In Corporate America, I often heard of the importance of developing relationships. The whole idea of passing out business cards, newtworking and cultivating relationships with people I didnt know was always came across as being fake to me.
However, it doesnt have to be that way. Networking with people that have the same mind set, or who has an idea on how to get you were you want to go is really the basis of any relationship business or otherwise. And the same is true for the arts. Sometimes as Artists we forget the “business” of “show business”. It takes a lot of effort and time to build relationships but if done properly, its longevity can reap many benefits.
A new relationship may come in many faces such as a Casting Director, Director, Writer or another Actor. Developing a relationship with someone who can, and more importantly is willing to keep you abreast of what is going on in the industry, bring you in for readings, workshops, and of course eventually hire you. This provides an opportunity for work, and allows both parties to work with someone they know and trust.
At the same time, the way you end a relationship is just as important as the building process. Do your best not to let things end on a bad note. Like the old saying goes “don’t burn your bridges”.
"Summertime and the livin is easy. Fish are jumpjng and the cotton is high. Oh your Daddy’s rich and your Ma is good lookin…". Those are lines from one of America’s favorite songs.
This has been one of the most adventurous summers I’ve had in a long time. Not only personally, but professionally as well. This season I’ve been able to work with directors, writers and casting directors, who have encouraged me as I continue to pursue my dream.
Right now there are thousands of men, Black men in America, that are marching and fighting for their dream. It seems as if relations in this country has not changed much from the 1960’s, and yet I feel compelled not to give up hope; not to flee to another country.
This summer has shown me that persistence will bare good fruit. That good work is not in vain, and our dreams will come true. So to all my brothers I say, “hush little baby don’t you cry”. All our efforts, however small or large, are not in vain.
This has been a great summer so far. I spent my birthday in Miami, I have a great “survival” job. My manager doesn’t mind me taking time off to audition, and I’m currently working on an independent feature film.
With so much good going on it would be easy to think nothing “bad” would or could happen. Alas things don’t always go according to plan. It’s easy to think about what I personally could have done to foresee an incident or even to escape consequences. But then the lesson would be lost.
When everything goes according to “plan” we don’t walk by faith, but by performance charts, goal setting, pay scale. Every once and a while things get shaken up to see where our hearts lie. Reevaluate our intentions and renew our faith.
Change is good. If anything is not going according to plan that means it is time to take a step back take note of your hearts desire.
I learned that this week while working on set over the paste few weeks. I’m looking forward to the next time I will be on set. In the meantime I have time allow other opportunities to manifest. Right now that’s good enough for me.
New York City doesn’t really get a Spring it seems. Sure we have had rain, and some warm days but in a few weeks it will officially be Summer and I know we will all feel the Season change.
Just like New York seasons it can be hard sometimes to know if you are making the right move. Should you rest from the grind, take a gig, turn down a gig, is it the right gig? Whatever the decision it is the right one. You can’t go wrong. You are exactly where you need to be.
When it is time for you to move to LA, get an agent, or create your own project you will. And it will feel good. Until then enjoy the Spring weather. Summer is fast approaching.
Despite the cold and snow I had an amazing winter. I starred in two off-Broadway productions, made new friends, and most importantly I grew as a person and as an artist.
And just like the season it is time for a change. After much thought I decided to leave the theatre company I had been a part of for almost two years. I had grown to love and respect a great core of actors. I felt nurtured, but at the same time I felt the need to move on. At first it was scary. The thought of leaving friends, familiar routines seemed to out weight the need I was feeling to move on. But this is what makes life exciting and worth living. Creating positive and meaningful memories, so when it is time to explore other opportunities you know you can move on in good conscience.
I recently was accepted into a sketch comedy and improv program. Something I have always wanted to do. I may have missed it because I was afraid to take a chance.
Holding on to something because of fear can hold back unseen blessings. Let go. We don’t know when the seasons will change, and we don’t need to. But they will change.
The first quarter of the year has come and gone along with all the ice and snow. Spring is rapidly approaching and along with the new season comes a new perspective of all the things around me. The grass is greener, the birds are louder and even the people seem nicer.
So in the new season it makes sense that my outlook would change too. As an artist it is sometimes easy to get stuck in the mode of wanting to book the next “gig”. With that train of thought one may become dependant and easily effected by a casting directors, directors, or critics point of view of our skill set. Not being seen at an audition, not booking the role, or not even getting the appointment can cause doubt. It may cause you to think you are not good enough.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. You are more than enough. And your self worth goes beyond whether or not you get the job. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you to exercise your skills. As the seasons change take joy in knowing you are in the right place.