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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 and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Mary said...

Thank you for that and for being honest. Those big guarantees are red flags. There are so many conditions that get actors agents and roles. The idea is to learn from a coach the specific skill you're after and the rest is up to us. Even a GURU continues to learn. :)

Unknown said...

I love this. And the mindset thing. Every day when I get up I have to make a deliberate choice of how my mind is going. I do wish I could pay someone to make it all work out. But I know I can't. Thats how the clickbait ads work as well. Great post Erin!

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