Smash your next audition. Be the Wimbledon warrior that wins.
It’s time for Wimbledon. The air is full with the scent of freshly washed white linen, the grass is oozing colour and every strawberry you look at is bursting with a gloriously red fruity glow that it really should be obligatory to carry a small vial of single cream every where you go for the next fortnight.
I have Wimbledon fever. I admit it. As the song says “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Sod you Andy Williams, for me it’s Wimbledon fortnight, not Christmas.
I mean, yes, the festive season is great and everything, but Wimbledon is free, and nothing can prepare me for the rush and buzz that takes over my whole being and gets me thinking I can, and I will. Usually at Christmas I am just thinking I CAN-not afford this.
For me, there is something so exhilarating about watching the players in white walk on court, place any adversity they have ever faced on the other side of the electric roof at Centre Court to play their pristine socks off, on arguably, the most prestigious tennis stage there has ever been. That is so applicable to all of us if we isolate their actions and take them out of context.
Take Johanna Konta for example. If you don’t already know, she’s the highest seeded female tennis player for #TeamGB right now. In 2017 she became the first British female to get to the Wimbledon semi finals for 39 years after she beat Halep (current world No 1).
But she’s never won a grand slam title. She’s 27, and has openly admitted that the chances of this happening are getting slimmer each year. She goes into every tournament knowing that at some point, she will probably face a loss that sends her home wondering, if I’m unlikely to ever win, is there really any point?
However, does every single loss, every rejection (because she’s had that too when she switched nationalities – but that’s a whole other post) mean that every match isn’t worth it? Not really. She’s made incredible come backs, and smashed expectations left right and centre of court.
She isn’t a world number one, there’s only one Steffi Graf, one Serena, one Navratilova, but that doesn’t mean that Konta isn’t a name she can’t be proud of, and that is why she excels in her tennis.
It’s exactly the same in whatever industry you’re working in, including here in the screen action world. There are always going to be the grand slam champions, your front line trophy grabbers, to put it simply: the idols. Tom Cruise, Jason Statham and Angelina Jolie are but a few of the elite within the world of action. Oh wouldn’t it be nice to have the careers of these highflying heroes?
Some people may take the time to calculate the probability of any of them ever reaching this elite level of success, but we’re not in the business of looking at the negatives.
We’re in the business of work hard, and harder still. Money can’t buy inspiration or motivation. Only you can graft your way to the top of your own mountain. I say mountain because this is not a career for the faint hearted. I fully believe it needs a disclaimer before someone ventures up Performance Point.
It’s easy to underestimate what it takes to have a ‘Grand Slam Attitude’ because very few people are cut from this cloth. We see it in our agency from performers who simply cannot wrap their heads around the fact that the thing they need to change in order to generate more work and success is them.
They come to us with an expectation that we are going to gift them their careers, or they turn their nose up at certain jobs and then wonder why they aren’t getting on set. There are two types of people at the base of Performance Point. Those who are determined to reach the top without placing blame on anything or anyone other than themselves. They are fully responsible for their successes and failures and despite all the adversity and things they cannot change, they hold onto their 'Grand Slam Attitude' like a lifesaving rope.
They get knocked down, they are told they can’t do things, and sometimes it's down to something they can’t change about themselves. Yet they perform irrespective of the things they can’t change, and look ahead to the things they can – and will.
The other group are different. The other group blame their inability to reach the top on everything other than themselves. It'll be their shoes, their equipment, the weather, their other team members, their teachers, Donald Trump (Oh please, can we just blame him for everything!!?)
If you are reading this then I am likely preaching to the converted, but there is something to be said about the un-phased warrior. This may or may not be you, and if it isn’t but this is a career that you are trying to break into, then the un-phased Warrior is certainly who you should be aiming towards.
Persistence is one of those admirable traits, because although it seems so obvious and simple, there’s nothing more difficult than waking up at 5am to train for something when it feels like the entire orbital system has aligned to ensure that you will not succeed because of your age, skin colour, gender or enter trait that has nothing to do with the talent you possess here.
Becoming successful in the action industry takes its toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally in the same way these grand slam champions undergo all kinds of therapies and training to get them in the right frame of mind. But if you can get to grips with the ideology that your attitude and work ethic goes a long way in dictating how people respond to you, I guarantee you will have an easier time.
Now, I don’t want anyone going away thinking that in telling you this it will make you the next action icon of our generation. It won’t. But it will help you become more receptive to feedback, hard work and success. It will help you realise all of those small jobs, the hours in training - those small victories, if you will - are an accumulative part of something much, much bigger.
You may not get to be the next Jason Statham or Angelina Jolie, but there’s a lot to learn from taking Konta’s attitude. Being the next ‘you’ at the top of your own mountain is certainly good enough.
If you're interested in a career as an action performer there are a few different career paths you can take. Check out our Careers Guide.
If you would like to attend one of our industry recognised courses - check out our course diary. We offer a wide range of industry approved screen action training, from firearms and screen combat to intensive stunt courses.
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Created by 13 Oct 2018on