The 2017 Pilot Season Visualize Your Way To Booking!
Pilot Season is upon us, folks, and that means you gotta be ready at a moment’s notice to be called in to audition for this year’s lines up of shows that may or may not get picked up. Exciting, right?
Right. But something is missing for me. I feel that one of the most important aspects of your job as an actor is being overlooked. It’s being overshadowed by all the “stuff” you gotta do to get called in to an audition. The most important aspect to me is: visualization. Yes. You heard me. I’ll say it again in case you fell over with hysteria. V-I-Z-U-A-L-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N. Muhammad Ali did it. Michael Phelps does it. Hell, I bet even Beyonce does it. But are you doing it?
Before the holidays, I had my actors write down their goals for the New Year. Some include to book a series regular on a pilot, book a recurring role on a Marvel show, book a national commercial that runs forever, have their film be accepted to Sundance and “aw man, I just want to work, Mel!”
These are all viable goals. There is nothing, nothing, wrong with having these goals. The thing is, what happens once you’ve booked these roles? Then what?
We get so caught up in the minutiae of it all during Pilot Season, that we forget what it feels like to book a show. If you haven’t booked one yet, don’t fret, you will if you can do this one thing that I feel is the missing link: VISUALIZE.
Now I know some of you out there are saying, “Mel, you’re so airy fairy about this whole feeling thing. I want to book the job. In fact, here’s a list of what I’m doing, Mel. I’m going to Casting Director workshops, updating my resume, checking Backstage, submitting to breakdowns, keeping my agent updated, sending out emails to Casting Directors I have a relationship with, taking class, doing play readings, getting new headshots, running around auditioning with my face off! What more can I do?”
And herein lies the rub: do. The infamous “do-er.”
We get so used to doing that we forget just being.
And here we go again with you guys saying, “But Mel, how the heck are we ever going to get anywhere in this business if we don’t do anything to get there?” And I say, you’re right. You do have to do things to get to where you’re going. However, what happens once you’ve gotten to the place you’re trying to get? Then what?
We spend so many countless hours spinning around like a wheel on a horse cart that we forget to just take a moment to sit still and take personal inventory of how we are feeling about all this doing.
Let me challenge you to something. Over the next 7 days, I want you to set your iPhone, Android, oven clock, whatever timing device you have, for five minutes. Then find a quiet, comfy spot and plop yourself down for 5 uninterrupted minutes. I dare you to try this because it just might change your do-er game. I’m serious. Try it. During this blissful uninterrupted 5 minutes, I want you to picture yourself on the show of your dreams. Where are you? How does it feel to be in the scene you’re picturing? Look down to see what you’re wearing. Are you happy? In love? Having an argument? What happens when they call, “rolling!” Do you feel calm, grounded and confident in your scene? What happens when they call, “cut!” Are you feeling good about the scene you just shot? Are you satisfied with your work? Do you see yourself walking back to your trailer with a new air of accomplishment?
Athletes do this all the time. It’s called, “visioning.” They will literally sit for a few minutes and “envision” winning their division, their race, their meet, their championship game. Hell, even the gold medal. They literally get themselves into such a good feeling place that the results of their vision manifest into reality. If you don’t believe me, check out this article: How To Use Visualization To Swim Like A Boss.
Notice the part where it says our bodies cannot tell the difference between an imagined and a real experience? I mean, isn’t that AWESOME?
That means you have the power to stop doing so much, in order to feel your way to the results you’re wanting. You get to sit and imagine what it feels like to be constantly on set working in a wonderful environment, with creative and inspiring people that support you and think it’s amazing to watch you bring your character to life!