There's this change . . .
In the words of CD Scott Powers:
We had the pleasure of having two very different actors in our office today. One was an established actor who has made his living acting for many years. He even qualified for insurance through his union! His personality lit up the room; his acting was well-crafted; great headshots; very knowledgeable about the industry. He was a winner all around and when he left, you felt energized for his being here. The "essence" he left was palpable. We felt great!
Another "actor" also came in later that day. He darkened our doorstep; a thundercloud over his head, complete with a permanent bolt of lightning. He shuffled in and slumped in a chair, absorbing all light and energy that came his way. He was obviously unhappy. We already knew in advance he was high maintenance. In the course of the conversation, he told us that he was a professional; he said he knew the business; he said he was serious about his career; he even told us that he had "great" headshots (because the photographer told him so). (That made everyone's eyes invisibly roll!) He never stopped complaining or challenging everything around him, blaming everything and everybody. And when he left, we felt drained. No wonder he had no representation. Still at square one after all these years.
The point is this sad sack had been told by a number of respected industry professionals what to do to get his career off the ground. He ignored all wisdom. Either he didn't believe the sage advice of his mentors or he didn't want to change his behavior.
Everything the industry tries to instill in an actor to be better -- i.e., more successful -- requires some degree of behavior modification. Even taking a class is all about change, right? This all requires continuous effort and cannot be done overnight. A tough assignment in today's climate of expecting instant everything (the old star by Friday expectation).
Want to be successful? Learn to change. Enjoy the journey. Think of yourself as an athlete in training, because you are! There are many qualified professionals who strive to help make you successful. They earnestly want you to succeed. Part of your job is to let them tell you what to change. The other part of your job is to implement their recommendations. It will take time. But it is guaranteed that you and your career will benefit for the rest of your life.
Even working in a small market I hear talent tell me how professional they are and how skilled they are, but then their actions don't match their talk. It's human nature to think the best of ourselves. If you hear industry people give the same or similar advice more than once, it's golden - take note! Consider yourself a good listener? Perhaps you are, but even good listeners need a reminder to follow through with action. Good intent is just as distructive as a lack of personal effort in the entertainment business.
What kind of change have you been needing to make? When are you going to do it?