Yes it’s as simple as that really. Just Ask.
What? You just ask for what you want?
Yes you absolutely do!
When faced with a challenge, chances are you will respond in one of two ways – procrastinate or jump right in and go for it. Sadly, more often than not, I see actors run when the challenge appears.The latter seems so much simpler. It is like when humans physiologically use the fight or flight mode in a harmful situation and flight is soooo much easier. Oh, you gotta get that self audition tape together and that means you have to call Jonny and ask him if he’s got an hour to spend working with you on getting your tape done. Right. Well you can’t do that can you. He’s like so busy and popular and it’s Mothers Day in Australia so I’m sure he’s busy. Right.
Wrong. You don’t ask, you don’t get.
You aren’t perfect and you probably aren’t going to be anytime soon unfortunately. So waiting for that perfect time isn’t really going to help. It’s going to hinder. It’s you procrastinating again. It is worth putting it out there and saying publicly that I do this all the time myself, and I have to work on it constantly. I’m just as easily going to watch a few hours of television with my pj’s on kicking about with a Nespresso coffee in hand, than I am picking up that next Shakespeare monologue that I really should be learning (yep true story – I have one I’m supposed to be learning right now!).
Know your stick points. Know when you typically don’t do those things you want (should/must/need) to do. Know when you are likely to hit your acting flight mode. And operate accordingly.
I like rewards. Sometimes they’re really simple ones but they work for me. Sometimes I’ll say to myself that I am not allowed to log onto twitter until I’ve spent a solid hour working on my monologue or audition piece. Or perhaps it is late afternoon and I’m desperate to go for a run. So I will challenge myself with not being allowed to don on the sneakers until I have the first page down and learnt. This really works for me. Time and time again. I use these small rewards to trigger the right behaviour patterns for me.
We have to know when we can’t do it alone. I have to ask for help. I have people I can call and I know they’ll say yes. They’re part of my Entourage (which I posted about at that link). I’m sure you do too. You know the ones. They’re the people you meet to have coffee with and talk industry shop. They’re the ones who rehearsed with you during the Casting Director workshop or that 5 day training intensive. Perhaps they’re the one you just spent four days with on set intimately shooting the two of you watching a goldfish and comprehending life as it is. Anyway, you get it.
You just have to pick the phone up and ask. It is that simple. And if you need someone to run lines for a huge audition or to help you self tape, or just to have a coffee to help you get your ego and self worth back on track, then make it as easy for them as possible. Offer your house or theirs to meet. Offer to buy them coffee. Or give them lots of options time wise so they don’t feel cornered and pressured. People will want to help you! You just need to be flexible. And the wonderful thing is you are opening doors for them to ask when they need someone to help them. And this reciprocal arrangement will bode you well in the future.
Just be kind. Just be honest. Just ask. You’re a B.A.B.E..