The Perkiness of Being a Wallflower!
I spent a weekend in a room with a bunch of strangers and it changed my life forever. “Let’s put 20 actors in a room for a weekend and see what happens.” It sounds like a bad reality TV show doesn’t it? Oh, how horribly wrong THAT could go………. Well, not in this case!
The first weekend in February, I survived a weekend in a room with a bunch of actors. We were taking The Savvy Actor‘s “Crash Course MBA:” a weekend-long class focused on acting as a business. Absolutely the most helpful class I’ve taken since arriving in NYC.
I learned and grew so much in those 16 hours – in fact I am continuing to learn and grow from those 16 hours – so here is a glance at what really stuck with me. These are the tools I’m using to propel myself forward in my career:
Acting can be a lot of mindless auditions, expensive classes, and desperate attempts at networking. Through Savvy I mostly learned that you need to be SO SPECIFIC. Which reminds me of the phrase my acting professor in college, Julia Guichard, used to use: “Specificity: good. Generality: bad.” When you are specific about your goals, you no longer mindlessly attend auditions, waste money on classes, or desperately network. You use your goals to propel your auditioning, training, and networking.
I learned that it doesn’t matter how unattainable your goals seem, if you set yourself up for success you will eventually succeed.
I was encouraged to write out my one-year goal (and 5 yr, 10yr, and 20yr!). Not only was I encouraged to write it for myself but also to tell other people for accountability. I wrote mine on Facebook and I have it here on my blog. My one year goal as an actress is: “In one year I desire a UCB TAKEOVER!!! I will work my way up the UCB ladder and be performing on a UCB improv or sketch team. I also desire to build on-camera experience, having booked a featured role in a non-union student film or series.”
So how am I moving forward to reach this goal? I start my first improv class at UCB on TOMORROW (April 30!!!)!!!
At Savvy we also focused a lot on branding ourselves as actors. So, for example, you say “I am a witty/funny actor.” Okay well how? What is it that makes you funny? How can you use that information to influence your brand?
I discovered several ways in which I am funny:
- My honest optimism combined with naivety. I am by no means the “dumb girl” but I have moments of purity that shock people sometimes. And it’s funny. Along with that, when I go against my overt optimism it also creates a funny.
- Since I can be quiet and reserved, the moments when my boisterous side takes over can be very funny…I am generally a BETA but the moments when I become ALPHA is when I thrive comically. Jasmine and I call this my “cuckoo clock” of comedy.
- I help others out in comedy. If someone has a funny idea, I adapt and become their flunkey, which generally pays off in hilarity.
To sum it up, I shock people by being different than how they first perceive me. Learning this about myself really helped when it came to my BRAND.
When the weekend was over, Savvy encouraged us to reach out to friends and family for help defining our brand. So, I asked many people – maybe even YOU – to help me when it came to branding myself (Yay I’m a [purple] Cow!). And as some of you know, it took me forever to finally figure it out.
As a part of branding Savvy asks us to craft a Branding Statement to help define our brand. A “Branding Statement” defines the essence of the actor – a slogan that states where the actor belongs in the business. Here’s what I’ve come up with for my Branding Statement:
“Heather Boddy is a witty wallflower with a wacky side: think Ally Sheedy, America Ferrera, and Jillian Bell.”
Like it? Let me know what you think – it’s always a work in progress (as I adapt to new goals and growth in my career). And a HUGE thanks to everyone who helped me craft it!!! Couldn’t have done it without your feedback!
[[Who are those people, you ask? Oh, sorry I didn’t notice you lived under a rock… Ally Sheedy is the weird chick in Breakfast Club. America Ferrera is Ugly Betty (among other amazing things). Jillian Bell is the quirky office friend of the guys in Workaholics. Okay, you can go back under your rock now.]]
Now I have a clearer vision on my acting career. I have obtainable, definable goals and I know where I belong in the industry. It’s nice (and also kind of scary) knowing more about myself.
Check in with me in a year (and before that please because I like friends) to see how I am doing. Hold me accountable for my career choices!
I would like to thank all of my classmates from the weekend and an extra big thanks to my coaches at Savvy for helping me discover so much!
If you are an NYC or LA based actor, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Savvy Actor. For workshops, seminars, coaching, and, of course, the MBA Weekend. Click Here for more info!
(Als0, thank Lys for this punny entry title)