Habit Hacking for the LA Actor
If you don’t brush your teeth tonight, your teeth aren’t going to crack and fall out of your gums while you sleep. If you do 20 pushups before bed, without skipping a day for a year, you’re going to be in much better shape than if you do nothing. It’s not rocket science, it’s common knowledge, but why is it so hard for us to build and maintain good habits?
The key word is maintain. How do we maintain the momentum once we get started building a habit? The results aren’t always instant and life will come and distract us with the allure of a fancy party, or a fun night out. We stay out a little too late, and now we don’t feel like waking up early. So we’re late. We’re too late to cook a healthy breakfast at home, so we spend three times what we ought to on an instant meal that doesn’t keep us healthy. Where’s the harm? It’s just one meal. Add that shit up across a month and you’re just shy on the funds to enroll in an informative class or seminar that will help your career. So you feel underachieved and alienated, the world is too tough. If only that class was cheaper, then you’d be able to go. Then you would be able to land that gig with the big payoff that’s going to solve all your problems. It feels better when you start making excuses, it’s everyone else’s fault. You deserve to be a star, it’ll happen sooner or later. You just need to be discovered, then everything will be alright.
You tell yourself this while some buddies of yours, who are also feeling dejected and insecure because their bad habits aren’t moving their dreams forward, call you up to come out and have some drinks. Together, you complain about how the auditions you went to are so unfair, how the casting director has a thing for blondes. “If only I were blonde, everything would be better,” and it all feels okay. You’re surrounded by people who make you feel like you deserve that star on the walk of fame, even though you’re not doing anything to earn it. You all tell yourselves that this is your year, “this pilot season, we’re going to land that guest-star role, we’re going to book that national commercial!” You make a bold plan to start calling agents in the morning. “This time, this year, it’s going to be different…” It feels good… Until the next morning. When you’re late because you drank too much and stayed up too late. Your bad habits of pushing snooze and sleeping to the very last minute because you’re really afraid of what the day has in store for you keep you from facing the day. You lie in bed until you absolutely cannot anymore. You make more excuses. It’s okay if I don’t call the agents today. I’ll do it later, when I’m more awake in the afternoon. I’ll do it on my lunch break.
That time never comes. That break never comes. That leading role never comes. That national commercial never comes. That agent who is magically going to send you out to every coveted audition like some kind of fairy godmother pulling golden chariots out of pumpkin patches ain’t gonna be there for you. UNLESS you start to do something different. What is it? It’s simple. Form good habits. Let your own momentum carry you through the finish line. It all starts with a good habit. Read, Exercise, Invest.
As an actor in LA, it’s critical to remember that distractions can pull you off track every day, and results RARELY appear overnight. Fill your head with inspiring information by reading stuff like our blog or some quality podcasts and surround yourself with focused and career minded friends and you’ll start to feel a pull in the right direction. It all starts with being aware of where your habits are leading you and then doing something to course correct if you’re not seeing the results you want. We’ll keep posting tips and strategies here, but of course, please feel free to drop us a comment or just email if you have a specific question or want some advice. We’re here for you!
Author: Noah Edward Scott - LA REELS