Are you struggling in your entertainment career?
· Are you in fear about your music or Hollywood career?
· Do you stress about where your next job is coming from?
· Do you feel under pressure to be what others want you to be?
· Are you having difficulty trusting people?
If you are in the entertainment field, you know the pressures all too well. You have chosen a career of risk taking, creativity, and extreme vulnerability. It is normal to need help when you are on this precarious adventure of the “hero’s journey”, as Joseph Campbell puts it. Campbell was a philosopher, scholar, and close friend of George Lucas. Lucas based his Star Wars trilogy off of Campbell’s work. The trilogy is a metaphor for the risks, dangers, and obstacles we must overcome we set out on a life course that is both authentic and treacherous (i.e. “the hero’s journey” of the artist). If you are an entertainment professional you have set out on this journey. The adventure has a lot of dark forces to overcome.
I love my career. Why do I feel so bad?
Depression, drug use, anxiety, addictions, divorce, and eating disorders are a few of the common problems people sometimes face in their entertainment career. You are not walking the tedious but well worn path of a safe, predictable career. You've chosen work that is authentic to your heart. You are walking a heroic path with great rewards and dangers. With the deaths of people like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Robin Williams, Whitney Huston, and so many others, the call for entertainment professionals to seek help is all too clear.
You need a “strong core self” to endure the struggle and rejection that are often an innate part of an entertainment career. The core self can get shaken up pretty bad by the challenges of not being on a routine, straightforward path. As an entertainment professional you are often faced with deeper financial struggles, uncertainty as to where the next job will come from, insecurity around self-worth, the tendency to base your value on whether you have work—and how well you feel you are doing in that work. It is important to have a lot of support around these obstacles.
How do you know about the entertainment field?
As a former actor and current novelist, I have faced many of the challenges you face. I’ve also been a resident of Los Angeles for over twenty years— giving me extensive experience in “the industry.” I’ve treated comedians, musicians, actors, writers, cinematographers, directors, makeup artists, etc. I’m very attuned to the entertainment field, its hardships, and the need you have for support. In fact, it is unlikely you can succeed in Hollywood without a strong support group. In therapy we will examine your beliefs and behaviors, set goals, and give you the care and support you need to succeed.
What will you do to help me?
If you are struggling with career goals, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be very effective in moving you forward. With CBT we will examine your core beliefs about money and career, set specific goals, and track those goals week to week until you are successful in achieving what you want. Goals can be such things as making a certain number of business contacts, scheduling a show case, enrolling in a class, calling a club about an open mike night, completing a writing project, spending a certain amount of time rehearsing, etc. Without new actions, movement in your career is not possible. Because of the fears inherent in entertainment careers, many people suffer from procrastination, wishful thinking, laziness, and poor follow through. These blocks can be rooted in a fear of rejection and an avoidance of risk. In your Cognitive work we will teach you how to change your story about your career to alleviate anxiety and inspire confidence.
In addition to Cognitive Behavioral work, I a Certified Strategic Intervention Life Coach. Life coaching is an offshoot of behavioral therapy and is very goal focused. Strategic Intervention Life Coaching was created by Tony Robbins out of his ground breaking self-growth work. Coaching is just what it sounds like. All athletes need a coach holding them accountable to training for their career and building self confidence. We will train you like an athlete for your career. As a Life Coach I will work to build your confidence and hold you accountable to goals. In this way you won’t lose focus in the loneliness of working in entertainment.
I get so depressed, will that be enough to help me?
In addition to CBT and Life Coaching, we can work with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help free you from the anxiety and depression inherent in entertainment. EFT is a technique specifically developed to calm your brain. During an EFT session you learn to tap on meridian points of your body. As you tap the cortisol levels in your brain (the hormone related to stress) tend to lower. This allows repressed emotional energy related to anxiety or depression to be accepted and pass through your psyche. The result is usually an immediate elevation in mood and relaxation.
I’m really hard on myself. Can you help with that?
Yes. To help you with that we can also work with Self-Compassion exercises. Entertainment professionals are often forced into the comparison game with others that leads them to being intensely self critical. With Self-Compassion you will learn three basic tools to improve your capacity to negotiate these pitfalls.
1. You will learn how to practice Mindfulness. This is the ability to hold uncomfortable feelings neutrally, without a negative story attached it. For example, if you feel depressed about losing a part you may tell yourself, “I’ll never get anywhere. I should give up.” With Mindfulness you are trained to hold the depression from a neutral observer position. In this way it does not spiral in defeating self-talk.
2. The second part of Self-Compassion is to learn how your set backs and disappointments actually connect you to others as opposed to isolate you. The concept of Common Humanity and your belongingness in the world is an essential part of recognizing that you are not alone in your struggles.
3. The third part of Self-Compassion is Kindness. Learning to re-parent your “inner child” with kind self-talk is an important part of dealing with the hardships of entertainment. In general the world can be very derisive toward artists. If you have internalized that derision, you may tend to be judgmental, critical, and even abusive in the way you talk to your “inner child” when encountering the many challenges of an artistic career. Kindness to self is a skill that most of us have to learn consciously.
But you still might have concerns…
I feel so hopeless about my career. Can anyone really help me?
It is very common to feel hopeless in the entertainment field. You can be helped. You are on an exciting, uncertain, and challenging path. Getting treatment can be the linchpin that breaks the isolation, hopelessness and stagnation holding you back. I’ve seen many people move forward as entertainment artists as a result of their therapy with me.
I want a career. I don’t want to spend my life in therapy.
We will be very focused on moving you through obstacles to success, not endlessly rehashing why things are stagnated. Clear goals will be outlined and committed to in addition to giving you the emotional support you need.
Ready to move forward?
If you are ready to take the first step, give me at call at 310-854-2043. We can do a free fifteen minute phone consultation to see if I’m the right therapist for you. You can also email me on the contact page of this site or by going to the link below.