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By: Jess Canty

Hey team! Welcome to a new decade!

I don't know about you - but the thought of being at the beginning of something has always energized me - I am very much looking forward to this year and beyond for Team Cinterra.

I was listening to an interview with Marcia Kilgore who has founded a number of businesses including Bliss. She said something that I think is really great to think about for this year... "What are your points of light?"

She likened building a business - and the long road ahead - to putting lights on a Christmas tree. If you are very close to the tree, you see all the individual points of light, but when you have enough points of light on the tree, you are able to step back and actually see that the lights themselves take the shape of the tree.

She is an entrepreneur so the points of light she was talking about were in the context of having a business idea and then building it into a fully realized company, but I think what made me really like this analogy is that it sort of encompassed what we are trying to do here for you as you build your acting business.

  • The podcasts we suggest are points of light. Stories you can learn from and emulate.

  • Reading the trades - another point of light. Your acting class, agent, lawyer, publicist, coach - all individual points of light for your career.

  • The headshot photographer you love.

  • The editor you found who cut a great reel for you.

  • That friend who can rip footage for you.

  • The scene from your favorite show you decided to transcribe and learn just for the fun of it.

  • And of course building those relationships with casting. Callbacks, pins, avails, and bookings.

  • Those people you meet on set who will remember your name. Who you may work with again and again.

All of these are integral. These and many more should all be points of light for you. So how are you doing with your points of light? Of course it doesn't have to be a tree - could be, say, your favorite character in the Disney Electrical Parade. But whatever it is - take some time to assess the shape of it as it stands right now. Is there a place with no light currently that is impacting what this looks like when you step back?

Is the tail missing on Pete's Dragon? What is the area of your career that needs the most help right now? Where are you lacking? Is it in representation? Is it in training? Is it in casting relationships? Is it in size of role that you are considered for? Whatever area that has the fewest points of light for you personally right now is what your over-arching goal should be for 2020.

This should drive the strategy for your year - filling in the points of light where they are missing. And please of course communicate this with your team here at Cinterra - we need to be aware of your one major goal for this year so we can help bring it to fruition. Since this was so insightful I thought I would share some other insights from what I think is the most advice-worthy 15 minutes I have listened to in a long time.

"If you haven't managed to sell something to someone it is because YOU haven't explained to them why they need that product that you are selling." You have to connect the dots for them - and the same goes in casting. Why you? What else can you do to connect the dots for casting that leads to booking you?

"Surround yourself with trust, positive energy and openness."

"Write everything down - when you write things down you will have actionables against them which will move you to a next step."

"It is a marathon not a sprint. Starbucks was going for 17 years before anyone really heard of it."

"Every idea you have has to pass the 'so what' test." Now she is talking about business ideas, but take this in the context of acting. "I want to be an actor." So What? What do you bring to the profession that is new, unique, interesting?

"Invite Criticism"

"Never sell something that you wouldn't buy." Again in the context of this career - would you cast you in this role?

"The best decision is always the decision that increases your customer's trust." Right now your customers are your agents, managers and casting. So you know what? If you get sides for an audition that you wouldn't cast you in - maybe you need to decline. Because going in there and NOT nailing it, does NOT increase your customer's trust in your abilities. Cleaning up a mess... i.e. regaining Casting's trust is WAY more difficult than just waiting for that right role where you can shine.

"You Get What You Give."

"If you can help someone do it, because one day you don't know where they are, they may have had a lot of success, but they will be there to lift you up."

"Do not get up in the morning to be average." Marcia Kilgore Short Episode Marcia Kilgore Full Episode

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