Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back-To-Business Aside: Acting Is Believing

The Back-To-Business Series: Index

Hey everyone. You ever read this book? Maybe it was handed to you as a textbook for Theater 101 back in College... maybe you ran across it in a used book store.

Ok, wait - I know... I KNOW! At the end of last week's post, I said that this week I was going to talk about the resources - other than money - that we as actors need to manage. Before I get into that, though, I want to take and Aside.

Now, fair warning - I'm gonna to do this periodically throughout the Back-to-Business series... my series, my rules :) I've got my little "modules" I'm going to take you through - but every once in a while I'm going to "off topic" and discuss some things in more general terms.

See, as I was going through responses to last week's post, I kept hearing the same thing over and over...

"There's no guarantee that you're going to make money in this business."
"How do I know I'm going to get a return on the money I invest?"
"Isn't it dumb to throw money at a business that has such a history of LOSING money?"

etc etc etc... Which brought to mind the title of this book, from the musty bygone days of my Acting 101 class - way way far away at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Acting is Believing. It's a pretty simple concept for we actors to get, isn't it? If we don't believe the moment, on stage or in front of the camera... if we don't believe that our character is actually addressing Parliament... or in prison... or taking arms against a sea of troubles (and by opposing end them!)... if we don't believe that moment then the audience won't, either. We will have failed in our tasks as actors. Simple as that.

Guess what... business is believing, too. You can do all the risk-assessment you want to... you can prepare, you can save, you can train and you can and you can track... but at when all is said and done, if you don't believe that you can be a success... if you don't believe that you can make more money than you can spend, then you won't. Simple as that.

Look folks, all business is speculative. It doesn't matter whether you're acting, or your selling pencils on the street corner... there's no guarantee. It's always a risk. You ever watch Dragon's Den, or the US equivalent Shark Tank? On every episode, people go up before the shows tribunal of venture capitalists (and the TV audience) and they ask them to believe in their idea. If the presenter him or herself doesn't believe in their product/ service/ business idea - it shows. And the presentation gets shot down. If the tribunal doesn't believe in the idea, it gets shot down.

On those rare occasions where the presenter believes and the tribunal believes (and the presenter has done his or her homework... and the business model is sound, and there's a market for the product, and... and...) and the product or business is funded - what's the guarantee that the business will succeed? How are those investors assured that they'll get their investment back?

They aren't. No matter how good the presentation, or how solid the numbers... there's no guarantee - for the investor or the business owner. They have to take the risk, though, to see that investment repaid. They have to believe that they will succeed. We actors are familiar with that term, aren't we? We're told that we have to take risks in our acting, or else our performance won't be interesting, right? Well, we have to take risks in our businesses. If we don't... honestly, why bother? Why decide you're going to fail, and then keep walking down that road to failure (since you've certainly directed your steps in that direction.)

Acting is believing. The acting business is believing. You have to believe that you're going to succeed... or all the tips and tricks and advice from people like me in the world will never help you succeed. Simple as that.

Ok, next week I'll get into resources (other than money) that we need to manage in our businesses... for now -

Let's get to work!


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