My current work as an actor.
Currently I am developing as an artist in many different ways, many ways in which I never even expected. We’re talking financials, we’re talking social media management, communication, and also developing the depth of my art. More and more I’m becoming thankful to my time here in Ohio, as I’m developing a comfortability that is offering me adaptation in a way that I actually feel respects my trajectory, my goals and values. Here’s a comprehensive post about what I’m currently working on and developing. Offering you an update as well as some value to take into your own circumstances. Take what works, and leave the rest.
I’m currently sitting and working with a friend of mine who is developing incredible art, it’s enlivening and inspiring to be working with someone who I respect so much. It offers a form of fire that I haven’t had in awhile, a collaboration of the minds before meeting as well as while we work independently on things. This is a big prospect to what I’ve been wanting to grow within my time here in Ohio, I want to form relationships. I want to be able to meet people and then also I want to learn about other human beings that are simply NOT ME! Especially having the ability to call and chat about the art that we are so passionate about, and sharing ideas, whether you agree or not, and challenging each other. It makes it really beautiful. One thing that I also love about this person is the intentionality in their work, the way that they are currently working on going further into work that they’ve already done as well. That’s intentional work that I look for. My advice. Find someone who inspires you. Work together chat together. Surround yourself with people who are in your field, because they are more than likely going to know something you don’t, and you want to also share what they might not know either.
Finding out what I don’t know has been a huge lesson in humility, and I’m finding that there’s a lot that I don’t know. My friends, we’re gonna dive into the real nitty gritty, and get into financials and taxes, so as fair warning, I invite you to step in with me, because trust me, it’s hard for me too.
Financial literacy. Look, as artists, all we want to do is art. We want to do the thing that we love, and we want to be able to leave the worry about the game of finance to someone else. Well, unless you have a financial advisor or even a social media manager already, then you’re not going to be able to do this. You have to be able to make enough money to pay these people to help out your company which is in fact you by the way. If you want to think of it that way you can. I certainly do. I think of myself as the CEO of my own company, Matt Piper, in fact I just filed for an LLC, so officially as of this morning I am the CEO of Matt Piper LLC. I’m the product, I’m the professional, and I’m also, until I am able to afford delegation: Head of, sales, finance, hiring, engagement, research, design, and oh so much more. For now there’s a lot to learn.
Do not let your brain explode at this point. Let me offer you a few materials to get your mind on a focused trajectory. Just start with finances. I assure you, stepping into the game of a capitalist society, you need to know how to play, so that maybe one day you can usurp it from the inside. I say start with financial literacy. I will Teach you How to be Rich (Ramit Sethi) is the first book I got my hands on that got me started on this path, which follows a wonderful comprehensive step by step in where you need to put your money, how you should be thinking about your money, and goal setting. That as well as on my long drives to work, I listen to The Personal Finance Podcast (Andrew Giancola) Which is very inspiring, and one of the specific episodes I like is about the ladders of finance, where it’s very much a step by step process.
I think it is important to remember that art has evolved into an industry, and though the art is THE MOST important aspect of what we artists are doing, to succeed in this industry we have to play the game. Thus this delves into me learning all about social media marketing, engagement strategies, driving traffic to see my work, and also content creation and proper communication. Look I learn a lot when I’m developing content that is meant to drive traffic. If I want to know what works in modern society, working my craft into social media is a great way to learn how. I still set up boundaries though. Such as:
I post three times a week.
I have blocks set up around my social media in which I cannot access it, they are released when I’m scheduled to post, or engage, otherwise I’m blocked from it.
My social media is a business. I set up all my pages for business mode, and treat the relationship that I have with it as such. There’s no point to working on it when I am not meant to, that time is meant for studying, much needed rest, or watching actors at work. I LOVE WATCHING MOVIES, and love it more now that I have so much more time to watch movies and focus in on watching these movies as I’m not scrolling through social media.
How people perceive me is merely simple perception, I am not fully me on social media, and that’s ok, no one is. There is a level of genuine content that I wish to give, but at the same time I am not defined by perception of others. Anyone is welcome to perceive me, that doesn’t make me any less me.
It was important that I created this list of boundaries, as I do the same thing with business. I separate myself from the financials, and it’s the art that you’ll find way more of the genuine “me” in. Which I just absolutely love.
Last thing I want to talk about is the training schedule of the actor, or Matt Piper’s Acting Training. As some of my readers know I was an athlete in the very beginning and I love tangible progression. The ability to lift heavier weight, to run longer or faster, or even physical musculature results. These are tangible cues, but how, as actors do we train when there is less of a reward, or progression system. I say start with the system first, and then you have to change your concept of reward cues
The 5-3-1 principle is a training program by Jim Wendler where you take a percentage of your max ability, divide it up and start lower to work yourself higher. This is a four week program where the first week through the third week gets harder and harder, with heavier weight and less reps, then the fourth week you “de-load” or rest. This basic principle is actually how I like to train for quite a few things, and actually did this while I was studying my senior year of college, reckon I was just kind of trying to get through. The goal of the program is to get better, of course. So how do we apply it to acting. Here’s what I've personally done and want to continue doing.
I want to break things up like this;
The first and second week are about auditioning work. Quick output, higher repetitions.
Once a month I have something I’m working towards, a bigger project, or a bigger scene, that I’ll perform on the third week.
Fourth week I rest.
The next four week period I start with just a little more challenge than the last.
Rinse and repeat. Develop, grow, and challenge
Sometimes you just don’t get to work for long periods of time, but with this you are constantly training, and constantly keeping sharp.
Professional soccer players during the pandemic weren’t playing games, but were practicing at their homes on zoom. So even when there’s not work AKA the movie, or the play, or musical, or TV show, there is absolutely opportunity for you to do the work. I’ll begin to implement this for myself as well! Because even with all my social media management learning and all my financial literacy learning, what’s fun for me is getting to the gym and getting the work in to invest my time in my ability, and my strength as an actor.
Hopefully some of this or all of this helped, these are just a few of the things that are on my mind. I know it’s a lot, or maybe it’s not enough, I’m not certain, certainly feels enough to me. I simply offer this to you as a glimpse into my journey. I have very large goals, that don’t honestly feel that far off from me, a curious feeling that I've never had before. I actually feel closer than I ever have at achieving what I want in life. I hope I can help get you to that point too.
Much love today and everyday.
Photo by https://tedely.com/