Sunday, March 3, 2013

If You Believe It, And Work Hard, You Can Achieve A Career in Show Business!

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” "Walk The Prank," “Henry Danger,” "Murder Among Friends," "Night Shift," as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Justice, Walmart, Little Tykes, Foot Locker, Hot Wheels, Home Goods, Universal Studios, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of seven books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

I was listening to a Casting Director talk about the time she coached an actress who landed a series regular role. The CD said, this actress became a series regular because she had been planning on it for years. She had visualized it and had determined nothing was going to get in the way of her getting it. In fact, everything single choice the actress made in her life was to lead to that outcome. In her mind she already was a series regular, as if it were her truth. She believed she was meant to do this. The CD said that kind of focus and specificity is why people reach their goals and become successful.

I thought back about my own career to see if that concept applied, and found, yes it did. I had that kind of focus for a very long time, from age 10-35. When I first decided I wanted to hear my voice singing on records I was about 10 years old. I knew that was what I was going to do. Everything I did from then on in my life was to advance that goal for myself. I practiced singing 3-4 hours every day for about 7 years. I went to counseling to overcome feelings of inadequacy, and did insight seminars twice and EST to gain more personal power for myself and to become less fearful. I entered singing contests, I studied voice at college and finally packed my bags, left home and moved to LA to sing. I got a job in the office of an entertainment company so I could learn how everything works and get close to people who could help me. I had no doubt I was going to be a singer. I had no doubt I would sing on records. I wasn't going to allow any other option. In fact, there was no possibility for me not to do it. I was going to make it happen, no matter what. Period. This is the kind of focus and mind set the Casting Director was talking about.

I looked for opportunities, and I took every opportunity that came my way. I studied with one of the best singing coaches in the world, Seth Riggs. (He also taught Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, and Anita Baker.) I auditioned, I met producers in banks and sang for them, I ran into execs at Hollywood parties and sang for them. People were going to see what I could do because I was singer, I had talent and I knew I was good. Period. I knew I was good enough, (if not better than most) and I knew I was good enough to be on records. So I was going to be. I had 3 jobs and sometimes no money for food. But I had a goal to fulfill and I wasn't going to stop until I reached it. After I sang on over 65 records, (well they turned to cds shortly after I started singing professionally) I started writing and producing songs for other artists. I wrote a single for Dutch artist Tatjana Simic that went Platinum. Then I decided I wanted to sing with a live band and sang with three amazing live bands for a few years. I opened for big artists. I wanted to go on tour so I did. I wanted my music to be on TV, in commercials and to release a couple of cds of my own. I did all of that. I had been working as a professional singer for 13 years and one day, I no longer had the desire to sing like I used to.

At first I was mortified and confused, because that hunger had driven me and defined me since I was 10, and all of a sudden I no longer had it. I was sad at first, but I evolved into an amazing place where I decided I would rather help everyone else achieve their goals. I could share all my knowledge with young new talent who had the same dreams I had. Now I have a new hunger, to see each of them become successful in their goals. It drives me, keeps me awake at night and working in my office all hours of the nights. I love it.

I truly believe you have to have that kind of hunger to drive you to succeed. You have to see that you have no other options. Your passion for your talent and what makes you happy has to be all consuming. It has to be everything you are, everything you think, want and exist for.

When you have that kind of focus, you will always find a way. Quitting, or any other form of self sabotage like procrastination, fear, laziness etc, are just not acceptable and are qualities that can ruin everything for you. You must get rid of those at all costs. Use positive affirmations, go to therapy, pray, mediate, surrounds yourself with positive people who are doing the same things you are and believe in you. There is a saying, "The 5 people you spend the most time with will determine how far you will go in your life." Make sure you choose them wisely.

I lot of people "say" they want something, but do they really? Or are they just giving it a "try?" There is a huge difference.

I saw myself as a signer. I saw myself in the studio making records. I saw myself on stage performing for thousand of people. I saw myself being excited and happy doing it. I knew I was meant to be on stage singing. That's who I was already in my mind before I ever did it. I was a professional singer in my mind. I think you have to have that kind of confidence in who you are, passion and determination to succeed in this business. I had some insecurities, we all do. But I never had insecurities about who I was going to be. That kind of passion will have you talking to people you would normally be intimidated to speak to. It will have you going for it, when it is scary. It will get you up in the morning and make you say, okay what next? What can I do today to meet someone who can help me? It will drive you to meet other singers, to get into the studio, to write a song, to record someone else's songs, to contact producers, to practice singing.

Of course the same focus and determination applies to acting, or sports, or any other dream you have. If you can see it, really see it in the depths of your soul, you can be it, you can achieve it.

I say step back and take a real honest look at your life. If you have anybody around you who is trying to bring you down, or squash your spirit or your dreams, get rid of them. If they are a family member, move them off to the side for a bit. If they are a boyfriend or girlfriend, they may not be the right one for you. You need people around you who believe in your dream with you. You will always believe in your dream more than anyone else, because it's your dream. But when you can see it, others can see it too.

My advice is to go within. Look deep in your heart. What do you want? What is driving you? Then be true to your heart and listen to what it says. Maybe your true passion is in the entertainment field, maybe it isn't. Follow your heart and your own path. Don't do anything because of other people's expectations of you. Be true to yourself. It's your life. You can make anything happen if you just believe.

If being a successful actress or singer is your goal, decide that nothing is going to get in the way of that for you. Nothing. You are going to be successful at this. Period. Stay focused, stay committed, never stop. Keep believing. See yourself there. You are there. Do it!

If you found this helpful or inspiring leave a comment below. I love to hear from people. Check out my other blogs too. If you have any questions go ahead and ask. I want to help you :) Follow me on Twitter @wendyalane1

And as always, make your life everything you dream it can be. You are worth it!

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