It’s been a while since I posted one of these solid gold nuggets from Bob Fraser. Here’s the 19th in the series.
WHERE TO GET MENTORING
by Bob Fraser
As most actors who read my scribblings know, I’m a big fan of quotes. There is a good reason for this; I think that it really helps to have advisors, as one pursues a goal. And it’s always been my experience that wise advisors are the best advisors.
Now, many wise people have come before us – that is indisputable. Most have left behind some instructions, cautions, insights and advice. My attitude has always been, why not make use of, and benefit from their experience?
One of the wisest people of all time is Anon. No one knows who this Anon person was or when he or she lived, but Anon had some great things to say.
“Most people miss opportunity because it arrives looking like work.” Anon.
This is an important piece of advice because it goes right to the heart of the “I need an agent” (or manager) plaint that we hear (and say) so often. Deep down we know that getting our faces in front of people who hire actors is very important and yet we all fall prey to the rather silly idea that there’s a one-step solution to that problem – one that skips the hard work part – and that ‘brilliant’ idea is to get someone else to do it.
Believing that you need an agent to get started is bass-ackward. In the real world, you need to get started in order to attract the attention of a good agent. Believe me it is pointless to have a top salesman for your product if your product is still in the planning stages. 99.9% of agents know this. You can’t fool them.
When I tell actors this, they often respond with another complaint. “I’ve tried to get started on my own and it just isn’t happening.”
There’s a quote for that:
“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” ~ James Michener
SKILLS, ATTITUDES AND TENACITY
A successful acting career is mainly the result of skills, attitudes — and, most importantly, the ability to keep showing up (tenacity) despite the rejection that we all face. No matter what some people say, talent is not a skill. Using your talent to entertain for a living – that’s a skill.
However, in the absence of a good attitude, learning the skills of a professional entertainer is almost impossible. And without tenacity, even the best set of skills will never see the light of day. If you want to be a professional actor, have a gracious attitude, a willingness to learn new skills and never, never, give up your quest.
I am often asked “when is the best time to start? Pilot season? When I’ve saved enough money? When I turn 21? After the kids are grown? September?”
I’m no expert, but here’s someone with a very clear instruction on this “when should I start” matter:
“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.” ~ Michael Landon
GOOD ADVICE IS FREE – IF YOU ARE WILLING TO ACT
See why I like quotes?
Because someone, somewhere has already dealt with my problems and found a solution. And many of them have been kind enough to write it down. All I have to do is read, understand, and begin to use all this great advice.
I urge all actors to start collecting quotes, find a few favorites, and make little signs. Stick them up on the refrigerator, computer or bathroom mirror.
These little “reminders” can have a beneficial effect on your career. You will be astonished at the education you will get – and the results you will achieve – when you start listening to your “advisors” and start “doing it.”
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“Reprinted from ACTOR’S TOOL KIT, the email course just for subscribers of Show Biz How-To — The Free Actor’s Monthly. Get your own free subscription by going to: showbizhowto.com
Copyright Â© 2006 Bob Fraser Productions All Rights Reserved”