Ah… I love it when I see themes emerging in my work with creatives all over the world. Several folks, recently, have been hitting the proverbial wall on their projects. Those projects range from the screenplay a self-producing actor is trying to finish to the target list an actor looking to upgrade his representation is making, and from the finalizing of the incorporating process a producer is undertaking to the overhaul of a website an actor is doing.
The fix, sometimes, is the same no matter what the project may be: Start with the piece of cake. Start with the ice cream. Start with the decadent bit of chocolate. Start with the berries.
It was when one of my students said, “I always start with the scariest thing on my to-do list and I’m just getting frustrated because this project is not coming together,” that I pictured a kid sitting at the dinner table, long after everyone else has gone to bed, because his mom has said, “You’re not leaving this table until you eat your vegetables.”
Now, I’m not saying you get a free pass to eat ONLY dessert or to NEVER get around to those vegetables, but I am saying that sometimes it’s getting SOMETHING checked off that frees up the creative space to allow you to do the harder thing that was, previously, causing you so much stress.
Sometimes it’s the act of answering an “easy” email that someone sends through to my column — covering something that’s not really a good fit for Your Turn and that’s fairly quick to answer — that gets me in the zone to do that week’s column. Sometimes it’s pulling out the checkbook and paying bills that gives me a feeling of, “Oh, good. That’s done,” which opens up room in my brain for a Skype coaching session on something so specifically tough that I’d been stressed about it before.
And sometimes it’s the act of rehearsing a favorite monologue that puts an actor in a mood that makes designing a postcard for a promotional blast less daunting. Sometimes the whole Show Targeting process becomes more fun when it’s a FAVORITE show on which you’re going down the rabbit hole. Sure, there may be a BETTER target show, but if you’re not having fun doing all that work, shift gears to a show you’d be elated to research. Then, after the research is less scary and you understand the process better, you can move back to a target show that’s better aligned for your current tier.
Momentum is a beautiful thing. When you’re overwhelmed, uninspired, or otherwise frustrated with the tasks ahead of you as you navigate the business, look around for what might be the tastiest, easiest, most fun indulgence at the table. Start with that one, get your momentum rolling, get one thing checked off the list, get inspired… and then eat your vegetables.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001556.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.