Wrapping Up 2010

Dec 27, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Attitude

I can't talk now, sorry. I'm pumping iron.

Part of me doesn’t understood why people wait until New Year’s season to start making resolutions and reflecting on their lives. Why wait to make improvements? If my roof is leaking, I’m busting out a hammer and nails as soon as I can! (Note: Don’t ever let me actually fix your roof. I’d only make it horribly worse).

Another part of me says, “Sweet! New Year! Time to fix all the stuff I so horribly screwed up!” So…there ya go.

Is there ever a bad time to pause and evaluate your life, your relationships, and your career? Probably not. I mean, if you’re marooned on an island inhabited solely by man-eating Velociraptors, then I highly suggest not worrying about your lack of recent auditions. Otherwise, finding the time to craft a healthy self-assessment can be easy and exciting!

Keeping in the spirit of the guidelines laid out by Chris Guillebeau on his website, The Art of Non-Conformity, let’s take an in-depth look back at the accomplishments, the shortcomings, and all the fun little details that comprised the year 2010 for yours truly.

Year: 2010

Theme: Say My Name, Say My Name (i.e. Acting is a business, and nobody’s going to buy your product if you don’t market it well!)

What Went Well This Year:

  • I focused on growth and learning! I believe in constantly attending classes, workshops, and seminars throughout your entire career, and I was blessed with plenty of opportunity to do so.
    • I completed a fantastic improv training program at iO!
    • I began studying acting for the camera at The Green Room Studio!
    • I attended the first annual Chicago Theatre (anti-) Conference and got to learn from some of Chicago’s biggest names in the business!
    • I diligently listened to (and learned a TON from) Trevor and A.J. at the Inside Acting Podcast! Actors, this is seriously a must-listen. Please do yourselves a favor and go check it out.
    • I read a ton of great books about the business of acting! I’m in the process of creating a page on PvsPB.com that will talk about each of these books and give recommendations!
  • I began acting in films! Going into 2010, I had never really acted in anything but theatre and musicals. One of my biggest goals for the year was to start building my film resume and gaining valuable time in front of the camera, and I am incredibly happy to have achieved those goals!
  • My improv team, Hugs and Pullups, thrived! In addition to playing multiple shows at the legendary Second City, we also co-produced two separate runs at StudioBE and just wrapped up our very first completely independently produced run at The Second Stage! I could not be more honored to be part of this fun ensemble!
  • I joined a new theatre company, The Consortium Project! Sure, we may be a bunch of young folks who don’t exactly get it perfect every time, but the passion and enthusiasm that permeates this company is unrivaled, and I truly believe in that. We put up shows. We’re learning the business side of things as we go, but we put up shows. That’s what counts, in my opinion.
  • I have continued to keep a career journal at the recommendation of friend and fellow blogger Ben Whitehair. Every day, I make sure to do at least one thing to advance my career. Sometimes it’s a workshop I took. Other times, it might simply be an article or blog I read. I then write about my reactions to whatever the activity was. It has made me realized the enormous value of doing the “little things” every day.
  • I mailed my first round of agency submissions! This was a big win for me. For some reason I had been having trouble getting myself to submit headshots and resumes to talent agencies. It felt great to finally take the leap and begin that next step!

What Didn’t Go Well This Year (Or rather, What I Haven’t Gotten Around To Yet):

  • I still haven’t found an agent. One of my biggest goals of 2010 was to build a relationship with a talent agent who could help me find auditions for bigger projects, but my mailings received little to no response. However, being the ever-positive thinker I am, I managed to find the silver lining. 🙂
  • I didn’t write 100 blog entries. I wrote 27. Not even remotely close to the goal I laid out for myself this year. Was 100 posts an unreasonable target? Maybe. Am I still gonna strive for a ton more in 2011? Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about my 2011 objectives to find out! 🙂

As this is my last Playbills Vs. Paying Bills entry for 2010, I would be remiss if I did not thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read our blog this year. So here goes:

Thank you!!! 🙂

Seriously, we are honored that you are even reading this. I hope we’ve helped you as much as you’ve helped us to learn, grow, and create! Let’s all have an amazing 2011!


Joe Von Bokern is the Chicago contingent of this blog. Find out more information and view his materials on his website, or read the rest of his blog posts.