Posts Tagged ‘free seminars’

thoughts from a seminar

August 17, 2010

So there are these seminars for actors here in New York City.  They’re always listed as a “free seminar” but they’re really just teasers and advertisements for something that is not even close to being free.  Typically the free part lasts about an hour where they start off diving into some of the problems actors face and then they suddenly become very vague and discuss how they know how to get around these problems and the results that others have gotten by listening to this wonderful advice.  Then they tell you that for only $500-$800 you can learn all of these secrets in an intense 3-5 day seminar that will change your life.  It’s not at all unlike an infomercial.

I went to one of the free portions a little while ago.  Beforehand, I prayed that God would help me get something helpful out of what they would talk about before asking for money.  It was a married couple that apparently understands how the brain works better than anyone else in the world which is helped by their dabbling in “Eastern mysticism” and “quantum psychology”.  They began by urging all of us to rattle off obstacles standing between us and acting success.  Age, looks, and audition anxiety were among the couple-dozen issues brought up by the crowd.  Then the hosts said something I hadn’t thought of much.  They said that all of these perceived obstacles were just symptoms.  They were symptoms of a deeper, root problem or belief.  God then worked his magic in the form of a hyper-speedy self-analyses and I thought about what belief would be the cause of the things holding me back.  “I’m not in control” popped into my head.  I don’t think I’m in control.

This caused a bit of a conflict internally.  The reason I don’t think I’m in control is because I have faith that God is in control.  The strength of my faith is one of the biggest blessings God has given me.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if it was God’s plan to give me a career in acting, He could do it in the most unlikely, miraculous way possible.  Steven Spielberg could dial my number by mistake and like the sound of my voice for a big part in a movie he’s about to do…whatever ridiculous story you could come up with, God could do it.  I also know that if God did not have a career in acting planned for me then it wouldn’t matter if I gave the performance of a lifetime in a play tailor-made for me with 20 Hollywood directors and 65 agents in the crowd…it wouldn’t happen.  That faith in God’s power in my life and in this world is an absolute gift.  So, how could it be a bad thing?  It isn’t, but it was leading to bad things.  God showed me clearly that my belief that I am not in control was leading me to inaction. 

Jenn and I have gotten so discouraged out here and are, at times, wishing we just didn’t have any ambitions in this field.  We try to help each other fight that desire to quit but  I was being double-teamed by the thought that what I did didn’t matter anyway because God was in control…so I wasn’t doing anything.  This part had to change.  I still believe God is in control but He had made it obvious that sitting on the couch wasn’t going to cut it.  I still don’t know what He has planned but this revelation has spurred me on to activity that I now just wish I had been doing for the last 10 months.  There have been A LOT of mailed out headshots and resumes to agents matched with a lot of phone calls to those same agents.  There have been searches for jobs as an extra.  There have been films and other paying jobs submitted for.  There have been classes signed up for with big casting agents with extra money made from little side projects (another low-paying fight choreographer gig).  There has been real research and work done to finally do this stinking voice-over demo reel.  All of it is pretty darn ordinary but, unfortunately, all of it is a whole lot more than I’ve done in the last 6 months combined. 

Now, the Census job is finally finished (thank you Jesus that it lasted this long).  Jenn and I have discussed it and have decided that I will take the next two weeks off to work as hard as I can at this business side of acting without the interruption of a job.  After that, I will need to start looking for another survival job and hope that some (please…any) of this work pays off somehow.  I know I’m not in control of much of anything in the big picture of my life… but I guess I have to work like I am… and remember to give Him all the praise if any of it bears fruit.  Sounds simple enough.  Please pray that I can actually pull it off.