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THOUGHTS

Two Words I Want All Actors to Stop Using

DaJuan Johnson

Are you guilty of saying this?

"Hey, watch me tonight on criminal minds (or insert your booking), but don't blink because it's ONLY a few lines."

or how about...

"I have an audition to work on, but it's JUST a co-star"

or...

"It's ONLY a student film audition"

"Just" and "Only" are the killers of your confidence.

You've worked so incredibly hard to get to where you are and then you down play it by using "JUST" and "ONLY."

I can't be too upset with you because I've done it before too. 

Why do we do it?

We are down playing our success for others. We are guarding ourselves against what we think OTHERS might think of us. It's FEAR.

"Oh, that role is only a couple of lines, why are they so happy about it?" "It's not a guest star or series regular."

It needs to stop now. Right now. 

Here are three ways to get you off the "just" and "only" train and putting the focus back on where it really needs to be. You and your win!

                           **don't miss your free gift below!**

Gratitude. Be grateful for all the success that come along in your life. (And they're all successes.) But, there is true power in being grateful about this present moment and things happening at this current moment in your life. Saying thank you puts you in the space of abundance and grace. Takes you out of worrying about what others think about your success. Simply put, If you are not happy where you are, you probably won't get to where you want to be.

Confidence. When you feel yourself shying away from saying something great about yourself, simply ask yourself why? If you are truly worried about how others will perceive your news, stop. Ask yourself, "what would I do if I were fearless?" Then take one step towards being fearless!

Surround. This is all about finding your people. Your TRIBE. The support system that will call you on your B.S. and in turn support you through the good times.STOP TELLING YOUR DREAMS TO SMALL MINDED PEOPLE. When you put something out there to a "friend" and their first response is negative...well, you know what to do. Only surround yourself around people who are going to support your growth. This isn't to say you need to have "yes, men" around you only. My simple rule about this? When you see negativity coming -- cross the street!

I want to hear from you. Are you a "just" and/or "only" person, Tweet me or respond back to this email. Let's get a movement going and scrap these words from our vocab! 

DaJuan

"The Mindset Guy!"


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How's Pilot Season Really Going For You?

DaJuan Johnson

Well, pilot season is well underway. How's your mindset? 

I have to tell you it baffles me how many actors I come in contact with that don't think their mindset is their most important ally. Especially during this time of year -- heck during their whole career and life! 

It's the difference between saying, "I just want to freaking audition for a pilot!" vs. "How do I get in for this pilot that I know I'm right for?!" 

Which one are you? 

Are you doing the same thing over and over again this pilot season and expecting different results? 

How many times have you heard someone ramble off Albert Einstein's definition of insanity as if they were a wise sage. "Well, you know...


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. 

I hear it so much I've sort of become numb to it. Why didn't Mr. Einstein include helpful hints on how to spot the cycle of insanity? Or took it one step further and explained how to actually get those desired different results?  

Just how do you choose something new to do?  

Well, I have a take on it...

A PLAN. 

It's often been said a goal without a plan is just a wish. Last we spoke I asked you to get specific on your expectations for pilot season, remember?  Now I am asking...what's your plan?  If you're reading this and thinking, "ugh, I've already missed pilot season" -- you're wrong! "Well, underway" doesn't mean over. *mindset

But, not to worry, I've got you covered as usual! 

Below I've listed a few things that EVERY PLAN NEEDS! Check them out. Let's see if we can break the code on the brilliant Einstein's old saying and get you meeting your pilot season goals.  

 

PLAN ROADMAP


5 Must Haves for your plan:

  1. Get clear on your WHY. Why do you want to accomplish this goal? 
  2. Focused action steps
  3. A lifeline if you get stuck
  4. Accountability to someone other than yourself. OH, this is a BIG ONE!  
  5. Being able to measure your success. 


1. Get clear on your WHY. Why do you want to accomplish this goal? Why is this important to you? And what will you feel like once it's accomplished. This is important because when you hit challenges along the way, you always have your base reason for pursuitto go back to. Always remember why you started this goal. 

2. Focused Action Steps. What are you going to do to actually get this plan done? This is where the rubber meets the road. Accomplishing your goals takes work. Everyday wake up and set clear action steps you will take towards achieving your goal. Write them down. This will give you direction and focus. 

3. 
A lifeline if you get stuck. After you've truly searched and searched and put your best foot forward...sometimes you just need a little help. This is the point when most people give up. The stuck part. They hit a road block and because they can't see over, around or threw it -- they throw in the towel. Use your lifeline. Call a friend. Seek answers outside what you know. One of the cool things about the Power Group I lead is that six actors get to bounce ideas or challenges off each other and myself in these exact situations. Don't take no for an answer. Your dreams are bigger than this block! 

4. Accountability. Make yourself (and your goals) accountable to someone else. This is simply because the majority of us are absolutely OK letting ourselves down, but not other people. (that's a whole other email we will tackle later) For now, simply partner with someone else. A good friend, an accountability partner, or a coach. While working with my 1:1 private clients they ALWAYS have homework with a deadline they have to get back to me.  

5. Measureable steps. Write things down so that you can go back and see your progress. Often times we think we've done NOTHING. When in reality we've actually done a lot. Writing things down will help you keep track of your successes and make you feel a lot better when you look back on them.  I write things down in my THRIVE JOURNAL 2016. I created this so that I can look back on how I THRIVED, my word of the year, in 2016. 


So...if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing...we know, we know...how would you like to try something different? Together. 

You ready to create your plan? 

I'd love to hear what your plan is for the rest of pilot season. Get focused and email it to me or tweetme! 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan
The Mindset Guy + Helping Actors ACTualize

If you enjoyed reading this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive my newsletter by e-mail (A WEEK EARLY) AND/OR leave a comment below and share this with your family, friends and Social Media. I'd love to hear from you. 

Pilot Season Expectations

DaJuan Johnson

I was talking to a private client last week about pilot season. The conversation went a little something like this: I said, I hear you saying a lot about pilot season coming up and how you don't want to miss out on it, BUT that sounds very vague. What exactly don't you want to miss out on? 

 

Silence. Followed by a deep sigh. 

There was no answer. 

Sometimes we enter into situations or events not knowing exactly what we're hoping to get out of it. Then when it's over, we feel LET DOWN ...Frustrated...Disappointed...Defeated.

The problem is you were never clear on what you wanted to get out of it in the first place. 

It got me to thinking...

Are you afraid to say what you actually want for fear that it's not going to come true? Or the bigger one, for fear of embarrassment. "If I put it out there, tell someone and it doesn't happen, then I'm going to feel dumb."  Am I getting warmer? But, that's only factoring in one side of the equation. The negative side. How about factoring in how you would feel if it did come true? 

How does that feel?

So, what do you want out of this pilot season? Do you know? No more saying, "I just want to have a good one."Get specific on what you want. SHIFT your THINKING to how you will feel when you do get it! Visualize that. Let this move you into action. Let this be your driving force. Make decisions from this place. NOT the center of fear. 

Here are a  few questions to get you started on what you might want during pilot season: 

  • You want to audition for one pilot? 
  • You want to book a pilot? 
  • You want to read all the pilots out there? 
  • Not to pull out all of your hair?
  • Spend less time in worry mode and more time in conscious action mode. 

Take the time to write it down. In a journal. On a post-it. The trick is to get it out of your head and give it shape on paper. 

THEN...we start working backwards. Now, that you have a CLEAR INTENTION or idea of what you want, you can focus your attention on getting it. Wake up in the morning thinking, "I'm going to take steps towards "X" today. Why? Because I'm booking a pilot."

Doesn't it feel great to live in the world of possibilities?! Now. Let's turn those possibilities into MASSIVE ACTION! 


I dare you to try this! And then I double dog dare you to share it. 


I'd love to hear from you. Shoot me an email or tweet me! 

-- 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

The Mindset Guy + Helping Actors ACTualize

If you enjoyed reading this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive my newsletter by e-mail (A WEEK EARLY) AND/OR leave a comment below and share this with your family, friends and Social Media. I'd love to hear from you. 



She's Killing it on How to Get Away With Murder!

DaJuan Johnson

 

Second week of the New Year is complete! 

How's your WORD of THE YEAR treating you so far?

Perhaps you've hit it really hard and are feeling insanely energized by your word. 

Maybe you're a little anxious about what to actually do with it? 

Do you feel like you've already messed it up?

Well, consider this your Friday check-in with yourself and me. 

You can't expect your word to just manifest itself over the last several days.

You've set a powerful INTENTION for this year.

Remember to check in with your word every so often. See, how it's guiding your day, week, month. If this is a new exercise for you, be patient and gentle with yourself. We are creating a new habit and new habits take a moment to establish. It's actually extremely easier to revert back to your old habits or ways of thinking. But, I'm here to tell you -- YOU GOT THIS! 

Here are a few questions I want you to ask yourself about your Word of The Year:

1. How's my word influenced my thoughts and decisions this week?

2. What's blocking me from really committing to living my word?

3. What's one thing, right now, I want to get accomplished with my WOTY in mind? 

4. How can I make my word more visible in my everyday life? (poster, reminders, post-its, etc) **I wear my word around my neck on a necklace I got from: www.myintent.org

I so believe in you and your success. Keep it up! 

Want someone to share your answers from above with? Shoot them to me! I'd love to hear from you. 

I hope you enjoy the interview below from Amy Okuda who is recurring on this seasons HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!

Amy,

You are killing it on HTGAWM. What are dream come true. 

  • What's your mindset going into every audition or every time you're on set? 

I always tell myself no matter if it's a shoot day or audition, to "be open". Just open emotionally so I can do good work, but also being open and available to unexpected situations, notes given by casting or the director, etc. I have a tendency to plan everything out so it's something I always need to remind myself (but I don't always succeed lol)  As for being "prepared" I don't think you can ever be really prepared for things that can be thrown at you in this industry. For example, I was definitely not prepared to shoot a scene with Viola Davis like 12 hours after I found out I got the part. Just gotta be ready for anything I guess. But know your lines. That's the only thing I can control and prepare. My work. 

  • In our business we hear NO a lot. I mean, a lot. How do you stay positive in the face of 1000 no's? What's your secret?

I surround myself with the right people. I think I have a great support system. Everyone should have a nice blend of die hard cheerleaders and super harsh critiques that'll just lay it out and keep it super real. For my that's my family and a very small number of super great friends :). 

Also I found being in acting class keeps me very inspired even when I feel low. The hardest part of hearing no at least for me is someone saying "no, you don't get to do what you love" --being in class, I can still work on stuff. They can't say no to me working on scenes in class, I'm paying them! Haha. 

  • If an actor walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

So cheesy but to believe in themselves. I'm never booking jobs when I'm doubting myself. And just be good person, haha. 

  • Name three things you are thankful for.

Being able to do what I love. My family. My dog. 

  • It's the NEW YEAR and we're talking a lot about WORDS OF THE YEAR . What's your word for 2016? 

Centered.

If you enjoyed reading this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive my newsletter by e-mail (A WEEK EARLY) AND/OR leave a comment below and share this with your family, friends and Social Media. I'd love to hear from you. 

Winning The PowerBall Lotto!

DaJuan Johnson

Saturday night I was with my family -- about 15 of us. Sitting in the living room trying to come up with the winning numbers for the $900 million PowerBall Lottery. We must have come up with at least 30 different combinations of birthdays and lucky numbers. The synergy in the room was great! Everyone was using this lottery event to tap into their own world of possibilities. 

I have to say, I was feeling pretty good about our chances of at least winning a couple hundred thousand dollars. 15 people playing? How could we not win.  My daydream went like this: First, I'd buy a house. Second, Pay of all my debt. Third. Travel the world. And that's not even including the dreams that were being tossed around in my head if we won the whole thing.

In that moment the possibilities were truly endless.  What a great space to dwell in... 

It got me to thinking about how we wait for an "event" to come along before we change our lives. I call them the "when, then" events:

  • When I book my series regular THEN I'll change my sleeping, eating, exercise habits for the better

  • When I start making a lot of money, THEN I'll learn how to manage it 

  • When I win the Powerball, THEN I'll really start living life...

Any of these sound familiar? I know I've said all three of them and MORE! 

What if we've got it all wrong? What if we have to shift our perspective FIRST to allow those things to show up? What if your big event was just a simple shift of your mindset? 

Something that is truly in your control
.

It's all about your mindset. 

Don't wait for the booking to come along before you get your body and mind in shape. Don't wait for the windfall of commercial money to come in before you pretend you're going to learn about budgeting and investing. (I'm talking to myself here. sigh.) Don't wait to win the PowerBall Lotto before decide you want to live your life. 

So, I'm challenging you to shift your thinking. Right now. At the beginning of 2016 so that you can create new thoughts. THOUGHTS influence your ACTIONS.

I want you to sit back and think of what would you do if you actually won the lotto? Play in this daydream for just a little while. Explore the possibilities. Write it down.  Do it right now.  (Whatever your particular "when, then" situation is, substitute it where the word "lotto" is above)

Use this list as your barometer of things that don't need to wait anymore. 

BEGIN now. 

Commit to doing ONE SMALL THING towards living in your new lotto mindset now! 

I believe in you. You already know I do. Commit. 

I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to shoot me an email or tweet about your list. 
 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize

P.S. Good luck next week...the PowerBall just went up to $1.3 BILLION

Check out what other actors are saying about their ONE WORD for 2016! Click above! 


 

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The ONE WORD that will shape your 2016

DaJuan Johnson

We are only a few days into 2016! Can you believe it? I've always believed there is something energetically amazing about the turn of a new year. Fresh start, new beginnings...a time to set some solid intentions. Count me in!

I told you last week that I've been cooking up some exciting new things at Think Bigger Coaching and I've been dying to share this particular ONE with you; My personal WORD of THE YEAR process.

Yes, just ONE word that will help shape your entire year. 

Tiny backstory...

Last year was the first year I picked a word for the year. My mentor at the time told me about this process she did every year...choosing ONE WORD to guide the year. Hopes. Dreams. Goals. My curiosity was instantly piqued.

Coming up with ONE WORD to drive my year? To help focus my goals around, to stretch me and I don't have to come up with New Years Resolutions that I'm not going to keep? Yes, please. Sign me up. I took the process and ran with with it. 
 
As the year went on I fell more and more in love with this new gem...ONE WORD...for the year...

My word for last year was UPGRADE. It came to me so easily and effortlessly I was really surprised. I choose this word because I was coming off a year of new beginnings. (Ha, beginnings. That might have been my word for 2014, had I picked one.) I was booking new jobs in the acting world, I was completing my life coaching certification and I had some new family goals I wanted to complete. I truly wanted to expand upon all of the momentum I had going.  UPGRADE was the perfect fit. 

And so it was. 
 
I wish I could say that my word made every situation or challenge easy -- I mean isn't upgrading good? (Sometimes you have to go through some crap to get to the roses.) But, I was very clear on my INTENTION for 2015, to upgrade. Instead of always looking for a reason my word wasn't working during those challenging times, I shifted my perspective towards what was. "I know this might not be the upgrade I envisioned, but I wonder how it is?"  

My word for this year truly STRETCHED me to be better. To take risks. To accomplish more. 

I just know this process is going to work awesome for you. But, the trick is YOU HAVE TO DO IT. And then release expectation and move throughout the year knowing that you've set a clear intention. REMEMBER - if you are constantly looking for what's wrong in something, you will always find it. Always. 

Your ONE word for the year is different than your goals or dreams. Yes, you should still have goals that you want to accomplish. Absolutely. And you know I plan to help you with those as well. But for now, let's discover your ONE WORD.

Click the link below for the 5-step guide I've created just for you for coming up with your own ONE WORD for 2016. It's quick and easy and I'm sure that you'll it love and want to share it with the people in your inner circle. It's the exact same process I just used to come up with my new word for 2016! 

I'm looking forward to hearing what your word is and seeing how it shapes your year. When you're ready to share it with me and the world, TWEET it to me!  @ThinkBiggrCoach #TBCwordoftheyear (or FB!) and I'll hit you back and share my new word! Let's start a sharing frenzy! (it's also a great way to keep each other accountable!) *social media not your thing? Shoot it to me in an email! 

DaJuan

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This STORE just made me cringe! 😝

DaJuan Johnson

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I just walked into a store and they had Valentine's decorations out already. VALENTINE'S DAY. We haven't even made it through the Winter Holiday's yet. Not to mention New Years. Everyone's always in a hurry these days to get to the next life event...Are you?

Well, there's two weeks left in 2015 and I'm proposing you use them wisely. With Family, Friends, or even some good old fashion ME TIME! 

Yeah, that's still a thing. Take care of yourself. Go see a movie alone. Catch up with friends at their holiday party or maybe catch up on your favorite show.

It is SO VERY IMPORTANT to your well being to take time off. To let your mind simply just BE. The work, the goals, the lists will all be there. And, you don't have to worry because I promise to help you with them! I've got some exciting projects in the pipeline for you. Like creating your "Word of The Year" for 2016, setting goals that you will actually accomplish and a special invitation I'm saving just for you. So seriously, don't worry, we will get back at it in a few weeks. 

Deal?

I feel you protesting. Ok, OK. I'll give you until this Friday to power down. Get those last minute gifts out to reps, casting and don't forget those friends that have read auditions with you all year long. Why not send them a quick email saying thank you. They've contributed to your success too! 

Then we will all take one big collective breath together. I guess we can call this time THINK REJUVENATION. (Got a better name for it? I'd love to hear from you -- send me your thoughts or tweet me!) 

If you enjoyed reading this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive my newsletter by e-mail (A WEEK EARLY) AND/OR leave a comment below and share this with your family, friends and Social Media. I'd love to hear from you. 

New Manager & Series Regular Auditions in 11 minutes?!

DaJuan Johnson

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. 

   "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 friends that have done a workshop, and it didn't work for them...their experience has nothing to do with you."

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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Holiday Gift Guide For Your Reps & Casting

DaJuan Johnson

Well, we made it to the end of 2015. Can you believe it? So many thoughts and emotions going into December. Did I do enough to further my career this year? Did I reach all of my goals? Did I take some massive action to get to the next level?  

Did you? Are you happy with the way this year is ending? I'm sure you're yelling, OF COURSE! If the answer is no, no worries at all. I've got some new and excited things to make 2016 your best year yet. I'll shoot those your way towards the end of the month. 

For now, let's focus on some joy.  Especially since it's the month of THINKing JOY! 

...and this IS the season of giving. So in the spirit of giving, check out my guide to answering the question of what to get your reps for the winter holiday season. It's a lot simpler than you think. 

Looking forward to a great month with you! 
 

 

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize

 

WHAT TO GET YOUR REPS?
 

If you're anything like me you're riddled with anxiety during this time. Should I get them something or should I not? Sort of the age old question. It finally came down to me sitting back and deciding how I wanted to run my business. My Acting Career business. 

And I like giving.

It's like getting a birthday card once a year from my dentist. 
Even if it is automated and my dentist doesn't really know it's my birthday. I love the "personal touch." It's usually so unexpected and makes me feel appreciated. 

Here's what I'll say plain and simple -- you don't have to get anyone anything if you are not moved to do so. No one is "expecting" anything. That seems to be the standard agreement I've gotten from speaking to reps and actors on this topic. 

But, if you are in a festive mood and want to get something for your peeps to...well, say thank you! Here are a few ideas to get your joyful juices flowing! Remember this is YOUR BUSINESS. Think...how would you like to conduct business with your TEAM?  

  • Old School. Old Fashion handwritten holiday card! You can never go wrong with a cool card saying: "thank you for all that you do and looking forward to making 2016 our best year yet!" 
  • Treats. Food is always a fun bet going into the holiday season. Although getting a ton of fruit cakes doesn't sound too great now that I think about it. I usually go with something a little more personalized. Sugar Swag Bakeshopp (this is also a great idea for after you've booked for casting or your reps)   Get them something personalized that says THANK YOU! I know a lot of reps would tell you: "No! We get too many treats during this time." Well, that's what new years goals are for! ;)
  • Bottoms up! I mean...these folks have worked all year long to get you awesome appointments. Don't you think they deserve a little booze? If you happen to know your reps favorite drink of choice -- wrap that up. Bottle of red wine, bourbon, or maybe the feisty one gets Tequila with a worm in it. Take it a step further and make a basket full of those little mini fridge bottles. This way you can get an assortment and cover everyone in the office.  
  • The Assistants. These folks are really the ones doing all the heavy lifting. Make sure you've got them covered as well. Something as simple as a five dollar STARBUCKS gift card will show your appreciation. And maybe the next time you call asking for a window for that audition they will do so happily. Best gift I gave was a money tree for the office. On the leaves I taped a $5 gift card to Starbucks for each person. Cool office present and everybody gets something. 

No matter what you do, keep it simple and don't stress out over it. If you find yourself losing sleep over what to do -- you're thinking to hard about it. I'm sure they're going to appreciate whatever you end up doing. 


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This Actor got an Agent & booked two shows!

DaJuan Johnson

This is a hard week to write an uplifting email. The tragedy that happened in Paris on last Friday has left us all with a heavy heart. But, I thought to myself...this is one of the reasons you started Think Bigger Coaching; to make others lives better. And this is the month of "THINK THANKFUL." So, if you'll allow me...here I go...

"How can I keep this good feeling going?" 

 
It never fails, after a dynamic 1:1 private session with a client, I get that question.  Actually, I'm also asked pretty often if they can stick me in their pocket and pull me out when they need me. A cute little Pocket Coach. Tempting, but I'm a working actor too! 

I caught up with one of my clients that's had an awesome 3 months! Getting the agent she wanted and then booking two awesome shows. Here's what she had to say about keeping that loving feeling going AND what she's THANKFUL for these days. 

 


Hi Kikey! 

1.     It's been a heck of a three months for you Kikey. New agent and two big show bookings! You seem very focused and on a mission. What's your secret?  I think you're my secret DaJuan.  My Mission and My Focus were not working cohesively to propel me into success.  My mission has always been clear to me, be a working actor but what wasn't "clear" was my focus.  And I thought I was pretty focused!  I made taking acting classes a priority (my favorite being Stan Kirsch Studios), I did plays when I couldn't afford classes, I did my homework the night before auditions instead of having fun and blowing it off, and the list goes on.  I did this routine year, after year, after year with no huge payoffs.  

It took you coming along DaJuan, and asking me that bittersweet question "How's that working out for you?"  The answer, "it wasn't".  Albeit, I developed a heck of a good work ethic that has been the foundation for my success now but I was also spinning my wheels doing the same things expecting different results. 

The beauty of this all lies in the fact that when we started working together I was finally becoming comfortable in my own skin AND I was willing to changing things up in my career because I was sick and tired of the doors closing in my face.  Together we worked to find different ways to get to my goals – which worked!  Having you in my corner holding me accountable week after week really changed my energy.  My acting career has finally shifted in the direction that I have always envisioned it going and I’m feeling pretty grateful.   

2. What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going?  

They are actually more like visualizations that keep me going

  • I visualize in detail me working on a TV or Film set
  • As I watch TV shows, I visualize seeing 'Kikey Castillo' in the opening credits of that show
  • I visualize seeing myself in my future beautiful living room of a gorgeous house at 2pm on any given weekday reading piles of scripts.

3. Name three things your thankful/grateful for today? 
At this very moment I would say --  

  • You, DaJuan, My life coach, for our weekly calls that inspire, motivate and kick my butt
  • My new agent who "gets" me and gets me into great audition rooms so I can do my job
  • My mom, who supports me at every turn and is there to celebrate my wins with me

Thanks Kikey for sharing those insightful actor tips. 

Here's the deal. You have to work on the inside stuff. The stuff that's blocking you from being the amazingly talented booker I know you are. The stuff that's allowing you turn a blind eye to all the things you need to be doing for your career. You can work and work on the outside things, but NOTHING will stick if you don't work on the inside. 

Now it's your turn...Let's THINK THANKFUL together. I'm challenging you for the next seven days, to write down five things you're thankful in your life. You can do this first thing in the morning or last thing at night. The goal is TO DIO IT!

Take it one step further -- send them to me! Let me hold YOU accountable. If you can keep the thankful challenge up, at the end of the seven days I'll enter you into a raffle for my THINK BETTER Road Map: a 10 day email sequence. 

You in? 

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You don't get what you don't ask for...

DaJuan Johnson

Best advice given to Elizabeth Banks: "You don't get what you don't ask for." What, right now, are you not asking for in your career? In your personal life? Go after that meeting with that agent. Get into that office for the next Avengers. The worse that could happen is a no, right? #askforwhatyouwant

Click here for the 15 second video clip:
 (Ask for what you want)

We're continuing our month of THINKing THANKFUL. Did you wake up this morning and say a simple, but powerful, THANK YOU? Or how about Thank You for all the auditions you had last week? A little THANK YOU can go a long way. Remember we are laying the foundation for a new you. Through daily action, purpose and meaning, I think you're going to have a solid foundation. 

If you want to tap back into that goodness from last weeks messages, I've got you covered. (Gimme, Goodness!
)

I am extremely thankful for the new relationships I've recently made to bring a better and more expanded reach of THINK BIGGER COACHING! 

By now, I'm sure you've all heard that I've joined forces with Dallas Travers as a mentor coach to her group of actors. 

I wrote this awesome blog about Overcoming Actors Guilt that I wanted to make sure I shared with YOU. My People!

Check it out below. 

 

Do You Suffer From Actor’s Guilt?


I’m very happy to introduce Thriving Artist Circle Mentor DaJuan Johnson. He’s not only a working actor, but he gives other actors mindset tools to kick your career up notch and then some.

This week’s Acting Business Bite features DaJuan’s take on how you can balance your J.O.B. with acting without feeling anxious or guilty, so click here to read it now.

—-
Actor’s guilt: the worst right?

I know you want to devote more time to what’s really important to you. What fuels your soul: your craft.

Acting.

But, that pesky little voice keeps inside telling you to focus on tangible things that will make you money — the dreaded day job.

If you relate to the day job struggle, I’ve got a couple of tips to help you get your mind in the game and Overcome Your Actors Guilt so you can get back to doing what you love!

1) Set the tone for your day

When you wake up in the morning, you’re either moving toward what you want or away from it. And you have a choice about which path you’ll follow.

Set aside a solid hour (or just 15 minutes for starters) that you can dedicate to advancing your career. This is your time to get stuff done. Your time can be filled with whatever you like! Examples might include: researching your next move to get on to Quantico, prepping for the new headshots you are taking, rehearsing sides for an upcoming audition or workshop, or maybe sending off emails to your reps. It’s your time!

The key to this hour is remembering that it is sacred. No distractions. Close down your browser, turn off notifications and focus in on you! Set the timer on your phone or use the Pomodoro technique to keep track of this precious you time. Whatever it takes, just do it because you deserve to start your day with what matters most.

2) Step Into The WHY ZONE

I’m constantly asking my private 1:1 clients: What do you want?

Ask yourself this question right this very second. What. Do. I. Want? Why are you doing this?

Doing so is extremely important because it becomes what I like to call your WHY ZONE — your reason.

So when the voices come up (and they will come up) you can rely on your purpose to power through the self doubt. You can stop the noisy chatter by reminding yourself of your WHY ZONE. This can be something as simple as I AM HERE TO ACT or I AM BOOKING GRANDFATHERED. Be bold enough to be clear and specific.

3) Oh, the Guilt.

During your sacred hour, you may notice that the little pesky voice pops up! “Why aren’t you spending more time on your day job?” Don’t worry. This is ok. Many actors in your position have the exact same thought. (I would actually be surprised if the voice didn’t pop up several more times throughout your sacred hour.)

Here’s what you do:

1. Don’t pretend you don’t hear the voice. That only makes it speak louder.

2. Instead, acknowledge it. Assure the voice that you will get back to the other task after this sacred hour. That might sound like, “I hear you and I’m just gonna set you aside for the next 57 minutes.

3. Then, return back to your work. We’re building a practice here. This takes time and discipline, but you can do it.

4) Use the Buddy System

It’s always great to have someone in your corner because setting up a new healthy habit or routine can feel a little daunting. So, who are you accountable to? Do you have a support system in place? Being accountable to another person, whether it’s your coach, an accountability partner, or even an app on your phone, will set you up for consistent action. My 1:1 clients actually send me a daily or weekly progress report. Knowing they have to check in with me is sometimes the extra motivation they need to finally take action.

You can put this practice into place for yourself. Start your own accountability group. The goal is to tell another person what you are doing so that they can keep you accountable. Be very selective about who you choose! Remember you’re setting a new practice here; you want to set yourself up for success by having the right support system in place.

Now that you’ve heard my take on overcoming actor guilt, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you put your career first? Share your suggestions in the comment box below this article.

Serena Williams & Think Bigger Coaching THINKing THANKFUL

DaJuan Johnson

Yup, it's November already. Just a few more weeks left in 2015...but you know what? Let's not think about that right now. I'm dedicating this whole month to THINKing THANKFUL

It's really easy to get caught up in the actor mentality of " the struggle is real" or "how hard it is to book something." I know I've been there and done that. Beware of those energy vampires out there. All they want to do is complain and tell you their troubles. 

Being grateful takes work. Especially in our industry. When you are in town of NO's, it can be hard to keep a grateful mind set. 

Here are a few tips to help out: 

  • Set the tone for your day. Wake up and just say THANK YOU. It really is awesome you get to pursue your dream every day. So, why not wake up Every. Single. Morning. and remind yourself of that. Want more? Here's a tool SERENA WILLIAMS uses to stay positive every single day. (click here) It's pretty freaking BRILLIANT. 
  • Surround yourself around people on the same mission as you. Take it to the next level. You want to be around actors that are booking, doing big things! That have that synergy about them. Not the ones complaining about how hard it is. If 9 of your friends are broke, you will be the 10th, says Steve Harvey. 
  • What you focus on expands! Say thank you for every audition you get. No complaining that you don't see yourself as the hot lead -- just thank you. Being thankful for the things that ARE in your life, brings more of that goodness. 

Now, it's your turn...what are you going to do to THINK THANKFUL this month? Feel free to email me your list or comment below.

-- 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize

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Dreams Don't Work...

DaJuan Johnson

Funny how that works, huh?

One of the things I hear the most from actors is, "I don't want to be running around town doing busy work." What they're really saying is that they don't want to put time and effort into something unless they know it's going to pay off. The way they have it planned in their head. Break it down even further? A booking. 

Think about it. If I told you running around town and dropping off headshots or taking awesome workshops would produce a guaranteed booking -- would you do it?

Easy answer, huh?

The problem is, nothing guarantees a booking. 

Let's shift your perspective to THINKING BETTER. What if you thought everything you are putting out there, right now, is leading you to your BIG YES?!  

How would it feel doing the "busy work" now?

Try out a new thought in your head this week: I am working towards my BIG YES!

THINK BIGGER! 

It's a new week and new opportunities are literally right around the corner. I have a challenge for you. You in?

Write down three things you want to get done this week for your career. Could be something as simple as:

  • Getting new headshots. 
  • Following up with that hot lead from that new agent! 
  • Signing up for an acting class that REALLY challenges you. 

Can be anything you want. But, be specific and stretch yourself. These should be steps that are moving you towards your ultimate goal. Working Actor. 

Challenge accepted? 

GAME ON. 

EXTRA CREDIT:

What are the THREE things you're getting done this week? Send me a quick email to up the stakes and keep you accountable. 
 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize

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How my client got an agent!

DaJuan Johnson

Don't stop reading before the game changing P.S. section! 

** Spoiler Alert ** This story ends with my private 1:1 client getting representation. BUT, that's not what I want you to focus on. As always it's the process...the mind shift.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way we can get to the good stuff. 

I asked my client this one question and it proved to be the tipping point in his representation search. 

What's one small action you can take TODAY that will help you reach your goal?

I could tell Riley (what we will call him) was feeling a bit...tired. Drained. Feeling like all these goals we were coming up with was feeling like BUSY WORK. And because he couldn't see the results yet...he probably felt like giving up. It was truly the first time he had shown up to our private 1:1 coaching sounding defeated. Why wasn't getting reps easier? 

Who said it was going to be easy????

THE PLAN. Riley had a list of agents and managers he wanted to reach out to later in the week.  But, he'd "heard" Wed, Thurs, & Fri were the best days to contact reps. It was Tuesday. The only thing left to do was execute it. So, why wait? 

I challenged his information and asked that one simple question...

What's one small action you can take TODAY that will help you reach your goal?

...to which he simply replied...I can send my emails out today. BAM!

He agreed to send 10 emails. That day. When we hung up the phone. He emailed me later that afternoon with the subject line -

"JUST GOT REPRESENTATION." 

You can come up with every reason in the book to wait. To NOT do something. And most of the time, that's the voice you will listen to. But, what if you didn't?  What if you listened to the voice that pushed you to stretch? To be better. To be fearless. 

What are you NOT doing right now in your life because of that voice? 

Your turn. I'd love to hear your thoughts. What's one small action you can take TODAY that will help you reach your goal?

 

ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize


P.S. the following Thursday and Friday (same week - after 12hrs of representation) he was brought in to audition for a 6 Episode Recurring Role (2 callbacks and still waiting) and a Guest Star role both in the SAME WEEK. Imagine if he waited until Thursday or Friday to reach out to agents? He wouldn't have gotten those opportunities.

 

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There are times when I feel like giving up too...

DaJuan Johnson

That's right. It's true. I do.  

Sometimes it can feel like throwing spaghetti up against a wall to see what sticks. Or as if you are doing a lot of BUSY WORK which you don't know will pay off.

I get it. I do. I've been there.  

Here's a page out of my PLAYBOOK when I'm feeling defeated. 

A couple of questions I ask myself:

  • WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? 
  • WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
  • WHAT'S ANOTHER WAY OF GETTING TO THIS GOAL?

It's all about coming up with a PLAN and taking ACTION. Assessing your current situation, but not wallowing in it for long. And taking a huge leap of faith. 

You never know where all these no's are leading.  

Keep putting one foot in front of the other and getting BACK. UP.

Then ask yourself: what's one small action I can take today towards my goal?

 

What inspires you when you're feeling like giving up? 


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You don't need more money, you need more faith in your dreams!

DaJuan Johnson

It's the end of the week. Did you get everything done you wanted? 

You know the whole theory behind
KAI ZEN is continuous improvement.

Real quick, let's flush out your week together in THREE QUICK STEPS.

First. Take a sec and look back on the week and see what you DID accomplish. Tally up your wins. Most of the time folks can tell you all the things that did not go right with the week, but are stumped on what went right! This is crazy important. So, Tally up those wins...go ahead, I'll wait. 

You did all that?!!! BOOM! That's what I'm talking about! 

Second. What didn't you get to this week? Was it sending that email to your rep? Yeah, I owe my manager an email too. Or was it figuring out another way to book SCANDAL? Whatever it is, let's KAI ZEN it. That's to say, let's put it back on the list for next week. But, this time with a new action. 

Finally.

What's one small action that you can take today that will help you achieve that goal?

Yup, today.

Well, you didn't think I was going to let you off that easy, did you? There's still 7 more work hours in today. 

Doesn't matter what small action you take towards that goal, simply take action! 

But, you know what I always say THINK BIGGER! 

See you next week! 

 

WANT MY BLOGS A WEEK EARLIER???

 

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ThinkBigger,

DaJuan 

Helping Actors ACTualize

You Must Do This For Labor Day...

DaJuan Johnson

Give yourself permission to rest and play for Labor Day. All day today. It's an absolute must. 

This ever happen to you? Whenever I'm struggling with a problem about the business or my goals and I leave Los Angeles, even for a day, everything seems more clear. Usually, I come back pumped and ready to attack my goals from a different angle. When we let go and totally commit to playing or resting, those doors that seemed so jammed in our mind -- become open. 

Rest and play are not luxuries -- they're a necessity. Especially to an artist like you and me. 

So, get out there and do something for you that makes you laugh. A movie by yourself, call a friend and just catch up or take a nap. Don't worry, tomorrow we will be back at it and I'll be in your mind asking you to THINK BIGGER! 

Until Then, 

DaJuan

Booking The ABC Showcase!

DaJuan Johnson

You know I auditioned for the ABC showcase 5 times?! Crazy, right? When I first moved out to Los Angeles, I auditioned for it two years in a row. Then there was a few years where I didn't even get a call to come read for it. Talk about the voices in my head? "You were so bad last year they won't even see you again." or the zinger, "your mom was right, this acting thing is just a hobby." I have to be honest, there was a part of me that just started to believe it wasn't going to happen. The showcase that is...I think. 

FOCUS

I'll skip all the lead up of how I finally landed a spot in the 2014 showcase and just tell you this memory. I recall being at the final stage of the process. It was CRAZY intense. Callback number 4 consisted of 40 actors being paired up; the mix & match they called it. The ABC executives, about 20 people in the room, were throwing different cold reading scenes at you every five minutes. Sometimes, we would walk in the room to do our scene, get two lines out and they would stop you, say "no, that scene isn't good on you," and give you another cold read. Intense. 

PREPARTION

I was so focused that day that none of this shook me. I'd come too far to let my thoughts get the best of me here. After one of those intense moments, my partner for one of the scenes started crying as we walked out of the room. It was all too much. She said, "It's just so much pressure. How do we know what they want?" I said to her, in the most loving and supportive way, "babe, we don't have time for crying. They're going to call us back in there at any moment. We can cry in the car. Let's do this!" And back in we went. 

We know I booked the showcase. But, this message isn't really about that. 


ACTION

A mind shift happened. Days before which helped in that moment. 

The Mind shift? I started to really work on my mindset to get my head in the game. Decided to stop taking everything so freaking personal and became determined to get back in that room.  Stop making every audition I went into a LIFE OR DEATH moment. Taking that type of energy into the room, even if you think you're covering it up, will screw you every single time. 

SUCCESS

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!" -Henry Ford

So, often I hear my fellow actors speaking negatively. Telling themselves or agreeing with others - "yeah, I'm not going to book it anyway." "I really want this bad, but I'm sure it's already offered out." or my favorite, " I just got this last night, I can't learn all of this." 

FOCUS + PREPARATION + ACTION = SUCCESS

It's time to get in the game. The game all about changing your mindset. 

 

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I quit waiting tables after 15 years

DaJuan Johnson

Yeah, that's right. I worked in the service industry for over 15 years. Bartender. Then one day, I just quit. 

Before I go ANY further with this email let me say, I am not telling you to run out and quit your job!

For me, I'd seriously bought into the belief that the only way to pursue acting and have a side job was to wait tables. It was flexible and the money was good -- heck, who can beat cash in hand at the end of your shift. But, the price on my soul...well, that was a little more expensive. I was so unhappy. Can you imagine going to a well paying job that met all my financial needs, completely unhappy? That was me. 

There was one point during my tenure at my last bar job, which I held for 13 years, where I had three national commercials running and booked two network television shows in the same year. A great actor year to say the least. Everyone there and the customers would repeatedly joke, "DaJuan's going to be quitting soon?" To which I always thought, "I'm keeping this job just in case I need it."

I'm the responsible guy. You don't just up and quit a "stable" job because you had a great year, right???

I'd told myself this mantra over and over so many times, I not only believed it, but I manifested it. And the universe supported me at every corner. 

A few years later when I didn't have the same actor year, I told myself, see, aren't you glad you kept this job just in case. 

It occurred to me how powerful my mind and words had been. "Just in case." I started wondering...what if I didn't keep this job "just in case" things don't work out. What about thinking a more self supporting thought. I started to wonder what would happen if I fully believed in myself and took a full leap in my career?

So, I did. 
I decided to take massive action for myself and my career. I came up with a plan, set some clear and focused goals and worked extremely hard at achieving them. Once I got my mind in the game, everything else fell into place. Along with a lot of screaming doubt and "you can't leave this job" thoughts I had to face...

I quit that job. 

One of the best decisions I've ever made. This was almost three years ago and the world didn't end. It got a whole lot brighter. 

What are you holding on to just in case? What are you saying you want more of in your life, but your doing something completely opposite? The only person who can shift that is YOU. 

You order your world. Why not order something great. 

www.thinkbiggercoaching.com

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