Kirby Smart is a spectacular coach.

Anyone who endured the Mark Richt years knows what a welcome relief this is, and not just because the Georgia Bulldogs won the Rose Bowl a few hours ago in a game that has my heart STILL totally all up in my throat!

(Yes, I swear, this has something to do with your creative career.)

Earlier in this season, when the Dawgs were 7 – 0 and headed up in the ranks after the Mizzou game, a reporter shoved a mic in Kirby Smart’s face and asked, “What are you working on in the bye week, coach?”

The answer?


Epic. The number-one goal for the time OFF was making sure the team members knew this could all go away. Don’t get cocky. We work hard to get where we are and we don’t stop the work just because we check off an achievement. And we sure as heck don’t start walkin’ around like we own the joint while we still have more games to win.

Sure, we’re confident! That’s essential. But confidence without humility is called cockiness and it’s uncastable. (Tweet it.)

So the work between games for an undefeated team may need to start with mindset. (Of course, you know I’m all about the mindset first. Because without your head in the right place, you can have glimpses of success but nothing really STICKS. You can have everything in order “on paper” yet somehow never close the next deal. Mindset. First. And always.)

For those who watched the Rose Bowl with me yesterday, you know the first half was a bit of a shitshow for Georgia. (That’s an exaggeration… but it was hard to watch.) We walked to the beach. Took a photo. Bought some Lush.

Returned home for the second half just in time to see a reporter shoving a mic in Kirby Smart’s face, asking, “So, coach, what did you tell your team during halftime?”

The answer?

Those were not our best 30 minutes. It’s time to show them what our best 30 minutes look like.

(And then of course, we had to show ’em some more best all the way through double overtime, but that’s not the point.)

One of the MANY things I adore about Kirby Smart’s coaching — in addition to the fact that he knows how to manage a clock in a way that Mark Richt *still* can’t seem to figure out — is that he’s all about that mindset.

Sure, watch gametapes. Sure, study playbooks. Sure, run the drills and work out with the trainers and eat well and get good sleep and meet with the media coaches so you know to show up for the coin toss with your helmets OFF for the best screentime. All of that.

But get your frickin’ HEAD right.

Because what *really* matters is the stuff you do BETWEEN the auditions, BETWEEN the bookings, BETWEEN the craft classes and improv jams even — and definitely the stuff you do between every bit of actor busy work you may spend years focused on (which you choose to do because frankly it’s easier than the REAL work).

Yes, the real work includes updating your show bible and researching your pace car and staying in class and being “out there” so you can connect with the people whose lives will be a part of your tier trajectory for life. Yes. All of that. And more.

But oh my goodness, if you’re not *actively* working the muscles of self-care, healthy mindset, and envisioning the life of your dreams with ridiculous specificity, honey, you will only ever get so far.

You’ll perform well. Well enough to even get pretty dang far.

And when you want to make it ALL the way? “Pretty dang far” is the worst kind of failure.

I want you to MAKE IT. All the way.

So what are you doing to get your mind right? To keep the muscle of self-care and boundaries strong? To plot out the realities of your next tier? Realistically? Are you getting ready? Staying ready?

Share with me in the comments below so I can celebrate you if you’re getting it done and so I can support you if you’re falling short.

Let’s DO this!

(And goooooooooo DAWGS!)

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!

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  1. Dominic Ryan January 2, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Joining this group has helped my mindset more. In December I joined new acting classes for this year, which begin Jan 13th, so I’m excited about that. Yesterday, I have started compiling a list of shows/Films that I could realistically see myself cast in and listing their casting directors, which I’ll give to my agent to see if he has any initial relationships with said casting directors, and then I’ll take it from there.

  2. Sean January 2, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Hi, Bonnie. For me, I’m going to get ridiculously specific in envisioning the life of my dreams. I think a big stumble for me has been trying to get an all-encompassing statement of what I want to do into a 25-words-or-less logline. So I’ll write it out and, if necessary, distill it from there. But if I don’t know the exact address to which I’m going, I might get close, but close sounds a little too much like, as you say above, “pretty dang far”, which is not good enough.

  3. Jennie Olson Six January 2, 2018 at 8:02 am

    For me the mindset obstacle has always been a negative thought pattern about the auditioners or casting director or anyone in the position to hire of what they think of me. None of it based in reality, all in my head and it keeps me stuck. So I made a list of what they could be thinking about me when they see me like “she’s what I need for this” or “she’s not right for this one but I’m going to keep her on my list”. And if I read the list before I go in it stops the negative self talk before I even start the process.

  4. Adam Kitchen January 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Bonnie- thank you for this article and all you continue to do! I always thought someone would discover my talent and put me on a path to stardom. I waited it out and hoped something would happen. What I’ve realized is that it’s way more of an inward journey. It’s vision and persistence. It’s calling on ten people who can buy my product while the failure makes grand plans to call on one. It’s realizing each failure will increase my chances of success- each no brings me closer to yes. With your guidance I now have a brand and am actively tailoring all my materials to it (I stayed up late last night working on my new reel!) I’m currently doing the work to target the agent that could use someone like me. And I’m working at being WAY more specific in my approach.
    I’m not in the tier that I want to be in yet, and that dissatisfaction is a constant irritation to become better than I am, and I will. I appreciate your willingness to share your techniques in what seemed like an otherwise daunting task. It’s been immensely helpful!

  5. Alejandra January 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Because what *really* matters is the stuff you do BETWEEN
    YES! Starting 2018 off continuing the momentum that we had building and cultivating and specifying in 2017. Staying strong in doing the work and letting the mindset work really settle so that I can see where the softer spots are in order to strengthen and evolve towards future me!
    <3 <3 <3

  6. Jonathan K. Riggs January 3, 2018 at 10:02 am

    I’ve been talking to my overworked, exhausted-mama wife about self-care for so long. And reading this I realize that I consider self-care to be a feminine ideal. I acknowledge the importance of self-care to the artist, but I confess that it is difficult for me as a man. Until now, right Bonnie?

  7. NS January 4, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for this introspective and restorative post! Today – to get ready for 2018 – I am drafting my first outreach to industry contacts to share my new representation and first booking of 2018. The next two weeks, I am getting ready for the next tier by exploring the benefits of incorporating myself financially in light of the new tax bill. This month, I am committed to participating in weekly vocal warm-ups classes and establishing a morning actor’s warm up regardless of whether or not I am auditioning, performing, etc….so I am always ready to play. A reach goal is doing the 11 GIGNT work I didn’t have a chance to do over the holidays (while I was experiencing family breakthroughs!) Happy New Year Bonnie! Grateful I am bringing my 2017 #SMFAninja work into the new year.


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