Small Victories
*Photo by Justin Patterson

Small Victories

Or count the small stuff on your way to the big stuff

The beginning of March marks the halfway point of the audition season. It is at this juncture where either the weather is getting slowly better, or you are fighting through yet another blizzard. You are feeling good about the auditions and callbacks you may have had so far, or you haven’t been doing so well, and are looking at the rest of the season with worry and fear creeping in. You might be losing sleep. Or sleeping like a baby. Maybe you’ve booked your year, or maybe you’ve booked nothing. Maybe you are waiting to hear about some slow burning projects.

However your season is going, what I’ve learned thus far is that celebrating small victories along the way is really vital to keeping your spirits up. A small victory can be as little as debuting a new song and having it go well. Or not leaving an audition when you encounter a challenge that you would have formerly bowed out of. Or discovering a new ease with certain skills that you previously lacked. Maybe you are put on a future hire list for a long running show. Maybe you get good feedback from a creative team, even if you don’t end up with that job for whatever reason. Good feedback is never a bad thing, because this is a business of relationships and long memories. Each show has at least seven cooks in the kitchen, and everyone has their favorite picks. So even if you get just a few on the creative team who would pull for you first, it can be crucial later on. They will remember you, the work you presented, and the attitude you had. And don’t forget casting directors that will feel confident enough to bring you in for their other projects. Coins in the jar! These small personal victories let you know you are on the right track. Count them all, because they all count!!!

See, we are really good at counting our small (and large) failures. For instance, that step that didn’t go right, that note we didn’t hit, the line we dropped in the scene, the outfit that didn’t quite work out, or the joke that landed flat. Yes, learn from your mistakes, but if you spend too much time beating yourself up about these points, you’ll be your own worst enemy. Don’t do that. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Fixating on what you aren’t doing right, and what projects you didn’t get hired for is a load of negative energy that won’t serve you. It’s not constructive mostly because we never really know what took us out of the running. Unless you do, in which you go fix whatever went wrong that you control. When you lose, take the lesson, fix what you need to, then move on to the next project. Don’t dwell.

My suggestion: Write them down, these small victories. Keep them in a booklet, or keep them on your phone, so when you find yourself getting down about the state of things, you can recall your small victories to get your spirits back up. Because we have at least two more months to go, and remember, you are in it for the triathlon, not the sprint!

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