Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Self-Doubt is Par
I still have those voices, in your head "I'm no good" ...and I fight that.
I've mentioned before the risks of actors being commoditized and the value of being indispensable. Here is a glimpse from Hugh MacLeod on how to de-commodify yourself: know who you are and what you uniquely do.
Whether you are selling wine or accounting services, you need to ask yourself: Why do you do what you do, and what makes your _________ different from the next guys'? Your customers have lots of choices, too many in fact, and unless you are giving them a real reason to do business with you that differentiates what you do in a meaningful way, you're toast.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Samuel French Launches Ebooks Today
Samuel French has begun offering plays digitally [formerly, the previous 2 words were a link to their e-bookstore, but as of Sept. 13, 2012 it seems they may have redesigned their site and not redirected the link; http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/ebooks.php is an error page] today. Currently only supporting Apple's iBookstore, they plan also to be available on the Kindle, Nook and other readers soon. Digital scripts could make iPads, iPhones and other readers more common on stage during rehearsal. Dramatists Play Service, Music Theatre International and other publishers have not announced similar plans, but some of Dramatists Play Service's plays may already be available through the fairly obscure Google eBook Store.
Update September 13, 2012: Samuel French has announced other small steps to sell play scripts digitally with a complex set up of middle-men brokering the transactions.
Google Funded Entertainment Changing Paradigm
So far the TV industry has done exactly the wrong thing. Instead of embracing change, it's fighting it. The problem is it's defending the indefensible. The TV model has gone rotten from all sides. On the content side, writers and producers hate dealing with bloated studios that have appointed themselves gatekeepers for what shows can be made. On the consumer side, nobody wants to pay $150 per month for 500 channels of stuff they don’t want, which is why more and more people are unplugging their cable subscriptions, and why an entire generation of young people have never bought into TV in the first place. From the business side, advertisers realize TV makes less sense than it once did and are moving away.
(from The Daily Beast).
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Quit what is sapping your energy and attention away from what you really want to be doing. We all have a limited amount of focus that we can give things. This is not a negative glass half empty thing, it's about using what you have well, marshaling resources.
If you've been working on project, but never seem to finish it, decide now whether or not you will finish it no matter what. A hard yes or no. If yes, then do it. If no, then abandon it utterly and abandon it right this instant.
Every molecule of attention that you spend on something you will not see through to the end is waste.
Bob Fraser, the accomplished actor, writer, producer and a dearly missed friend, father and husband, said in a seminar he taught:
Do not waste your time. It's all you've got, your entire wealth.
I have yet to imagine a way this is not true. All talents, money and other things evaporate in the face of time running out. So quit something now. Decide now, as you read this, what thing that you have been doing you will stop doing. Decide to stop doing it from this moment on. It can be as simple as unsubscribing to a magazine, or as effective as never smoking again. Use the extra time and attention on career, spending time with family, or simply as unstructured downtime (which is very important, but that's probably worth a separate post).
Seth Godin has written a book about when to quit called "The Dip", and it is available on Kindle and hardcover, and is a good, pretty quick read. Its basic thesis, and strong advice is: if you will quit at all, quit right now, if you will not, quit everything else that you can quit right now, and you'll get farther along with the thing/s you stay with for the long haul.