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Career Management: Keep Your Team Informed

February 12, 2013

You are the master of your own ship. Coaches can teach you, managers can guide you, agents can assist you – but you are the leader of the crew, and to that point, it is important to keep everyone informed and on the same page about the course you have laid for your career.

Yes, you should absolutely listen to the advice from your agent and/or manager – they are in a different part of the trenches and have a view of the industry different from an actor’s, perhaps a more objective view of where you fit into the industry. But it is still just their opinion of where you fit. Ultimately, the decision about your piece of the pie is yours to make. It is also your responsibility to lead the marketing efforts of your team in that direction.

Consider your acting business like any small business, and you an entrepreneur. What is your mission statement? Your short-term and long-term goals, and the action steps necessary to get you there? Sure, there is much about attaining your goals that is determined by whether or not people cast you in the places and projects you want to work, but that does not make you helpless in the matter. If one tactic does not work, go back and assess why, then plan again for a different action step to attain that goal.

What are your business’s strengths and weaknesses within the context of the industry? What skills are easy and natural, and which ones would you be better served by either seeking out additional training or outsourcing to someone else? For example, maybe you are strong in stage combat (an acting skill) and creating a network of contacts (a business skill), but you lack the training or confidence to be a fight director or captain (seek out training) and the technical knowledge to get a cohesive website and newsletter together to market to your network (outsource or additional training).

Once you are clear on the direction of your career, it will be much easier to communicate to your team about the direction they need to be working because you will be steering them. Your agent may be wonderful and have great insight, but does she know where you hope to be in one, five, or ten years? Only you know that, and only you can set the course for a successful voyage there.

Take some time to generate a one page business plan to get yourself ready to be the leader your crew needs to get your career bearing the course you dream it will take. Oh, yeah, and don’t be afraid to read business books now and again – they won’t kill your creative spirit, I promise.

ClaraHarris.EnterprisingActor.Signature

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2013 7:54 am

    “Sure, there is much about attaining your goals that is determined by whether or not people cast you in the places and projects you want to work, but that does not make you helpless in the matter.” – So true. Isn’t there some saying … you can’t make a rose grow but you can control the conditions of the fertile, etc etc.

    Also thanks so much for the great Oprah article and business plan worksheets. Great tools!

  2. February 13, 2013 10:39 am

    good advice, especially on the business plan. I find that so hard to do, but I know a magician who credits his business plan for keeping him on track when he’s lost about what to do next. So I’m inspired to write one. Thanks for the great links!

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