As we all move through yet another calendar year there is no better time to discuss this then now. While you’re in the midst of resolutions, New Year’s goals and reflection I highly recommend that part of your looking back includes this word; FOCUS.Now please know that I’m saying this WITH you…not to you. We all have varied backgrounds, parents, childhood upbringing and all of our social experience factors that play into “who we are and how we’re wired.” For me, I have spent the better part of my life in some way “wanting to know everything” and do everything and enjoying being a “Jack of all trades.” And while no, I don’t always believe it makes you a “Master of none” I do believe that in certain career and personal areas without some fairly extreme focus it is truly impossible to rise to the top or be the cream of the crop.
As performers we all tend to believe that we all have all the “skills” needed to do it all. Sorry, but please know that is simply not accurate and even if you do there are many which would “naturally” rate higher within you than many others. When you’re talking about making money in such a difficult profession REGARDLESS of where you reside, allowing yourself to spend time on those skills which are likely in the lower third of your talent range and not focusing solely on those in the top third is simply a poor business decision. TRUST ME…I speak from 25+ years of experience attempting to do it all. And while I’ve been very successful in many ways I feel there is a lot that has escaped me due to it.
If you truly wish to be considered, in YOUR marketplace, as one of the top folks in your demographic and category then whatever elements apply to you…you’ll need to hone down and truly focus on the 1-5 elements that make your skills superior. It is just a simple principle of life, it ain’t me, ok. So maybe you used to dance well, but don’t really work at it much anymore, or you used to sing all the time but you’ve never gone the focused direction of “being a professional singer.” These are two common examples but they make my point about CLARITY and focus. Look at all of the performing arts and then look within those arts at the TYPE of skill or “Area of Industry” that really appeals to you and seek out your clarity.
Also, I highly recommend that you just don’t see the “result” of what you like but also the PROCESS. The process of Commercial auditions is very different than Voice-Over versus Daytime TV, primetime ½-hour versus doing Web Series and feature films (or small modified agreement projects). Sure we all “wanna be” Movie Stars…but that is a result. What I have found that “gets to” a lot of actors is the sheer process of preparing, traveling, auditioning, getting callbacks, NOT getting the job…then doing it all over again…and again…and again…for years n’ decades etc. This is called a career and profession. The rest you guys is just a “pipe dream” lottery ticket mentality. And remember, I’m not talking about focus always taking decades but I am telling you that decades will go by with very little results if you don’t begin to hone down on those few areas you wish to be truly proficient.
I want everyone to succeed at some level that pleases them and brings them joy…beyond just the joy of performing, so really CLARIFY this year what you’re going to be better at, focus on, and be also willing to LET GO of all those other performing areas that sure you like or have marginal skills at and don’t worry about the stuff you “may be missing” there…but what you’re gonna create with FOCUS.
Always on your side, @TheKevinE