Two Keys to a Successful Career


Sharon Moist

actor Philip Winchester

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with actor Philip Winchester.

In 1997 Philip was discovered in Montana by casting director Tina Buckingham, when she was doing some casting for the Steven Seagal movie, The Patriot. Eleven years later, Philip is now the star of the NBC television series, Crusoe.

Overnight discovery? Yes! Overnight success? No!

Philip will be the first person to tell you that his career success has come from a lot of hard work. In fact, as he was sharing his journey with the members of the Montana Actors Studio, he outlined the two most important keys to his success, which I want to share with you here.

Key #1: The first key to Philip's success is doing the work.

Philip is where he is today because he was willing to do the work that was required, in order for him to be successful. That included getting professional acting training (he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), spending a year on the road with the Royal Shakespeare Company perfecting his craft, and going out and auditioning for parts whenever the opportunity arose.

You see even though he had agency representation, Philip was still out there pounding the pavement and doing what he could to move forward in his career. Unlike many of his fellow actors, he was NOT sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring!

Key #2: The next key to Philip's success is having a strong support system in place.

During our conversation, Philip told me that he has a group of buddies he meets with once a week and they keep each other accountable - both personally and professionally.

Remember: success in the entertainment industry, like many other industries, is based on relationships. No one succeeds alone, and film and TV stars are no exception!

Pursuing an acting career is hard enough as it is. But when you're doing so with a strong support system in place, it makes the tough days a little easier, and the easy days more fun when you have someone to share them with.

The thing to remember here is that your career is your career and how you pursue it is up to you. However, whether you succeed or fail in this business is completely based upon your actions.

Therefore if you're committed to your own success, then I would encourage you to follow Philip's lead by doing the work involved to move forward in your career, and by putting together your own support group, so that they can be with you in the tough times and help you celebrate your success!

And one more thing: Always know that I believe in you!

P.S. If you want to see Philip in action, you can do so by watching Crusoe on Friday nights, on NBC. (Check your local TV listing for actual show times.)

Copyright 2008 Sharon Moist. All Rights Reserved.

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