by Guest Blogger Christina DeRosa
1. Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
Does a Major League Basketball player play a full game every day? No, but he sure as hell will be
practicing his skills on the court and exercising his body daily. One of my dear friends is a concert
violinist and he told me if he goes one day without playing his violin, he feels off; two days, he feels
really off-- and three days without playing, it feels rusty coming back. How is acting, as a craft, any
different? If you wanna be great at something, it takes 10,000 hours of practice. Best advice I can share is if you wanna act, then act! If you are not in an acting class, get in one. There are so many awesome classes in Los Angeles and in my class, I am playing opposite Series Regulars and movie stars. It’s inspiring, they want to train too when they are off set. Yes, it takes Discipline-- but like NIKE says, “Just Do it.” If you are tight on money, invite actor friends over to your home and practice Meisner exercises, verb exercises, or just get together and work on a scene. Organize a table read of a play or script in your living room. It’s all possible. Practice your craft. My favorite reality check when I want to see if my actions are in alignment with my priorities is to check my calendar and checkbook. If acting is important to you, then act.
2. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
John D. Rockefeller once said, “I will pay a man more for his attitude and his ability to get along with
others than for any other skill he may possess.” Your attitude is more important than you will ever
realize. It is more important than your education, your past or your looks. Your attitude will attract
people to you or repel them. I start my day with Gratitude by writing down in my journal at least 10
things I’m grateful for. It can be anything. No judgement. Just put it down on paper and commit to
doing it every single day. It can be “I’m grateful for my yoga practice, grateful for the sunshine, grateful for sleeping straight through the night.” Make the decision to write for 45 days straight and you will see the difference afterwards. You see, gratitude is in direct alignment with abundance. The more grateful you are, the more you have to be grateful for, and Gratitude simply is the best attitude. When I really want to up my gratitude, I write a sincere thank you email or card to one person per day for 7 days in a row, explaining specifically what warms my heart about them. What amazes me is the amount of responses I get back with such gushing gratitude. It feels like a gratitude party. Speaking of which, why not host a party and ask 10 friends to come over and all go around the circle sharing all the gratitude in your hearts. I love sitting in a circle, okay-- but I get that not everyone is as cheesy as I am. So maybe you just want one gratitude partner that you call every day and share your gratitude over the phone for 10 minutes a day. Whichever path you choose to up your gratitude, have fun with it.
I learned from actress Wendy Braun that the key to booking work is Detachment. That’s a tough one for me because I want it so badly and often my grip is too tight around my desire. “I want this role…why don’t I have it yet?” urgghhh! I believe “It is natural for us, as human beings, to look forward. Our eyes naturally look ahead. We are made for moving toward a goal.” Japanese philosopher Daisaku Ikeda. So, I am a goal-setter and in March of this year, I set the goal to book a Guest Star role on the TV show "Devious Maids", shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and playing in a scene opposite soap star Susan Lucci. I prayed and chanted for that specific goal. After much prayer and chanting for it, I received my first audition opportunity for a role in a scene opposite Susan Lucci. All the elements were included. I did the audition, felt solid about it and continued chanting to book it. Through my prayer and chanting, I realized it was time to release my need for it and let it go. I discovered I needed to let go of what booking the role meant to me (that need for self-worth), so I started praying and chanting for wisdom to see what causes and actions I needed to take next. It was in my releasing and letting go of my need of validation, that I forgot about the role and trusted my life and the limitlessness of possibilities. And then, I got the sudden, “Booked it” call from my agent. Woohoo! That wonderful news about me achieving my specific goal and the experience on set with Susan Lucci was a dream come true. It aired on TV this year and I am so excited and grateful. But what’s even more amazing, is that I chipped away at changing a tendency of seeking validation outside myself, and the benefit is letting go and releasing my attachment to a result. My advice is to still set goals then be open to the limitless possibilities that lie in the unknown, in the letting go and the trusting.
It’s not who you know, but who knows you. Like any business, your acting career is no different. You've got to build lasting relationships with Casting Directors, Talent Managers, Talent Agents, Directors, Producers, Writers, actors and filmmakers of all kinds. You might know of Scott David, who casts “Criminal Minds” and maybe you really want to be on the TV show, but if you haven’t met Scott in a casting workshop or read for him at a casting session, how do you expect him to know you? So, make yourself known by him. Attend his casting workshops at Actors Link, send him a tweet, go to his FB page, mail him a thank you card. It takes time and work but if you want to become known by Scott, it’s absolutely possible. I use him as an example because he’s one of the most accessible Casting Directors out there for Los Angeles actors. Do the research. Let’s say you are a fan of a Director but she doesn’t know you exist. Go see her movies, tweet about her work, write her a detailed letter explaining why you love her work so much and send it to her production company. Build those relationships. And stay in touch with all the people who have hired you and all the people you want to work with. Have fun building those relationships and becoming known.
5. Promote, Promote, Promote!!!
This is not the time to be shy. In today’s world, if you don’t post a selfie of you there, it’s as if you
weren’t there. I get it, you don’t want to come off as “Selfish, egotistical, me, me, me” but you gotta let all of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, Youtube (and a bunch of other social media sites) know about you and that movie you just booked. If you didn’t book a movie yet, don’t worry, let them know about your acting class, let them make comments on your new head shots. Post about your career goals and ask others what is their goal. Please stop being insecure, thinking “I don’t have enough to post about,” or “I haven’t done enough, why would anyone want to follow me?” You are enough as you are, and the world needs to know about you, hear what you are all about, and what you want. You are talented and why not share those gifts and talents with the world. You can even post about your love for hiking and post a picture of you hiking. Marketing is about sharing who you are. I get it, Social Media can be time consuming and you may think you don’t have that time to waste so here’s my solution, set a timer. Limit yourself to 10 minutes a day on Social media. 5 minutes to post and the other 5 minutes to comment on other people’s posts. What I love to do is schedule some of my posts so I remain consistent. Consistency is Key. I prefer hootsuite to schedule my posts. For example, I sit down for an hour once a month to schedule in advance all my living mantras (like an affirmation) every morning at 9AM Pacific Standard Time on Twitter, LinkedIn and my Facebook Fan Page. My fans, friends and family all count on the daily inspiration from me with my living mantras. It creates credibility with my social media followers. Have fun with your social media. Maybe you are a comedian and do stand-up in LA, so schedule a joke post once a day at the same time and watch all the followers who look forward to your jokes. That’s for sure a good way to secure more stand-up work for yourself. Share yourself with your fans, friends, family and the people you want to work with. And remember to have fun with this and don’t be scared like the lady in the picture below!
And one last word of advice, as Sir Winston Churchill said while addressing his alma matter in a commencement speech, “Nevah, Nevah, Nevah Give Up!”
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I trust you found a gem in here somewhere! Please feel free to keep in touch with me and drop me a line on your success stories on how this information was helpful to you at
and remember I believe in you, so KGDS: Keep Going, Don’t Stop!