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No other book for actors focuses so succinctly on the business of self-management. Whether an actor has an agent or manager or is building toward assembling that team, "Self-Management for Actors" will provide a roadmap for surviving--and thriving--in the entertainment industry.There is nothing magic or even a little mystical about the business side of the business. There is, however, a cloak of protection around some industry information. The good news is, "the edge" that actors are seeking is in your hands already! Knowing your type, researching the target buyers of that primary type, staying on the radar in organic and meaningful ways, producing your own content to showcase what you do effortlessly, and learning how to network like a ninja is all within your control!Sure, there's work involved, but once you come at it from a place of owning your "bullseye," it doesn't feel like work. It feels like living your dreams!These self-management principles are simple, accessible, and do-able! No silly "actor busy work" here; SMFA is about balancing your creative fire with the organizational skills that will allow you to navigate this business without "leading from need," as so many actors tend to do.Peppered with real-world examples from working actors and behind-the-desk advice from industry pros, "Self-Management for Actors" has quickly become the most well-worn book on every actor's bookshelf. Author Bonnie Gillespie has taught the SMFA principles all over the world, helping actors navigate tier-jumps from the very beginnings of their creative careers on up through crafting that first acceptance speech!With a pocket companion guide and interactive support, this book is an actor's best friend. It's Hollywood grad school... in book form!
I was advising an actor who was talking about how hard this whole "moving to LA" thing was feeling. Stress from the family. Doubts introduced by well-meaning friends. Leaving behind a decent job and a network of support. Choosing to follow a dream, thousands of miles away, alone (starting over on building up friendships and connecting with a community).I said, "Living your dreams is hard. Moving across the country alone is hard. Finding (and keeping) a good survival job is hard. Starting over is hard. The thing is, that's where most people stop the list. And here's what you need to know: NOT living your dreams is hard. Staying in a place just because it's where all of your relatives are located is hard. Rolling around on a plastic pad behind a desk at a passionless job because it pays well and provides security that others in your life seem to value is hard. Staying stuck and wondering what would've been if you HAD chosen to live your dreams is hard. So, PICK YOUR HARD."That's the whole point: We get to pick our hard.There's no one course of life that's easier, predictably, before we start out on its path. We can't know what twists and turns any of our life's choices will present to us. Just as we can't take two routes to our vacation destination simultaneously, we can only drive the road we're on, and there are times that road is going to be hard. But just as some folks prefer the "hard" of freeway traffic to surface streets, some artists prefer the "hard" of pursuing their dreams, unapologetically, sometimes alone, but focused and committed, to the "hard" of a regular paycheck, health insurance, a 401K, and "casual Fridays."When it gets hard--and it will--remind yourself that you get to pick your hard. Bad audition? Stuck on a plot point in a script you're writing? Released from avail after being sure the gig was yours? Dropped by your agent just when things were starting to pick up? Edited out of the final cut of the film you told everyone you'd shot? Told you're too old or too skinny or too ethnic or too anything else for whatever particular role you really want to play? Snubbed in the casting room? Hating your reel after having spent a ton on it? Missing your family back home?Yep. It's all hard. The only thing harder is not pursuing your dream.