I remember all too well the moment in my career when I seemed to have slammed into a professional brick wall. It was more than uncomfortable, it was debilitating.
What I also remember was my survival instinct took over. I loved my craft and refused to sacrifice myself on the altar of failure. What did I do?
First I gave myself a week to indulge in all my negative feelings. I wallowed in self pity. I enjoyed this self indulgence primarily because I knew that at the end of the allotted week I would be denying all this feelings.
The beginning of the second week I asked myself the following questions:
What about my career was working?
What about my career wasn’t working?
What is it I need to do to make it work?
I then asked myself the most difficult question:
Am I content with my level of craft?
And, if not, why aren’t I doing something to increase my expertise?
I got a part time job as a bartender to pay for some new classes and enrolled with a teacher who I believed would support me in the areas I needed to grow. In other words, I decided to strengthen my weaknesses. It was during the second month of this incredible experience that I auditioned for and got a Broadway show.
During this same period, I changed representation and became more active in my career. I got off my butt and became more active, more than any agent or manager could be, in my career. I became current on everything happening in my business. I told my new agent what was casting. I sent out pictures and resumes. I included a note that said I was sure my agent had submitted my picture, but in case it was lost in the mail, here was another. I wrote that I believed in their project and that a role in their production was worth fighting for.
My short message here is – do something. I didn’t ignore my feelings. I gave them their due. Then I dug deeper, to what my true feelings were, and honored them.
From a strictly selfish point of view – I do not want to be deprived of your talent. So for my sake, do something.