Don’t Get Discouraged

I was having a conversation recently with my mom.  I had just found out I had booked an acting part, so I called her to share the news.  I can always count on dear old mom to be excited for me.  She says, I’m proud of you.  You know, you never get discouraged.

That felt really good to hear.  Though it’s not completely true.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had moments in my life when I’ve felt discouraged.  But I do try to push through that feeling.  Because I know it will never get me where I ultimately want to get.

For the next couple days after my conversation with my mom, I thought about the word discouraged.  What does it mean exactly?  Well, it has that big word in it, doesn’t it?  COURAGE.  Then Dis.  So in a way, it’s like losing your courage, and that’s it right there.  You want to accomplish something, it’s not working out, and you get DISCOURAGED that it’s not going to happen.  You LOSE your courage, then maybe you give up.  Hm.  So if you have that quality about you, that you never get discouraged, well, that’s an amazing trait to have.  There’s so much positivity about it.  You have to see things a little differently then, when things don’t go your way, so you won’t get discouraged.

I feel it’s REALLY easy to get discouraged when auditioning.  You put your heart and soul into auditioning for a part, then most of the time, you don’t get it.  As the auditions mount that you don’t get, something starts to slip.  You start to give up a little bit.  Stop trying perhaps as much.  Why should I memorize these lines?  I’m PROBABLY not going to get the part, so why waste the time?  Oh, if I memorize the lines, it’ll show that I care too much.  I’ll just get the gist of it, wing it.

For my recent auditions, my main objective is not to “get the part”.  I believe you will get discouraged if that’s your main objective.  Because 9 times out of 10, you will fail that objective.  So you have to find an objective you can accomplish 8 times out of 10.  And for auditions, my objective is to “impress the hell out of the casting director,” or if I’m sending in an audition to my agent, do the audition so well that it impresses them.  I believe I have control over that.  Having a really, really good audition.  Actually GETTING THE PART is out of my hands, because there’s too many factors involved that have nothing to do with talent.  The big one is is do I look the part?  Or rather, do I look like the guy the director is envisioning for the part?  Hell if I know.  That is WAY out of my control.  But what I can do is work my ass off on the audition as much as possible.  Think it through.  Then go in for the audition, and get the casting director to think, wow!  Clint is a great actor.  Maybe he’s not right for this part, but when something down the line comes that he fits the description for, he’s our man.

And I’m telling you, if you’re out there and reading this and thinking about going for an acting career, I think that’s great, but you’re going to really have to play some mind tricks with yourself to make it through.  In order to “make it” you can’t get discouraged.  And in this business, It’s SO EASY to do.  I mean, think about getting rejected, told no, 5 times a week.  It wears on you.  It’s easy to lose the joy in it.  It’s easy to feel down.  So if you want to make it as long as I have in the business, you have to change your objective.  So that you can survive.

I think it’s like that with a lot of things.  To get something, sometimes you don’t just go at it straight on.  I mean, if it comes to you, great.  It’s like if you go out on the town, and your objective is “to meet mr/mrs right.”  That’s probably not going to happen.  But maybe you should make your objective, I want to have three conversations with women I don’t know tonight.  There’s probably a better chance at succeeding in that goal, than meeting the person of your dreams.  And if you keep your objective at just meeting new people, you have a better chance at not getting discouraged.  And I GUARANTEE with this new objective, you have a better chance at meeting the right person for you.

There’s no time in this life to get discouraged.  Why get discouraged?  If you’re getting discouraged about something, CHANGE YOUR OBJECTIVE so you can win more.  I think that’s got to be the worst objective:  to win.  How boring, shallow, and unfulfilling.  Because the winning is so fleeting.  It’s a high like any other drug can give you.  With acting, with probably a lot of things that are competitive, you have to find a joy in the process.  The getting there.  Not just the goal line.  Not just getting the part, and doing it.  But the entire process.  If you don’t, you’re never going to last, and you’ll give up.  Because you get the part, and do it, about 4% of the time.  You’ve got to figure out a way to deal with the other 96%.  And NOT get discouraged.

In closing, I think it’s impossible to not feel discouraged from time to time about life, and things not working out the way we want.  But I GUARANTEE you will not achieve any of your dreams if your positivity and all your enthusiasm, becomes negativity, and hopelessness BECAUSE you become discouraged that it’s not working out.  Change your objective in your mind so that you can achieve more and not become discouraged when things don’t happen as fast as we want them.  Because my friends, they never will happen on your dreamt up timeline.

Best throw that away, and figure out a way to never get discouraged no matter how long it takes.

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