9 Secrets To Having An Acting Business (3 of 3)

In this last of three videos, Lisa goes over steps seven, eight and nine to having a successful acting career – The Next Step, Adjustments and Celebrating: If you’re learning a lot, and want more from Lisa, I highly recommend her acting business products because she put a lot of work and wisdom into them!

I posted videos one and two the past two days also…

I have the time to study, and build my own acting career because I don’t have a day job.

Instead, I just BLOG and learn to make money by doing that instead of waiting tables, watching babies (except my own!) and working a desk job! If you imagine your life being better by blogging instead of working a day job too, then click the big banner on the right.

Onwards and upwards!

9 Secrets To Having An Acting Business (part 2 of 3)

In this second of three videos, Lisa goes over steps four, five and six – Obstacles, Feedback and Communication. A great beginning for anyone wanting a structure of support for the business side of acting.

As I mentioned in YESTERDAY’S post, I am the one posting these tips, but I really am posting them to remind MYSELF to get on the ball and actually follow through with the plans!!

I am currently reviewing all of Lisa’s Products and am looking to re-launch my own acting career, since commercials are NOT what they used to be!

9 Secrets To Having An Acting Business

My friend Lisa Gold of ActOutsideTheBox.com has a great 9-part system for helping actors create a long-term business:

I’m known to be pretty business-savvy, but if I’m being honest with myself, I am totally PLANLESS about this business, and am guilty of thinking my “Talent” will carry me through.

I got all of Lisa’s products awhile ago, and I took a lot of action, but like everything else, I fell off!

Time to get back to it! If you like what she’s talking about, visit her site!

Tomorrow, I’ll post the next video!

How To Finally Sell Your Music

A friend of mine was going to stream a live concert online from his livingroom.

I thought it was an awesome idea.

But then he cancelled it. He later asked me about selling music, and what thoughts I had about it.

If you are a singer/songwriter, or a musician trying to make money with your music, this post might help you…

How do you get  1000 people to buy your music, and still make a living.

In what will I’m sure be a long email, I want you to know

that this is only my opinion.

Y’know, Alex and I just had a long email chain about buying music.
I haven’t done it in YEARS.
I tell people all the time now that music has no monetary value anymore,
and that it actually never did.
I’m aware of my audience here, so let me back up a sec.
We’ve only been buying music for a little while- and we’ve actually
only been buying the VEHICLE the music comes on- record, tape, cd…
and the MUSIC itself was actually not what you paid for- all music cost the same,
no matter how much better one song was than another because you were paying for
the CD.
Make sense?
Before, a bar owner would pay a band to play in their bar because people stayed
and bought more food and beer.
But they STILL weren’t paying for MUSIC.
Now, when I told Alex that I haven’t paid for music, he immediately jumped on me
about illegal downloads and stuff…
But I wasn’t even talking about that- I meant YouTube (which is about to TAKE OVER music)
and streaming sites, and the fact that music now has ZERO monetary value.
So then, why WOULD be pay for stuff, and people still go to concerts, etc.
They are paying for an EXPERIENCE.
Sometimes, having the music itself will remind them of the experience,
sometimes it just makes them feel closer to the artist.
So….. If you stop thinking about selling the NOTES that you package,
and start thinking about selling an EXPERIENCE of you music, and
an EXPERIENCE of YOUUUUUU- you might think of it differently.
Now then, if I were a musician, I would start thinking of NICHE experiences
to give to people, and have them buy your music as the ticket.
THIS is why I was so excited about your livingroom show.
What I told Alex is that I haven’t seen you play in a while, and that frankly,
now with a kid and travelling out in NYC, I wouldn’t likely EVER come out
to see you anytime soon.
And that I wasn’t connected to any CD, even though I’m your friend
I haven’t realy connected with you or a show in a long time.
HOWEVER, I could suddenly see you, in an intimate setting (sorta),
and I was going to have an EXCLUSIVE opportunity…
Make sense?
Now, here’s what I would do to add to what you CANCELLED….
“Get the show and keep MP3 downloads for your music player,
ANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDD you can enter my special PRIVATE
membership where I’ll archive the LIVE SHOWS that are on video for you”
Damn, I’m good.
Some people will want that, others won’t.
Concern yourself with the people who DO want it.
When you can FIND 1000 people who want to trade you $100 a year
for whatever you’re doing- You’ve got a pretty good artist living, yes?
What if you did a show once a month in your livingroom for $10,
and you built an audience that kept coming back.
And you can show songs that you are working on, and “What do you think?”
and “I want to write a song about How awesome Bones Rodriguez is,
but the English language isn’t capable of expressing it,
so I need a word that encompasses his genius, can you help?”
and then you have a TRIBE who follows you.
So…. I hope you got all of this.
The areas to study- Get a book by Seth Godin
called TRIBES, and pay attention to what Amanda Palmer is doing.
I don’t know what you think of her or her music, but pay attention to the
fact that she has a FOLLOWING that wants a piece of HER, whether
they like her music or not.
I saw her TED talk, heard about her somewhere else, went to see her at
Lincoln center, and that was the FIRST time I’ve ever heard her music!
And I haven’t listened since…. but she still emails me about her new projects!!!
Get me?

How NOT To Talk To An Actor…

You’re probably expecting some list of “Do it this way…” or “That was nice, but I wish you had..”

But this post is not about that at all. I just wanted you to know.

I recently became a parent, and so I’ve been reading all sorts of articles, books, and blogs about how to be a better one.

Some people think that’s dumb.

But for me, I’ve noticed that anything I excel in- and it is a great many things- I have done well not because I follow other people’s advice, but because I get enough advice that I get to CHOOSE from the options.

In other words, if I just go with what I know, then my choices are limited.

Also, by being a “generalist”, I get to incorporate ideas from all sorts of places, and allow my brain to make connections….

I’ll get to where ACTORS come into this in a minute, and it’s not what you think.

So the other day, I read an article called How Not To Talk To Your Children, and it was all about the random, unfettered praise some people give their kids. Not in the “You’re making kids soft” way, I mean the stuff that EVERYONE thinks is a good idea:

Like saying “You’re smart!”

I mean, who can argue with that, right?

Well, it turns out that telling kids they are Smart after they do something means that the only way for them to go from there is DUMB.

So many people avoid trying anything they know they won’t succeed at.

This is VERY true.

I swear, I’m getting to actors… just hold on!

In my life, I was labeled smart pretty early, and in Junior High school, I was in the “Special Progress” class, and we were kinda isolated from the rest of the school… whom we all knew were dummies. Not our fault- it was kind of an understood thing among us.

Then I went to The Bronx High School Of Science, where being “smart” was the pre-requisite for admission.

I’ve been around the label “smart” for a long time.

Anyway, I can say with absolute confidence that many of the people I know are PETRIFIED of being “found out” as NOT being as smart as they are assumed to be.

Myself included.

Do you see where I’m going yet with Acting?

So, the study goes on to show how these kids who are labeled “smart” and praised as “smart” when they get a simple test correct are DE-MOTIVATED from trying anything that may be a challenge for them.

However, kids who are praised for their EFFORT are not only emotionally boosted, they are MOTIVATED to try a harder task. You see, we all like praise, so if we can get it through trying something HARD we’ll get it.

NOW comes the acting part.

For Actors, this is a one-two punch.

Everyone says that the acting business is tough, and we actors are constantly praised by other people for “trying to be an actor”, and “good for you!” for going for our dreams, and blah, blah, blah. And if we’re not being as successful as Tom Hanks, then “at least we’re trying”.

So we get praised for that.

Then there’s when we actually do perform… we get APPLAUSE.  I mean, for someone who is feeling unworthy of attention (an almost cliche trait of an actor), that mass praising is an addictive, irresistible drug.

But then- the praise that probably harms and destroys more careers than any is:

“You’re so talented”

Talent may kill your career

Because now- we should be rich and famous actors based on our TALENT as opposed to because we WORKED hard at it.

And I don’t just mean a performance, I mean being in the business.

Kind of like “If you’re talented, you don’t need to promote yourself- your TALENT will make you stand out” kind of idea.

It even works to REMOVE our pride when we DO get a job because as we know- “Only the talentless actually WORK” becase they are “promoting”, and “networking”, and doing whatever “FALSE” things they have to do because their TALENT didn’t get them there.

Do you understand what I’m saying here?

Believing in your “TALENT” might be exactly what will prevent you from using it!

“Unrecognized Genius” is a cliche, and the more UNrecognized we can be- then the MORE genius we must have, right?

So, aside from the praise- it’s easier to be “Talented”, but never be in a position to have that questioned.

From my own life, I am MUCH more attracted to parts that I feel are “within my wheelhouse” of skills. Now, of course that’s a good business strategy in general (Tom Hanks will NEVER play an action hero vigilante), but maybe I’m also trying to avoid being BAD and “untalented” in my performances.

Fortunately, I’ve realized that it’s always best to be the WORST in any group, so you can learn the most. How do we teach this to younger kids though? Especially those who show a “Talent” for something….

What about you?

Did this make sense to anyone else, or did I connect too many ideas?