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actor

Motivation

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Motivation

Where does motivation come from? More importantly, what motivates you? Is it quotes, inspiring stories, religion, a drive to be better than the other guy? Whatever it may be, it’s going to be different than everyone else, and we have to learn how to achieve it for ourselves.

Finding motivation is so difficult sometimes, there are days where I wake up and just KNOW that I am not capable of achieving all that I should for the day, I know that the bare minimum will be the only thing achieved and that’s just going to have to work. Then I’ll have other days where I am pumped, I am ready to get shit done, and other people’s work too for that matter.

I think that the idea of being motivated and driven are so blown out of proportion these days. We live in a world where we constantly hear “get shit done” “be better than the next”, “Hustle harder”, which can put a fire under your ass, but how long does it last? In my experience, a day tops. How can we train ourselves to obtain the formula to motivation and how to channel it when needed?

I know we all know the expression, “Just Do It”, and 9 times out of 10, when we need to get something done, we just have to do it, as minute or small, or tedious as it may be, there is no other way to accomplish this, then to just do it. For example, me right now writing this post; I have very little motivation, I am tired, I’m trying to find a new apartment in this crazy expensive city, my grandmother is extremely sick, and I’m involved in way too many projects, my head is about to explode, POOR ME! But, I am just doing it, because I set a goal for myself to post every other Monday, so here I am, just doing it.

I personally get a lot of my motivation from feedback, I love putting something out there in the social media world, and when I get feedback (bad and good), I am motivated that whatever it is I am putting out there, is heard, needed and/or wanted. I am motivated by self-help books, seeing other people’s facebook posts about successes that they have accomplished (weather it’s jealousy or being proud, it motivates me). I am motivated by my devotional I read every morning, I am motivated by my family, and I am motivated by my past accomplishments. So often we forget how much we have done and achieved, sometimes looking back on ALL that we have accomplished can reignite our passion, and remind us, we can do this.

My challenge for you this week, think about what motivates you the most, and share it with others, either here or in your own world, because you never know, you may help someone else find their motivation.

 

Books I recommend:

The Lazy Guru

Crushing It

You’re a Badass

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 The Power of Connections

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The Power of Connections

I'm sure you've heard the expression "It's all who you know" a million times. As trite and cliché as it is.... I am a FIRM believer in it. Living by this principle, I haven't applied for a job in a traditional sense, since 2016. I've been very fortunate and have made connections throughout this incredible city and established myself enough to get work by word of mouth. These connections are great because eventually, they provide gigs and opportunities that pop up all over. I don't know about you, but I can't stay put in an office job, let alone a stationary job for too long, hence why I love this field of work. 

I have found that many managers/agents who have been in the industry for a long time, will say that this isn't true, you either have the talent or you don't... but I struggle with believing that. I have found, that especially in the arts industry, a lot of it is who you know, and the talent is expected. 

How to do this:

First off, I just want to make it clear, that I in no way have all the answers, this is just what has worked for me and in other's lives I've been able to interact with.

  • Just be present. This is such an important thing to keep in mind. Be ready to talk to people, meet people, go out, remember names, and always look for opportunities to make them remember you. I can't tell you how many times me and my friends have been out and we have met someone that we admire or is known in our field. My good friend Wesley Barnes is famous for making these types of connections. Wes could get a tree to be his friend, he's ballsy, bold and approaches these situations with a unapologetic gravitas that people can't refuse (we've see so many Broadway shows for free because of this gift of his). He is a success story in the making, but more on him later. 
  • The Power of Social Media: As Gary Vaynerchuk wrote, in his amazing book (that motivated me to start this blog) Crushing It, Social Media is our now, it is a free gateway into the lives of our heroes, and icons lives. It is a way we can create a brand for ourselves, just like them. Keep your social media updated, interesting and relevant to who you are.
    • Social Media can be a blessing but also such a struggle, it can become another job that you end up pouring hours into. I know I personally struggle with just remembering to keep my social media presence active. I want people to know I am out there, working hard, and give a subtle but constant reminder that I am hustling, so that when they need someone for a job, I'm the first that pops into their minds. (I know, easier said than done. You have to find that balance of posting just enough and not over doing it so people aren’t sick of you or become numb and just scroll past you.)
      • Side note: If you don’t think casting directors look at your social media when deciding if they should hire you or not, you’re wrong. So, make sure it’s a perfect representation of you!
        • Side Side Note: I've been discovering the amazing art of hashtaging more and more (I know I'm super late to the party here) what a great portal into the media worlds of people you never thought you could meet! #hashtagingisgreat

 

  • Be on the lookout:
    • People in our industry are EVERYWHERE, I've met people that I work with at clubs, on airplanes, intermissions of shows, catering gigs and even Tinder (most luck I ever had on there). I have found that while I am talking to these possible connections, I am constantly looking for ways to have said person talk about their career (people love talking about themselves). This opens up a way for you to plug yourself in, showing them how you can fit in their world.
      • "Oh wow that's great, we both work in the same industry, what's your Instagram? Would love to see what you're working on?" A compliment that allows you to have a way into their media platform which grants access to their business life, and DM's! (DM's = Direct Messages). 

 

There are SO many ways to get connected, especially those of us that live in NYC. Take a risk, be brave, make the connections. You never know in our field, be ready to talk, and more importantly be ready to listen, your big break can be from the women you let have your seat on the train. 

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Manager Vs. Agent

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Manager Vs. Agent

Today I wanted to talk about the difference between an Agent and a Manager, as they can be similar but different, and the line that divides them grows thinner and thinner. I get asked this question a lot and the best way to describe this is:

"Agents are like your Parents and Managers are like your Grandparents" - Terrie Snell.

Meaning, your Parents/Agent will get you out there in the world, tend to you, and work at getting you what will benefit you both. They have many children (clients) and duties, they may not have a lot of time to help root and shape your career but they are constantly looking out for opportunities for you. A Manager/grandparent, will often have a little bit more time on their hands to help shape your journey in this industry, talk to casting to pitch you, sit down and have a glass of wine with you and answer your questions, because they have fewer children (clients) to focus on. 

An Agent has a bit more freedom with you as a client. They take 10% of your earnings and can choose to sign you and give you a contract (varying from a year or more), or they can freelance with you while they see if you can actually make them money. This can be great for actor's, this gives you an opportunity to see what this agent can do for you and how well you two can work together, but don't get too comfortable in the freelance world.  Something to note, you can have multiple agents. Many clients of mine have a commercial agent, legit agent and a modeling agent, and that's great! Agents vary based on size of their company and can have hundreds of clients. 

A Manager is a someone that helps oversee your career. You usually sign a 3 year contract with them (some freelance but be careful with that) they take 15% of your earnings and they will submit you to casting for projects posted on casting sites such a Breakdown or Casting Networks (just like Agents). Managers will advise you on how to run your accounts, keep your calendar close by for bookings and auditions and handle contractual matters when it comes time for it. Managers often have a closer relationship with casting directors and productions companies since they are in constant communication with them. Managers will also help you create your brand, connecting you with people or businesses that make reels, take industry approved head shots, direct you to affordable self tape experts who are working in the industry, they are here to help you make your way. (aka, why I love doing this job)

For those of you who have an agent or manager, I'm sure you are already seeing the overlap here. Some of your Agents may work a little bit more like and Manager and Visa Versa, it really just depends on the person. In the end, we are all here to get each other work!

So which should you get first? Up to you! Feel them out, see who you click with, look to see which friends of yours are being successful with their representation and do your homework. If you were to get a Manager first and wanted an Agent soon after, ask that manager who they work well with and Visa Versa, this way you can be sure that both your Agent and Manager are working well together to get you where you need to be!

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What is your "Why"

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What is your "Why"

A good friend of mine, Angela Razzano (Artistic Director of InViolet Theater Company) once asked me when I first moved to the city "what is your why?". I had no idea how to answer this question. My Why?, why what? Her question sat with me for some time and continues to challenge me as I discover new outlets of work in this industry. I think it's extremely important for artist (everyone really) to ask themselves this and to focus/ground themselves on it, as we can so easily get discouraged and distracted.

The narrative for this "why" can go some many ways. Why are you here? Why do I do what I do? More specifically, why do I care, why do I get up every morning, why do I create? and most importantly... why am I choosing to be poor a vast majority of my life?

My "why" for this blog is to share insights, tricks, do's, don'ts, stories, advice, etc. but the question of "what is my why" in life, is ever changing. When I first moved to New York City in 2015, I was selling discounted tickets to Broadway shows for some scam company in TimeSquare amongst the (ever so famous) Naked CowGranny (you enjoy that link), and the many ever so  lovable off brand Disney characters that roamed the streets for tips.  My "why" was to become a big successful Director, then it evolved into running a theater company to impact marginalized lives, and then, to become a Broadway Producer and make lots of money. Then my "why" shifted and I said "forget this industry, I just want to be able afford name brand peanut butter and not this target generic "Up" brand crap (which there's is absolutely nothing wrong with), but in doing so, I found myself aching to be back in the thick of it all with my other starving artist friends. 

Ask yourself this, write it out and see what comes out of it. It doesn't matter if you're answer is as simple as " I just want to be a star damnit" or as vast as "to shine a light on cultural injustice" we all have a why. We may even have multiple, but it's so important as an artist to know what it is in your current state, as it grounds you and give you the confidence to audition better, write better, and carry yourself with a purpose. 

You may already be living your "why", AMAZING! Don't stop checking in with yourself. It's so easy to settle and get comfortable.

You've moved to the big city, you've got your apartment, your friends to have brunch with, and your awesome temp job at Blue Apron... don't. get. too. comfortable. That isn't your "why", it's part of it, but not it. It's a spring board, to get yourself established, to be able to eat and get to know the city, but remember what that big expensive move was for. You have to hustle and work your ass off in whatever job you have to make connections, network, get to be known as "that theater kid" to your boss, because I guarantee, that boss has a connection of some sort for you, you better be good to them! 

Focus on your "why" this week, remember it every day, and see what comes of it!

 

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A Schott in the Industry

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A Schott in the Industry

Hey there readers,

I made a blog, suuuuuper original I know. "Will it die and fade away like so many have?" Let's find out!

For those of you who don't know, I am a Talent Manager at Talent Ink, I represent about 70 clients in NY and a few in LA for outlets such as TV/Film and Theater. How I got here? I wish I could tell you. This opportunity to work for Talent Ink was handed to me... more like chucked at me. A friend of mine set up a meeting for me to meet with the Manager of the NY branch, Arthur Massei. I thought I was going in for some sort of assistant/reception job; checking voicemails, handling calendars, etc. but after about 15 minutes of talking with Arthur, he started talking to me about who I'd be submitting clients to, how I'd be handling their contracts and how I could become a successful manager in this business. He knew I had ZERO experience, but I guess he kind of just trusted me. I hit the ground running, I immediately started googling how to do this, but I really couldn't find much on it, so, I learned by doing, listening, observing  and inevitably failing. 

What I've learned thus far, is that so much (as many of you know) of this industry is focused and rooted on the money that we can all make for each other, obviously! (who doesn't want money) And maybe I'm just naive and young, but the reason I love being a Manager, is being able to create a space/opportunity to create art and in doing so, making money! As glamorous as that sounds, there are approximately 18,963 actors that work in NYC (and that's only union and union eligible actor's), so where do you even begin? How do you stand out? How can you not be another statistic. 

My goal with this blog is to share everything I can, to help you, to help better our industry and to educate you with everything I've learn from my end as a Manager (and some times Producer) to help you have a SHOT at making it in this Industry

So here I go, trying to make a difference in the world anyway I can. I hope you enjoy the journey.

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