"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -Dr. Suess, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Dr. Suess was, I'm sure you'll agree,
a genius and man much smarter than me.
Quick with the words, swift with his wit,
he taugh me great lessons and made my mind fit.
Okay, now I'll stop with the poems and get to my point. No matter what you want to do, who you want to be, or where you want to go, becoming educated on the things that pertain to your goal (as well as other subjects) is imperative.
Many of us in the entertainment industry want to be "naturals". We want to feel like we can just step on set, stage, or street and perform flawlessly becasue it's what we were born to do. However, that's not the case. It never has been, and it never will be. There will forever be more to learn, another subject to master, and new techniques to become familiar with. If we want to be effective in our crafts and do our jobs with excellence, we must shoulder the responsibility that comes with the job: dedication. Ridiculous, unwavering, and relentless dedication.
I encourage you to take time to learn something new every day. Mainly about your field, yes, but also about other things. Learn about the stars, learn about psychology, learn about a different culture. Look up a different approach to writing, or acting, or ordering your coffee in the morning. Find new ideas and decide for yourself if it works for you.
Become informed. Become inspired.
"But where do I start?"
With your craft. Actors, look up different approaches to acting. There's more than just method and non-method acting. Singers, work on different vocal warmups and expanding your range. Look up tips on song writing. Writers, study story structure (and for the love of all that is good and holy, educate yourself on formatting a script. REALLY LEARN FORMATTING.) You can even just search "acting/music/script writing terms" and then research any terms you don't know. Down the rabbit hole you will go as your curiosity takes you swiftly away!
Here's some quick guidelines for you:
Does it seem interesting?
Don't know a term?
Is it boring but something basic you keep forgetting?
Is it only barely related to what you're doing?
Is it about protecting yourself from a legal issue in the future?
Do you not know it?
If you're reading this (and haven't run away yet), you have an internet connection, which means you have a plethora of resources available to you that can move you forward. For you budding film makers out there, here's a few on youtube that you can learn heaps from:
-Every Frame a Painting
-Sam and Niko
-RocketJump Film School
-The Film Theorists
All of these channels have a wealth of information on storytelling, film practices, and technical advice. (Plus, Film Riot is hilarous. You'll love those guys.)
Actors, you've got a lot of great resources online as well. Have you heard of www.backstage.com? If you haven't, go there right now! They've got tons of articles on how to manage your social media, acting techniques, how to behave at an audition, and they even have casting calls.
Singers, models, I'm afraid I'm not as familiar with resources for your crafts, but don't fret! There's one thing I've not mentioned yet that we ALL have access to!
We all can use google. Every single one of us can search the internet and find articles everywhere that can offer advice on what to do, what not to do, and what's worth trying.
If you will dedicate 30 minutes a day, just half an hour, to learning something new about your craft, about story telling, about being in the industry, I guarantee you will see development. Will it mean instant success? No, probably not. However, you will have a great amount of personal growth happening so that when success does come your way, you can handle it like a true professional.
Don't go a day without learning something new. Don't let an opportunity to become better pass you by. Don't waste time on Netflix (watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. again) when that same tab could get you more on top of your game than you've ever been.
Always strive to become better than you were the day before.
Always look for new information.