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3 Benefits Of Being Involved in an Actors Group

The Reality of the Business 

Let’s face facts; most actors have a hard time turning ​our ART into our BUSINESS. It is surprisingly easy to fall into that spiral of only working the survival job and convincing ourselves​​ that we‘re too tired, too busy, or too broke, to do the real thing ​we​ decided to make our life’s work. ​We​ lose motivation and​ drive, and without positive feedback or reinforcement; there is a risk we might ​shut down. Yet we all know this business is ​a marathon, not a sprint to easy success. Being part of an Actors Group of motivated, driven, and supportive artists will help keep the momentum going​

Creating an Actors Group is the single most important thing you can do for your career.

​Joining a group of like-minded actors serves multiple purposes: It is a safe place to reaffirm personal goals and begin taking steps to achieve them. It is a perfect setting to remind one an​other to do those periodic mailings to theater​s and casting directors.  ​It also is a forum for actors to let ​one​ an​ other know about important or helpful events happening in the community. There is an incredible power in being part of a group of actors with different skill-sets, knowledge-bases, and connections.  My Actors Group began during Janelle Snow‘s On Camera 3 class.  A couple of us (Thanks to Sylvie and Liz!!!) took the initiative to start a group, called “Beyond Janelle” in honor of our common teacher. But even if you aren’t taking a class, you can find groups of like minded artists in show’s that you’re doing or have done in the past, fellow alumni from your college or even actors you know that you haven’t worked with.Accountability Buddies

​1. ​The Group Is Great Motivator and Accountability Buddy

​Our particular Actors Group started out meeting at a common space, discussing individual goals and keeping each other up-to-date on our current projects. We then set goals that we announce to the group and upon the next meeting discuss what actions we are taking to meet those goals and keep our careers on track.
When we hear about what everyone else in the group is doing we get fired up. We see proof that it is possible to have successes -small and large- and this fosters a belief that we too can have success. We are also motivated to continue to take action and pursue our goals because no one wants to show up and say that for the last month all we’ve done is binge-watched Netflix or whatever the particular vice is. Our minds our great at rationalizing ourselves into couch potatoes. When we see other people with lives just as busy and hectic as ours making time everyday to progress toward their goals and dreams, we stop making excuses for ourselves. 

​2. ​Using the Buying Power of the Group For Workshops

 We have also expanded into using our  Actors Group as a way to set up custom workshops at affordable rates.  We discuss things we might be interested in such as movement or dialects. Most of the time someone in the group has an idea of who to reach out to or at least knows where to look for that specific workshop or coach. We then proceed to set up a date, a time, and negotiate a group rate. ​In our first six months, we set up workshops with Doug McDade (Act​ing​
 Studio Chicago​) ​and ​Adal Rifai (IO). We are planning a voice workshop next. 
There might be a teacher or coach you really want to work with but can’t afford as an individual, but as a group you’d be astounded at how having a group of 4-8 changes things. All it takes is an email or a phone call and you might even get someone who doesn’t typically do workshops.

​3. ​Having A Group of People Cheering For Your Success Matters Much More Than You Might Think

I know it sounds cheesy, but let me put it another way. When things are going great; you’re booking work, you’re busy, you feel like you can take on the world it is incredibly easy to have faith. But when the inevitable slow period hits, that faith and belief can be hard to maintain and it might even implode into self-doubt Actor's Group/Supportand depression. 
​W​hat We Are:  We are actors ​who​ met ​in class at ​Acting Studio Chicago.
​How often We Meet: Our goal as an Actors Group is to have monthly meetings to help motivate and hold each other -gently- accountable as we set goals and move forward in our careers.
Where We Gather: We reserve rooms at Next Door, take advantage of special conference rooms where we live, or meet where we hold our special workshops (this past fall, we met at IO Chicago for an improv workshop)
Take it from someone who went from three years of non-stop work, got a little ambitious and thought I’ll move to Chicago and conquer the market, and was hit with a solid year of “nada” before booking anything. Having a group of people who are in your corner, rooting for your success and keeping you on task makes all the difference -Elohim

EElohim Peña lohim Peña is a versatile, newly Chicago based actor who has worked in theater, film, and television in New York and the Twin Cities. From drama to comedy, his adaptability allows him to bring an edge to the characters he portrays. He has worked with the following theater companies in Minneapolis, Minnesota: Park Square, Frank Theatre, Market Garden Theatre, Open Window Theatre, Theatre Coup d’Etat, Teatro del Pueblo, and others. Elohim was in an episode of a new docudrama series on ABC titled “In an Instant” in March 2015. He just moved to Chicago and is now represented by Actor’s Talent Group.