Thursday, June 18, 2015

Do you accept advice?

When you're trying to make an important decision, do you go it alone or solicit advice? Who do you trust to guide you? Are you willing to accept you think it means you're weak/less capable, or, as platitudes say, that doing so shows you're strong?

Authors often have critique groups and/or beta readers to offer feedback. They may have an agent and/or an editor, or hire an editor who requests revisions.  

Most actors also have agents, and many work with coaches and/or take classes. We often receive direction during auditions and while on set, and of course would be remiss not to follow that. The key is being able to adapt on the spot and do as advised. I've had the opportunity to sit on some auditions, and have been surprised when actors couldn't or didn't employ a simple correction in their next take, such as "smile more." Once I took classes I'd heard from many reliable sources were beneficial, but I ended up more confused than when I began, and it took some time to unlearn that approach and move forward with trusting my choices.

Some might ignore great advice to their peril, or accept some that either wasn't good or doesn't turn out as well as they hope it will. Others are fortunate to have someone in their life with a great track record of providing helpful advice.

Writing decisions: I had two editors take different approaches with my next book. When both suggest the same change, such as adding another scene to enhance the subplot, I'm more inclined to follow it. When only one suggests something, I might do it if I agree. Yet there's a nagging doubt if I pass on something else. What if she's right, and I need to do that, too?

Acting decisions: I recently took new headshots, and am receiving feedback on which to use for my commercial and TV/film pictures. If I change my mind, of course I can use different pictures or get more taken at a later date, but what I choose to post on casting sites and have my agent submit can impact future auditions and work. I'm also taking an on-camera class and some private coaching, and am assimilating everything.

What's challenging is trusting myself to know which advice to follow. And believe I can do it well, so I can keep learning and improving.

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