This month, I've had the exciting opportunity to be on set for an upcoming TV show. I did some TV and film work in South Africa and have wanted to pursue this for as long as I can remember (among other things!). When I was younger, my brother gave me the most adorable grey and soft stuffed elephant as a memento of South Africa and I named it Oscar! I said to him, "one day when I get my Academy Award, I'll take Oscar on stage with me and tell everyone that you helped me make my dreams come true!" That's because my brother was a video technology major in college and we had such fun working on all his video projects. I absolutely loved being on set and then seeing the finished product at the end. Today, I still pursue that opportunity to be around creative, brilliant people whenever possible. So this month, while juggling work and singing projects I found myself lucky enough to be back on set.
What resonated the most with me were the few moments before the tape starts rolling and everyone on set is getting ready for the Director to say "Action." At that moment, I realized that so much of what we pursue and what we expect from ourselves boils down to that incredible word - Action. Without it, there would be little direction, purpose or timeliness in what we set out for ourselves. But what does it take from you to take Action? Are you holding yourself back or does the thought of other people's opinion's create inertia? I know for myself this has been an internal battle and I think the same goes for many high achievers who are typically hyper-critical of themselves. That need for perfectionism and assurance from others can sometimes be the biggest hurdle to climb before we can take Action and move ahead with our goals.
I've often thought that being a singer is a very individual existence. Unlike a team sport, you are almost always studying on your own, practicing on your own, promoting yourself on your own - and the list goes on...sometimes you get to a point where you need a break from it all - and that break can end up being a longer break than you anticipated because no one is on set with you when you decide to say "And...Cut." How do we break that cycle and keep moving forward?
From my personal experience, here are my 7 key takeaways:
1) Take an action that will help you achieve your goals every day, every week or every month, no matter how small - and make yourself accountable
2) Be patient and recognize that each small action step will lead to some incredible results in the future
3) Share your achievements with those around you - be proud of what you've accomplished
4) Find opportunities to connect with your teachers, coaches, colleagues and artistic friends - this can often times fuel your desire to take Action and can help regain your confidence
5) Know when "good" is good enough (this could be a full discussion on its own!). This is where I'm encouraging you to know that you're doing great and that it's time to embrace and accept what you can do and not what you can't
6) Have fun! Studying this craft can take some serious focus and energy but it's important to make it fun and embrace the process
7) Aspire and dream always...it's food for the creative soul!
What Actions will you take this week? And how will you celebrate along the way?