How does an aspiring actor or model put their dream to the test?
Every actor or model I meet talks to me about their dream of being on a Disney show, or walking the runways in New York or Paris or being a success like Amber Heard, who I discovered during the ELLEgirl Model Search.
The reality is that many talent may not ever realize their dream. The question is why? After being in the industry for over 20 years, I have met many talent and parents. From the talent's perspective, talent often dreams of fame, fortune and success, but they don't put together a game plan. Like any great sports coach will tell you, you have to have a game plan if your going to be successful and more importantly, you need to know when to change it, if it isn't working.
Here are a few helpful tips to put together your game plan.
1) Set short term and long term goals - Just like if you are using your GPS or a map to follow directions, it is vital to set short terms goals. Think of them as baby steps and each Sunday, map out 2-3 things you are going to do this week for your career. Be specific whether it is updating your resume, researching casting directors or checking out an acting class. Make sure you write your goals down.
2) Set a timeline - With regard to long term goals, you need to have a timeline in place. This will allow you to set benchmarks. When I start a new project or production, I start at the end of the project and back out of it. I outline the key benchmarks and break things down into phases, then I outline how much time I think it is going to take to accomplish that step.
3) Build a team - A lot of actors and models surround themselves with the wrong people and compare notes. Being successful in the talent industry is a personal journey and you should not compare notes with other talent. You have your look, your talent and your goals. For Amber, she has her agent, her manager, her attorney and her publicist. She also has the support of several close friends and family.
4) Be honest with yourself - If you are 5'5", most likely you are not going to walk the runway in Paris. It doesn't mean that you cannot be successful in the entertainment industry, you can. Review your resume and see where your strengths and weaknesses are and start working on the areas you need to expand or train in. In every career, we are judged by what is on our resume and what experience we have.
In closing, our industry is all about who you know and all about who you train with. Be positive and develop a "Can Do" mentality! It is okay to dream, but it is better to have a game plan behind it.