Archive for the ‘hollywood career’ Category

How Are You The Solution to Someone’s Problem?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

I just recently coached my one month intensive Jump Start™, and something came up throughout the weekend that feels worthy of a blog.  It’s the idea of being the solution to someone’s problem.

Problem-Solution-ResultSo, let me back up for a moment and give this idea some context. Because, often in this business, we are highly driven and focused. This is not a bad thing, but it can have a downside. That downside is that in our drive and focus, we only think about ourselves.

And what that looks like day-to-day is a “me, me, me” attitude. We are only looking for the solution to our own problem—the person we need to meet, the thing we think they can do for us when we meet them, and so on. This can lead us to becoming that very thing we most loathe, desperate.


What is it time to let go of?

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

What is it time to let go of?

If you’ve been following me at all, you might know that I recently undertook a massive move with my family. My husband Gregory, who works in television most of the time, has described himself as a “FedEx package.” Meaning he gets shipped off to all sorts of locales for work. In the last two seasons months alone it’s been Mexico City, Savannah, GA, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, Toronto, Virginia, and Vancouver, BC. I might be forgetting one or two.

This is largely the result of runaway production. And since it’s unlikely to change in the near future, a few years ago we started strategizing a family move to a place where he’d be able to go to work in the morning and come home at night.

And so on August 1st Gregory, myself and our twin 5 year olds Niccola and Allegra all got into a u-haul pulling a car trailer and car alongside a mini-van packed to the top. We drove for three days and then crossed the border into Canada and pulled up at our new house in Vancouver.

Because Gregory was on the television show Fear The Walking Dead, the organization and packing largely fell to me. As you can imagine, it was a cathartic and confronting experience. We had lived in our townhouse for 11 years and in that time had gone from being a married couple to a family of four.

Over and over again I found myself asking the question, “What can you let go of?” And this question brings me to today’s blog.  (more…)

What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

(How to actually use this freakin’ quote to accomplish your biggest goals)

Happy new year! I hope you’re reading this blog having gotten rest over the holidays, feeling rejuvenated and excited about what 2015 brings.

Every new year brings the possibility of great things. And, January is different from other times in the year, I’m sure you’ll agree. Every year I look to understand what my goals are for the new year and what I can do differently and better to bring them about.

QuoteFailv2Many of you know that 2014 was a year of great accomplishment for me. After nearly a decade of trying to get several different feature projects into production, I directed my first feature, Saturn Returns, which I also wrote. We are now nearing the end of post-production. I’m happy to report that even after all of these months in post-production and years in the making, I still love it and I’m really excited to share it with you all.

Another big accomplishment for me was how my coaching business grew last year even when I was in the midst of making a movie. It was an accomplishment to be able to continue helping people accomplish their own dreams even as I was accomplishing mine.

And so, in examining what was different about last year, what finally pushed my big goals across the finish line in a way that hadn’t happened before, I’ve uncovered some new things to share. Here goes…


Get Re-Connected to Your Why

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Often, we spend so much time talking about strategy, that we neglect some of the fundamentals.  So, I’m going to spend a few minutes today talking about one of the most important things in your career, your motivation behind your goals, also known as your Why.


Your Why can look a lot of different ways.  You can be passionate about something.  You can identify with something.  You can have a dream or a desire or a love.  But, if you’ve been working on a project or goal for a while, chances are your Why has gotten buried a bit under the day-to-day demands.  The problem with this is that when we aren’t connected to our Why, it gets harder and harder to do the things we need to do toward our goal.  We feel unmotivated and we’re not sure why.

So here are 5 steps to reconnecting with your Why.

  • Go back to the first time you wanted to do what you’re doing. It could be the first time you ever wanted to act or write or direct or paint or produce.  Visualize that moment in time.  Where were you?  What were you thinking, feeling, doing?  Who were you with?  Close your eyes and recreate as much of that moment as you can.
  • What did that moment call up in you? A desire to do what?  Put that into words as clearly as you can.
  • Was there a change you wanted to make? A contribution?  Something you wanted to give or to share?


Create 2014: Design this Year to Be Everything You Desire

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Now that it’s the dawn of 2014, your mind is probably racing ahead to the days, the goals, the good times you want to see unfold.  You might still be relaxing (I hope you are!), but you’re starting to get antsy.  You might have thought of a few new year’s resolutions already.  But this time around, you want it to be different.  You want to really accomplish them!  Not just make them and then halfway accomplish them or give up on them.

If you haven’t yet done the Complete 2013 series of exercises from my previous blog, I highly recommend that you do them before starting the work below.  You can read all about them here.  It’s not too late to do them.  In fact, I normally do the completion exercises over the first weekend of the new year.  It just seems to work out that way.

Following, you’ll find Part 2 of the two-part structure, Create 2014.  As with Part 1, it will take a bit of time.  But, I promise that the reward of doing these two exercises will surprise you.  I do them every year and I love sharing this work with you all each year, to remind and inspired you.


How To Complete Your 2013 Powerfully

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As the year winds down you’re probably having a few thoughts about how 2013 has gone.  Well, okay, probably more than a few.  And perhaps there are some ideas floating around about what you hope and dream for in 2014.

This post is designed to help you shape all these thoughts and feelings.  There are times that are great for musing, certainly. And once that’s done, some simple, effective structure can help you take those ideas, solidify them, and get to work making them a reality.  This is one of my favorite blog topics to tackle each year, and this year I’ve got a few juicy additions for you, so read on!

Following, you’ll find Part 1 of a two-part structure, Completing 2013 Powerfully.  This will take a bit of time, but the reward will surprise you.  I do this every year on my own, and this year I incorporated it into my special End of Year Velocity Day.  It’s truly my favorite work I do all year long.

First, I encourage you to carve out time for yourself.  Go somewhere that you can focus on this important work, but still be relaxed.  For me, it’s one of two favorite cafes.  An extra hot vanilla latte at King’s Road does wonders for putting me in the right zone.


Do you have a hard time asking for help?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

So, you have a friend who works at an agency.  You’d love their advice.  Or, you’d love for them to look at your materials and give you feedback or pass them to the right person.  But, you just don’t ask.

Your family member is an executive, a casting director, or a producer.  They are working on a project that you think would be perfect for you.  But, you just assume that they know your work and will approach you if they are interested.  You feel uncomfortable asking for help, so you don’t say anything at all.

If either of these describes you, you’re not alone!

Consider for a moment the definition of help.  Help: to make it easier for someone to do something by offering aid.

Now, let’s look at the definition of helpless.  Helpless: Unable to help oneself; powerless or incompetent.

It’s not that we have an inherent problem asking for help.  It’s that we make asking for help mean that we are helpless.  And if being helpless means we are powerless or incompetent, is it any wonder that we don’t want to ask for help?!

I propose that we reframe the conversation entirely because the help/helpless path is a rabbit hole if there ever were one.

What if instead of asking for help, we simply make a request?  Request: the act or an instance of asking for something. 

I don’t know about you, but this is already easier.  When I make a request, I’m asking for something, but not because I’m incompetent or powerless.  There’s no negative charge with a request.

And, if you read my win/win blog from last month, you know that when something occurs as a win or an opportunity for someone, they want to do it.

What this means practically is that if you can think about why responding to your request would be a win for the person you’re asking, then you’re way ahead of the game.  This means that you have to step outside your own needs, wants and fears, and get into their head for a minute.  What do they want?  What will be a win for them?

When you do this, it gets a lot easier to frame your request specifically for them, to speak to their needs, if you will.  When you do this, it’s a lot more likely that you’ll get a “yes!”

So, I encourage you to take this on.  Stop asking for help and start making requests.  Think about why the person you’re asking would want to say yes.  Craft your request in such a way that it occurs as an opportunity!  And see how many yesses you get!


What Win/Win Really Means

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I remember my surprise the first time I heard the phrase win/win.  I don’t remember where I was, but I do remember the feeling of shock I had at the idea that both participants could be winners at the same time.

I was raised in a very athletic household.  Lots of sports.  Lots of games.  You and your team either won or lost.  It was a zero sum game.  If there was a winner, there had to be a loser. And this is how, subconsciously, I approached life.  If I wasn’t winning, I was losing.  I didn’t know any better.

So, as I wrapped my head around the win/win idea, I must tell you, it was difficult.  What does it mean to have everyone winning?  What does that look like?

If you have these questions, read on for some practical tools to bring this concept into your daily life…

To have everyone win, first you must understand what a win could be for them.  This means you have to actually ask them.  It can be as simple as “what would make this experience a win for you?”  And you have to listen to what they have to say, and really make sure you understand it.

The second thing that’s important is to be as committed to their win as you are to your own win.  This can take some soul-searching, because if you’re anything like me, it goes against all you’ve been taught about winners and losers.  But, once you take on really being as committed to everyone’s win as you are to your own, a big shift will take place.  Your partners and team-mates will feel your commitment, and they will start to match you.

The third concept to take on is something that for me was really life-changing…  Here it is:  If everyone on my team isn’t winning, I’m not winning.  Conversely, if I’m not winning, they aren’t winning.


The most risky choice is not making one …

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Do you ever find yourself unable to make a decision.  Vacillating between two, three or even more choices?

The choices seem momentous.  Or, maybe they aren’t huge, but you know that each choice has consequences.  Each choice we make takes us down a road, or further down the road that we are on, and you want to make sure it’s the right road!

So, we vacillate back and forth, weighing the options and the risks associated with each one, playing out the possible effects, unable to make up our minds.  Eventually life takes over and we find ourselves on a road of some kind, going somewhere.

I’m here to tell you that the most risky choice is not making one.

Seriously.  Not choosing is choosing.

What’s that, again?

Not choosing is a choice, although we don’t usually think of it that way or treat it that way.

The fallacy is that by not making a choice, we think we are keeping our options open.  We think of this state of being as having power, because we are withholding our commitment.  We think we can bestow our commitment on some choice in the future.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this.  In the natural order of being, certainty trumps uncertainty, commitment and intention trump limbo.

As human beings, we crave commitment and certainty.  We need to know the sun is going to rise in the morning, or we can’t get out of bed, to bring it down to brass tacks.

So, in the absence of you making a choice, let’s be clear, a choice does get made.

What happens is that we allow others’ commitments, intentions and priorities to fill the void left by our own lack of commitment, priority and choice.

By not choosing, we allow others’ priorities to become your own. When you have a choice vacuum, it will get filled by others who have indeed made choices.

So what do you do when you can’t seem to make up your mind? 

First, give yourself a set amount of time.  Give yourself two hours or two days or until the end of the week to make a choice.  The scale and urgency of the choice will dictate how much time you should contemplate it.

Second, solicit input and advice, but do it carefully.  Not everyone is a good person to discuss your choices.  You need supportive confidantes who will also tell you the truth, not what they think you want to hear.

You also don’t need 10 opinions.  Two or three is a good number.  You don’t need to be even more overwhelmed because so many people are weighing in.

Third, make sure you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.  You might want to write down a pro and con list for each option so that you can see it in front of you in black and white.  Often once you do this, the choice becomes obvious.

Fourth, when you reach your deadline, make the best choice you can with the options and information you’ve got.  Commit to your choice and get into action.

Fifth, refrain from second-guessing yourself until you’ve given your choice a chance.  If you’re constantly second-guessing, you aren’t really committing to your choice.

If you find that you can’t seem to stop second-guessing yourself, then use the old time trick.  Give yourself a date at which time you’ll assess and then get back into action.  The assessment date shouldn’t be too soon or too far out.  But if you aren’t sure, then just set a date, and, again, get into action.

Sixth… Be empowered!  It’s your life.  You’re the dog, not the tail.  Have your life instead of your life having you.  You will make mistakes and the “wrong” choice sometimes, but you will have made it.  There is power and freedom in making choices, so embrace it!

Here’s to all your great choices…


Summer Reading to Inspire & Educate You…

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Summer is well on its way.  Okay, soon to be over!  But, this blog about books to educate and inspire you has been on my mind for a while, so here it is.  These books are good any time of the year…

My favorite book on Acting:  The Year of the King.   
This is hands-down my favorite.  And, I’ve read them all.

What do I love about it?  First, it’s incredibly practical.  Antony Sher really lets you into his head for his process.  He explains his challenges with the crazy amount of lines he had to memorize, for example, and how he conquered them.  He delves into moments that he doesn’t understand and how he makes sense of them.

Second, it’s quirky and funny and very authentic.  His voice is unblemished by any façade.  Third, the journal-style approach with his wonderful sketches is unlike any other acting book out there.  And, he humanizes one of Shakespeare’s great anti-heroes, Richard III, a man who tests most everything human.  If you haven’t read this  book yet, I highly recommend it!  You’re really in for a treat!