“So, what if the acting thing doesn’t work out?” No doubt this question echoes repeatedly through an actor’s ears. Concerned voices of family, friends – and the voices in our own heads – call for a back up to an undependable and unpredictable career choice, and understandably so. Having a Plan B, especially in any artistic career, is crucial. Our bodies are our livelihood so we have to be prepared for any event that may leave them indisposed.
But what about Plan A? B is for Back-up, which is vital to have. But once made, it needs to be locked away. Our thoughts and actions have to live in Plan A. We all have a dream life. The ‘Even though perfection is unachievable, here is the visualization of the life I’d lead if I realized it’ Scenario. That scenario births Plan A; a plan that needs our focus, first and foremost. It also needs attention to detail. A long-lasting career can’t be built on ‘We’ll just see how it all goes’ or ‘I’ve got natural talent, I think I’ll just let that simmer into a career.’ Plan A actually needs planning.
It also needs unwavering belief, which in turn needs honesty. If you don’t believe with all your heart that Plan A will get you to The Dream, then change it and change it now, because life is too damn short. However, remember to recognize whether it’s that you don’t believe in that specific plan or you just don’t believe a plan will work. There is a thin line between realism and pessimism. A mentality underlined with the latter won’t do you any favours, in goals or in life. You can have a back-up plan, amazing. But with any thought that Plan A won’t work before it’s even executed, you’ve already settled for a life of compromise, rather than contingency. The actions of Plan A need complete self-investment, so that if the day does come where you decide, for whatever reason, it is time for Plan B, you can say ‘I did my best’ and actually believe it.
My Plan B has nothing to do with acting. The only way I want to work in Entertainment is via Plan A. Any attempt to do otherwise would be untrue to myself, and leave me resentful. Call me crazy, but I won’t take anything less. I often feel overwhelmed by how much I need to learn about my crafts. I could sum up my present thoughts like this:
The more I learn, the more I learn that I have more to learn.
My faith is constantly fluctuating as I write more dialogue, watch more movies and take more classes. My Plan A is different to what it was three years ago, because I realised my current steps weren’t going to get me to my dream; at least not anytime soon. There is a new plan, and it’s scary and constantly being added to, but it is so far coming together…more on that later…
Our dreams deserve time. They deserve a thought out series of steps that will be attempted with the best of our efforts. They deserve our wholehearted commitment to doing absolutely everything within our power to realize them, a power that extends through the body into the mind, and then through the mind into the soul. They deserve the true belief that if we follow these plans, we will get to the end and find that our dreams have been realized. When we turn our dreams into plans, we make them attainable. We put a ladder in between these clouds and ourselves. Our feet may be on the ground, but there is nothing stopping the elevation of our minds. And though the ladder may be longer than we had initially hoped, it is present and it is firm and it asks nothing more from us than to take the first step; all the while trusting that, with a detailed plan, our feet will meet us there.
Make the steps, and take the steps. We all deserve Plan A.
Fun Fact (…maybe): The letters ‘plan’ appear 21 times in this post.
Not including that one.