I’m mixing things up a bit this week with a special guest post by Erin Cronican.
Erin is the Founder of The Actors’ Enterprise, a kickass career coach and a veteran actor. Her involvement in the industry has spanned the last 25 years and covered all the bases, from TV to film to theatre. She's also the co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, so she knows a thing or two about self-producing.
In today's blog, she's sharing some important questions to ask yourself at the beginning of the process that will help you gain the clarity and confidence you need to decide on the project that’s right for you.
I’m so honored to have been asked by Bret to create a blog post to help demystify the process of creating your own work. There's so much thought and strategy that goes into the process of choosing, creating and sharing a project, that today, we're going to discuss how to even begin.
How do you choose the project that's right for you?
To start, you want to ask yourself a few questions which will help guide your efforts.
1) What kind of project do you want to do: play, musical, film, web series, etc.?
Many actors know exactly what kind of work they want to do, but for some it can be challenging, especially if you have multiple interests. One of the easiest ways to determine the best medium to create your work is to envision your favorite book coming to life with you as the lead actor in the story.
Would you prefer to tell your favorite story on camera or live on stage? Will it involve music, or movement, or just words? This is a quick short cut to unveiling your favorite medium for your project.
2) Do you want to write your own original story, have someone write an original story for you, or would you like to revive/remake/adapt something that’s already been written?
From its inception, my theater company, The Seeing Place, has focused on works that have already been published (as opposed to new works) so that we, the actors, can freely interpret each story with our own artistry. This helps guide our decision making and has positioned our theater company in a particular niche in the industry which we can be really proud of.
3) What story/stories are you aching to tell?
Self producing is really (really!) hard, so you want to make sure that you are passionate about what you’re creating. One way to inspire your passion is to know that you’re creating is something that’s missing in your world.
Have you had an experience that you’re dying to express through your art? Are there particular writers whose work you’re committed to sharing? Are you interested in creating more opportunities for women, or minorities, or any other overlooked parts of our population?
Asking yourself these questions will help you hone in on the exact project you’re committed to creating.
4) What kind of role do you want in the producing process?
Believe it or not, you can produce your own work and not have to be the big boss. Think about what kind of position you want in the project and what skills you bring to the table. Then bring other people on board to fill out the other needed positions.
Once you have this initial planning completed, CONGRATULATIONS! You are on your way to creating your own work! (Aren’t you excited?)
Let me know how this process helped you, and what project you've decided to create in the comments below.
Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She is the Founder/Coach of The Actors’ Enterprise, co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, and writes an “Experts” column for Backstage. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and find her on Twitter @ErinCronican.