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Managing Expectations on a Marathon of a Career

Guest Post by Elise Arsenault

· Guest Post,Actor,career,Acting,Dream Career
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Oh man, how much do I not want to address this topic. But I NEED to. Over the past few years in my work with actors in the #GlobalActor Power Groups and with Private Clients I have encountered time and time again the desire for immediate results, and I get it. This career can be so difficult at times, but dare I remind you that 

This career is a marathon, not a sprint!

Let’s be honest, it can feel like a FREAKING Iron Man at times, am I right?! But I bet you can look back on a moment (from earlier in your journey) to stay inspired, and I ask you to do that, right now, take stock in how far you’ve come from when you first decided to pursue this work.

You are obviously called to this work, and I’m guessing you are reading this because you want to feel more joy in the process of growing in your acting career. So as you submit, audition and hopefully book work you may (or may not) deem “dream work” this week, remember your why. Why are you still acting? So many have given up on the dream. But you are still here. You have a dream, so why not you?!

I want to encourage you to stay on your path this week. Think of me as cheering you on in mile 7 of your race (a marathon is 26.2), so stay steady and consistent from here on out. You have milestones behind you and likely the best is yet to come, but can you enjoy where you are today, here in this moment?

As you scroll through social media today, how about celebrating a past achievement? Leave yours in the comments below!

Please don’t beat yourself, or anyone else, up for the lack of bigger results. There are so many reasons why the stars may not have aligned for you yet, but that does not mean it’s time to sit around and wait. No, no, my friend, when’s the last time you saw a runner waiting in the middle of a marathon?

There may be many reasons for your lack of results. And the first one may be that you are wanting an Oscar when you haven’t even booked a film yet, wanting an Audie before you’ve even narrated your first audiobook. So, sign up for that 5K before you train for the marathon -- do you get what I’m saying?

Know that we all have our own level of drive. We all have our own definition of success. And you may or may not know the actions you need to take to hit your actual next goal-- you may not even be clear on that. You don’t know what you don’t know, am I right? Don’t let that delay you though. Figure out how you need to switch gears to continue your move forward.

Does your drive match where you want to be, and have you taken steps to course correct as needed?

Finally, at the end of the day if you don’t feel good about what you’re pursuing, what is the point? Which brings me to JOY. How can you bring joy back into your process and find it while you’re pursuing some of the bigger goals that can take more time?

Three things I’d like to offer:

1. Be open to finding joy in surprising acting opportunities

Some of the most fulfilling acting work I’ve had has been in audiobook narration, non-traditional voice work, standardized patient work and live-action performances at museums or other public spaces. If you haven’t booked a big job in awhile and could use a boost of confidence, why not get your actor brain active and flexible again AND make money too?

2. Make time for Self-Care

I’m still working on this myself, but are you getting at least 7 hrs of sleep a night, drinking half your weight in water each day and moving as often as possible. These basics will set you up for success as you continue along this “marathon” -- don’t worry I’m still talking about your acting career -- you are NOT required to run, though, I mean a marathon can be it’s own crazy experience if you’re looking for that kind of a rush!

3. Stay Focused and Accountable

Don’t lose track of why you are at this in the first place. Tap into your community of fellow actors, hire a coach, and just keep going, taking breaks as needed.

So what is your why? Leave it in the comments, and put it front & center this week.

​Are you looking for a way to act full-time? If you're an actor or an aspiring one, there's an “acting job” that could potentially replace your “day job." My friend Elise Arsenault has just the free resource to help you explore and get started in VOICEOVER! It’s the VO Starter Kit!