I love Instagram.

Let me clarify; I have a very one-sided relationship with most social media. I use it when it serves me HOW it serves me and otherwise don’t feel very connected to it or influenced by it.

(I was *so* early to the unplugging party at Facebook.)

I follow VERY few people on Twitter (57). I have no Facebook friends (well, 1, technically, to keep my account recoverable should I need that). And I pop in mindfully (this is key) because the last thing I want is a life in which I am reactive.

Instagram, for me, is the newest of my social media playgrounds (I only joined two years ago) but I love following hashtags and inspiring friends.

Just a few hours ago, I had a convo in the Instagram inbox thingy with a talent manager who is meeting with one of you beloved SMFA ninjas later this week. It is FUN to be able to talk shop in a super casual place, and to keep an eye on y’all at enough of a distance that I’m just an #SMFAninjas bat-signal away.

And yesterday, one of my fellow casting directors posted about how actors HAVE TO find people who are doing what they want to do and study them. Yup. Big ol’ amen! I told her, “We call them pace cars.”

Just like that — as I was watching some ooolllllldddddd TV shows — I saw an actor I know is still working today, decades later, and realized, he’s one of those “Hey, it’s that guy” types to study.

Sal Viscuso.

Check out that IMDb.

Keep scrolling.

He’s been in everything. EVERYthing.

But you can bet he lives his life without TMZ hounding him… and all his bills are paid doing what he loves: creating.

I love taking a look at what REAL success in this business looks like… it’s not the celeb-level stuff (although that’s a reality for some); it’s the “I make a living at this” actor who is the perfect case study for next-tier goals.

Who’s your pace car?

Not the celeb you wish you could be someday. Not the, “Who are you wearing?!?” actors (although they’re fine pace cars for those of you at a certain tier). The working actor who works ALL. The. Time.

Or even someone who’s working just enough that they’ve finally been able to release their survival job. That’s a good pace car for you, if you’re currently juggling shifts at too many survival job gigs but know you’re just one big booking away from that all changing.

Who’s done it before you?


Jam with me in the comments below. I’d love to know who you’ve chosen to study!

Don’t forget! Our badass FREE SMFA Tune-Up call is Wednesday at 2:30pm PDT! Sign up here to be sure you get all the info on how to join us! And yes, I’m putting the finishing touches on your FREE Q2 show sheet!! 🙂 This is *so* delicious! There’s a LOT going on and that means opportunity is everywhere. Yay!

In addition to talking shop and answering our questions, also on the call, I’ll be announcing some VERY cool news I cannot wait to share with y’all! (Seriously, I’m horrible with keeping quiet something I’m super excited about like this, so I hope you’ll join in the fun tomorrow so we can celebrate the awesome news!)

’til then… stay ninja!

Bonnie Gillespie

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. Avatar Rose Ezz April 10, 2018 at 12:49 am

    Strange i know being female but i have been studying Tom Ellis. He is very talented and i feel he is one of those actors who will be acting up to a ripe old age!! Also he is funny and British, like me, which means he had a different actors training than American actors which i find interesting. My dream would be to work with him one day because i feel i could learn alot from him.

  2. Avatar Tammi Cubilette April 10, 2018 at 5:44 am

    I love Sal Viscuso! Been watching him work since I was a kid. That’s the kind of actor I want to be. Can’t think of anyone specific who would be my pace car. I’d say anyone like Sal or Brian Dennehy or Joan Cusack. I’ll have to do more research.

  3. Avatar Mike Russo April 10, 2018 at 6:10 am

    I’ve got a few pace cars I could cite as examples (great name for that), but let me name just two. The first is Ray Iannicelli. I met him while being a stand in on “Show Me A Hero” (he became a grandfather for the first time while on that show), and I recognized him as the guy who got the part I auditioned for in Jamie Foxx’s “Annie”. I see him all the time, from “Law & Order” to “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray. The other is Sylvia Kauders. She was the woman Harrison Ford threatened to strangle with her own brassiere in “Witness”, and she was constantly working up until her death. She was also heavily involved with the Philly SAG local, and was always very encouraging to me whenever we spoke. THAT’S what I’d love to be when I grow up.

  4. Avatar Sean Frost April 10, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I would have to go with Steve Tom and Bill Oberst, Jr. they are wayyyyyyy ahead of me, but they provide a good example of people in the situation you described above—consistently working, bills paid, not hounded, I don’t think anyway, by TMZ. I would love that—have a good living doing something I love to do. Do enough good work to keep doing good work and pass on good advice to others. More than that is icing on the cake. Ultimate is to help make somebody’s day with a smile, a hello, and maybe they find out I’m a Christian and that’s a positive, maybe encourages them that way, that direction if they are not already there.

  5. Avatar Lisa Coombs April 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Whilst I was doing my imdbpro rabbit hole research I came across an actress named Christine Rodriguez who I think would be a good pace car for me. She’s of similar type and age but a tad older & more established. She’s done a whole bunch of costar roles on television sitcoms which is the tier I’m aiming to get to next. And from her website she seems like a fun gal whom I would enjoy getting to know if I ever got to work with her. 🙂

  6. Avatar Erin Zapcic April 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    LOVE all these pace cars, everyone! Now what can you find out about these folks from when they were at *your tier* to help inspire you to take steps right now, right where you are? 🙂

  7. Avatar Tammi Cubilette April 12, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I just remembered two more: Michael O’Neill and Kate Burton.


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