This week I ended up writing about career anxiety, fear of failure, success, and what to do to help yourself in your career when given a specific opportunity, and how maybe it doesn’t even matter. I also briefly talk about becoming a book editor accidentally. All of this coming out of a free-write of “career anxiety.”
The following is that “free-write.” I try to do a posting each week. I normally do a free-write then reread and edit, and post two versions, but it’s now time to post, so I may return in the future or near future, and actually read what I just wrote and edit it, but for now, it’s completely free-flowing, and unedited. Enjoy!
This post comes out of the #WeeklyWrites prompt for the week ending Tues. Sept. 30: No prompt, Creator’s Choice.
Read what Jaysen Headley wrote for his #WeeklyWrites post HERE.
Free-Write: Career Anxiety
I think this week I’ll write about career anxiety with the upcoming release of Revenge of the Green Dragons, and also talk about being the Senior Editor for Jaysen Headley’s A Love Story For Witches novel coming out October 31, 2014, Halloween [Random House].
Professionally, when we do something that we think could be big and potentially life changing, or at least a beginning to something that resembles a career, you want to take full advantage of it. Meaning, you want to strike while the irons hot.
With the Revenge of the Green Dragon is coming out I knew that around this time I would want to do my best to take advantage of it. What would that entail? Get on as many people’s radar as possible. The film will hopefully be known by some people, hopefully those who could potentially get you your next gig. And you hope that associating yourself with the film or whatever it may be will bring more attention to you. Even if it’s just a random person who isn’t even in the industry you’re trying to have a career in. At least in acting, getting yourself to be more visible is important. Putting out content, and having an internet presence for example. Every potential fan or curious person matters. For actors, there’s IMDB. The Internet Movie DataBase. Each actor on IMDB has a StarMeter which is measured by how many people visit their page. The lower the number, the more people have been curious about you, and you’re “trending.” For those in the industry who can potentially hire you, they may look at your IMDB page to see if you’re “up and coming,” to see if you’re getting popular, etc. It’s not just about ability, it’s also politics, money involved. Who could make them more money? If you are “trending,” it’s probably because you’re doing something that people are curious about and will go to your page. If casting is trying to decide between two actors, that could be a huge factor, given all else being equal.
Maybe, it will open some doors that normally wouldn’t open for you. In my case, that could be an agent, casting director, director, manager, etc.
Thing is, this “moment” will come and go. The release of your film. So, if you don’t take advantage of it, you’ll never know if you could’ve done more for yourself. But there are no guarantees of anything, but at least you tried. At the end of the day, it might not even matter so much, as what’s truly important is the quality of the film and your work in it. Honestly, if the film is great, or if you’re noteworthy enough, people will come to you. Yes. Infact, that’s how it normally works. I mean, I can push myself, and get myself out there all I want, but if I’m a sucky actor, or the film isn’t good, and I’m horrible in it, it won’t really matter what I do.
So, I figure, I’ll take my chances, and not just “wait” for people to come to me, and do my due diligence. Couldn’t hurt right? So now, alls to do is to just DO it! I find myself often afraid that I won’t follow through with what I’ve planned to do, that I’ll let this opportunity pass me by,.. and why? Fear? Fear of what? Fear of it being hard? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fuck that nonsense, stop wasting my time with that! If I intend to be successful one day, I need to put all that away.
The thing about fear, is that you let it get to you, and you end up not doing anything. So the key is to not think about it. Just take actions and do. Keep busy. Don’t start doing other “work” in it’s place. You’ll just keep putting it off, so you need deadlines! Be accountable to someone, and just do it! DO IT! NOW! Just start, just START! That’s the hardest part! Stop fucking around, focus, stay present, and stop with your excuses.
What Can I Do
So, yeah, I have ideas for what I’m going to do. Maybe a postcard to agents, casting directors, managers again. Promote the content I’ve been creating. First Impressions, my weekly YouTube show where I give my initial thoughts on comic books, TV shows, film, and video-games. This weekly blog I write! Get yourself out there. Let people know that I’m the executive producer for the band Late Cambrian‘s new album Golden Time! I’ve also become senior editor for Jaysen Headley‘s A Love Story For Witches, which is being released through Random House, this Halloween, Oct. 31, 2014! That’s huge. And the fact that I’ve always thought about being an editor for comics, well, this is a start, to get your name out there, on work that’s going to be published.
Speaking of A Love Story For Witches, let me deviate a little bit. Originally, Jaysen gave his edits to some other people for editing, but then I was like, hey, I wanna read it,.. so he gave me a copy, not expecting me to really do anything with it. I ended up putting in my thoughts, notes, story and sentence edits, and even ideas, filling up almost every page. Jaysen, really like it. He said I found things other people didn’t find, so I ended up being his senior editor! It ended up taking up a lot of my time, as he had a deadline. So THIS, then became my other “work” which kept me from doing anything for myself. Thing is, I also considered this as something for myself, as I was heavily contributing to his book, and in the long-run, his success, could translate to success for me as well. It could open doors that otherwise wouldn’t have opened. It’s also a start of a collaborative venture between him and I that we’re both very excited about, as we work very well together. So, you never know, maybe I’ll become a comic book editor? Maybe I’ll write something myself down the line?
Either way, it still falls into my creating content, or atleast following my creative impulses and my love for entertainment, which will lead me to doing things I really want to do in life. To create. Sure it’s not acting, but it all serves to express myself creativity and that’s what I want, regardless of medium.
So, back to where I was before, promote all of these things I’m doing to feed my creative expression. Go to Comic Con, make a postcard for both First Impressions and A Love Story For Witches! Set up interviews or people to review the book, etc.
Be Your Own Publicist, or Hire One
You have to become your own publicist! If you don’t hire one, which I’ve thought about doing for a few months. But I still have to look into that. Make yourself a press kit, and sell yourself. To websites, podcasts, magazines, whatever you can, no matter how big or small. Have a friend interview you and write an article and find someone to publish it somewhere. Or do a video interview and put it up on YouTube tagging appropriately. You just have to be creative and resourceful.
I Have Their Attention, Now What
So, you make some noise, get yourself out there and noticed. That’s why having something to show is important. Having content. Creating your own content. Otherwise, who cares if you have their attention, if you have nothing to show? And you are only as good as the last thing you did, so you also can’t rely on something you did years ago, though with some industries, it’s more forgiving. Some mediums can carry a person’s career very far, but you don’t want to assume or rely on that, so you have to keep doing what it is you do, what you want to do. In addition, you can focus getting attention and creating content, but you should also work on being better at whatever your craft is. Like your work, you can just hope your ability level will carry you along forever. You should probably get better. For me, that could be acting or writing. I still have a long way to go in both. Luck and natural talent can only bring you so far. You have to fine tune,.. no, um,.. you have to work, mold, nurture… you have to .. man I hate when I can’t think of the word I’m looking for. You have to oh oh, cultivate it!!!!!! That’s a good one. This is why this is called a free-write, cause I don’t edit, I just shoot from the hip.
At The End
You can’t be afraid, and just have to go for it. Do your best, and keep learning and working on being better.