Dear Actors…..

Hi. It’s Tony.

You might know me, you might not. (Either way it’s cool.)

I just wanted to share some thoughts with you as a 29 year old actor, still working day jobs, and very much looking forward to…not working day jobs. I’m not where I want to be yet. And I have my share of “Am I doing this right?” days. That said – I know I’m exactly where I need to be and exactly on the right track.

Three years ago, I started reading personal development books. “Tony… I’ve never heard of personal development.” Here’s the Tony-version: Personal development involves books, materials, and other types of formal/informal training that either give you a better understanding of yourself or of others. You’ll learn about these things in a positive and productive way. With consistent application, you become more realistic about your goals while remaining optimistic about the obstacles. 

Personal development has changed my life in a lot of ways. But if I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be this one: confidence. I feel better about myself. I feel better about how I look. I feel unstoppable when it comes to my goals. It’s pretty bad ass. And because of personal development, I’ve found I bring a better “Tony 2.0” to my acting career. I’m unapologetic for who I am as a person, so I’m unapologetic when I audition. I’m more confident when presenting myself. And if I mess up in class – eh. It makes me more human. Not a bad thing at all. 

This wonderful thing I found isn’t something everyone knows about. I see a lot of people who could be crushing it in their field, if only they had more confidence. But fear not, friends. I got good news: Personal development can be learned by anyone. In fact, you’re hearing this from a guy who use to loathe reading. (Unless the title started with “Harry Potter and….”) 

So if you’re not a reader, not into personal development, and haven’t yet gained that confidence that you year for, I’ll share a little secret with you that I picked up. This is just for you. And it’s this – You are awesome. 

Seriously. You’re a badass. Think about it: You’re purusing an acting career. You’re here for a reason. And unless you find yourself hating the stage, hating the camera, or dreading the thought of your friends and family all crowding on the couch to watch your debut on Chicago Fire, please know you’re doing the right thing and you’re on the right path. (Especially if you think you’re, like, way behind from where you should be.)

So do yourself a favor – realize right now – yes, RIGHT NOW – that you’re a badass and don’t need to apologize for any “imperfections” that may or may not exist. You’re not doing the class a disservice by bringing your weird interpretation to the role. You’re not bothering the casting associates who are sitting in for your general call. If they are bothered, it’s because they need a career change – not you. So take charge. Acknowledge your inner awesomeness. You. Fucking. Deserve it. 

It’s time you acknowledged it. Actually, you should have started this yesterday, but I’ll cut you some slack. So please. There’s a lot of people out there waiting for you to show up, be you, and even pay you for doing what you love. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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PS – If you’re a Salem State University student, please hear these words…but also realize you’re on the right track. After sitting in and chatting with you guys this past week, I’ve found that you guys are well aware of just how fucking awesome you are. Kudos, my friends.

***   ***   ***

Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to write blogs on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him attony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

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My Last Minute Audition Story

It was one of those “I have less than 12 hours to prepare” auditions. I wasn’t expecting it.

And when something unexpected happens that throws off your plans for the night/following morning, you naturally start to think certain things:

 

There’s not enough time to prepare.

There is definitely not enough time to prepare.

I have how many sides to learn?

This time slot is really cutting it close to when I need to be at work.

Wait, there’s a monologue too???

I thought they were sending out audition confirmations last week? Why did I get mine tonight?

There’s not enough time to prepare.

 

And then the inner critic decided to pay a visit. So kind of him…

 

The last few times you went to one of these auditions, you didn’t do so well. You probably won’t do well at this on this either.

You’ll probably just embarrass yourself.

If your friends from class knew you were going for this, they’d probably think it’s stupid of you for even thinking you’d get it

They’re going to want someone with more experience with [oh so many things….]

There’s really no point for you to even be –

 

“NO. THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH.”

 

When the critic creeps in, he thinks he’s protecting us. Often that protection comes across as negative and condescending. Next time he shows up, feel free to use that line. Then follow it with this:

“…sorry for shouting.”

(I mean, you don’t wanna be a dick.)

“I see what you’re trying to do. But I’m going to do things my way anyway. Because the truth is….”

(You get the idea. Here were some of mine: )

 

The truth is….

They might love me.

These sides actually aren’t that long. I could totally learn these tonight.

Oh! I could have a lot a lot of fun with that one character.

They seriously might love me.

Why not me?

I work my ass off. That’s how I got this audition.

I submitted for this same type of role months ago. No such luck. I got the audition!

The truth is this is a kickass win

I am SO grateful I got this audition!

Seriously….WHY NOT ME?

 

The aftermath:

The audition? Nailed it. The doubts I had about what they were expecting from me? Didn’t even come into play. My chances? Well…that’s the fun part: IT DOESN’T MATTER. What matters is I made the most of what I could control. I prepared. I stayed positive. I was present in the room. I didn’t try extra hard to please. I made strong choices.

I had fun.

The amount I learned about myself during those 12 hours was worth it alone. Because if I can rock that audition in a short time period, well hell….what else can I do that I didn’t think I was capable of?

Takeaways:

  • Focus on what it is you can control rather than stressing about the things you can’t. I couldn’t control how little time I had to prepare or the amount of experience I had prior to the audition. I could control learning the lines and making strong choices in the audition room.
  • Be nice to yourself. Incorporate more positive phrases and reading material into your daily routine so that this gets easier. When you do this, these last minute scenarios become more fun. Besides, it’s hard to help those casting if you’re negative and stressed. If you can’t do it for you, do it for them as a thank you for calling you in.

 

 

“Tony. This is all great stuff. Did I mention how incredibly handsome you are?”

Oh right. My positive voice is sometimes a female. She’s kind of into me….

Have a great week, friends. Go get ‘em.

Do work that you love (and don’t play the lottery)

I’ll be honest – I hate the lottery.

For starters, it implies that there’s an easy way out. It implies that life is going to suck unless we’re that one in a million person who had things “just work out.” I’ll stop here. It’s making me upset…I don’t like being upset.

Second, it implies that once we reach a certain point in our lives, then we’ll be happy.

I call bullshit on both these points. Especially the second one. Let’s talk about that.

I moved to Chicago to be an actor. These days I spend more time at my promotional job and working from home coaching others with their health goals. I don’t neglect acting, but I certainly spend more time in the other two areas. Once I have more time for acting (and trust me, that’s coming), I’ll definitely be happier. However, time is not the only indicator on whether or not acting makes me happy.

If you’re a member of the Thriving Artist Circle, you know that Dallas Travers does one-on-one coaching calls each month. More recently, she and Roz Coleman were coaching actors on their goals – and it wasn’t at all what I was used to. I was used to the “do what you need to do to be a fulltime actor.” With this call, it emphasized being an actor and doing the type of work that you truly and honestly love to do.

*Record screech* Wait, wait? I thought being a fulltime actor was the answer?

Being a fulltime actor would be fun because it would mean less time working JOBs and working on what we’re truly good at. Now let’s fast forward to that magical day where acting pays all the bills: What is it about acting that excites you?

-Is it sharing a message to others that they wouldn’t have otherwise learned through your work?

-Is it telling stories in a specific way?

-Is it the process of dissecting a script and getting to know your character?

Because of it’s any of those , I got some follow up questions for ya:

-Will doing industrials for corporate companies help with this?

-Will doing film work – where I have little to no rehearsal time – help satisfy my passion for character work?

-Is that one liner role on Chicago Fire going to satisfy my need for dissecting a script?

This isn’t to say that the answer will be no. In fact, my dream job is to be a full time theatre actor.  Yet all three of those examples are jobs that I would gladly take.

Tony stops writing for a moment to see if he had any missed calls/emails about said work.

…Sorry. Anyway, the point is to focus on what you do want and how you do want to feel. I recommend focusing on those things now, prior to that magical day where you have financial freedom and can do whatever you want.

If you watched my facebook video earlier this week, you say that it breaks my heart seeing people working jobs they hate. Life is too short. Go after what you love. And be sure it is, in fact, what you love.

Speaking of which…love you guys. Thanks for reading.

Go get ‘em.

Have a friend who would like this? I’m always grateful for shares or shout outs on social media. The more people we can reach sharing messages of positivity and support, the better =)