There’s no “side-stepping” the hard work. You’ll never be able to go around it.
However, there are “black holes” of sorts that allow you to pass through the middle and end up in a different place if you look hard enough.
These are inflection points.
What most people don’t realize is that if you continue on your path for a reasonable amount of time, you’ll have several opportunities to take advantage of these inflection points and make huge strides in your progress through events that are on the outside, seemingly normal.
These inflection points could be the result of:
- a relationship or friendship that leads to key introduction.
- a piece of content you produce that blows up for one reason or another.
- an important person that finds your work and supports it.
- simply being in the right place at the right time.
On the outside, these things look like “luck” — but experienced people know that’s not how the game works.
If you’re working on your craft, if you stay in the game long enough, these opportunities will happen for you. This is just the way of the Universe.
Many industries are a war of attrition — the person who plays the longest wins.
I realized this in my career as an actor.
The people getting the best roles are not necessarily the best actors. Acting is tough and full of rejection.
I like to imagine the entertainment industry like one big high school.
Every year, when people aren’t seeing progress, they drop out and try to enroll in another “school” (career) looking for a less discouraging path — which leaves fewer people going for the same roles.
At the same time that people are dropping out, your stock is rising because you’re gaining valuable experience with the craft compared to all the fresh blood coming into the game.
Now, the casting directors are starting to see you coming out for the same roles over and over again. If they are casting a new commercial and need a “sarcastic asian girl” and you’ve already auditioned for a similar roles 6 times, they will recognize you when you get in the door.
Instead of “who are you?” it’s “Nice to see you again, Melissa.”
As you begin to build these relationships, maybe the casting directors even call you in when a role that fits you comes across their desk — and now you start getting booked left and right.
You’re on the inside track.
People in the beginning stages of the journey (most of whom will soon be dropping out) wonder why you booked the role. They think you got lucky.
Ha! The joke is on them. Let them fall out of the way and make room for you.
Truth is, nearly everyone gets “lucky” with enough time in the game.
You just have to work towards mastery of your craft, put yourself out there and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves.