When I teased the above column in my quarterly BonBlast ‘zine last week, I asked if folks would like to “share their toys.” Sure enough, several members of my mailing list wrote in with shares, and you know I love that! 🙂 Here’s my fave of the week!

Hey Bonnie:

I tried putting this into a Twitter message, but I couldn’t get it all in! So in following with your “Share Your Toys” blast, I thought I’d hit you back with my favorite toys for actors — specifically related to building a rock solid support system for when things are getting you down, whether in life or on the stage/on set:

1) The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron: an obvious choice, maybe, but this book has helped me develop the skill to see that the commitment to do one thing for my art a day — whether that’s a submission, reading a poem, or deciding to take the day off — is one of the best, and most achievable goals an actor can make. It also often leads to doing more than one thing for my art… which is great!

2) Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod: I found this bad boy of a book through our favorite Communicatrix Colleen Wainwright. Hugh is a creative in his own way, and his attitude toward art, work, and making money at making art is a great kick in the pants for actors who want to make this thing work. I go to it for a stiff reality check — one page usually does the trick — but the format is so easy to read. Hugh doesn’t mince words, and he’ll help make sure you don’t either!

3) Knowing when to trust my own instinct. Sometimes I find that I seek TOO MUCH advice. I realized I had gone to too many casting director, agent, industry Q&As when I knew the answers to the questions before the industry person had even said anything! What did that mean? I’d listened enough. It was time to act! Simply listen to myself, to listen to my instinct. Learning when to trust myself has been the final key to me getting an agent this year, booking a job at the first of the year, and continuing on this path.

That doesn’t mean I’ll stop going to Q&As, but it means I now need to recognize when I truly need advice, and when I’m fine on my own. The two books above helped me hone my trust in myself. Trust in my own instinct is often the missing toy I need.

Hope you’re very well, and I’m so glad to share! And thanks as always for sharing all of your wonderful resources.

Elizabeth Guterbock

Ooh, Elizabeth, we JUST talked about this in class last week. “Opinion overload.” It’s the type of thing that can paralyze a creative person, because — of course — you want to be sure you’re headed in the right direction, but eventually there’s just too much NOISE and you can’t start for fear of starting wrong. While I love the first two on your “share” list (thank you!!!), it’s the third one that really resonates.

I love that you’re willing to sit and listen to yourself — while continuing to check in with others for a sense of “am I on the right track” type thing, without letting it rule your life. Brilliant. Love these toys! Thank you!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001609.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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