Got your attention? I sure hope so. You see, since the global economy, as we knew it, came to an end in 2008 the world has been trying to make sense of it all. A lot of people are still climbing out of the rubble and have no idea what’s happened. Some are still trapped. Some are in denial. The ones that realize we’re in a new day and age are asking, where do I go from here? How do I survive? While I don’t have all the answers, here’s what I know for sure. If we’re going to survive, the best thing we can do is to imitate actors and learn some of their traits. Actors are paving the way for surviving the global economic holocaust.

ADAPTABILITY

Still don’t understand? Let me explain. Actors, particularly theatrical ones, are some of the mostadaptable creatures on earth. I know. My oldest son is one. He’s been a successful performer for nearly a decade. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of his fellow actors. There’s one thread they all have in common: adaptability.

The acting profession is one of the most demanding professions on several counts. First off, an actor never knows what will be asked of him or her when on stage or how an audience is going to react. There are times when they need to improvise or make do without a prop. They don’t get flustered when something unscripted happens. They keep rolling. In fact, to be successful in this profession, adaptability is a prerequisite.

Acting is a financially inconsistent career. To be successful means having the ability to be flexible, not just financially, until the next opportunity presents itself. Not all plays, television programs and films start and end on the same schedule. It would be nice if they did and it would make life a lot more predictable. But, consistency and routine is not what actors thrive on, is it? They flourish with change.

Performers are used to uncertain and erratic auditions, rehearsals and contractual schedules. The ones who love their craft and can’t imagine doing anything else keep productive with other income producing activities until their next engagement. Outside of this industry, I don’t know too many other people who are comfortable living this way. In fact, as I look around my community which is driven by Wall Street, there’s a lot of anger, resentment and regret. Many have lost jobs, homes and marriages because they don’t have the skills or ability to adapt.

CONVICTION

I admire the conviction that actors have about their work. They’re following their calling. They’re willing to take financial risk for the sake of their vocation. Not everyone has the courage or opportunity to do this. I followed the financial carrot.

Most performers, if they’re going to stay in their profession long term, have multiple income streams. Many have innovative ways to supplement their incomes such as personal training, coaching and day trading. The more progressive ones have discovered lifestyle online businesses, giving them an added financial stream and the flexibility of time that they need. Not all of them, these days, are waiting tables.

Having the certainty of knowing that acting is what they’re meant to be doing is a true gift. Few people land on this earth knowing what their mission is and even less have the unyielding determination to follow it. I can’t imagine having a more rewarding career than the one you were called to do.

RESILIENCE

Those that will survive the economic holocaust must be resilient. In this regard, actors lead the way. One of the first things they learn is that talent is not enough to land you the job. You may be the best performer in the audition but if you have the wrong look, are not the right height or are the wrong ethnicity, you’re out of luck. If each time they walked out of the room without a contract they felt bad or had regret about it, they would never survive. They need to throw a lot of pasta against the wall before something sticks.

Few people have a stomach of steel and don’t take rejection as well as performers. Experienced actors seldom take to heart failure to land a job. It’s a good thing or we wouldn’t have Broadway. The seasoned artist never gives rejection a second thought.

We’re in a new economy and rejection will be the norm in the labor market as more and more traditional jobs are replaced by automation. As this increases, a growing number of people will be turned down for the first time. I wonder how most will fare. The survivors will be the ones who have the ability to bounce back like actors do.

REINVENTING YOURSELF

The greatest talent that actors have is the ability to reinvent themselves with each new role. I don’t imagine that many look back wishing that they could be a certain character again or get into a state of depression because they can’t keep playing that role. With each new performance they are a whole new being. They focus on the new not on the old. How exciting and evolutionary!

As the old economy dies off, we must have the ability to reinvent ourselves. We need to find ways of providing for ourselves and our families. There’s no point in looking back. Every actor I’ve met always looks forward to his or her new role, to a new cast and to a new venue. We need to do the same as we face this new era.

Have you ever known an actor to take a role with them? Of course not. How wonderful is that? They can be someone else next time. If we could all be as pliable and reinvent ourselves as easily, we can rest assured to thrive in the digital economy.

ACTORS LEARN QUICKLY

If we’re going to succeed in this new age, like actors learning new lines all the time, we must stay current and learn new skills quickly. One of the reasons people grow old is that they stop challenging themselves.

The personal development industry is burgeoning with people who want to remain active, challengedand youthful. One of the ways to do this is to learn innovative skills. If we’re going to hit the ground running when the dust settles from the fallout, it would be wise to have the training that the new economy requires. Why not learn them now? The sooner we have the ability to be successful in this latest marketplace, the further ahead of the wave behind us we will be. Rather than begrudge the current situation, let’s start learning our new lines.

THINK UNCONVENTIONALLY

I love actors. They’re resourceful. They think unconventionally to keep their passion careers alive. How many of us are willing to sacrifice some things for the gain of our dream profession?

Evolutionary people always challenge themselves to acquire new talents. As the world takes new shape, they’re the ones that will flourish. Like performers, the winners will not be tied to outdated ways.

Actors are constantly learning different skills through the roles that they play. Many of them spend time with a person who is practicing the role they will be playing.  In this way, they can get into character more easily.

Because they can be anyone, actors are fun to hang out with. They’re always fresh and original. Their energy can be magnetic. Their careers prevent them from thinking, living or staying trapped. We have a lot to learn from them. If we’re going to keep up our spirits in these demanding times, perhaps we need to spend more with them.

What are you doing to overcome this economic armageddon?  Will you become obsolete or outdated in a few years?  Don’t wait until the wave of change overtakes you, take action now. If you’re going to succeed, think and get out of the box the way actors do because they’re paving the way for survival in the global economic holocaust.

ROXANA BOWGEN, Digital Marketing Strategist      

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