Can I tell you a secret? It's a little embarrassing to admit, but back when I was producing more shows, sometimes before I had even a clear vision for all the pieces in the show I'd find myself imagining the review of the show I would receive from the local art critic. Pretty dorky, right?
Was I getting ahead of myself? Oh absolutely! But at a certain point as I've continued to do this over the years, I realize I am not writing my own review because I'm in anticipation of praise, but I'm writing it because I'm shaping my work from how I want it to affect the viewer. I'm imagining how it will be received, the messages it might convey, and how it will leave the audience feeling.
Sometimes just envisioning the future affect you want to have on an audience is enough to help you shape the projects you work on and help you to keep going and not give up.
So today if you're watching the SAG awards, there is a fun little game I want you to play: I want you to imagine yourself in that position of receiving a SAG award a year, two years, or three from now.
1. Imagine yourself up there receiving an award. What kind of award is it? What was the project like that you had worked on? What was your part in it?
2. Who are the people you are thanking? What was the team of the people like who you've been working with? In what ways do they honor and accept you? Support you? How do you support them?
3. What affect does your work have on the audience watching? What affect do you have now, speaking to the crowd and thanking them for this award?
4. And. . . if you feel so inclined. . . what are you wearing? What is that evening at the awards show like for you? Who is at your side? And tomorrow. . . what are you excited about waking up and starting to work on tomorrow?
I know we don't go into our craft for the awards. Receiving an award is not the end all be all of our careers. It doesn't define whether we are good or not. But then there is also a part of us that craves acknowledgement.
So, if you are watching the SAG awards, have a little fun game in your head about your future as you do it. Not because you need that award as proof that you're doing great work, but simply because it's a fun way to imagine the films you'd like to create, the projects you'd like to work on and the people you want to play with.
I believe it's worth imagining, because I believe you'll get there!
"If you don't have a vision, then you'll be stuck in what you know. And the only thing you know is what you've already seen." - Iyalana Vanzant
Performers & Creators Lab Podcast
I'm launching a new weekly podcast, February 14th and I'm looking for your stories! I'm currently working on a piece about how the recent "me too" movement is affecting actors. If you'd like to share your story, ask for advice, or be considered for an on air featured guest spot, then call my show line: (415) 870-7064 leave me a voicemail. Don't forget to leave your contact info if you are wanting to be a guest.