When I was thinking about what to write this week, the topic of resilience kept coming up. Years ago, a friend asked me what made me so resilient. I’m not sure I knew how to answer him…..in fact, I had never really thought about it. What I found was how much of my resilience was actually honed in auditions, rehearsal rooms, on stage and everywhere an actor fails or hears "no". So, I started to research some basic tips how to harness resilience.
Turns out, artists already excel in this area. So, instead of talking about HOW to get it, I realized that it would be better to remind you of the ways in which you have ALREADY mastered resilience. Here are a few of the tips that kept popping up in my search, and how you already rock them!
1 – Find a sense of purpose – Those who choose a career in the arts have this nailed. There’s no way we could willingly walk into the lion’s den of creativity and judgement every day without this key trait.
2 – Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities – We practice this every time we put our art out there….whether it be an audition, in class, or in performance….without a belief system that says that we CAN do it, we wouldn’t be able to sit in vulnerability as often as we do.
3 – Develop a Strong Social Network – The performing arts are a team sport. We are incredibly social and our networks are crucial to success. Our networks often become family.
4 – Embrace Change – I think we are rock stars at this. Ask us to give a different performance, we do it. Change our call time in the last minute, we adjust our schedules. Give us a last minute opportunity, we figure it out. We are masters at this!
5 – Develop Your Problem Solving Skills – We are told “no” on a daily basis. Our way forward is in leveraging our strengths in problem solving. Our business is full of "chicken and the egg" problems. I can’t get work without an agent….I can’t get an agent without work…..I can’t get my SAG card without SAG work…..getting a SAG card is an entire journey of it's own…..etc. If we are producing our own work, we are probably doing it with little, to no, budget....which is nothing but problem solving. And guess what, we figure it out!
6 – Keep Working on Your Skills – Most actors are life long learners. We know that we need to stay in training and continually learn new strategies and skills to keep moving forward. If we need to know how to tape a better audition….we learn how. If we need to produce our own work, we step up. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do, but the willingness to learn and sometimes fail, only to get up and try again, is ever present..
There are times that we get to stand a little straighter as artists. When we get to teach others how to move through the world just a little easier. This is one of those times. You are a master in resilience. Now this does not mean that you don’t get tired or sad. In fact, your resilience won't trigger without challenge. It simply means that you move yourself through challenge differently. You create paths where others see none. You see through a lens of possibility. You are unstoppable! Now take your bad self and get to work!