Buts + Shoulds. Immediately begin to pay attention to what follows the buts and shoulds. Yea, but…Well I/You/He/She Should… What follows is where the brain places all the focus. It’s crippling and needs to be re-programmed.

Once you have identified your limiting statements, next practice a little bit of Pratipaksa Bhavanam*, and replace that negative thought with it’s opposite and higher one. Note them—as in, record, write down, and log— your affirmations, and repeat as salve and structure as needed. They are antidote to the poison your limiting beliefs are contaminating you with. Your buts and shoulds are reprogrammed with Yes, AND + Well I Could, You would be served by, He/She has the option to…

2: Clearly define for yourself what it is that you want so you can articulate it to anyone who asks. This will be easy if you’ve had the foresight to craft the response and write it out. Give yourself weapons you need to go into battle prepared.

How: Sit with pen + paper. Now, answer the question: What do I want? Now, being as specific as undeniably possible, write it all down. How do the answers to this question show up in you? Write, Stream of Consciousness.

This helps you organize your thoughts in a cohesive way. Also, putting things down on paper is a wonderful activating impetus…the spark you need to set things into motion.

3: Determine who is on your targeted 'help list.'

How: Once you have defined what it is that you want, decide who you could ask for help in going after it. For example, if you've decided that you're burning for legit rep in a bicoastal agency, who in your community couldyou ask for more information so you can research and add value to your pursuit? Are there directors or other actors you'veworked with in the past who can help? Create your Help List as a reference.Know that when you have the resources, you too will give back and help others who also passionately pursue their goals. Give yourself permission to Ask.

4: Have a guide to help you.

How: Have a bullet list of talking points for exactly what you want to say. This is especially helpful cheat-sheet when calling on the phone. Your 2nd step brainstorm has already succeeded in providing you with great sound bites.

With this preparation behind you, compose your emails with brevity, have a polite and respectful tone, and be careful not to give your power away. Strike away all unnecessary information, and don't be afraid to get to the heart of the matter. I won’t say be professional, because that information STUNTS YOU FROM WRITING LIKE YOU ACTUALLY SPEAK, and sounding like you talk is much more important than any idea you have of what ‘professional’ sounds like. This is a creative industry, it’s personality driven, so play the game and show up like just like you. (See a coach for help with this! Especially in Los Angeles, industry READs email. Make sure you are saying exactly what you want, and how. Call if you’d like to know more.)

5: Give yourself a deadline.

Face the fear and cultivate courage within you. Schedule the calls and plan when you’ll push send on your emails. Call. Email. My father always says, the answer is always NO if you don't ask, so you have everything to gain.

Call up your **Accountibilibuddy and get them to stick on you like white on rice to keep you doubly accountable.

Whatever you do, create a strategy that supports you. Perhaps you dedicate to sending 5 emails a day and making 3 calls. Decide what works for you, as long as it’s a delicious stretch, and not one that freaks you out from making a start.

You can have whatever it is you want. First you have to practice asking for it. And be prepared to keep asking.


High five to you for reading, and bookmark it for your reference and your aid. More questions? Want to talk one on one meeting strategy? Call about our coaching programs. Take control of your life and career. Empower yourself to ask for, and get, what you want.


*“When disturbed by negative thoughts, use opposite [positive]
ones to suspend them. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana.”
––Sutra 2.33

Mantra: Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksha Bhavanam.
(Vee-tar-ka Bod-ney Prati-Pak-sha Bvah-vah-nam)
Vitarka: bad thought. Badhane: repel, suspend. Pratipaksha: opposite. Bhavanam: meditate, reflect.

**Accountibilibuddy – the person who holds you accountable for your desired actions + outcomes, who will not see you fail without dusting you off, getting you back up + re-righting your course. (Like Accelerated Artist page on FB to create these partnerships to set you up with like-minded people for success!)

Please share with your peeps!