"For actors- for any artist, really- you (we all) are independent contractors, entrepreneurs. You have to organize your lives on a daily basis and muster up the energy to create a career for yourself. No easy task. But you can (and you really must) make changes that will allow you to approach your life with new awareness and energy. Your success depends on it." http://bramongarciabraun.com/making-a-habit-of-success/?inf_contact_key=d7f5703b9e960843a1b27183854aefd7680f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1
As an artist I have always felt this incredible conflict between the version of myself that just wants to be an artist, that's it. Just to be able to create and not worry about the rest. The reality however is, the industry runs like a business, and being business savvy requires learning new skills, and doing the things you don't necessarily enjoy doing all the time. In the series "Ignite," I spoke to a multitude of creatives to find out about their journey's and their calling. In "Psyche," I speak to a variety of individuals from different walks of life and professional backgrounds to find out what makes them tick. What is important for functioning at your best? What really sets those who are successful apart and how do they think? This week I spoke to Jesse Quinones. Jesse had some really great practical advice when approaching direction and writing scripts and generally for anyone in the arts! There is a fierce determination which is needed to truly be in it for the long haul. And ultimately the person who has the driving force being a simple joy to keep creating as opposed to wanting to please, or fit into the demands of what we think someone else wants, will succeed.
Some brilliant lessons, I have taken away from being in class off late which tie into embracing who we are in order to do our best work as a creative:
1.Give yourself the permission to create: Don't wait on someone else to tell you it's time to create now, or just become part of their vision. We all have a very unique vision and way of looking at the world. What's yours? What's the legacy you want to leave behind? What's your "why?" And once you know that, let it bleed into everything you do, because that is who you are. As an actor this means, walking into an audition room thinking, how can I bring this vision to life in MY way, versus how can I be what I think they want me to be.
2. Let go: So this one can sometimes feel so fricking frustrating. What does it even mean? Well for the longest time I battled with it, but thank heavens no more! That famous quote Oprah is known for, is that success is opportunity meeting preparation. This is significant! Preparation means the constant doing and practice of something, in preparation for having it in our toolbox ready to go when we need it, you follow? Just like a ballerina or athlete would. So we cannot even begin to let go, if we don't prepare, because what would we be letting go of? And surrender truly happens ironically when we prepare first, are confident and then can say a big "fuck it," because we are confident that those hours honing our skills will come alive when we need it and that subconsciously we know what needs to be done. This gives us an opportunity to just truly be present in the room with others, with our work and with ourselves. Thus, serving to the best of our ability, rather then having to pretend we know everything! Cause the fake it till you make it, is so overrated!
3. Know you're enough: When we really, and I mean really believe we are enough, we don't seek permission. We are confident we can take up space, and that however we show up, is true, authentic and enough. There is so much power in self acceptance. Once we get to that place, I truly believe we can create our best work.
4. Live: Again, it sounds simple right? "We do live" you're thinking! But actually as artists especially, or anyone who has a freelance job, so much is about hustling to get the next thing, or being ready for the next thing. We make sacrifices and compromises in our own life constantly to accommodate what we think is right to do, or how to be for the sake of our work. There is a life to be lived beyond the set, beyond the audition room and beyond the work life. There are skills and interests and moments to pursue with people we really care about. There are beautiful places to see, and beautiful experiences to have, which we can easily miss if we choose to only be absorbed in the work. The truth is as an actor I know, the more I commit to being a student of life in general, the better actor I become. Because what is acting but actually the act of being truthful under imaginary circumstances. The truth however isn't dug up out of nowhere. The truth exists in all of us as we live.