What is an expert? Well, Webster defines expert as:
one with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.
So I have to admit that it’s taken me a little while to write this post because I’m practicing what I preach with this one. I’ll be the first to admit that when I think about positioning myself as an expert it creates a bit of anxiety.
For me, the word expert carries with it a connotation that I know everything there is to know about a certain subject, that I am professionally trained and have all the qualifications and accreditations to back me up.
Well that’s just crap. And I’ve realized that once I stop seeing myself as the perpetual student and accept that I’m never going to know everything – I’m suddenly aware of ALOT that I do know that I take for granted.
When I first stated this blog, I certialny did not feel like a master. I was meeting with @lkr and she looked me straight in the eyes and in way that only she can kick your ass and you don’t even know it – she said:
“You’ve got this Seth. You know a lot more than you think you do. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, and don’t be afraid to admit if there’s something that you don’t know, you can always learn it.”
Well, I just watched her Creating Fame webinar, and this statement sealed the deal:
“What’s valuable to your audience may seem very, very simple to you.” Laura Roeder
It means that while interning this week in a well-known episodic casting office, and experiencing first-hand some of the completely unprofessional things that actors do to market themselves to potential “buyers” – I realized that I know ALOT about what to do and what NOT to do as an actor. Stuff that I feel is “very, very simple.”
Why not take advantage of something that seems pretty obvious and simple to me – and share with actors some strategies that they can use to position themselves more professionally in the eyes of the industry – both online and off. So that’s what we’re going to be doing from here on out. First up: resumes
So how can you overcome amateur anguish?
Trust yourself. Know this for sure, you know ALOT more about SOMETHING than you think you do. Ask yourself what that is, start creating content, build a community of fans and see what happens.
Believe in yourself. Another great quote from @lkr’s webinar is, “You are already famous in [your fans, readers, etc.] eyes.” When you’ve created a community of listeners – realize that they want to listen to what you have to say. Others people believe in you, so should you.
Just do it. Today. Now.
PS – And watch this.
If you’ve read my blog at all and still don’t subscribe to The Dash – consider this your final warning. (Seriously, most of what I am doing in the area of social media has been as direct result of my work with Laura Roeder/@lkr/Creating Fame. She’s the shit.)
…guest posting is one of my most powerful strategies – it positions you as an expert and creates a stream of traffic that will continue to flow to your site for months to come. Laura Roeder/@lkr
Within a few days I was approached by a friend (and fellow Dasher) Patrick Redknap/@PatrickRedknap who blogs about the entertainment industry. He asked if I would consider doing an interview for his blog Celebrity Scraps. We did a Q&A over email and then we each promoted it via Twitter. Huge success.
Today I reached out today to another contact on Twitter, and will begin regularly guest posting on The Daily Actor next week.
I’ve also contacted some of my Twitter and Facebook connections on how we can work together to create content for the actor. Cooking up some good ideas here as well.
Who could you contact this week or reach out to to provide some content?
When approaching the blog owner about your guest post, just write a short email telling them you have a great idea for a post their audience would love, explain your idea (or send over the completed article) and tell them a bit about yourself. Keep it brief! If they say no, just shop your guest post to a different blog. Most blogs need content and will be happy to say YES! Laura Roeder/@lkr
Don’t think you’re an expert? I’ll cover that in my next post on Overcoming Amateur Anguish.
For now, I’d love to hear from you about what you’re feeling as it relates to social media and your acting career. Let’s talk!
I went for a run this morning, and it sucked. If you’re a runner you know the kind of run I’m talking about. It started off awkward. I couldn’t seem to find my pace, my shoes were too tight, my breathing was off. I just felt out of sorts. But instead of giving up and going home, I just kept running. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and pretty soon I wrapped up an easy five mile run not too far off pace.
I love a good analogy, and today has been much like my run. I set out with tons of stuff to accomplish today, but for some reason I could never quite find a rhythm for getting my work done. I kept getting distracted and discouraged. But instead of beating myself up about it, I just kept moving. When I would reach a place of wanting to quit, I looked down at my to-do list and simply moved on to the next thing. (even if I was in the middle of something else) And as it turns out, I was actually able to complete quite a few things. Maybe not all that I wanted, but made decent progress on quite a few fronts.
My point? Training for a marathon is much like the pursuit of this career. As the mileage gets longer, the more things can creep into my training to potentially throw me off course. But I have a goal, and I remind myself that a marathon is not run one mile at a time, but one step at a time. So even if I didn’t have an audition today, or can’t figure out how to update the CSS on my blog, or my Twitter client keeps acting up. It’s OK. I’m taking the marathon of my career one step at a time, and at the end of the day pausing to say – look how far I’ve come.
It’s the end of Q1 and I pulled up my goals for the year to review and see where I stand. I am making solid progress on most, but the one I will write about here is:
To more actively engage in social media, and create strategic ways to leverage it for my acting career.
That goal lead to the creation of this blog. The point of this blog is to serve as a platform for me to share what I am learning.
I also joined Twitter.
As a direct result, earlier this week I attended a table read for an up-and-coming writer (seriously this guy’s going places), caught a ride to the read with a top indie producer and met a dozen talented actors. I don’t know about you, but for me that was a win.
So while this process has taken some time, and a bit of learning on my part – the results are starting to come in. If you’re waiting to get on board with social media – stop. It’s never going to be the right time, you’re never going to feel ready, and you’re certainly never going to get any results unless you jump in and just do it.
Fall on you face. Make stupid videos and write dumb posts. I know I have, and I bet some of the top bloggers out there would have stories to tell about some of their first posts.
Just like riding a bike, doing is the best form of practice. If you’re ready to cash in on the dividens that socail media can pay – start by leaving a comment. You can’t get any simplier than that.
At the risk of sounding like some sort of self-help guru, I want to share some really valuable information that I learned a few weeks ago while attending the Acting Success Now seminar with Robert & Michelle Colt.
Playing to the Edge
The idea of playing to the edge is best expressed when comparing it to practicing yoga. Even if you don’t practice yoga, I’m sure you will get the analogy.
In yoga there are three types of people.
- those who don’t push themselves hard enough and therefore do not fully experience the benefits of yoga
- those who push too far and injure themselves
- those who play to the edge
The idea of playing to the edge is pushing yourself just far enough to be outside of your comfort zone, but not so hard that you cause yourself pain.
Yoga is about listening to your body. And I am the first to admit that I am push-myself-to-pain kind of person. Don’t give me a limitation, or tell me I can’t do something – because I will work my ass off to prove you wrong (sounds kind of painful to me). And for a while, I haven’t been listening to the pain that I have been causing myself – stressed out, uptight and not fully being in the moment.
So I’m opting to back off a little. I’m not saying that I have given up on anything – but I’m not in pain. I am working far enough outside my comfort zone to be uncomfortable and allowing myself to fully experience the benefits of growth and real success.
Where are you today in pursuing your dream of being an actor? Do you need to step it up and push yourself a little harder (maybe take a class, set up your website, shoot some scenes for you reel)? Or maybe you’re pushing yourself too hard and need to back off to allow yourself to heal from the pain that you may be causing.
I won’t lie that it’s a delicate balance, and certianly feels uncomfortable for a type-A person like myself. But as I have been reminded lately: Life is unfolding as it should. Can I let it be?
I’ll playing at the edge, hope to see you there.
photo credit gosia janik