“I just love when people outside of the business give me unsolicited advice,” said no actor ever!
I mean… think about it.
Nobody likes to get advice from Aunt Betty on how to be an actor, especially if all she has done is sing in the church choir.
Let’s face it… as actors, sometimes getting advice is annoying, because it feels like “people just don’t understand your life as an artist” or, worst yet, “people don’t understand you.”
Taking advice from outside sources can SEEM pointless. But it can sometimes actually be the best kind of advice to get BECAUSE they have an outside perspective!
In fact, for me…
…some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten has been from people outside of the industry,
and they have actually given me the cornerstones of my grounded approach to the business.
Here are the tidbits of wisdom that all came from people I respect and are not in the business.
1. “Face reality as it is, not as you wish it were, or as it used to be.” This alone will save you from so much heartache! This is tough to do in our business, because we are so good at “thinking positively” and “wanting things to happen a certain way.” But the truth is, until we are able to really face reality for what it is right now — this minute — we can never truly move forward. #facereality
2. “They always need actors of all ages and all stages.” This was a gift my mom gave me very early on in my pursuit of this career. This allowed me to breathe into my journey as an actor without putting the pressure on myself to “have it happen right now.” So often (especially as younger actors), we fear that if we have not had success by age ___, that we’ve missed our chance. But the truth is…they truly do need actors of all ages, all the time, so you can leave the business, come back to it and have great success. You never actually know when your time will be, so if it’s what you love, keep going, keep going, keep going… #everyageeverystage
3. “Think highly enough of yourself to NOT let your ego get in the way.” This was a piece of advice I actually gave myself in my early 20s at a moment when I’d let my ego get in the way to the point where it almost got me fired from an acting job. Seriously. I was letting my ego lead me because of my own insecurities. But when I really faced the reality and realized that it was EGO that was attempting to “protect my insecurities,” I had a moment of clarity. This phrase was gifted to me from deep inside my soul. It has now guided me throughout my life. When we let our ego get in the way, we make rash decisions that are not necessarily based in rational thought. In this business (even though it is filled with people with HUGE egos), the moment we let it get in our way, we’ve lost. #egofree
4. “Fear can kill you faster than a bullet.” It has been proven that fear of something is actually more damaging than the thing itself. Why? Because, as humans, even if we are afraid of something, but nothing ever actually happens, we still experience it AS IF IT REALLY DID HAPPEN. And worse yet, we experience it over and over and over BECAUSE we are afraid of it. Face your fears head on, and you have no idea what can be created. #faceyourfears
5. “Don’t spend beyond your means and pay yourself first.” I know, we all hate to talk about money. And yes, pursuing an acting career costs money. But, this simple advice given to me very early in life set me up for a particular mindset that has given me financial control and peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong… of course there are times when unexpected things and emergencies come up that mean you have to pay for something you didn’t know you would. But having the general philosophy to not spend beyond your means and to pay yourself first will give you peace of mind. I’ll be offering a really cool and FREE money challenge in January… stay tuned! #dontoverspend
6. “The only thing stopping you from getting everything you want is you.” This advice is always hard to hear. But when you break it down to its core, it’s always 1000% true. I can feel you thinking: “But, I don’t have _____” or “But, I’m too _____” or “But my parents didn’t give me _____.” As hard as it might be to hear, we are responsible for our life and our choices. YOU and only you! #getoutofyourway
And now, I want to hear some of the best advice YOU have ever received. Please comment below.
Leslie Becker is a Broadway actress, Billboard artist and best-selling author of The Organized Actor®. Since 1994, her teachings have empowered thousands of actors to be strong individuals so the highs and lows of the industry are balanced by a strong belief in themselves. As an actress, she has appeared in 10 Broadway and National Tour productions, and she has starred in over 50 regional shows. She is the host of the Facebook Group Organized Actor Alliance and offers free tips for actors at www.OrganizedActor.com.