Updated: Aug 11, 2018
By: Brian Gilleece
*MORNING! WELCOME TO MONDAY! Today lets talk about Strategy OR if you prefer, Strategery! This is a Bigggy but a goody so pour your coffee and grab your breakfast.
-The science or art of employing political, economic, psychological or military to afford maximum support of adopted policies. -An adaptation or complex of adaptations (as of behavior, metabolism, or structure) that serves or appears to serve an important function in achieving evolutionary success foraging strategies of insects -The art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal-A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. -A high-level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art of the general", which included several subsets of skills including "tactics", siegecraft, logistics etc...
7 WAYS TO THINK MORE LIKE A GENERAL: #1 Get a Grip - Avoid falling into “auto pilot” mode, Avoid knee-jerk reactions and quick fixes ,Avoid the “emergency technician” mindset , Avoid succumbing to environmental pressures, Avoid “winging it”
#2 Aim at Something Specific - Something over which you have control , Something that is linked to the big picture, Something you are energized about , Something to implement an action plan around, something grounded.
#3 Learn Everything - from a broad range of topics and areas of interest , Everything you can from a narrowly focused topic list (your organization, discipline, etc.) ,Use the knowledge you have gathered ,Ask, “What does the data tell me?”
#4 Understand Your Environment - Recognize threats (internal & external) Evaluate threats; avoid or minimize exposure Recognize advantages (internal & external) Evaluate advantages; utilize them to their fullest.
#5 Visualize the Future - Possible positive and negative outcomes, Describe implications, Define worst-case scenario, Define best-case scenario, Review research/options; make a decision.
#6 Create a Plan - What will move the target closer? Detour around obstacles and hazards, Discover strategic opportunities, Define needed/on-hand resources , Communicate the plan with others.
#7 Get After It - Work through fears and anxieties, Take steps, not leaps, Commit to it, Control speed; be responsive/adaptive, Persist and be a team player.
BRINGING IT AROUND: As with everything else, the goal of this exercise is not to teach you everything you need to know about how to be more strategic BUT to open your mind to the idea that it is something you need to be engaging in.
It is absolutely TERRIBLE and nauseating and just plain sad to watch how even talented actors in this town behave and constantly shoot them selfs in their own foot, and its all because of impulsive, scared, chciken-shit (sorry not sorry) behavior, not seeing the big picture or the implication of their actions. I will give two examples below:
Scenario #1: SAY YOUR AT AN AUDITION: Say you are late, say you are wearing gross or non character appropriate clothes, say you are unprepared.
The Non-Strategic Thinker Thinks - Well I had to work all night and I had most of it, it was pretty good, its just one casting office and I didn't want to really do that show anyway, I hit traffic, its just a co star, its junk hulu etc. They won't remember, hopefully i'll get called in for something bigger, thats when ill show up!
What Agents & Managers Know - You are FUCKED in that office, for every role, every show, and nope nothing bigger for you for a while a big while. They mark it on your file, #fact #facts , they mark it on your file. AND there are only really 75 or so real casting offices in town and now your down to 74.
How Strategic Thinkers Approach - I'm going to go make some friends in this office, maybe the part of not my part but I have researched them and it looks like they are attached to Cast a show I'd love to be on, let me go see how I can get on their radar for the future, maybe ill even congratulate them on it if it feels appropriate. PLUS, I get to act today! Bonus!
Scenario #2: YOU AND YOUR AGENT: You want to talk to you agent about your "Lack of opportunity".
The Non Strategic Thinker Thinks - "My agent signed me which means I'm on they know me, but they just dont wan't to get me out, I'm looking for a new agent anyway, Do you know anyone good? Yah they are just not very good I dont get the opportunity I deserve. No I haven't booked, but still. Maybe i'll email them an ask them why they aren't getting me out! YAH!
Agents & Managers Know - Thats some bullshit. Agents are privy to a 99% failure rate, wrap your head round that. 99%. Do you know how many people come through this town and suck, or wash out, or are crazy or a mixture of all the above? Do you not think your agents perspective on that email would be "who the f*ck are you?!". As far as your agent goes, you are bunk until YOU prove other wise, either via behavior's (positive ones) or by results. ALSO, imagine knowing as an agent, that SOOOO Many actors would drop them the second they got any success? Can you imagine how that would feel? Would you have a bit of wall up just to keep you sanity and do your job? Agents are in the business because they love it and love actors BUT, they cant love every actor, they only have mental space for people they think they can build with, they are paying their rent on YOU.
Strategic Thinkers Think - I'm new here, or im an unproven entity, I know that if I do my BEST work every time, im thankful but not TOO thankful, Comunicative in the appropriate fashion (IE Not bothering them) and communicate that we are ALL on the same team and im not going anywhere, I am CONFIDENT, that these opportunities will come by way. i'm going to #playthelonggame utilize my manager and get the best results I can. This person is in the business, they are making money somehow, I want to be part of that!
JERRY'S FINAL THOUGHTS: Are there 1000 more scenarios, of course! Bottom line, think down the line. Perception is 9 10th of the law and you need to look down the track and see how your actions are going to effect your today AND your tomorrow. Think about your life, actions you have made that maybe have cost you or things you can do to raise your stock. Every email you write, every phone call you make, every meeting you take......Strategy.
I emplor you, I BEG of you, to be more knowledgable, better, smarter and MORE STRATEGIC then the Joe Shlub at TGI Fridays who bombed his CSI Co-Star but still thinks he's got a shot at a super hero franchise. Ninja Please............The only super he's gonna be doing is sizing some fries.... (sorry thaw as to good to not use)