I have a question for you: What do you believe is the key to your success when it comes to your career?
When I ask my clients this, the most common answers I often hear are: "being talented," "having the right connections or knowing the right people," "studying with the right acting teacher," and "attending the right college or university."
And, while those are all good answers, the most important
part of the entire "success equation," if you will, is belief in yourself,
and here's why:
1) "Being Talented" Isn't Enough
It doesn't matter how talented you are if you don't believe in yourself.
When I was pursuing my own career, one of my acting teachers once said to me, "Sharon, there are actors out there who are more talented than you are who are not working, and actors who are less talented than you are who work on a regular basis."
Want to know why? Because those actors who work all the time believe in themselves. Period. Yes, being talented helps, but if you don't believe in yourself; if you don't believe in your ability to knock an audition out of the ballpark (even when you don't land the job); and if you don't believe in who you are and what you bring to the table when you've landed the role of your dreams and are sitting on a set across from your favorite actor, then no one else on set is going to believe in you either, and you'll probably find a lot of people wondering how you ever landed the job in the first place.
2) Having the Right Connections Isn't Enough
If you've read my book, 101 Tips For Actors
, then you know how important networking is in this business (or any business for that matter).
Having the right connections and/or knowing the right people can certainly "get you in the door." But once you're in, then what do you do? Just because you know someone important doesn't mean they'll automatically give you the job. It just means that you're one step ahead of the guy who doesn't know anyone.
After that, it's all up to YOU. So once again, you're back to your own belief system; what you believe about yourself.
3) Studying With the "Right" Teacher Isn't Enough
Let's be clear about something: there are lots and lots of talented acting teachers out there. In fact, the guy I used to study with, Steve Eastin
, has had a phenomenal career, is very well-connected and works all the time
. Why? Because he believes in himself.
One of my clients studied at one of the most prestigious acting schools
in Beverly Hills
, and another at a very prestigious academy in New York, and yet today both of these actors are unemployed.
Did they study with the "right" teachers? Yes, they did. Did they believe that they "belonged in the room" when they got auditions? Unfortunately no, they didn't.
4) Attending the "Right" School Isn't Enough
There are some fabulous colleges and universities that have very good theatre departments and very strong alumni groups.
These schools do showcases for their graduating students and have a lot of great connections within the industry. However, once again, for the actors going through these programs, it's not about the connections. It's about whether or not these young people believe in themselves
, and are able to maintain that belief as they pursue a career in this crazy, unstable and intimidating industry.
The result? Those who believe in themselves go out on auditions, land jobs and WORK. Those who don't believe in themselves sit around and criticize everything and everyone around them. Which category do you fall into?
Food for Thought
: When it comes to your career, what do you believe? Do you believe in yourself enough to step beyond any fear you may have and go for it?
Or, are you waiting for someone to tell you they "believe in you," in order for you to believe in yourself? Just remember: If you don't believe in yourself, who will?
Copyright © 2009 Sharon Moist. All Rights Reserved.