“No! It is NOT time to think about Pilot Season. I’m still processing my trauma from last year!”
Actually, yes. We’re here to inform you that now is the time to start thinking about Pilot Season. But it’s not what you think. In the last few years we’ve made it our mission to educate actors about how amazing Pilot Season can be, that it can be both professionally epic and creatively orgasmic. Success is possible this Pilot Season. It requires a total mind shift, some letting go and lot of hard work. We know it’s possible and over the next few months we’re going to show you how. But before the feast, we have to set the table. And, yes, we have to start now. This early. Here are five things you can do right now to prepare for The Best Damn Pilot Season of your Life.
1. Eat. Sleep. Exercise. When you have to get to Marina Del Ray for a 6 p.m. audition and it’s 5:45 p.m. and you’re still at Warner Brothers waiting to get into your 5 p.m. audition, caring for yourself in a basic way can get thrown out the window. But it can’t. Fast food on the freeway affects your body and your mind and is bad for business. Start now by creating a practice of caring for yourself. Eat well (enjoy but don’t indulge over the holidays), sleep well, and exercise (including exercise that connects the body and mind through breath). Don’t expect anyone in the business to care for you. That will be up to you. But it takes time to learn self-care. Start now!
2. Assemble your team. Check in with your representation now. Reaffirm your commitment to the work and each other. See if they have a sense of what pilot season will look like this year. Figure out where they think you fit. Get on the same page. Work through your issues, and go into pilot season knowing that you have an ally. You don’t have an agent or manager? Accept that it’ll be up to you to advocate for yourself and come up with your pilot season plan. In the next few weeks we’ll offer ways to help.
3. Sharpen your tools. January 25th is not the time to be thinking about how to set up your camera and lights for a decent quality self-tape. Do it now. Get those headshots taken now. Is your reel as good as it needs to be? Need to shoot another scene or re-cut what you have? Do it now. But it’s not just the obvious tools that need to be looked at now in preparation of the grand season. Make sure your phone is working so you can receive emails from your agent on the fly. Make sure your printer is in good shape so you can print sides. Make sure your car runs well so you can get where you need to be. And make sure you have a clean, quiet space in which to do your work. This Pilot Season won’t entertain your excuses so figure it out now.
4. Get a life. Let’s face it. Self-doubt and disappointment abound during Pilot Season, so you must maintain your self-worth by having a full life. And that starts right now. You don’t need to go into forced isolation for three months during Pilot Season only to emerge in May as a shadow of the person you once were. Keep yourself engaged in your community, and with friends and family. Make plans now to volunteer during January, February, and March. Take harmonica lessons. Plan cool, one-day and weekend getaways with your friends for February. Do it now. And unless you’re shooting a pilot, commit to your plans. Shed the belief that “I can’t visit my old friend back East because I might get an audition.” This belief leads to paralysis. Hyper focus on the business leads to bitterness, creative impotence and unemployment. In the next few weeks we’ll be offering ways to stay powerfully engaged during Pilot Season. If you want success you have to stay engaged with the people and things around you. We’re going to help make that happen.
5. Find an outlet. If your only artistic expression occurs during a few auditions a week and within the confines of a mediocre, two-page pilot scene, you’ll probably stop feeling like an actor. You’ll probably start feeling artistically stiff, like you haven’t really stretched in a while. That’s bad for business. You have to stay engaged in the work outside of the business so your artistic pipes stay clean and so you can walk into the audition rooms as artistically full as you can be. But it takes time to get into shape. Get in class, write, shoot what you write, work on at least one self-tape every week. Start now!
You’ve got some time before the holidays. Use the time to meditate, visualize, and prepare. Soon, we’re going to come back at you with a revolutionary way to make Pilot Season work for you. But you’ve got to get some things in order before we start. Do that work now so you can focus on success. Nothing makes us happier than guiding actors past their desperation and their hesitation to creative and professional success. You’re going to be successful this Pilot Season and we’re going to help you make that happen.
Stay in shape for Pilot Season with us at the BGB Studio! Jump into class now.