In this Masterclass lecture, we open class by discussing the crucial nature of accountability in our line of work. Accountability is a scary thing to face when you really think about it. It really asks us to look at where we are in our artistic pursuit, and come to terms with if we are really giving our work the all that this industry demands. Especially when the “payoff” does not come right away. And it is something that seems to not be very much part of the curriculum these days while learning and exercising the craft! Yikes! That is a huge mistake! They go hand in hand. They are dependentupon each other. This can be taken for granted especially if the actor does not have, at this moment, the opportunity to be doing this kind of work full time. It is easy to allow oneself to use the terms, “I will do it a little later...” or “I’m tired…I’m beat… I’ll take care of it tomorrow…” or just waiting for someone else out there to do the work. Or, that “big dream” of simply waiting for that one in a million chance of “being discovered“. Come on…NO!!! Find a different career if that is your mentality. Do something much easier…less heartbreaking. We have to wake up and get out of this present-day “tomorrow” mentality! We only have now! We have to get out of our own way and show up to the plate! In other words, to be quite blunt, stop making excuses! If you really want things to pay off, if you really want a shot at this, you have to work your butt off for it. You have to exercise every muscle possible…personally, artistically and professionally…so it is all there supporting you in all areas of your career path. And you have to remember that THIS IS A BUSINESS! And I think it is safe to say it is not a very forgiving business when it comes to lack of accountability, professionalism, and responsibility. The actor, or any artist for that matter, has to be the CEO of his, her or their own corporation. You have to be your own boss and you have to hold yourself accountable for what is necessary for your business to succeed because YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS! In other words, do not get complacent. Do not get comfortable. And, dear God, do not get lazy! Have professional and artistic standards and hold yourself to them! You must remember that this type of work is deeply hungered and craved by an enormous amount of artists who dearly love this art form. So it cannot be overlooked that for every person that is not willing to do all the necessary work and hold himself, herself or themselves accountable, there is someone out there who most definitely will… and then work ten times as hard for it. Why? Because he, she or they REALLY want it. The professional, no matter what career one is pursuing, needs to hold themselves to that same standard that they would expect if someone was working for them to allow for success. That means continually exercising that professional muscle in all areas, with complete fullness and specificity, so there is nothing logistically, professionally, or artistically that can stand in your way to succeed. So…Your health will always be number one (and that comes in many forms which you obviously have to navigate for yourself)! But then be sure to always communicate. Answer professional calls. Respond to professional texts and emails. Show up on time (which really means show up early). Keep exercising your craft. Do the work. All of it. Do not allow professional gaps to be the thing that stand in your way of your success. Because I can promise you, in the blink of an eye, someone else will be there waiting to do what you have allowed to pass you by. And, don’t forget, word and reputation travel fast in this business. So be mindful! And care! Lastly, we bring the lecture to a close with a review of really understanding how to break down the material, WITHOUT ASSUMPTIONS, and then really diving into formulating the spine in order to fully reveal the character that a writer has created. And then going that much deeper by using this very very important question (which happens to be a very potent single word) about behavior, triggers, reactions, and the human conditon…And that word is: “WHY?” Keep asking yourself “WHY” as you work on finding and discovering the character. The more you ask “WHY“, the deeper your understanding of the character grows, and the deeper you can find that within you! So give it your all! And enjoy giving it your all. Nurture your career…your work…your art, with the same love and care that it truly deserves.
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
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