Effort is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter what background your competition has, what graduate school they attended, or who their agent is. What matters is the effort you put into your career, and that is never more true than it is today. Today, effort can open countless of opportunities for you.
You will have highs and lows in your career, but your effort is what will keep you moving forward. Don’t stop training; don’t stop learning; and don’t stop communicating with the industry just because you have not booked anything in a while. Let casting directors know about your past successes and what you are currently working on. And to keep that relevant and to keep energy going for yourself, focus on finding ways to always be creating as an artist.
Shoot a five-minute short film with your iPhone with a good friend and you will be amazed what will come of it. You can turn it into a Web series, a short film that you can submit to a film festival, or use it as footage for your reel. This type of effort will give you new progress to update your industry contacts and give you momentum that you are taking your carer in your own hands.
Two quick stories: When heavyweight champion Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson, it was a shock to the world. How did he do it? By training like a mad man. He wanted to win for his mother who had just passed away. His effort was through the roof! He dropped weight, gained strength, and as he says it, “I was in the best shape of his life.” What happened next? The very next fight he was knocked out in the fourth round by Evander Holyfield. He was 20–30 pounds overweight, and had done barely half the training because of all the talk shows he was on and parties he was being invited to.
The Ice Hotel: It started as something completely different than what we know it to be today. It was supposed to be a simple art exhibit but campers kept asking if they could spend the night there. One thing led to another and it snowballed into what we know it today: a world famous tourist destination point for people to visit and stay at.
Keep moving forward, keep showing up with a positive mindset, and keep a consistent and intense effort towards your career.
5 Tips for Adding More Effort to Your Career
1. Work on your craft. Keep studying and working on your craft every single week. Stay ready!
2. Shoot a film. Shoot a five-minute film with your iPhone and submit it to a short film festival. Once accepted to any festival, you can add the credit to your IMDb page.
3. Focus on the most important—the 80/20 principle. Focus on a few of the most important casting directors and directors you want to work with and stay communicating with them with postcards at least once every two months.
4. Remind the industry of your past success. If you have not booked anything in a few months, remind them of your past success.
5. Create a project. When you do this, really focus on actually starting the project. Never worry if it will be any good or if others will like it. Immediate action is always more valuable than planning and thinking. Starting it, and seeing how it looks will be the catalyst that allows you to adapt and refine the project as it grows.