This week includes one of my favorite days of the year. No, not my birthday or a special anniversary of any kind. It’s the only day of the year that’s also a complete sentence: March 4th. (Get it? March forth? Cool, huh?) But it’s not just the grammar nerd in me that loves this day, it’s the always-hungry-for-motivators nerd in me.
March 4th is a great day to start something. Especially because any New Year’s resolution you made two months ago is probably toast (assuming you’re trucking with the average bear on that issue), it’s a great time to create a 100-day challenge.
I’ve built my life on 100-day challenges. My favorite was the 100 days ’til my (second) move to Hollywood. I plotted out 100 days on my huge wall calendar and then created weekly benchmarks that would get me ever-closer to my goal. Selling off stuff, getting my apartment sublet, having “the talk” with my mom, resigning from my job, dropping out of my PhD program, and engaging in a major spiritual and fitness overhaul so I’d arrive in LA feeling ready to take on the world (again).
You can change your life in 100 days. Of course, you can change your life in an instant. Any single decision can completely change the direction of your life and the course of your career. But I’m not one for drastic, dramatic declarations of how, “From this day forward, everything will be different. I swear it will be!” I prefer the much more subtle — but no less impactful — changes we can make by giving ourselves 100 days of a new habit. Not just a handful of days, but a whole big 100 of ’em. Short enough to be able to stick, long enough to actually change some big stuff.
So, let’s take stock. Where are you today and where do you want to be in 100 days? Are you with a crappy agent who’s not getting you out? Great. In 100 days you can have a fantastic list of meticulously-researched agents for the next tier, a badass cover letter tailored to each of your meticulously-researched targets, a list of potential referrals, your drop letter professionally and beautifully written, getting you geared up for meetings you can take in those final weeks before episodic season begins in mid-July.
Are you sick of your website and demo reel? Great. In 100 days you can have a gorgeously on-brand website that *feels* like hanging out with you, at least a half-dozen (AT LEAST) short scenes to choose from (all of which you produced deliciously on-brand with your team of collaborators to showcase exactly what you bullseye), and a really fired-up plan for getting those goods out into the world.
Are you convinced your headshot just isn’t working? Great. In 100 days, you can review all the proofs from your last shoot to be totally certain that you don’t already have a better selection from within that set, research 20 headshot photographers if you’ve decided you need to reshoot, meet with five of those photographers, have deep convos about exactly what you’re hoping to put across in your headshots (including the vibe of the projects in which you see yourself working, next), select the right photog, shoot, and then select the best headshots you’ve ever had.
It’s all do-able. One hundred days is both a long time and no time at all. That’s why it’s such a great range of time to give yourself, on anything you really hope to change. With March 4th as your start date, that’s June 11th to reach the next big benchmark. Get started. Because the best time to start doing something important was ten years ago. The second best time to start is today.
PS — I finally put together the reading list for my various course offerings over the years as an SMFA Hot Sheet for those of you who’d like to do the at-home version of ninja training. Inspiring stuff! (And only a couple o’ books on the huge list are by yours truly. 😉 Hee!)
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001786.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.