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Austin Actors
Darbi Worley

Darbi, Inc.
by Darbi Worley

April 2000

Hello everyone and happy April Fool’s Day. This is not a joke…this is about your future and standing IN it… today. This month, we’re going to talk about something that all great achievers do, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. It’s the idea of really, deeply, passionately committing to success. A goal, a dream, a business plan (remember, acting is BUSINESS). I would submit that successful actors, who have real careers (rather than a brief period of "hotness"), would be successful in ANYTHING they decided to do. The fact that they have chosen acting is really irrelevant–most would be "stars" in anything they pursued.

I have the good fortune to work for an amazing man who has taught me a lot about the capacity of the human spirit and our power to create that which we believe. I know without a doubt that what I imagine and live with every day will eventually become reality. I know that there are more naturally gifted actors who may be younger or cuter than me or have better bodies or better connections. I also know that I have more determination and drive than most of the population and that I absolutely WILL NOT STOP working until I meet my goals. And then, I’ll work harder.

The following is an adaptation of a set of guidelines for success that we at my company affectionately call "Woo-Woo Stew." The "woo-woo" part refers to the fact that some of this gets a little abstract and requires you to have some faith in things you can’t see or touch. The name was born when I called all of the people back at corporate to tell them to chant "St. David’s…St. David’s" all day, because I was working to close a big deal with them and it was going to make or break my quarter. I felt a little silly asking my cohorts to do it, but I believed that if we had a large group of people visualizing me picking up the paperwork it would happen. We could WILL it to happen.

Damned if I didn’t walk out of a lunch meeting that day with the deal and a record-breaking quarter. And the kicker is…there was NO LOGICAL REASON that I should have gotten the deal. The person who had to sign the paper didn’t come in to work. The paper was locked in her office. She hadn’t given her final approval to her assistant. I took the meeting with the lower level contact who didn’t have signatory authority. I firmly believe that the only reason I got the deal was because there was so much human energy willing it to happen...seeing it happen. I found an old order in my briefcase, got the assistant to phone her boss at home and get the okay to sign it and the deal happened.

I call that human energy the "woo-woo" factor, recognizing that there are people who would find this kind of "airy-fairy" and beyond their comfort zone. I used to think it was stupid too -- until I tried it and changed my life! Really, a commitment to "see your future" and constantly support that vision with concrete action to move you toward that future will get you there. With that said, enjoy the Recipe for Accomplishment, originally written by my boss, Randy Potts. My comments are under each bullet point, to bring it around to acting-specific action.

Oh, and how does this relate to my theme of "building a business"? A firm commitment and vision are the beginning of building your acting career (or anything, for that matter).

Recipe for Accomplishment (Woo-Woo Stew)

  • Hold a sustained clear thought (goal) in your mind.

Do you have a clear goal in you head relative to your career? Do you have it visually displayed somewhere that you can see it often? Do you look at it and hold it in your head and have a plan to get there? Have you adopted it as YOUR goal or is it just some idea an acting coach or columnist gave you? You have to OWN it and hold in your mind to have this work.

  • Energize the goal through regular visualization of the end result. Stand in your future.

Have you spent any time just closing your eyes and remembering how GREAT it feels to get a job? To get cast in something? And how great it feels when they will actually PAY you to do what you love?? Have you imagined what it will feel like when you get your next professional job? Can you see yourself getting the call from your agent, going to the job, performing the role? Imagine how good that will feel, how proud you will be, how proud others will be of you and what you will do with the money! Stand in your future...see it as if it has already happened, not as "if it does happen". . Sound weird? Maybe so but it works and there are solid scientific reasons why.

  • Get committed through a public declaration that it will happen.

Have you publicly declared that you will do it? Just saying it to yourself or writing it in a journal with great doubt in your mind doesn't count. You have to put it out there with confidence knowing that if you work hard that you will get there. You can't just declare it to your agent or friends to get them off your back. Declare it to YOURSELF and mean it...then declare it to others. There is tremendous power in declaration.

  • Understand that there are prices to pay and resolve to pay them now.

Have you come to grips with the idea that it might not be easy (probably won’t be) and that you are willing to tough it out, not cut and run if you hit a hurdle?

Decide NOW to work through the issues as they come up, don't wait to decide until later to do that.

  • Energize the declaration through regular aligned action..

Are you doing everything you can, everything in your power, to achieve this goal? Are all your actions aligned with this goal (focus) or just some of them? Are you doing things every day to get closer to the goal? Are you studying, networking, marketing yourself, auditioning for everything that you can? You can't coast to a challenging goal...you have to be "about it" all the time.

  • Attach soulful passion to the pursuit of the goal.

There is a huge difference between pursuing a goal and pursuing it with passion and attaching some emotion to it. It's the difference between "big" and HUGE!! or "good" and AWESOME!! Feel the difference? If you are just working on having a "big" or "good" career...you have no passion in your efforts and your results will show it. Go for HUGE!! and AWESOME!! If you do make that decision, that's where you will end up because that's when, as Goethe states, "A whole stream of events issue from the decision, all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way." These events rise up, seemingly from nowhere, to support you.

  • Know, with all your heart, that it will happen...faith.

While it's imperative to work hard, have a plan, overcome challenges and everything else above, we oftentimes will find ourselves unable to clearly see how we will get to our goal. That IS NOT the time to give up. It's the time to have some faith and know that we can never clearly see all the relevant pieces of the puzzle...we just have to believe that they will come together...and they will. Doubt encourages quitting, quitting seals your fate. Faith encourages continued effort, and there is a world of opportunity in that.

I'd suggest printing off some of the above points and going over them until they become second nature (maybe years down the road). In meantime, get clear on what needs to happen to get to the next step in your plan. Decide to be AWESOME!! It will be.

Now, go sell something!! And have a great month! I’ll talk to you again in May!

D.

e-mail: darbi@austinactors.net

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