I’ve got a dirty lil’ secret to confess to you. I’m not very adventurous. My bucket list doesn’t consist of the go-to’s like bungee jumping or seeing all seven wonders of the world. But man if I don’t have a ton of TV I want to watch, lots of karaoke songs to practice and a stack of books to read. Sexy right? I want to learn more words, draw, cook delicious food, write an award winning TV show, write a musical, become a photographer, director, be a better improviser, volunteer, run a business, start a fashion line, you get it by now. I have a thirst for new skills and knowledge and I often get a lot of praise for it. “Wow, you have so many goals!” or “I wish I could learn new things like you do – I’m just not motivated to do it.” But I feel so… dirty. Because they don’t know my secret! Here goes.
I didn’t used to be like this. This part of me is new!
Phew! Feels good to get that off my chest! For years I sat around in a pity party of my own making.
“I’d love to shoot my own films, but I don’t know how!”
“I’m not a writer!”
“I guess I’m just not as creative as she is!”
But I figured out it wasn’t true!
Like you, I still go through periods of time wasting. States of depression even, where I’d rather lay about than do anything “productive.” I mean, gah, “productive” is such a scary word, right? But, I’ve found a way to make even my lazy days count for something. Stay tuned to find out how! But I saw a few friends challenging themselves to try new things with tons of success – that was my wake up call! My friend, Kate Frisbee, is a perfect example. Since we met, she went through the Groundlings program, taught herself to write, play keyboard, and how to shoot and edit her own videos. She even learned how to groom dogs and started a grooming business among MANY other things. If you want another example, follow Msinthebiz.com creator, Helenna Santos. This woman is a beast! Always learning, always creating, and from afar, always showing me how much is possible in one day! What I learned by watching them is these skills were not learned overnight. Kate didn’t grow up grooming dogs! She gained each skill one by one, over time. Do you like video games? I do! I’m a dork in that way! Many of them center around having to “earn” a new title or “learn” a new skill. Only then will you be able to move forward in the game. Well, I’ve found life is no different. And the sexy part?
Learning breeds curiosity. And creativity breeds more creativity.
Once you dig in and start gaining one skill at a time, it all starts to snowball. YES!
It’s sooooo not over!
Have you noticed people seem to hit a plateau somewhere around their 30th birthday? It seems like many of them have decided that what they’re good at up until now is “their thing” and that’s it. That’s a bunch of bull-snot if you ask me! Everything can change at any point in your life if you make goals and stick with them. At any moment, you can drop “the biz” and go back to school. It’s gonna cost you, but you can do it! Heck, you could even become a fashion designer. Check out the book #GIRLBOSS.
So, I want you to make some lists.
As Blake Snyder was a fan of saying “You’ll like this, it wastes a lot of time!”
First make a list of things you need/want to do for your career. As luck would have it, these are usually the most expensive. Don’t just list “get new headshots.” I want you to list each step as an action item, so you can feel success as you cross off items and move toward the bigger goal. I’ll give you some examples: Schedule headshot sessionPut photos on Actors AccessPut photos on LA CastingImprov ClassWrite new scenes for demo reelShoot new demo reelUpload demo reel onto YoutubeAudition Technique ClassBuy new audition suitCreate IMDB profile Those are just a few. But it can get overwhelming, right? I mean, look at all the money waiting to be spent on that list. That’s why you’re going to pick only one and work on it, and save up, until you can cross it off. Then you’ll start on the next one. One goal at a time. The important thing is, you’re always moving forward.
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Now make a list of other things you want to do. Some cost money and some will be FREE! YAY! We LOVE FREE! You can make as many lists as you want. My favorite new toy is the Wunderlist App which helps me keep all my lists organized. Here’s a peek into some of the items on my lists from past and present. Most of the things I’ve learned or plan to learn, I’ve learned on Youtube!
Work my way through Pinterest recipes
Use vocabulary app
Learn Google Calendar (Youtube)
Learn to shoot with green screen (Youtube)
Read more (I made a book list)
Watch shows I’ve never seen (TV List) ←This is for the lazy days! Still being productive, people!
Journal more/Morning Pages
Take photos and learn to use Photoshop (Youtube)
Buy Final Cut ProLearn Final Cut Pro (Youtube)
Learn screenwriting (Library and Amazon)
Learn to play keyboard (Youtube)
Learn to clean my house efficiently and make my own cleaning products (Youtube)
Send more handwritten mailLearn to create my own website (You’re on it!)
Create a blog (You’re reading it!)
Learn to watercolor paint
Finally, make a list of life goals. These can be really big! But don’t be afraid of chunking them down into smaller tasks like you did in the first list. For now, try to concentrate on things you have control over. For example, instead of saying “I want to book three national commercials this year,” find ACTION ITEMS that could lead to to that goal. Like, “Submit to bigger commercial agencies” or “take a commercial class.” Here are a few of mine: Write a TV show as a vehicle for myselfLearn how to market TV show ideasStudy directingLearn how to find investors for film projectsTake a movement class (Alexander Technique?)Publish a bookHost a monthly networking event to introduce friends to each otherBuy a houseStart a family So many things to do, so little time. But it’s never been easier than it is right now! Maybe you want to step on all seven continents. GREAT! Pick a continent and start saving TODAY! (There are great deals on Groupon) If you make lists like these and throw everything down you can think of, you’ll never have a reason to feel bored. When you have some spare time, pick one item on the list and start working. You will be AMAZED at how your life can change in only a few months. If you put these principles into use now, imagine where you’ll be standing next year!