This year I decided that if I really want to make it as an actor, I needed to step it up in numerous facets of the industry. I started with a vision board. Cutting out articles, quotes, pictures, symbols, and anything else that inspired me/encouraged me/or created a goal I want to reach.
Next I wrote out a list of things I wanted to do within the year. I've struggled with whether to put these "things" out there because well, feeling sheepish about those "things" once their public knowledge seems far worse than struggling with the thought of making them public knowledge or not. However, the wise person who instructed -- nay requested -- I create a vision board, told me "Getting your goals out into the universe is the first step to seeing them through."
So here we are. "Things for 2012"
1. Get back on stage. Any stage. And don't fall off it. Evah.
2. Do a web series. Yes, it's typical. Just do one.
3. Write something. Cast it. Create it.
4. Work as a production assistant.
5. Say yes to everything (within reason Koehler).
6. Make sure everyone you work with remembers you for the right reasons.
7. See an outreach program all the way through.
8. Get more videos online. Ellen isn't going anywhere but up.
9. Get on the path to becoming okay with marketing yourself. 'Cause that's your job silly.
10. Book another feature....that is legitimate another to actually be completed.
Finally, I've decided I'm at a point in my life where I need to be doing more things that scare me. I've had conversations on this topic with actors, non actors, family members, and strangers. It has been surprising that it's a rarity to find people who don't just want to challenge themselves...they want to do things that scare them. I'm not saying:
Priscillla: Hey what are we gunnna do today?
Bartholomew: Mmm..it's Saturday. I have a Groupon for sky-diving if you're game?
Priscilla: Sure. I've been wanting to do more things that scare me.
I mean that's great if that's for you. But since this posting is entitled Actor Ladder and not Live Dangerously (same meaning in some senses?), I've been wanting to get back in front of an audience. Get back into improv. Get back into legitimate classes. And make myself uncomfortable....publicly. Not many people outside of the entertainment world understand why I want to. Partly because I do a terrible job of explaining, but mostly because it's a hard concept to grasp, but an all too familiar and ironically enthralling place to be in for actors.
When I started to doing my Ellen videos the concept was clear to all: I'm making 50 videos in 50 days leading up to college graduation explaining why I think I could work on her show. Simply put: people thought I was working towards a job. That was just a public excuse so I didn't feel like I was making myself feel uncomfortable...publicly. I would argue that 4 years after those first videos, I am in Austin in the film industry because of them. I would argue I have grown as a performer and actor because I put myself out there to the cruel universe to tell me my face is fat, I look like a boy, my glasses are too small, my hair is thin, my voice is annoying, and I'm not funny.
Recently, I also realized that competitive golf and acting are quite similar. When I played golf every day...I mean for hours and hours everyday trying to make myself and my team better...I'd have days where I didn't know why I was given a golf scholarship. Like throw-your-clubs-in-that-lake-over-there-and-just-do-eat-a-hamburger-why-don't-you kind of days. I stunk sometimes. So I'd throw my clubs in the lake, go eat a hamburger, and come back the next practice to a magical swing that made me fall in love with the game. Not that Meryl Streep or Laura Linney have hamburger days but they have their versions of hamburger days. I mean we've all seen Mamma Mia...
Point being. Every employee has bad days and good days. What I've had to tell myself is each project I book is an opportunity to work hard towards a goal and develop relationships based not solely on performance, but on personal interaction. Nobody wants to be a part of something that fails. But the entertainment industry is full of flops and while that's depressing to the point of a Blue Bell gallon of ice cream, it doesn't mean it's all over. Or I shouldn't be doing this. Or I shouldn't be auditioning.
In the meantime, one of my wonderful Godmothers continues to keep ivykoehler.com up to date and looking prettttty fresh and I'd appreciate it if you'd check it out, share it, or head to my basically blank IMDB page, ignore it's pillaged and leave a comment at the bottom of the page Message Board..that'd be a huge start friends (let's go directors and producers of stuff that's been completed!! Throw that stuff on imdb.com already!!).
peace. love. and let's bring this bloggy blog back to life.