Good morning and happy day after Halloween. I hope your night was wonderful and full of fun. I’m not a big Halloween guy so I’m grateful it’s over because we now are one step closer to my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving!
What are you grateful for on this beautiful morning?
Last week we had the honor of hosting actor Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood, No Country For Old Men, Hand of God, Raising Hope, The Mindy Project and LOTS more – IMDB) at our school for a talk and Q&A.
For those of you who were there, you know what an incredible evening it was. Garret was gracious, humble, funny, kind, helpful and really, really cool.
What I’d like to talk about this morning is how it came about because if you’re an actor/dreamer, how it came about is important.
“So how did it come about?”
We reached out and invited him and he said yes.
That IS it.
We swung the bat and got a hit. And if you’re a dreamer, the keys to hits are at bats.
When I was living in LA (now, 22 years ago – sheessh!) and climbing my way up the Hollywood Food Chain, I was doing everything I could think of to advance my career.
My routine every morning was to read all of the industry trades and newspapers along with the LA Times for the purpose of finding projects I might be right for and self-submit.
Rarely did it lead to anything in terms of booked worked, but what it did lead to was me being proactive. And that led to me feeling empowered, and when you’re trying to find your way in Hollywood, feeling empowered is HUGE.
One morning I got the idea that, along with all this marketing work I was doing, I was going to reach out and write a letter a day to someone whose career I admired. My goal was simple. I was trying to find people who were “way ahead of me” in hopes they’d be willing to meet and help me, advise me and mentor me.
For over the next year that’s what I did.
And because of why I became an actor, I reached out not just to actors and directors, but producers, studio heads, politicians, world leaders – to anyone who was trying to make this world a better place.
I wrote to Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, Al Pacino and Robert Duvall. I wrote to Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone.
I wrote to Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton.
I wrote to Oprah. A lot.
I’d love to tell you that my “letter a day campaign” was a huge success in terms of response.
It was not.
And yet, it was a HUGE success in terms of what it brought to me. You see every letter I wrote, I was one step closer to my dreams coming true.
If you’re trying to create something form nothing (our careers and dreams) then the key to hits are at bats. You must swing the bat to get a hit, which means you must step into the box to ever swing the bat which, means you must suit up to ever step into the box, which means you must show up to ever suit up.
And if you do this daily – this chop, chop, chopping towards your dream, then even if you don’t get a positive result, you ARE (I promise you) one step closer to getting a hit.
What can you do TODAY to advance your dream? What is one simple thing you can do TODAY that’s within your control and power to bring yourself one step closer to your dreams coming true?
I’m really asking so really let me know. Go to our Artistic Family Facebook page and share with me what you did today to get empowered and closer to what you want and deserve.
I’m posting mine shortly as well.
Thanks for taking the time to hang with me. You’re greatly appreciated.
My best, Jim