Bon, help. I’m going through major FOMO with all the CD workshops and courses on boosting my social media following and everyone is making it sound like it’s all so important but I’m not made of money and it’s getting crazy. One consultant at the workshop studio here in New York made me feel like I would miss out on all of pilot season if I didn’t get into this class NOW. Could you set the record straight so I don’t feel like a slug for saying no to all of this right now?

Oh, honey. I’ve ranted endlessly in our Facebook group about the nonsense that is the “boosting your social media” classes for actors out there. People who are selling these classes are using quotes taken out of context to help close a deal with you.

The reality: Until you’re at a certain tier, your social media connections have ZERO impact on your castability. And it’s shameful that folks are mining quotes by casting execs speaking about actors who are in the “10K and better” club at IMDb StarMeter and trying to sell something to actors who are lucky to crack 100K in their StarMeter rankings.

As for the CD workshops they’re selling with the spin that you’re going to “miss out on pilot season” if you don’t get into them now, please please PLEASE know that these people are *experts* at CLOSING THE SALE. That’s what they do. They are salespeople who have learned that there’s a niche here in the entertainment industry to which they can turn their skills.

They are *experts* at making you feel as though there’s a limited-time-only opportunity that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE because that skill is the one they’ve developed over every other. It’s the same way car dealership employees operate. And you should feel exactly the same about it as you would about believing you need to act NOW on a major purchase like a car.

If nothing else, every time you think you *must* say yes to this compulsion they have kicked off in you (and “they” can be the salespeople or fellow actors, for that matter), institute a waiting period. Give yourself a “count to ten” zone. Do NOT believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have to jump on, no matter what they say.

This is a relationship business and relationships start in myriad ways and most successfully, they start for ZERO dollars changing hands. Doesn’t mean you can’t “buy” the start of a relationship, just means you should never feel it’s your *only* option. Often, it’s not even the most efficient one!

Next time they tell you anything that makes you think you’ll be the next Academy Award winner if you say yes, stop and go to IMDb, look up every winner of every “gold and shiny” statue on the planet EVER, and map out exactly how many of those folks ever paid for something like you’re being pressured to buy. I’m gonna bet it’s something in the territory of about 1%. If that.

The odds are far better for you if you’ll just put in the work, connect with likeminded folks, create your own content, research your targets and connect with them authentically (which, yes, sometimes can be at a workshop; your research will dictate which targets are ones worth meeting at workshops vs. which ones are just there to collect a check and help the workshop facility owner get rich), and put blinders on so you stop looking at what ANYONE else is doing, thinking ONE THING that they’re doing is some magic pill *you* must take.

You’ve got this. Trust yourself.

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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