Article by Actor Spaces founder and Casting Director Ayanda Sithebe
FORGET NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS, Controversial statement right? I know, I say this because acting should not be a destination, but a journey… allow that to slowly sink in.
I’m not against Actors setting goals, the mistake that most actors do is set resolutions that they have no control over. Goals like “I want to book 3 commercials, 1 film and land a role on The River”, this might be helpful to guide your focus and energy but sometimes not realistic because you are not in control.
Focus, Hard work and Implementation of Great Acting / Performance will always shine through.
Focus should be building and exercising the muscle, the jobs / bookings are the result of the training. This will always give you the confidence that you need.
Over years of observation and trying to understand this interesting process, I’ve landed on some recommendations on how to approach a new year as an actor.
1. Set up an administrative structure: yes, I know we don’t like admin but we can’t run away from proper process and planning just like in any other profession. You need a Year plan, Diet plan, Budgeting and mostly looking at your Representation, setup a meeting with your agent to review and align on your career plan. You have to take charge and steer things. If you don’t have an agent yet it’s usually too late to look for an agent in January!!! Most agents open Mid-year and end of year.
2. Work on your developmental plan; training never stops for actors, it doesn’t matter the level; get a coach (Camilla Waldman remains my favourite) or join a short program. Going to see a theatre show every month and watching award winning films can contribute towards your development and keep you motivated. Information is at our finger tips but are you searching, finding, questioning and putting into practice?
3. Upgrade your Showreel, Headshots, Website (most South African Actors don’t have sites… story for another day) and update your socials – we are constantly evolving, are you reflecting this?
4. Work on a new scene or monologue every 2-4 weeks. This speaks to sharpening your tool. This will
open you up and build your vocab – can you truly converse with award winning / reputable Actors?
5. Lastly, remember doing things alone can be harder for you as an Actor, so start a scene / Monologue club with some friends, remember this community that we need, from it comes lessons and collaborations.
These recommendations allow you more control over your dreams and goals. You are the leader and a leader is always planning and reevaluating. You can’t set a target before equipping yourself.
Wishing you a Creative and Productive 2022.