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  • Writer's pictureMatt Pipes

Being an Actor in 2023: The Steps I’ll be Taking in the New Year.

2022 is coming to a close and there’s been many things that have been evolving within my head and I wanted to share some thoughts within my writing. The fact is, this next week and maybe even a little bit into the new year, I’m going to be working on planning my goals and expectations for the year to come. I decided to take a crack at it here first. To start, as you might be doing the same, I’d like to tell you In terms of goal setting, let’s work for actionable goals, let’s plan out a reachable number and let’s then break the steps to get there down into smaller pieces. This is going to help to make these resolutions you have obtainable. I’ll have some examples for you in what I mean as I write this. Don’t limit your capacity, but have a discipline enough to understand the reality of ability, and then if you surpass that goal awesome!! Rules are meant to be broken, and if I’m thinking of goals I’m thinking of them as rules, but I only want to break past and surpass those rules! So let’s chat.

I’m an actor, in case you’ve forgotten, but I understand if you have, I haven’t really been a working actor as of recent, but that’s alright, I’m not guaranteed work from someone else. With this, I have been coming to a greater understanding in my own capabilities of actually getting myself work. It’s called making my own work. An obvious concept in saying, but of course it’s like pulling teeth when the process comes about for some. I’ve realized that I’m actually not in need of anybody’s permission to be an actor. Even if no one is giving you permission to create anything, we as artists will create anyways. That’s what I’d like to continue thinking about as I step into 2023. I want to create my own work. So! My goal is to make a short film by the end of the year. Why? Because I want to be a working actor, and I want to continue my mastery in acting. How? I will be helping out my Ohio Actors while I’m here building their reels and resumes. I’m going to start by putting up scenes. I’m going to develop 1% better each scene filmed. Eventually many scenes will become one short. The concept of training will be quantity=quality. I’ll be offering actors work for their reels, characters, and space to play and create within, and then I’m going to shoot those scenes. My plan is to learn as I go, there’s no reason to be afraid of making something awful. I’ve never created like this before, so it’ll be really fun for those around me to see the experiment on myself to grow into something greater than I was before. The art of adapting within action. With this I am also learning the basics of storytelling. I am, in this situation, now placing the hat on as Writer, Director, Producer, Media Manager, Gaffer, Camera head, DP (Director of Photography) Researcher, and Editor. Ooooh the editing part frightens me, Premiere Pro (video editing software) and I are definitely still a bit terse, but we’re finding some connections here and there. I’ll have to shoot to edit, trying my best to keep things as simple as possible so I don’t have to edit much. Which creates limitation in your writing as you have to make sure you’re not creating a story with an exploding helicopter, or chase scenes that include jumping into one. unfortunately no 007 stunts yet. My intention within this project is to A: create work so that I can improve myself in all fields of art and acting. B: To learn how to lead and create SOMETHING, literally anything, I haven’t been the one to create original work, I’ve always created within the confines of someone else’s story. C: I wish to help my local Ohio Actors improve in their ability, to resemble, and imitate as professional a set as I can make/afford, and give them a way to ease the resistance to create, as well as to circumnavigate the catch 22 of the "reel’s" that they’ll inevitably need to make in their professional career. D: Lastly, and most importantly, I want to tell stories. Stories that inspire and encourage people to create change within their lives, I want to tell very human stories. Which helps, as most of the time there aren’t as many exploding helicopters in human stories. So I’m thankful for the type of stories that I enjoy to be a bit more lower budget. Lucky coincidence? Maybe, I’m saying yes. I’m uncertain if some of my coworkers here will be reading this, but I feel like it’s fairly well known that I won’t be working there forever. I fully intend to step away from serving at a restaurant this year, and create an entirely new form of income where I am in fact working for myself. My strategy is to use what I learn in terms of directing and filming, to help more people get reels. It’s a necessity for actors, but it’s such a pain in the butt for us actors too, so I want to increase my quality to create value for my coworkers in the acting field. I want to quit serving as it’s something that I’ve been doing for quite some time and I’m getting a little tired of people pleasing. Though I definitely have enjoyed serving. My WHY, within it, is that I wish to guide people through an experience, whether that’s through small chitchat, or giving them, simply, the space to experience the restaurant, it’s something I’ve become very good at. I’ve just gotten tired of people that are looking solely to have a really unenjoyable time. Those that cannot be pleased and those that struggle to enjoy themselves in a place of great food and company, simply because of a decision to hold onto that suffering. Though I'll never know the reality of their life, it’s exhausting, and something that eats away at you over time. I’m tired of adopting their emotions as well. I can’t seem to be able to disconnect the fact that it’s not my fault their having an awful time. When it’s my fault I feel better in knowing it is because I can control whether or not I make a mistake again, something to improve upon, a natural thing I get excited about. Unfortunately there are still people in this world that I cannot reach, and I do not know why, it’s definitely not because I accidentally forgot the ketchup, or their steak was medium rare, as opposed to medium rare push. No it’s not that, it’s just something entirely out of my control, which is a further exploration into why I want to “control” so much. Side note as that will be a good exploration within this new year. Either way it’s definitely something that has been subtly eating at me the more I work at restaurants. With art, it’s different. I feel less that I have to apologize for something that’s being put up. I just recently played a very strange character in a very strange setting/story, and it was kind of cringy some of the stuff I did. Hey, I really tried hard to justify it. But I didn’t really care and don't care now. I didn’t care if someone thought of it as weird, or looked at me differently after. I knew what I was doing and I was going to go all the way, happily creating on stage to the best of my ability. There’s a nice separation that you get in terms of art as opposed to service. I don’t feel I’m at the fingertips of the customer, I’m serving myself, and my own soul, and offering what is within there to those who happen to be watching. (Maybe it's also nice because they can't really send it back when it doesn't meet their specifications). I wish to inspire and encourage people to create positive change within their life, and there will be people who are more receptive than others. I’ll always aim to reach everyone, otherwise I will take my small wins. To feed my soul is why I wish to work within my art, so that I may create a sustainable passion to work towards throughout my life. I think leaders shouldn't eat last. Definitely not first feeding many before themselves, but if the leader keels over and dies, then how will there be the know how, or the hands to obtain more food to feed more people. Hunger won't end with one act of service, it’s many smaller actions and changes that compound over time. I’ll leave off with this one, and then I’ll list below a few more goals I have that aren’t explained further, only as insight to my pathing. A goal of mine is to lead, to be a leader, but I don’t just want to be a leader, I want to be a friend, a coach, a teacher, I want to be many more things to the people who are close to me, a provider. there are many people that I wish to create relationships with, creating close communication, and I want to bring these people along with me. YES I am searching for friends my friends, I’m always in search. For my current friends, my goal is to continue developing a further relationship, and continuously and consistently provide you with free value. If I see a chance to help I’d like to take the actionable steps to get there, I want to get better at this. I think there’s a proper balance of people pleasing, and narcissism, I used to get pretty close to the threshold of narcissism because, simply, I was not practicing the art of friendships and relationships for a time. That was then. Now I feel like I’m finding a much better balance with those I love and offering what I can that is of value. Taking time out of my day for them is really important to me, understanding that your projects, most of the time, don’t matter as much as those who are closest to you, and really feed your soul. Be wise to those you choose to let in, and understand that friendships might not last forever, but also remember you get what you put into it. Never wait for them to reach out, be the leader to make plans happen. I promise you you’ll be thankful you did. There are quite a few more goals and paths I wish to head towards this beautiful 2023 year, I’m really excited to see how things are going to turn out. I really believe that things are going to turn out wonderfully. I do. As nervous as I sometimes get for the world, I think there’s going to be a lot of positivity this year, a lot of courage, and a lot of strength is going to shine through.

Here’s a little list of some of the other things I wish to work.

  • Vocal quality in terms of speaking, presentation, and storytelling.

  • Acting, invest in your ability as an actor, find training, find the master who will continue to fuel your path towards mastery.

  • Hit 315 deadlift, 315 squat, and 225 bench press.

  • Produce, cast, direct, act, edit your short film

  • Learn the application Notion even further, learn how to set up your own templates.

  • Get a West and East coast agent.

  • Obtain camera, lens, gimbal.

  • Learn the basics again of writing a story.

  • Create a business that you can work for yourself as well as produces more income than a serving position.

  • Move out of Ohio.

A little nerve wracking to place my goals up onto the public, of course things change, but some of these things I wish to be held accountable for. Let’s continue working on our goals together! If this resonated with you please leave a comment and tell me one goal that you have with a few smaller, actionable steps. I would love to hear! Much love today and every day. Happy holidays, be safe, but enjoy consciously.

-Matt 🐅🌱

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