You tell me…
True or false?
You went into show business because you want to make the world a better place.
That was the first impulse.
The mere act and art of entertaining another individual is a huge gift.
And, I’ll bet you went into this world of show business (or entrepreneurship) because you wanted to enlighten an audience. Challenge an audience. Push people to see their shortcomings and go beyond what they think is possible.
But so often this altruistic impulse gets lost as we deal with perpetual rejection. So often I see actors lost in the insanity of wanting fame and attention. Wanting to own expensive objects to validate their existence. I know I’ve got sucked up in that game many times. But when we lose sight of that initial impulse to make the planet a better place, a lot of anxiety and frustration arise.
I suggest as an experiment that we treat all of our actions this week as altruistic acts. Instead of trying to get more attention, or more money, what if you made your intention to make the world a better place. Damn, sounds like I’ve gone all cheesy and shit. Fuck it, let’s do it anyway.
Start with your next audition….
Are you willing to make your next audition a random act of kindness? Hows about you do your absolute best work in your next audition. Make it the audition of your career. Whether you’re pimping how frigging soft Charmin is, or doing a 6 page scene for an independent film, or a feature or a broadway play, or a showcase… Offer everything you have – as a gift to those in the room with you. That means letting go of your concern with getting the job.
Just have fun, let your heart be open.
You don’t have a lot of control over whether you’re gonna get the gig or not. But if you have an open heart and are willing to give something away – well who knows…
And let’s face it…
You can’t afford to go into your next audition protecting yourself from rejection. That’s no way to live.
It’s time to be a passion rebel.
Go out there and have some fun.
The planet needs you.
So, was I right?
Did your initial impulse to go into the entertainment industry come from a desire to make the world a better place?
I’m truly curious about this.
Damn, this is a mighty fine blog. Took the words right out of my mind. Awesome. Keep it up because the more actors that truly inhabit this mindset, the happier this pool of talented actors/artists in the world will be. “Imagine” the art that will be created for the rest of the world to enjoy.
(used quotation marks cause I love Lennon)
Cheers and thank you for this!
Love that, Neerja.
“the more actors that truly inhabit this mindset, the happier this pool of talented actors/artists in the world will be.”
Erin C says
Cheers to this!
Inspired as well.
Leanne Regalla says
Grand Slam here, Josh! Thanks so much for the best possible start to my day.
I’m gonna repost/retweet this all over the planet!
PS – things are rockin! 😉
Grand slam this early in the day?
And thanks for Retweeting
i act because it makes me feel liberated – when i focus on the audience’s experience it can sometimes get in the way of me giving. this sounds odd but i think i act because it can be a spiritual, connecting-to-the-present exploratory experience. i don’t do it for the cash/fame, neither with the intention of affecting an audience. i don’t know where that sits in the ‘good reasons to act’ thing but wanted to give it a voice!
I hear that.
But when you are connected to the present – the audience comes alive.
So, both are true I would say.
I’m in the entertainment industry because there’s no better way to connect, collaborate and create with others. At least in my opinion.
Damn it. I really wanted to go into this saying false, but you got me pegged Josh. I love these blogs! So refreshing every time.
Thank you for reminding me that fighting to be in control all the time is a fruitless effort.
Perri Yaniv says
Thanks for saving me from a bad day josh! I was in a completely negative mindframe when I woke up, but when I saw your name in my inbox, I knew you’d turn me around. Now I’m excited for the 2 auditions I have tomorrow.
There is a need to share the love that inspires us. In the moments before I enter a room, when I sit breathing and seeing directly what is in front of me, I am reminded that this love for what we do has brought me to this point, and the next, and the next. And for this love I always give thanks. Thanks Josh!
Adam Finelli says
I believe in Josh’s idea here.Saturday mornings for me meant farcical lip-syncing and dancing to musical soundtracks to entertain my family during a weekly all-musical radio program in Boston called “Standing Room Only.” This is basically the place I’d like to work from.
I cannot speak for anybody else, but I am sure that if people are honest with themselves they would likely agree with me. “Making the world a better place” would not be at the top of my list when it came to choosing a career in this field. In fact, it would rank fifth, sixth or seventh on a fairly short list. Not that I am opposed to making the world a better place. I have many practices that I strongly feel contribute to improving this world. But the number one reason I chose this path is to avoid having to earn a living in professions that I would find dreary, dull, square, conformist, unbearable in any number of ways. The number two reason is that this is one of the very few jobs that, if done right, you get applauded by, with any luck, a large crowd. Number three is that you tend to work with extremely attractive people.
I think it is incorrect to say that wanting fame and attention is a form of insanity. It has to do with scale and balance, as all human beings require some form of attention. Couldn’t it be construed that thinking that one’s art or one’s personal expression is intended to help make the world a better place is a form of insanity (or at least delusional)?
I believe that people become artists because it gives them pleasure. An artist can never depend on whether pleasure is given to others (or whether improving the world is accomplished by the art). If bettering the world was the primary focus of all art, think how many more santimonious people we’d have to contend with.
Pardon the typo — “sanctimonious”
Hi Bruce, thanks for your comment. Awesome to hear a different perspective as that’s what makes the world go round! Keep creating.
To make the world better/people think and feel more is exactly why I became an actor… and exactly what I forget when nerves/fear/concern about the outcome starts! Great to read this post… I feel so happy and liberated! Thanks for all the incredible insights, Josh.
I am a passion rebel!
Dear Passion Rebel
It’s important to remember that if you fully experience the sensations of nerves and fear – without going into a mental drama – those sensations will shift within 7-12 seconds. Hanging out with concern however, will pull you away from the moment. When you are caught in concern, return to the truthful information in your body. Give it a shot.
Oh Josh. How right you are. To allow one person to escape their head and lives and Live in the moment, while becoming mesmerized by a play or film etc has been my goal. Literally. Since day one. We all remember the first live performance we saw that took our breath away, inspired us to be better people, to change the world. Thank you for reminding me:)
Cheers to giving a gift with honesty and pure intentions.
I think I’m going to change my license plate to PASSION REBEL!
Let the LA countdown begin!!
Thank you Josh!
Conor Tansey says
Right on! You da man, Josh!
I totally agree. If I’m not in this mindset, it ain’t a happy place. Thanks for the reminder bud.
Next time I am in LA I wanna see that plate!
See you in the October CI Weekend!
Oops that last one was for Erin.
But yea Conor, i hope my stuff reminds us al of what we really all ready know.
One of the best things a teacher ever said to me was along these lines. It was Scott Zigler in Vermont-
“The world doesn’t need more actors. It needs more human beings.”
Showing your humanity takes a lot of courage. I’m not sure if it makes the world a better place, but I do think it makes it feel less lonely.
That’s what I love about acting. It can take all of the crappy stuff about people and turn into something beautiful.
Perri Yaniv says
well, I just came back from a great audition for rattlestick, and i used the true/false blog as the basis for choosing a monologue i wouldn’t have otherwise chosen, and it made for a very special time. thank you for the constant vow of inspiration!
Kristen Mallette says
BUSTED. This post was a head-butt back to reality. You’re so right! I’ve been headstrong on GETTING instead of GIVING. I went into all of my meetings today with a fresh intention to GIVE KINDNESS and the day has been one of the busiest, most productive and fun days in MONTHS. Each audition has been FUN. This is refreshing! THANK YOU JOSH!
Damn, you made me weep a little.
.-= Llyane´s last blog ..My Spiritual Family =-.
Only a little?
I’ll try harder next time.
michelle Pruiett Haden says
Hi Josh! Your blogs always helps inspire and ground me at the same time?! How do you manage to do that 😉 So….I’m not auditioning right now because I am in the middle of a job…but I feel that I can still use your awesome blog tonight to give my best performance to the audience. Some times when you’re in a long run, you need that reminder to give your all 🙂 Thanks!
What show are you doing?
Let people here know – so we can see you.
My first response would be False. BUT as I’ve studied and been in it for a while, why I do this has definitely changed. Can I make the world a better place? Well, I can make the world of my audience a better place, that much I believe. Since I do a lot of improv comedy, it’s a thrill and a joy to know that I can find humor out of seemingly nothing. Making people laugh is one of my favorite things to do and being present is KEY to this skill on and off stage.
To answer your question about my first impulse goes back to when I was 5 and saw my first school production. It just seemed like magic and fun to me, I just wanted to do it and I wanted to do it well. That hasn’t changed. As I got older it became more about the challenge of a script and eventually getting cast. The crazy thing is that when I forget the latter and go back to the fun of discovering a character and just playing, I tend to do better in the getting cast department.
I think if you strip away the superficial stuff that can be associated with this “business” (fame, hotties, money, being different) it gets back to what the heck you are doing for other people and their hard earned money. (Or what they are stealing over the intertubes) Are you making their world a better place? Don’t you get ticked when you see a crappy movie?
It’s a great challenge to put out there Josh and one that I’m glad people are taking the time to take in to consideration.
“The world doesn’t need more actors. It needs more human beings.”
Great Scott Ziegler quote. Thanks for sharing Tyson!
Yes, absolutely, that’s my first motivation. Thanks for this wonderful post. It really helps me put things in perspective. And what a great intention to have going into an audition or any other action in life.
Let us know how it works for ya.
I am so glad that you have a blog. So glad that I found your blog. I am back!
God bless and be well.