A few weeks ago I went down a TedTalk blackhole (as one is wont to do), and I came across what was, at the time, the most viewed TedTalk in the history of Ted. It was Simon Sinek's powerful Ted Talk on how great leaders inspire action by being connected to their "why."
If you haven't seen this talk, STOP READING, AND WATCH IT NOW.
This reminded me of one of my first assignments that I give to my students, which involves them getting clear on their why. I've included the assignment below; give it a try :)
Factor in the freakout/Get clear on your "why."
I would like to reframe the term "freakout" when it comes to moments of questioning that will invariably pop up during your career and probably during your time at school. Let each "freakout" be an invitation to reaffirm your choice to live an artistic life. For your journal, I would like you to create your "why"--why you chose an artistic life, why you want to be an actor, why you want to dedicate your life to an art where only 2% of people are able to make a living (not a famous living, just a meager living). Create a "why" that feels strong and resonant for you. It can be one phrase, one sentence, one paragraph--whatever honors you and your creativity. Don't take this lightly or treat it flippantly, but also don't become paralyzed by the notion that your life's choices must be summed up in one tidy sentence. Allow yourself to return to your "why" throughout your time at school and throughout your career. Let it change and grow, just how you will change and grow.
It doesn’t need to be long, but I encourage you to make your “why” bigger than yourself. One of the best whys I ever received was, “I’m doing it for my ancestors.” Your “why” should be bigger than your love of acting.
If this assignment confuses you, here is a great article from Forbes. This article focuses on helping the reader find their purpose, but I think it can also help you find your "why."
This is also a lovely example of getting clear on your why.
In episode 7 of Audrey Helps Actors, she and her guest discuss the importance of getting clear on your why.
Here is a great list of quotes from famous actors as to why they chose this career.
The ACTIVE ACTOR
You are probably wondering this blog is about. Well, it's about anything that everything that I find inspiring, helpful, and curiosity building.
Curiosity is my favorite state of being, and I've become a treasure hunter and a trash hoarder, collecting all sorts of articles, artwork, and accessories that fuel my inspiration and creativity.
This will also be a place for me to document my life as an actor and coach in Los Angeles. If performing is your passion, I hope that this blog becomes a place for you to learn from my mistakes, grow from my accomplishments, laugh at my witless choices, and share in this crazy, unpredictable, beautiful, life in the arts.