When I worked in Hollywood, I met an actor who could, literally, play any part.  He also had the “looks” to be a star.  He spent his time as a character actor in supporting parts.  He did get offers to go higher, but always refused the opportunity.

Why?  He played his own game.  As a character actor (and voice actor), he had more opportunities to explore his talents and sharpen his craft.  Being a star, he felt, would close those doors.

When it came to becoming a character, few could touch him.  I watched him develop a character for a cartoon project and was amazed at how quickly he got connected with the voice and personality of the character.  His transformation was almost instantaneous.

Being a character actor was a game he could play and play very well.  Being a “star” meant dealing with a completely different level of Hollywood politics and expectations.

We all do this.  Sometimes we adopt a personality to go along with the expectations of others.  In private we are completely different.  Its rare to create a business where who we are is expressed, almost without restriction, through what we do to make a living.

It’s a matter of finding our personal comfort zone and finding a way to stay within its protective bubble.

There was a local Seattle DJ who discovered that he could make a lot more money voicing commercials.  He could often sight read the copy and do two or three versions in less that fifteen minutes.  His fees and royalties provided a very comfortable living and on a healthier, more comfortable schedule. 

What is your game?  How well do you play it? 

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