I was jamming with one of my brilliant Self-Management for Actors mastermind groups this week and the issue of trust came up.
I asked this simple question:
And now I'm asking you.
If you've done the work (let's take on "targeting your HELL YES agent" for example — I did a free vid tutorial on this process for you), then you can trust this agent when he asks you to shoot one new headshot look, says you need to beef up your improv training, or tells you it's slow right now.
If instead you charged in so damn eager to sign with anyone that you ignored red flags or didn't verify that your new agent has relationships through his Web of Trust that get you into rooms where they're casting the stories you were born to tell, you may find yourself wondering if you are being fed stoppers (and you probably are) because you have no reason to trust the guy… I mean, you did nothing more than "submit and cross your fingers" to begin with.
Not a solid foundation for a relationship that gets you to the next tier, huh?
So, I get why trust feels like it can be negotiated and therefore sometimes iron-clad… other times iffy.
But let's talk about the trust you have in your talent. The trust you have in your ability to live your dreams. The trust you have in this gut feeling that you were born to tell stories on as large a stage possible.
Does your trust in yourself have an expiration date?
Because if you trust yourself, you give this process the time it takes. You know what's to come: You get what you want. It's just a matter of when… and that's not up to you.
Think about it. You either trust the process or you don't. Or maybe you trust it, but only if you get results by a certain day. After that day, you're out! No more trust. Hmm… think about that. And think about what that says to (and about) your artistic gifts.
When you visualize your lack of trust for the process, the journey, your innate ability as something as silly as getting out of your car at every red light to check under the hood because you're not exactly sure how the engine works, you realize you're slowing down your progress toward the destination by doing this rather than simply trusting the ride.
And we know the ride works because we've seen others take it.
While someone else's exact success can't be replicated, the patterns of the behavior of those who've been successful before us are trackable and therefore learn-from-able.
Enter: Self-Management for Actors. That's the core of targeting, when it comes right down to it.
And every time I'm asked by an actor, "Should I join the union?" "Is so-and-so the right agent for me?" "Should I move to Los Angeles?" "Do I need new headshots?" the answer is always the same.
"What does your research show you?"
Nope. It's not a sexy answer. It's not a magic pill you can pop to suddenly have all the answers to every question you've ever had about this glorious industry of ours. (OMG, you guys, if *anyone* had that pill do you realize how simple "making it" would be? And how there'd then be no difference between Meryl Streep and that schmo in your acting class you really wish would pack it up and go home? Ew. Not cool.)
The delicious SMFA research I nudge you to do is gold because it's never wrong. If someone else has done it before, it's DO-ABLE.
And that's why Self-Management for Actors works. It's just research, plain and simple.
Well… research and mindset. If your head's not in the right place, you can do all the math, put in all the work, and still fail miserably.
So there we are with that trust thing again after all, huh?
If you're gonna give trust an expiration date, declare it and be done with it.
But if you're putting in the work, you're progressing incrementally over the long haul, and you're feeling a heck of a lot of joy along the way (yes, even despite the downs), trust this process.
(And if you haven't put in the work, dude, you know how to fix that, right? I'm here to help! That's what I *do* y'all.)
Look, I want this for you. YOU want this for you. And it's so much easier to navigate when your trust is unshakable.
What can you do today to fortify your existing trust so it's unshakable?
I wanna know!
Let's DO this!