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An Enterprising Set of Resolutions

January 23, 2014

Career resolutions were a little tough for me this year. I can resolve to book more by auditioning more, but I already do audition for everything within reasonable driving distance…and then some. I can resolve to get new headshots and take classes regularly (both of which are actually on my resolutions list), but that is a normal part of staying current with your business, not so much something to really help hone my skillz. I’m in major re-framing mode for some of my other ventures; for example, I am completely overhauling Things We Say to Girls, but the new! and improved! model isn’t finalized yet, so I didn’t feel ready to make a resolution, per se, about that. Here are a few things that I have resolved for my actor-ly self in 2014. And I share these with a caveat about resolutions, in general: sometimes you make a resolution, you take the action steps needed, but the desired outcome isn’t achieved in the anticipated time frame. Trust that by taking the steps, results will follow. I think that’ll be my mantra this year.

The Enterprising Actor’s 2014 Resolutions/Business-y Edition:

1. Be early-early.
I have a habit of being (mostly) on time – To rehearsal and shows? Always! – but sometimes I’m getting there early-on-time by cutting it really close to being on-time-late. I resolve to pay more attention to the clock and to allow five more minutes than I need. I can do it so easily for work that I can certainly do it for not-work.

But this resolution also extends to turning things in early-on-time. I have gotten into a bad habit of waiting to submit applications/submissions/entries on the last day. Instead, I will use those handy reminders Google calendar provides to email me a couple of weeks out. And if it’s not ready, I’m not making myself miserable by spending all day on the submission deadline by furiously finishing the application. Instead, I chalk it up to a missed opportunity and move on.

One intermediate step I am taking to achieve this is to evaluate that, if my submission is not ready a week or two out, perhaps the opportunity is not a good fit for my project. I am trying to work smarter, because life’s hard enough, as it is.

2. Take a scouting trip to L.A.
I’ve never been to L.A. I’ve been to northern California – the bay area is so lovely – but never to southern California. I love NYC. I’ve been there many times and know my way around, and I know what kind of challenges I would face if I decide to relocate there. But L.A.? Pfft! Not. A. Clue. So, this year I resolve to choose a class/workshop/study to enroll in and use that time of 6-to-8 weeks to scope things out and see what I think about the place, if I could see myself relocating there. By taking a class, rather than going out to “make it,” or sign with an agent, or anything else Hollywood-y, I think the pressure will be off and I can get a real sense of what I think of the place. First step: choose a class. Second step: Establish a financial strategy to make this a reality. Third step: let’s not get ahead of ourselves…until I know how I can pay for this venture, it’s all talk.

3. Find my tribe.
Another challenge to living in a smaller market is the lack of places and spaces to find like-minded peeps to hang with, peeps who’ll commiserate or celebrate with you, peeps who’ll tell you what they really think of your monologue. I resolve, this year, to be more proactive in finding my tribe by joining a monthly book club – two of them, actually: one to read more business-inclined books, and one to read books I’m missing out on because I’m always in the Sam French catalog instead of the New York Times Bestseller List. I will also be more network-y, which kinda makes my tumbly rumbly, so I will start by reading books about how to be a better and more effective networker-y person.

4. Be focused. Be brave.
Being based in a smaller market means fewer opportunities arise, which means that it is very easy to chase your tail over opportunities that are not aligned with your career goals. This year, I resolve to be more deliberate about the way I spend my time. That means that I will evaluate each opportunity to see if it reflects on my career goals, and then act accordingly. Furthermore, I will be brave by reaching outside – sometimes way outside – my comfort zone and to not be afraid to ask for help or for guidance. What’s the worst someone could say? No? This particular resolution is particularly aimed at a new project I will be working on this year, a documentary film for which I will have to ask for lots and lots of help and lots and lots more guidance.

ClaraHarris.EnterprisingActor.Signature

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. California Triple-Threat permalink
    January 26, 2014 2:54 pm

    Come visit LA and I will show you around!

    • The Enterprising Actor permalink
      January 27, 2014 9:51 am

      That would be great!

  2. January 29, 2014 1:23 pm

    These sound like great goals. Ambitious, but concrete!

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