So number 37 in 472 lessons from this most recent trip to New York comes from the guy who booked my car to JFK on Wednesday.
See, I had experienced a less-than-awesome trip from EWR on the way into Manhattan (seriously, my driver was trying to kill me and at least another dozen people along the way) and I decided it was time to try another company (yes, even though I know better than to decide an entire company is to blame when a single driver is unsafe and unprofessional). Sometimes you just need to change it up for a minute.
But I was coaching right up ’til the end of my last day in New York (it was a seriously packed schedule and I absolutely loved every minute of it) and something I can usually attend to online the night before, I was gonna just go down and ask the concierge of my hotel to help with. I mean, that’s what they do, right?
So I go to the concierge and she introduces me to the transpo captain and I tell him the details of my flight and timing…
he tells me I need to be in a car a full 90 minutes earlier than I had planned. This, of course, has an impact on my coaching schedule (and my phenomenal clients are all very understanding, as you’d expect).
I’m not feeling a tremendous amount of stress or anything — I mean, I kind of idle at “Everything is always working out for me” these days and I trust that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be at all times — but I must’ve had *some* kind of look on my face at the moment the transpo captain told me, quite insistently, at what time I would be collected by my driver.
“Look,” he said, “I don’t know much, but I know THIS!”
And immediately, I was awash in comfort.
I didn’t think I was stressed out but it was like I took off a backpack of anxiety I didn’t know I was carrying.
Just because he assured me, “I don’t know much, but I know THIS!”
As I always — always — do, I started thinking about y’all. You glorious creatives who invite me and my words into your world with so much love and enthusiasm. I began thinking about how often you feel the need to be perfect at something, to know more than you do about anything, to get it right.
That invisible backpack getting heavier and heavier with every pressurized bit of high-intensity anxiety you don’t even realize you’re carrying around.
And some of it could be alleviated by — quite simply — giving up the need to have it all figured out. By spending less time focused on what’s not yet sorted out and putting more energy, more time, more focus, more overall investment into what you’ve got DOWN-PAT, suddenly, you produce confidence that is, well, CASTABLE.
“I don’t know much, but I know THIS!”
Look at the stress that one sentence pulls away from the thought of being an expert, knowing everything, having it all figured out… allowing you to comfort buyers with the truth of the matter, like:
– Need a goofball? That’s me.
– Need a bad guy? I’m on it!
– Need an ever-patient mom? Totally my thing.
– Need someone who has zero ego about saying yes to a forgettable one-liner? So me!
– Need the most brilliant improvisor ever? Yes, and…, baby!
Because at the moment I needed a solution to the only problem o’ the day (since all my coaching strategies were and always are on *my* “I know THIS” list), I was relieved by the words of someone whose business is all about traffic and timing and the fact that there was more chaos than usual in the City on this particular day!
And all anyone in casting — or the agents and managers who pitch you to casting directors — ever wants is the solution to a problem. Someone who makes it super easy to draw a direct line between the problem (that role they need filled) and the right actor (that’s YOU).
Not a blank slate.
Not an artist who shows great range or potential or passion or drive.
“I don’t know much, but I know THIS!”
What’s your THIS?
Everything else is irrelevant to the buyers at the time we’re frantically trying to get a decision made.
How can you make it simpler for everyone?
Pop your answer in the comments below! I’d love to know… and I’d love to celebrate how you rock your THIS!
All my love,
Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!
I don’t know much but I know this… With almost 25K followers on twitter alone, I can sell the film.
Right ON! Happy selling!
I know THIS:
I am a fabulously funny improvisor!
Need someone who can find the humanity and humor even in the worst bad guy? Need someone who can appear to have his shit together when deep down inside, his world is falling apart? Need someone to be both cocky and insecure at the same time? In short, need someone who can play two opposite concepts at the same time?
Give it to me. I got it.
But what I really want to know is, why on EARTH would you EVER fly out of Newark?
Into INTO EWR. 😉 Flew out of JFK.
I know THIS: (scene-stealing) UNforgettable one-liners are my forte and my joy!
Amen! Your WEEDS clip? Fucking A, woman!
So insightful as always Bonnie!
You have a tough, emotional piece that you need to be fully vulnerable and open for? I’m your girl.
????????????. Improv. You want that scene done hitting the points the client needs heard. I’m your gal. You need that plot line put out in bread crumbs and done oh so realistically? Um that’s me. I can write your scene while talking and making it look dead real. ????…90 minutes to the airport in NYC – so right on – I think it’s funny when people complain about LA traffic…after having been in both – it’s literally the same mess – different coasts.
90 *additional* minutes. On top of the 90 I had budgeted for. 😉 Y’know… all that UN/General Assembly stuff going on. 😉
Yeah, girl! That’s SO you! Love it all!
Oh no I see my laughing emojis above came out as question marks. Oooops
My THIS is a focused and insightful performance. I can handle the words of text heavy dialogue or the spaces and silences required with little written information. Either way I’m gonna captivate you. 🙂
Ooh, yes you are, David. Right ON!
I lknow THIS; I’m reliable -I get it done.
I know this! I am a super funny actress and VO Talent with spot on comedy chops! Get it Grrl!
Get it, indeed!
I don’t know much, but I DO KNOW THIS: I’m your educated, nurturing millenial — a Blue shirt hidden in a Pink shirt, if you will 😉
Need a scene Improvisation? Got it. Need Professionalism? There for you. Brand is a strong woman who is a hot mess inside. Intimidating. Can also be a caring mother. Detailed oriented.
I don’t know much, but I do know awkward! Give me all the awkward and I will awkward the awkward out of it!
You SO will!!
I don’t know much but I know this…
I am very down with the fuck it. I am brave.
Yes, you are. <3 So good.
I can go to those dark emotional places like nobody’s business. I can do it take after take after take, and be absolutely fine afterwards. I got this.
That’s amazing, Matt! Right on.
I know this:
Need a businessman who can be edgy, funny, nasty or kind?
Need a dad who’s all heart but who loses his temper when pushed to the limit?
Need someone whose balls to the wall funny?
Someone to do one line with no ego and be an absolute pleasure on the set?
Need someone who works so hard on his craft so he can deliver the goods?
That’s me. I’m happy to make your acquaintance and work with you.
Yeah, Randy! So good!
I don’t know much, but I do know this: when in doubt, go back to what is simple, honest, authentic. All we want to see, really, is someone be audaciously vulnerable, to dare to care without inhibitions. Also, most problems clear up when true attention is given to the people in the room. Listen actively, with presence–to yourself and others.
So good! Love it, Ariel!
I don’t know much, but I know that if you need a scoundrel, rogue or villain, I’m there. And behind the scenes, if you need a collaborator with stubbornness, grit and vision, that’s me all the way down.
Man, Kevin, that’s some supercool THIS! Thank you! 🙂