By Amanda Tudor
There are a few things I wish the Ghost of Amanda Future would've told Dear College Amanda to turn attention to after graduation and starting out in New York City. And because I love and honor that ghost, and because I’m committed to helping actors—one reason why I’m a coach—I want to share a few of those musings with you now.
I chuckle now as I read them, because no matter where you are in your career, at whatever stage you play on or level you’ve attained, these questions are always, always relevant.
Where Do You Fit in Your Industry?
An actress in college, I played a Russian land owner, a deaf movie star in the 60s, a Caucasian woman who kidnaps a baby, a witch, a dead girl from the ocean, a prophet, a therapist, a dancing Irish woman, a dancing ghost, and fifteen roles at a time.
College training is designed to stretch us as artists and help guide raw talent to discover your process.
That future me would have told me it's up to me to research, decide, and craft where I fit into the industry based on what I want to and, initially, what I am expected to do. Am I the victim or the attacker? Am I white collar or blue collar? Am I a daughter, a mother, a teacher? Where do I see me? Realistically, what kinds of roles can I play right now? What comes naturally to me, what are my signature strengths?
What are my Values, and What Do I Believe?
This one definitely would have served me if I had learned it sooner. Ever stop to question yours? How many beliefs do you actually hold that have ceased to serve you, how many times have you self sabotaged away from a win? Your values are responsible for every decision you make in business. And they are a vital part to your personal Brand, without which there’s only a product without integrity and an authentic message. A Brand that you must cultivate and craft to make a lasting impact in the career path you have chosen—not only to separate you from the sea of vanilla scented people-pleasers, but to empower your life and art with as well.
Do Your Have Your Finances in Order?
I remember college as a blissful time in-between NO responsibility and TOTAL responsibility. I had one checking account and worries of rent, utilities, health insurance, and food weren't a budgetary issue on campus.
Now Future Amanda knows that bank accounts for Retirement Funds, Savings, Taxes AND checking accounts, are a way of life. Systems for budgeting what it costs to live in New York have to be forecasted and tracked in order to allocate funds to other investments—like classes or a night on the town…or an Index Fund or a Real Estate Property Investment.
A Lesson in Patience: This Might Take a While
My college career took 4 years to complete; worthwhile things take time.
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is your careers. Look at someone's career that you admire: Alan Rickman got his first movie role at 46. But that doesn't mean he wasn't working, Alan Rickman had a theatre career after studying at RADA and was up for the role of Vicomte de Valmont that John Malkovich played in the movie. What do you consider success?
And now for the Lighting Round, or: Because Checkmarks are Fun:
· Even though you played a 65 year old or a 12 year old in college, there are actual age appropriate actors to play those roles.
· Be honest with yourself about what you want. You don’t have to be a star on Broadway or the lead actor in a film to be successful. This is your career. Take time to visualize what you truly want. Give yourself permission to have it.
· You don’t have to wait tables, you can, but there are also find all kinds of other jobs.
· Auditioning is an art in itself: unlike college there are indeterminate amounts of people you’re competing against.
· You can’t teach perseverance in a classroom, but it is essential.
· So is patience.
· So is discipline.
· In addition to learning about classics and standards in history, continue educating yourself about who and what is current.
· Who you know is crucial—networking is everything.
· Know what you do best before putting yourself out there. Then show the world. Sing it from the mountaintops.
· You’ll need headshots after your showcase, but DON’T rush spending lots of money and finding a photographer without doing proper Branding Homework; it’s your logo and one of THE biggest marketing tools.
· There are no grades in real life, so now it’s up to you.
Whether you’re transitioning from college or finding yourself in another transition (to a new city, a new phase in your life, or looking for a change), I can help you get set up for success and play a bigger game! Schedule a 20 minute phone call with me and we’ll make the change together.
Posted on March 9, 2015
by Amanda Tudor, Accelerated Artist Career Coach filed under