Happy New Year, one and all! A brand new decade is an excellent excuse to take stock of your acting career and make some resolutions. But if you’re anything like me, the idea of narrowing down your goals to something reasonable and specific can be tough. So here are some good starting points that every actor can use to get the new year headed in the right direction.
- Update. Now is a great time to review the business end of acting. Go over your resume, website, and social media platforms. Is all information up to date? Could it be reformatted to look cleaner, clearer and more current? Maybe it’s time for new headshots. Take a look at your measurements and special skills listed on casting breakdowns and update those as well.
- Seek a New Skill. Cultivating a new skill is a fantastic way to build your resume and help you become a more versatile performer. Think about the kind of shows you’re seeing become popular. This could be the year to get some tactical training or learn how to ride a horse. Apart from resume padding, learning new skills outside acting is a great way to beat the winter blues and create experiences from which you can draw down the line in your acting.
- Find a New Teacher. A good actor never stops learning. To do that, you have to diversify your input. I know as well as anyone that it’s easy to get comfortable. It’s so hard to find an instructor or coach that really speaks to you! Why would you give that up? Personally, I don’t think you have to. Keep those valuable teachers in your life. But make sure you’re also trying out different kinds of coaches. Perhaps those who come from different training backgrounds or specialize in areas your current instructor doesn’t. It is important to be able to adapt to many kinds of direction. Perhaps make it a goal this year to audit a new class, take a new course, or train with other artists you haven’t in the past.
- Network. I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at this. Which is why I could on convenient social rituals like making New Year’s resolutions to remind me to work on it. If you’ve noticed it’s been a while since you dropped in on a meet and greet or went to an opening night, now is a good time to try to jump back in the scene. Grab a buddy, find an industry professional meetup and start making those connections.
- Set a Goal. I’ve found that it helps me to set one clear, concise goal. Find one thing you want to accomplish in your career. It could be “find a new agent,” “book a commercial,” or “work with (a particular director).” Whatever you feel like is the top priority to move your career forward. All your other resolutions will start to fall in line to support this goal.
A new year is a wonderful time to reflect, reset and start fresh. Wherever you are in your artistic journey, it’s important to breathe fresh life into the struggle. As you become clearer and more focused in setting your goals, so you will begin to streamline and focus your career. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t fulfill your resolutions right away, or experience setbacks. You’re in this for the long haul. This is just an opportunity to gain some inspiration and momentum. Happy 2020!