I am so pumped to share this actors story with you, I'm literally tingling inside.
"Workshops don't work," something I hear ALL the time from actors. You might have even said it yourself. I get it. Who wants to continue to spend money on something that is not yielding the results you want. But, what if it's not that they aren't working for you...but YOU aren't working them the right way.
I use to think booking commercials was something that was never going to happen for me. I mean, I went on tons of commercial auditions and nothing. Not even a callback. I finally came to the conclusion that booking a commercial wasn't in my cards. I remember telling a friend who was booking a ton commercially, "I think I'm just too handsome for commercials. That's why I'm not booking." Wow. That hurt to write.
Then one day I booked one...and then another and then a snowfall. I realized it wasn't that I didn't believe it wasn't going to happen for me. It was simply easier for me to say that to everyone I came in contact with, rather than face the pain of not getting what I wanted. A commercial.
What changed? Honestly, I relaxed, started meditating and remembered that WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. And I'd been focusing on the not booking part and constantly telling my brain...my subconscious...that I was NOT going to book a commercial. My perspective had to shift immediately. And it did.
What would happen if you changed your perspective on workshops? (or insert anything in your life your stuck on or telling yourself you're too handsome for)
What if you stopped thinking of them as workshops or something for educational purposes. ( I know what the legal jargon makes them say) They're potential bookings and relationship builders for the future. But, are you treating them like this all the time? Are you giving it your all every. single. time. you go in?
What if you started thinking of them all as showcases for YOU and your best work. WAIT! Before you say, but DaJuan, I do that now. I'm asking you right now in this moment to RAISE THE BAR! From this point forward, walk into these rooms with what I call your Absolute Yes Package armed and ready to go and nothing less: The best possible scene choice, the best headshot, looking your best and most important of all with your mindset where it needs to be. (need help with this? We should talk.)
But, first let me share Sean's story with you...
STOP. Let me say up front, before we get to the good stuff, I am not advocating that you run out and do a ton of workshops. Or even do a single one at all for that matter. I'm simply going to share with you how it went down for one of my 1:1 private clients that made a choice to see something differently.
And it all started with a little shifting of perspective.
1. It's been a heck of a couple of months for you Sean. You seem very focused and on a mission. What's your secret? Mindset?
Thanks to you and our sessions, I've been able to switch my mindset from something that hasn't been working for years, actually almost a DECADE, to something that has shown immediate results! When we first started working together, I wanted an action plan. I wanted to call you, talk about what I wanted, and for you to tell me the best ways to achieve those goals. When I realized that's not how it works, I was a little disappointed and frustrated...not with you, but with the/my situation. Little did I realize that that was my problem. I was always looking for things I could be "doing", actionable items that made me feel like I was working hard for my career. The two main "secrets" to our success are remarkably simple, yet incredibly powerful:
1) "What do I want?" - Seemingly an easy question to answer...but the more specific I got, and I mean really broke down every detail, the actions needed to attain these goals revealed themselves. It's the difference between saying, "I want to make my living as an actor," versus saying, "I want to book regularly, starting with Scorpion on CBS cast by Jennifer Cooper, who also casts other shows I'd love to be on so I'll book those too, and make my living as an actor." I was left with three or four actionable items that were laser focused, and all intent on achieving the same purpose.
2) "How do I know that to be true?" -This one is also really important, because although the first question set me on my path, this question keeps me open-minded, focused, and most of all fearless. A good example of when this was particularly useful is your very next question.
2. What would you tell your fellow actors about workshops? That say "they don't work!"
I would have two things to say:
1) How do you know this to be true? If you have friends that have done a workshop, and it didn't work for them...their experience has nothing to do with you. If you have done workshops and you didn't get a call from the agent/manager/cd, does that mean workshops will never work? Once guilty, always guilty?
2) After asking myself, "how do I know that these workshops don't work?" my answer was, "I don't!" I was looking to add a manager to my team, so I signed up for a manager/cd workshop. It was a three week workshop where you would meet one manager and one cd per week. After my first workshop, I got a call from the manager. I still had two more workshops to go, but I met with him and loved what he had to say. I signed with him on the spot. On my way home from his office, I got an audition for a series regular role on a pilot for a major network. I had been signed for 11 minutes!! Also, I got my agent from a similar workshop. So....I feel like they work for me.
3. What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going?
1) "What do I want?" Every opportunity that came or obstacle I encountered, I asked myself that question. The action I needed to take became clear.
2) "What is another way of looking at this?" Every time I felt nervous, inadequate, discouraged or just plain lazy...I asked myself that question. I would think of a few different ways, and realized it was a choice to feel the way I did. And I chose to feel the way that best served me at the time.
3) "You can't course correct if there is no action." I am a major planner, very much a measure twice and cut once kind of person. I also have a very long history of being able to gather all of the doubt in the world, and use it to make excuses and talk myself out of things. This statement made me okay with taking action, making mistakes, and then adjusting accordingly. At the end of the day, I was always better for just having experienced something, if not for the sheer fact that I was now not afraid to do it again.
4. Name three things you are thankful/grateful for.
1) DaJuan Johnson
2) My ability to have faith in myself, and to trust myself.
3) For my girlfriend Alex, who re-enforces all of these things for me every time they come up.
In conclusion, I would like to say that in the two months I have been working with DaJuan, our goals were to:
1) Audition more regularly, and maybe
2) Consider getting a manager.
In these two months...really in the last month I have:
Signed with a stellar manager, auditioned for a series regular role on a pilot for a major network, auditioned for the lead of a pilot, booked and shot a McDonald's commercial, got into a V.O. class and am auditioning regularly for V.O. spots.
It works man...that's all I got to say. (individual results may vary) ;)
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