An Apology. A Thank You. And Today’s Topic.

Hi there,

Good morning and happy Sunday to you.

First of all, happy Mother’s Day! To all you mothers out there, you deserve to be honored and celebrated every day for giving us life and your beautiful love so thank YOU!

Also, this week was “Teacher Appreciation Week,” and I am so incredibly grateful to be a teacher. I had a week filled with teaching dreamers, and I left class every night filled with gratitude.

I’m also extremely grateful for one of our classes because they did one of THE most incredibly thoughtful, kind things any class has ever done. Each wrote a note expressing their gratitude for being a student of ours, and after class, we received two gift bags filled with their lovely messages.

Man, what a humbling, gracious gift! I am so incredibly grateful to every single one of you.

What are you grateful for on this beautiful Sunday morning? If something doesn’t come to mind right away, then how about being grateful for taking a moment to think of something?

It feels really nice to take this moment, so I hope you do.

FIRST AN APOLOGY In the middle of the week I sent out an announcement for a new introductory class but hit “SEND” before I was ready, so it came to you without a personal note from me.

I want you to know how much I value your time and your support, and I never want to “blast” anything to you, so I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A THANK YOU Recently I asked you to send me any ideas you had for upcoming newsletter topics. So many of you were kind enough respond, and I want to thank you all. You’ve given me so much to talk about, so I’ll address one per week in the order they were received:

TOPIC #1 “Jim, can you please address the fear of running out of money in a field that’s so hard to find work?”

I’d love to.

Sanford Meisner once said, “the only thing more difficult than making a living as an actor is selling your poetry door to door.”

Yup, it is tough to make a living as an actor. Commission sales require incredible mental toughness, and that’s what your financial life is like as an actor – pay check to paycheck, commission sales. We may have a good month or a good year but no matter what, it’s hard to feel “financially secure” when things are so “financially insecure.”

A lot of people these days are coming from fear regarding money, so understand it’s not just us actors dealing with this. But if you’re trying to rely solely on you acting income, it can be extremely unsettling. Even if you book a nice feature film, once it ends, you’re back at it.

Early in my career, I happened to spend a lot of time around the #1 star on television, Corbin Bernsen. He was the breakout star of LA Law.

I knew him before he got the part, saw his rise to fame and fortune, and then watched what happened after the show ended.

I’ll just say it was not pretty.

There’s an iconic moment in the film Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin’s character says, “It takes brass balls to sell real estate.” Well, to sell yourself as an actor it takes brass everything you’ve got!

SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? If you choose to go after something that has such precarious financial stability, you MUST find/create a job/jobs that you enjoy to supplement your journey.

Most actors are doing a job they can’t stand and it takes its toll, beats them down, and eventually breaks their spirit, and contributes to them quitting.

During the probationary years of your dream, you MUST find/create work you love and enjoy.

Be creative.

What can you offer as a service that you enjoy doing? What do you know/do that you can share with others?

Personal trainer? Personal assistant? Massage therapist? Tutor of what? Party planner? Nanny? Work with special needs kids? Work with the elderly? Work with animals?

My daughter is very bright and very gifted with languages, so as she starts out her career as an actor she is tutoring high school kids on their SAT’s. She’s really good at it and enjoys it very much.

For her that’s way more enjoyable than driving for UBER. That’s no knock on driving for UBER. Maybe you LOVE driving and meeting strangers and playing tour guide to tourists; then it’s a beautiful fit.

The point is to sell something, make something, share something, DO something you are good at and that you enjoy.

And please know that whatever “it” is it may not provide enough income for you to survive so you may need several “it’s” but at least you’re doing something that makes you happy instead of getting by and being miserable doing it.

Make sense?

I’d love your feedback, so either hit reply or go to our Artistic Family Facebook Page and share your thoughts and ideas.

And I hope you have a wonderful week. I truly do look forward to hearing from you so reach back.

My love and best to you. Always, Jim

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