The flow of students through my acting classes over the years has proven to be a mixture of those who are talented, focused, and unwavering in their desire to succeed. Those who are:
- Talented but not focused
- Those who are all over the map in their personal and professional lives
- Those who possess some talent, are very focused and determined to succeed no matter what
The first and the third examples are the ones who make it in the industry. In both cases, they have created a demand for their work by being relentless in the pursuit of making their dreams come true.
We’re going to review The 24 Characteristics of a Genius. The purpose of reviewing these characteristics in acting class is to focus on those areas that could dramatically improve how you approach your life and your work as an actor. If followed correctly, it could make a substantial difference in your becoming an actor in demand.
“Drive. Geniuses have a strong desire to work hard and long. They are willing to give all they’ve got to a project. Develop your drive by focusing on your future success, and keep going.”
How can you apply that to your career immediately? What scene do you want to tackle in acting class? Do it. What future success would you like to have? A lead on a series, a reoccurring part on a series, a feature film, a web series, name it. Now go into action on achieving that.
Here’s an example. An actress in New York City had an opportunity to audition for a Broadway play. She did everything she could for the week leading up to her audition to make the part hers. She not only worked on preparing for the part, she worked on a costume that she felt the character would wear. Her family living in Brooklyn offered her help in making the costume and she made a daily commute to get the dress just right. She went to great lengths to make this happen. At one point she thought to herself, I may not get this part, but I love this character, and I have two more days to live with her. So either way, it’s a great opportunity because I love what I’m doing and I’m learning so much. She got the part and was a huge success.
“Courage. It takes courage to do things others consider impossible. Stop worrying what people will think if you are different.” Don’t worry. All worry does is block talent. Be happy. You’re an artist. You don’t want a conventional life.
“Devotion to goals. Geniuses know what they want and go after it. Get control of your life and schedule. Have something specific to accomplish each day.” Everyday, name the specific things you’re going to accomplish. Put up a white board and write in caps what you’re doing and get it done!
Keep your purpose strong. Behind everything that stops you is a failure to have accomplished your goal. Rekindle that goal and your drive to succeed will be restored.
“Knowledge. Geniuses continually accumulate information. Never go to sleep at night without having learned at least one new thing that day.” READ—and question people who know. Talk to writers, artists, musicians, people from all walks of life. Learn about people and their dreams, listen to their stories, and get new perspectives on life and human behavior. It will make you a bigger person and a better actor.
Lynette McNeill Studio © 2017