Do you need to break up with yourself?

You’re not going to believe this, but I just listened to my first episode of This American Life about 6 weeks ago.

And  Where has this been all my life? 

The episode I heard was Act One of "The Breakup," with special guest Phil Collins. It was a cascade of belly laughs, tears and or warm fuzzy feelings that took me right back to the 80s. 

Because Phil Collins was a big part of my life back then. 

Because of the 8th grade dance.

Because of that drum solo.

Because he crooned on many-a-mix-tape (which I often made by scrambling to hit ‘record” when the perfect song came on the radio). 

In "The Breakup," Phil Collins helps a freshly scorned woman write her own listen-to-all-the-sad-songs-on-purpose breakup song. 

How cool is that??  The Phil Collins part… not her broken heart part.

And I know you can relate with the gut-wrenching, I'll never laugh again, feeling of a breakup.

Because, as an actor, you’re basically getting broken up with every day – if you’re lucky.

In actor speak, getting dumped means you didn’t book it.  “We’re going in a different direction” means “It’s not you, it’s us…”. And " There’s someone else...” literally means….”there’s someone else.”


Buuuuut if you didn’t book it, it means you could have booked it, which means you got the opportunity to audition in the first place.  

And that is a feat in and of itself!  A win, actually.  Because most actors don't even get to audition. And most actors who do audition, won't book the job. In fact, only ONE actor will. 

So, the rest of you talented actors? 

Dumped! So to speak.  

If you don’t book it, it just means you’re not “The One”...this time.  Just ask Phil Collins who’s been married 3 times. 

When his first wife left him, he was devastated.  But get this. That’s when he took a break from Genesis and started writing his own songs.  He credits that painful divorce for making him a better songwriter because he had more fuel for his fire...which sparked a lot of Grammy nominations and wins down the road. 

Think about that. 

What if you treated every NBE (Not Booking Experience”) like a way to re-evaluate your process so that you learn what to do differently next time.  Or maybe you use your next NBE as a way to confirm that you’re in it for the long haul. 

Bummed about not booking? Yup.  Are you going to quit? Hell no. 

So stop beating yourself up. 

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend.  If your friend just got released from avail, what would you say?  

You wouldn’t say, “You should quit. Obviously, you’re not cut out for this career," right? 

You'd never say that. And I hope your friend wouldn’t say that to you.  

It should go without saying but if you do have a friend who’d say that to you,  then pleeeeease, for the love of all things fluorescent,  break up with them! 

I can feel it.

Something’s changing. We’re onto something that’s gonna shake up this industry.  

Something’s about to take the acting world by storm, I just know it.  I feel it in my bones and I feel it In The Air…Tonight.