I want to dedicate this article to my dear friend and business partner, Jeremy Whelan.
Jeremy was born September 7, 1941 and made his final curtain call on November 25th, 2005 here in Sacramento. Over the past several years I had the pleasure of working closely with him to develop what has become Mosaic Acting. It was his desire and is the desire of his family that I continue the legacy he began, so I'll be continuing to teach here and in other cities, as well as training other Mosaic Acting workshop leaders. Jeremy was an interesting guy, a teacher, writer, actor, director, and more, and I want to pass on one of the very good lessons I learned from him.
We “creative types” tend to lack in some other areas, such as organizational skills. Even though I'm pretty well disciplined (when you are self employed you also have to be self motivated) and have always known the value of planning and goal setting, I've never really consistently written those things down. Every night before he went to bed, Jeremy wrote himself a timetable of what he wanted to accomplish the next day. At the end of the day he also wrote down what he had done, and tried to access the reasons he had not done the things he had failed to do. He didn't beat him self up for not getting it done, he just tried to figure out why, then added it to the next day's list.
As actors we're in business for ourselves. We have to “open the store” every day, and keep working on what will make us better and more successful at what we do. Set yourself some written goals for what you want to accomplish this year. Promise yourself to get a bit better each day. Practice cold reading, get a good professionally done headshot, improve your grammar, take a class (hint, hint) to improve your skills. Each evening sit down and make a list of the five most important things you have to do tomorrow. Then number them in their order of importance, and when you get up tomorrow, go to work on number one, and keep at it until you've got it done, then go to number two. That way you'll always be working on the most important thing.
Try it and see what happens – and remember Jeremy when it works. Break a leg, and I'll catch you again next issue.