By: Brian Gilleece
It's easy to watch a night like the Oscars and just see everyone's success. They all have money and admiration, and work on these high profile projects right? But what about the individual battles each of these people fight?
What about Brad Pitt, a household name, in some of the best movies, movie star etc etc etc having never been awarded for his acting work? WHAT ABOUT THAT BATTLE?
What about Rene Zellweger fighting back from obscurity after being one of the worlds biggest stars in the 90's. WHAT ABOUT THAT BATTLE?
What about Parasite wining the most awards of the night despite subtitles, growing tension in the region and it being a foreign language film. WHAT ABOUT THAT BATTLE?
What I'm saying is when constructing our careers the only thing that can be done is win each battle. Win every battle you can with the hope that each win will eventually put together a war winning effort and that all starts with strategic thinking and actions.
4 WAYS TO IMPROVE STRATEGIC THINKING: “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” ~ Sun Tzu it's 2020, its time to make some changes around how we achieve our goals right? If you have a face, that just does not get out off submissions via your agent or manager, you better start making some other connections right? If you have a face that get's to go audition often, and you cant close the deal, you better start making some adjustments right? If you are stuck at a certain level, but your work does not speak to your desire to move up, you better start making some improvements right? RIGHT. So let's touch on 4 ways to improve the way you go about thinking to make these improvements, adjustments and changes in your career and life. Know: Observe and Seek Trends In order to be strategic, you need a solid understanding of the industry context, trends, and business drivers. An intellectual appreciation of the importance of bringing in current data and seeking trends isn’t enough. You also have to: Make it a routine exercise to explore internal trends in the business in your day-to-day. (Do you read the trades?)Be proactive about connecting with your team and collogues in your industry to understand their observations.Understand the unique information and perspective that you provide and use it to support others need for knowledge.
Think: Ask the Tough Questions By becoming more curious about your self as a product in the marketplace. Ask for real information, real points of view from trusted sources and put it all together to help recreate a different perspective for you to view your career. You can reduce you myopia and see different possibilities, different approaches, and different potential outcomes as well as see different reasonings for existing outcomes with the more trusted information sources you have. Speak: Sound Strategic Strategic thinkers also know how to speak the language. They prioritize and sequence their thoughts. They structure their verbal and written communication in a way that helps their audience focus on their core message. Those that are really skilled walk people through the process of identifying issues, shaping common understanding, and framing strategic choices.
There are ways you can start honing these skills: Add more structure to your written and verbal communication. Group and logically order your main points, and keep things as succinct as possible. Emailing with your agent or manager, you need to have actionable items and reasonable time lines, be clear about expectations and frame it all in positivity.Prime your audience by giving them a heads up on the overarching topics you want to address so they are prepared to engage in a higher level conversation, not just the tactical details. Lead the reader or listener into what they are about to experience in a creative, positive way.Practice giving the answer first, instead of building up to your main point.Be Strategic about WHEN you send communications. Sending an agent or manager and email on a weekend with action items will get a less then optimal response or be burried by the Monday tidal wave of information. Want a quick response? Try 2-4 on a Friday or 10-11 on Tuesday. Google it.
Act: Make Time for Thinking and Embrace Rather than a jam packed schedule of classes and auditions and life, make time for dominating they key aspects of life that are going to move the needle most effectively. If you have 4 classes in a week and you do lack luster work at all of them, what is the point? If there are events your attending that you don't need to be at, stay home and run some sides or read a pilot script, im sure Bay Dariz , Sarah Baker Grillo or Jess Canty could find a good one for you. If you have friends who are in the way of you effectivley spending your time, make new friends. If you are easily distracted at home, go sit at an inspirational place. The idea is that you need to push hard on the elements that are most criticle for success and avoide all else. WRAP Think strategically, it is not something they teach you in theatre school I know, but that is a dam shame because it is one of the most important aspects of success in any situation. Stop, breathe, ask questions, get information from trusted sources and then strike with precision at your goal.
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” ~Sun Tzu Go. Do. Be.