Looking Forward. Ben’s Goals/Business Plan for 2011

Jan 28, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Attitude, The business, Three Actors
Ben Whitehair Skydiving

What does me skydiving have to do with the coming year? Probably nothing. But it's cool and I needed a picture.

Alright. I’ve been doing a lot of looking back at my last year, and I’m excited to do a post on looking forward. I’ve written a lot about goal setting, and at the risk of being less likely to accomplish these goals, in the interest of transparency I will share with you the goals I set out for myself in 2011. These are part of my larger annual goal list (which I really should start just calling a business plan…) that includes categories like travel, lifestyle, service, health, and the like.

I’ve broken these into a few different categories, primarily “business” and “creative.” At least in Los Angeles, you really are pursuing these both, and they can be very different. I’ve also separated out “visions” versus “goals.” There’s a difference between outcomes (what you want to happen) and actions (what you have direct control over), and goal-setting is about setting forth actions. With that said, envisioning the thing you want is all kinds of awesome, so I’ve set out some visions in addition the actual goals. Finally, I have set a “theme” as well to guide my actions. Let’s get to it.

Business of Acting Plan for 2011

Theme: Building my team. The year of marketing.

Vision 1: A 30% callback ratio.

Vision 2: Agent and manager who I LOVE on my team and excited about me by end of year.

Actionable Goals:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes preparing for any union audition, or audition with more than 1 page of dialogue
  • 6 odd-sized or other mailings per week mailed to a member of my target list
  • Send out 1 eNewsletter update per quarter
  • Add email list signup to my website by end of first quarter
  • Combine Outlook contacts with PerformerTrack contacts for eNewsletter
  • Re-cut and upload demo reel by February 15th
  • 5 drop-offs per quarter
  • Add 100 master contacts
  • Send back Netflix DVD if haven’t watched it in 2 weeks
  • At least 1 Casting Q’s interview every 6 weeks (min. 8 by end of year)
  • Build the LA Actors Tweetup Website
  • Put on 8 tweetups in 2011 with my fellow Tweetup co-founders (1 down, 7 to go)

Hosting Sub-Section

  • Meet with Brian Robert Taylor in first quarter regarding hosting, agents, & equipment
  • Put together hosting reel by end of first quarter
  • Learn who the top 5 hosting agents are in LA & 2 other major markets by end of first quarter

Note that my vision is a certain callback ratio, but the thing I have control over is how I prepare for and the time I spend on my audition (the goal). You’ll also note that instead of saying “get a hosting agent” I set a learning goal (as discussed in last blog post) around gaining more knowledge around the issue, which will still lead me towards that desired end.

Creative Side of Acting Plan for 2011

Theme: Free thyself. The year of play.

Vision: Feeling free, present, and alive at every audition and performance.

Actionable Goals:

Blogging Sub-Section

  • 50 blog posts in the year & built in time to write them
    • 1 video post in first half of year
    • 1 interview post per month
    • 1 podcast/audio post/telecall by end of year

Writing Sub-Section

  • Write 15 minutes per day (Note: I also break this down into different categories of writing I want to do that would mean nothing to you so I have taken them out here)

Acting Sub-Section

  • Learn how to have freer expression in my acting, & what mindset I need to be in to do so
  • Listen to Secrets of Screenacting podcast every week
  • Listen to Inside Acting Podcast every week
  • Feel proud of my performance at end of UCB class
    • Really focus while in class and take it seriously
    • Lose all hesitancy
  • Perform in 4 – 6 Young Storyteller Big Shows
  • Audit 6 scene study classes in first quarter
  • Be in class regularly by end of the year (see: financial goals)
  • Memorize one new comedic and one dramatic monologue by end of year
  • Go to The Actor’s Lounge every month
    • Perform at Actor’s Lounge 4 times during the year

In general, I’ve focused a lot on my on-camera technique and skills over the past year. In that vein I think I’ve restricted myself a bit in movement and expression. This year I want to go a bit in the other direction, expanding my emotional range, and seeing how approaching my work from a mindset of “big” and “free” feels and comes across.

Checking Back In

This list is meant to be fluid, and I re-asses it thoroughly every quarter. I also revisit these in the weekly check-in/planning sessions I have with my roommate, as well as our more comprehensive 6-week check-ins.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. That’s what I’ve set out for myself in the coming year. I will say that having analyzed and set this out at the beginning of the year has already had a marked impact on my work and auditions. In fact, I had probably the best audition of my life last week, very much because I spent the time I set out to, and more than anything because I gave myself permission to free my expression and go to some emotional places I don’t normally go (or even get the chance to).

To an epic 2011…

As always, the only way I know anyone is reading is if you comment. If you have an extra 15 seconds please leave your comments below. :)


Ben Whitehair is the Los Angeles contingent of this blog. Find out more information and view his materials on his website, or read the rest of his blog posts.