Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Importance of Following Up



Imagine that you go on a solo vacation and while on your travels you meet an interesting person with whom you share an afternoon exploring. You have a fantastic time and want to stay in contact so that future travels might be possible. You exchange contact information and your fellow adventurer implores you to keep in touch. But after the trip you start to worry that maybe they didn’t mean it. Maybe they meet lots of people on their travels, so your time wasn’t that special. Before you know it you’ve talked yourself out of keeping in touch. A year passes and it’s time for travel again, and your mind falls back to your traveler friend who you met a year ago. Is it appropriate to reach out to see if they’d like to travel again? Will they even remember you? Will they be upset that you didn’t reach out sooner? And now you’re kicking yourself, because had you kept in touch to begin with you might be able to skip all of this anxiety and have another fun filled adventure. But instead, your relationship stopped short of developing and now you’re left to start all over. 

I’m sure you can see how this relates to our work as actors. We all know that consistent follow up with industry is key, but we somehow talk ourselves out of it for a myriad of reasons. I took some time to examine the concerns most frequently raised by my students and came up with the top 4 reasons actors avoid the follow-up.


“They probably get updates from hundreds of actors”

Surprisingly, this is not true. Most actors send an initial follow up after meeting someone and then avoid sending follow ups thereafter. Even if industry people did get hundreds of updates, a well written update is always appreciated when your recipient knows you and your work. Note that I said “knows you and your work” - I firmly advocate against sending updates to industry professionals who do not know your work. Updates are too personal if they have no context, so I’d focus on getting in the room with them first, then sending updates after that.


“When they say ‘follow up’ they don’t really mean it”

This is a really common fear, but we really do mean it. I run a theater company, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to say no to an actor purely because of circumstances out of their control. I request for these people to keep in touch, because there is a good chance I will be able to cast them next time around. But actors often have their eyes on the short game - they get frustrated and avoid following up - instead of playing the long game and using the initial audition as the introductory part of a longer relationship.


“I heard follow ups just go into the trash”

This might be true for some people. But more often than not, a well-written, authentic follow up is deeply appreciated by industry folks. And you’ll certainly never build the relationship beyond the first meeting if you don’t take that extra step to keep in touch. I call that effort “the cost of doing business.” You’ll get enough of a benefit even if efforts are wasted on some people.


“I never get anything from it”

Think of follow ups like commercials. When we see/hear commercials, we almost never get up from what we’re doing and go out to buy that product. Instead, we file the information away for when we need it. So you’ll never know for certain how it’s working, but you have to have the confidence that it is. The hope is that when the industry person is in the market for someone like you, your follow ups help you be front of mind. I have a friend who just got called into a major casting office a few days after randomly passing a casting director in the hallway at an event. Just that little reminder was all it took - no conversation even took place! Your follow-up can be like that casual sighting in a hallway.


In a future post I will go over what a “well written” follow up will look like. In the meantime, if there are other reasons you don’t follow up with people you’ve met, leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll help you work through your concerns!

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Monday, July 30, 2018

5 Ways to Turn Off The Noise


I want to talk today about something that’s really getting in the way of my students who are trying to increase their focus in their acting career.

An actor will sit down to put their mind on a specific goal, and immediately their attention is pulled to something other than their work. They might check social media and then get caught up in social (or political) drama. Or they get so wrapped up in the researching of a task that the task itself never gets done. In the end, no work is completed and the actor is left feeling like they’re just spinning their wheels with no traction to show for it.

I can imagine most of you are nodding your heads in recognition.

If you’re committed to treating your career like a true business, these little distractions are a dangerous form of self sabotage. I call these distractions NOISE.

Noise creates a chatter in your head that make it practically impossible to focus on this tasks at hand. Noise forces you to abandon what you’re committed to in service of something else less important.

Now, noise can happen for a lot of reasons, and oftentimes we feel like we have no control. But there are a couple of things you can do to eliminate the noise - even for a brief time - that will make your work much more successful.


1) Create a workspace where distractions are minimal.

This might mean clearing a place in your apartment where work is most easily done. Or it might mean taking yourself on a coffee date and working remotely. (I love Le Pain Quotidien - they have wifi and big tables!)


2) Turn off your phone.

Believe me, you can handle being inaccessible for an hour or two.


3) Pay attention to what kind of work-flow works best for you.

Most people work best for about 55 minutes, with a 5 minute break at the end of the hour. But some people prefer to work longer stretches with a longer break in between. Test out a few different types of work flows and see what’s best for you.


4) Digital or Analog?

Not everyone likes to work in the same medium - some love pen to paper and others love their digital devices. Figure out which of the two - or what combination of the two - works best for you. (This is especially useful when creating “to-do” lists! Try Todoist for digital track management, and the Passion Planner for a paper planner.)


5) Create a mini goal for your work session.

What would you like to get done in your first hour? Focus on doing NOTHING ELSE until that hour is complete. You may notice your mind wander, and that’s ok. Just don’t give into the wandering, and put your focus back where it belongs.



I’m really curious to find out what “noise” means to you and how it’s been getting in the way of having what you want. Leave a comment down below and let me know which of the above tips worked best for you to clear the noise!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Feel Adrift? Create Your Personal Mission.


I’ve worked with hundreds of actors as a career coach, and one similarity keeps popping up no matter how much experience, training, or passion each actor has. They all feel adrift in some way and need something to get them back on track and keep tethered.

The difficulty occurs when attentions are split between ones acting career and the family, friends, day jobs, health/wellness, and hobbies that are also calling their attention. It’s especially difficult when trying to figure out when and how to say, “No” when feeling overwhelmed.

I imagine more than a few of you are nodding your heads in recognition!

More often than not, the advice I give to actors in this situation is to: Create Your Personal Mission.

Your personal mission is an agreement you have with yourself that governs the kind of life you want to lead. Which activities will give your days meaning and which can you let go of? How do you know which projects to embrace and which to decline? And how can you balance all of the good things that come your way?

Creating a personal mission is similar to the missions created by non profit organizations. It’s a simple statement that outlines what matters to you, and it is the central theme that governs the things you do. The good news is that your personal mission has probably already been set - you just have to uncover it and bring it to the forefront.

I’ll give you an example from my life.

I took an afternoon and wrote down all of the things I did in my daily life - coaching actors, producing with an actor-driven ensemble, being a mediator in my family, being on the board of a singer’s open mic, being a connective resource for friends in need, and acting in professional theater (to name a few.) I then took a moment to write down all of the things that those activities had in common, and I split them into two categories: Things that give me energy, and things that take energy away. I then looked at what gave me energy and I started to see a pattern - this is the basis for what my personal mission ended up being.

I noticed that most everything that gave me energy involved empowerment, and it involved bringing people together. And everything related to “jobs” were artistic in nature, or creatively based. This helped me craft this mission:

My mission is to inspire and empower as many people as possible, and to live creatively with empathy and love.

Once I had my mission, I could create a plan around how I was going to achieve that mission in my daily life. Each time I am offered some sort of project I hold it up to my mission to see if it fits. Do I feel inspired and empowered? Do I get to create with empathy and love? And does the project allow the same for others? If my answer is no, this tells me that it might not be the right project for me.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t choose projects because of money or exposure. Far from it! In those cases I ask myself - how will more exposure or more money help me be more creative, inspired and empowered? (I’ll tell you, being able to pay rent easily is VERY empowering!) Again, you take what is being offered and hold it up to your mission, and that will help you to know what action to take.

And we can take that into the day to day things that aren’t project based. Each morning I wake up and ask myself, “What things can I do today that are in line with my mission?” And then I do those things, because... #motivation.

I would love to hear what your personal mission is - take some time today or tomorrow to create it and then leave it in the comments section. It would be wonderful to get to know you, and see how you might be able to inspire others! (See? That’s my mission at work again...)


Erin :)


Photo Credit: https://www.kuder.com


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Your "To Don't" List



Good news - you’ve decided to be an actor! You’ve started an independent business where your art is your product and you are your art. You’re living the dream and making things happen, weathering the ups and downs with optimism and drive. Your motto is “YES I CAN” and you wear it proudly.

Never mind the uncertainty of the business. Never mind the exhaustion of pounding the pavement. You’ve got your to-do list and you’re going to stay motivated to the very end. Right?

But there’s something missing. Because there’s one little word that needs to be present in your career in order for you to get everything you want.

That word is NO.

In our quest for optimism we forget that it’s important to say no to things that are harmful to our spirit. We’re convinced that until we have the career we want, we have to say yes to everything. So I’m here to encourage you to learn how to say NO by creating your very own “TO DON’T” list.

Everyone’s TO DON’T list should be individualized to address the concerns in your particular business. In other words, no two people will have a TO DON’T list that’s the same. I highly recommend writing it in the 1st person so that it feels personal and immediate. To get you started, here are some of my favorite TO DON’Ts that make a huge difference in my career.


Don’t...

Be too hard on myself.
Compare myself to others.
Forget to do at least one thing for my business each day.
Ignore self-care.
Let someone else define my type for me.
Let someone else define success for me.


Don’t...

Say yes to everything.
Worry about what others think.
Compromise myself.
Underestimate myself.
Take on projects that I know won’t be good for me.
Let anyone else define my worth.


Once your list is written, put it somewhere visible and read it every day before you start your workload. When you have a tough decision to make, look at the list and see if either choice falls on it. Remember that the list can grow and change as your career grows and changes. I’d suggest revisiting the list twice a year to see if there’s anything to add or take away.

I’m curious to hear what items you would add to your TO DON’T list. Leave a comment here and let me know what TO DON’Ts you’re taking on for your career, and then check back in and give me an update!



Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Allure of Being "Busy"



I’ve started to notice something recently.

Every time I see friends of mine, I ask them how they’re doing and they always say with an exasperated sigh, “Agh. I’m sooooo busy” or “You know, I’m just going and going and going, never time to rest!” or “Ugh. I’m exhausted. So much to do.” It’s often said with an equal mix of angst and also a little pride, so happy to be able to report that things are happening but being overwhelmed by what it's taking to get there.

I’ve been a guilty of this too. I mean, it’s harmless, right?

The short answer is no, as evidenced by a situation one of my students went through recently.

This actor was a part of several developmental readings of a film, creating great relationships with the producing team in the process. Each time the actor spoke to them he excitedly talked about all of the projects he’s been a part of and how busy he’d been, hoping they would see how in demand he was and that he was a viable, working actor.

He finally saw a breakdown come out for the filming of the project, and noticed that the role he had read was pre-cast...with someone else. Hurt and embarrassed, my student reached out to the filmmaker to find out what happened and why he hadn’t been contacted about the role. The filmmaker apologized profusely, and then said - “With everything that you’re involved with, I assumed you were too busy.”

RECORD SCRATCH

Yep. My student lost an opportunity because he had made it seem like he was too overloaded to take on more work.

This really made me think - how often have I done the exact same thing, unburdening myself with “busy-ness” when someone asks how I’m doing? So I started an experiment. For one week I tracked how often people asked me how I was doing, and how often I felt the need to say, “I’m really busy,” as a response.

Interestingly, I felt myself wanting to say, “I’m so busy” almost all of the time. But I noticed something even more interesting. The conversation stopped there. Very few people asked, “What’s making you busy?” It’s almost as though “I’m so busy” is a back-off answer - something we say when we don’t want to talk about what’s really going on.

Let me say that another way.

Much like we reflexively say, “Fine” when someone asks “How are you?”, we may say, “I’m so busy” as a reflex that encourages people to back off. The conversation never moves on from there - no further inquiries about what we’re up to or what it was like to be so busy. Saying, “I’m busy,” is a roadblock to real conversation.

So I took my experiment to the next level. Whenever I was asked what I was up to, rather than saying, "I'm busy" I chose one thing I was really excited about and shared that instead. I also banished any talk of “busy-ness” from my social media pages.

It was magical.

By being so open and focused on what inspired me, I no longer needed to share my anxiety. Instead I got to make a real connection about something that mattered to me and let another person into my world. And I began to wonder, what would be possible if actors owned what made them busy and saw it as a benefit rather than a curse? Would my student been offered the film role if he had been focused on the quality of the work he was sharing rather than the quantity?

I invite you to try the same experiment - see how many times you’re compelled to say “I’m busy” rather than really engaging with your peers. Catch yourself each time you try to unload your “busy-ness” and see what’s really there for you to share. And let me know how the experiment goes and what you learned. 



Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

I'm Not Playing


Today’s blog is going to be a little incendiary, but something’s gotten me ruffled and I want to talk about it. Today I want to talk about GURU MENTALITY.

You know the mentality I mean - the one that says that if you just dream big enough, and you put all of focus on one process/ ideology/ viewpoint, you can have your hearts desire with very little work. That all you have to do is follow one person who will give you all the answers, and your dreams will come true. THAT guru mentality.

Look, I know how alluring it is to think that if you DREAM your way through life that everything will work out for you. But will and desire and passion is not nearly enough, and no one person has the magical elixir.

I think we all know that deep down inside. But when we’re confronted with real, honest effort it seems easier to pay a lot of money to people who will make the kinds of promises we want to hear.

I get a lot of coaching clients who come to me with a guru mentality - they ask, “If I coach with you consistently will I have everything I want?” And they often want that success with very little effort on their part. But any career coach who tells you YES is lying - yeah, I said it. LY-ING. Because there is no one perfect route to success, and it certainly doesn’t come without some kind of effort. There are too many factors out of our control to say that there’s one true way to succeed.

So I’m stating, here and now -- I’m not playing that game.

I’ll say it now, loud and clear: There is no magic to having a career as an actor.

First and foremost, my job is to teach you the business. Business is simple - there are industry standards to be aware of and it’s my job to make sure you know where those boundaries are.

Second, my job is to teach you how to approach the business creatively. There are many loopholes and grey areas, so this is where we can play a bit and let your personality (aka type) shine through. It’s this creativity that makes the business full of infinite possibilities. And it makes it FUN.

Third, my job is to help you navigate the challenges and difficulties between the two, often referred to as mindset. There is so much perceived rejection in this business that much of what we do in coaching is help the actor find ways to deal with the disappointments.

What a career coach can’t do: Guarantee anything other than the above. I can’t “get” you an agent, “get” you on that TV show, “get” you the Broadway audition you’ve been dreaming of. No one can guarantee those things. Getting there is a mix of all of the three things we CAN do (listed above) combined with perseverance, good timing, connections, and a lot of luck.

So the next time anyone promises anything other than helping you DO THE WORK, be wary. Guru mentality will not help you get to where you want to be - the results will be hollow, and you deserve more.


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Special Tips for Beating Facebook's Algorithms


From time to time I'm going to address student and reader questions via video instead of the standard text. It's an exciting way to take advantage of all of the wonderful digital resources out there!

This week I talk about the sometimes frustrating, "How can I make Facebook better for my networking?" There's one quick tip I give that will make all of that time on social media bearable - and it's fast! Without further ado...



If the video has trouble loading, or you'd like the link, go here:


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How To Follow Up After Networking


Welcome to my brand new video blog! From time to time I'm going to address student and reader questions via video instead of the standard text. It's an exciting way to take advantage of all of the wonderful digital resources out there!

This week I talk about the ever elusive, "What do I say when I follow-up after meeting someone at a networking event?" There's one quick tip I give that will make all of those follow-ups simple and effective - and will make you feel great in the process! Without further ado...


If the video has trouble loading, or you'd like the link, go here:



Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Definition of Success


We’re in the midst of awards season, so naturally it’s a time actors begin to daydream about achieving that ultimate success in their career. We watch acceptance speeches with a mix of envy and awe, and we fervently wonder what it will take for us to launch our career to that level.

The truth is, only a fraction of the A list actors will ever be nominated for a major award, let alone win an award (here’s looking at you, John Barrymore and Marilyn Monroe.) So it wouldn’t be reasonable (or mentally healthy) to use “winning a major award” as a litmus test for success.

If that isn’t a standard to live by, then what is an actor to do?

You want to start looking at other measures of success for your career, and they can be any number of things based on the kind of career you want to have. Success is simply defined as, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” So what are you aiming for? Some examples:
DO YOU WANT...
• An agent
• A guest star role
• To be called in directly for a regional/Broadway show
• To build relationships with all CDs in a specific office
• To make more than 50% of your income from acting
• To balance you work and home life
• To get a more flexible/lucrative day job

The key is: make sure that the measures can grow and change over time as YOU grow and change. You should have a sense of what “success” means for your current year, and also have a 3 or 5 year plan so you can see what success might look like in the future. Any of these examples above could be year-long goals, or could be mini-goals in service of a greater goal.

As you probably know, I’m also an actor so I’ve created my own measure of success just like I’m advising you to. In 2017 here’s what this looked like for me:

My measure of success (goal) for 2017 was to pay my rent only using acting income. To achieve that, I created a bunch of mini goals each quarter. I started by aiming to attend at least 30 EPAs in the first quarter of 2017. The next quarter I focused on networking and making sure my self submissions were strong, in addition to going to EPAs. In the 3rd quarter I focused on self-producing my own projects and taking on projects that I was referred for. And by the end of the year I found that I had achieved my overarching goal - I had gotten two long-term singing gigs (one as a stand-by in an open-ended Off Broadway musical) that are now paying my rent. And I was able to feel especially successful because I had achieved all of those mini-goals in between.

So what is your measure of success for this year? How about this month? Or this week? Leave your ideas in a comment below so that I can help give you some free accountability!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Building Community Through Social Media

I’ve noticed something recently when talking to actors about their needs. My theater held auditions in December and we asked everyone why they were interested in joining a year-round theater ensemble. Almost every actor said the same thing: they wanted a community. Acting, as you know, can be a pretty lonely endeavor. Unless you’re lucky enough to be acting in a project, there are very few places you can consistently mix and mingle with actors. Furthermore, the “business” size of our business is almost always done alone. So actors are left feeling isolated and hungry for meaningful interaction.

So I find it funny that one of the most dreaded aspects of the business for actors seems to be social media. I’ll tell ya, when I interview prospective students and I ask them how their social media is going, I get a reaction somewhere between an eye roll, a regretful sigh, and a pained grimace. So if we as actors are all yearning for community, why is social media so scary?

In order to make social media work for you, there are two things to focus on: you have to be active, and you have to cultivate your tribe.

Being Active: 

It’s a vicious cycle - so many actors barely post and then when they do only a few people comment, which proves to them that social media doesn’t work and so they barely post. See the cycle? But in order to get the benefit of social media you need to be active. This doesn’t mean that you need to post what you had for breakfast every day, but find a way to meaningfully engage with people. This can include posting a new status, liking someone else’s post, or sharing/RTing someone’s post to give it a virtual shout-out.

You’ll also want to follow the 80/20 rule: spend 80% of the time providing some sort of interest or value, and only 20% of the time promoting yourself. This will keep you from being one of “those” people (we all know who those people are.)

Cultivating Your Tribe:

You’ve probably heard social media referred to as a hive mind or echo chamber, and that’s for good reason. Social media can often be be more enjoyable if the people you’re interacting with are folks you feel good about being around. After all, you’re reading their posts all day long - it makes sense that you focus on following those who you respect and care for. So don’t be afraid of unfollowing people who make you feel icky, or refusing to engage with someone who is being an internet troll.

And if you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you have the added benefit of following people you don’t know, which means your world has a chance to become more diverse and full and you can grow your tribe exponentially. That can even include casting directors, producers, writers, and other industry pros (like me!)

In Conclusion:
What this all boils down to is that social media can provide the most amazing, heartfelt, loving community you could imagine. When I went through a recent illness and couldn’t socialize, social media allowed me a connection with the outside world. It also let me share a part of myself that helped others understand what I was going through. When I was able to come back into the real world, the love from social media made the in-person connections all the more vivid. It was as if social media had amplified our relationship to something even more special. That’s what having a tribe is all about.

I invite you to give it a try - be more active and cultivate that tribe so that social media is a place you feel comfortable being. I promise that you’ll see results.


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The "You" That Nobody Knows

I was watching one of my favorite TV shows the other day - Shark Tank. (Seriously, all actors should watch this for what to do and NOT to do in the audition room!) The person was trying to raise funds for a product that helps ADD suffers (and others with attention problems) to focus. As he gave his pitch, you could see the inventor try very hard to make the product seem as broad as possible so that even people without ADD could benefit. It made sense - there were already fidget spinners on the market, so he obviously needed to broaden the appeal, right?

Low and behold, there was a bidding war for the product - the investors were lobbying the inventor to LET them invest. And what was it that made them interested? Was is the universality of the product or the product’s high sales? NO. As it turned out, one of the investors himself has ADD, and another has a child with special needs. So for them, the investment was personal. And the inventor was lucky, because somehow the investors could see through his “universality” pitch to understand what this product means for those with attention problems.

Most actors behave like that inventor - take what makes our product unique and special and hide that so that we appear to be more competitive with other actors. We want to fit in and not stand out, even though intellectually we understand that in order to be noticed we need to be different. But our hearts fight against our brains and compel us to play small.

The truth is, we’ll never know what will help our work resonate with our own investors - the casting directors, agents, and producers we’re trying to woo. What if your unique take on a role inspires something personal in the audition room, but you dial it back and they never get to see it? Can you imagine all of the missed opportunities?

I encourage you to bring your best funky, weird, a little too neurotic, intense self to your work, and balance with professionalism, ease, and confidence. The balance is key to help people understand the person and actor that you are. To end this, I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes on the subject:

"Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” - Judy Garland

“Bring so much of your authentic self to the table that you can say, ‘If they want someone like me, I nailed it.’” - Erin Cronican


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

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