You don’t know what you don’t know. Never has a statement been truer. Yet, what the heck do you do with that information? If you don’t know what you don’t know, how do you figure out what you don’t know!?
I was faced with this very question a couple months ago. My acting career was going… fine. I was getting in some big rooms, had solid callbacks and was put on hold for a new Netflix series. The only issue was in the end, I didn’t book any of it. Ugh. Here I was, the actor/business & branding coach, not getting results. Ouch.
But I know my brand. I know what I sell. I know who I am. Ok, wait….a….sec. Breathe. Yes, all those things are true. And then I asked myself, “Right now, what don’t you know that you don’t know?” Obviously, I couldn’t answer that in the moment. So, I decided to turn my gaze outward. I watched more TV to see who looked like me that was cast. It was eye opening. And then it hit me, the trends have shifted. A few years back, redheads were everywhere in commercials and were the interesting choice to cast in a small role on TV. Now, not so much. The redheads were the leading roles. Just look at Hollywood’s leading ladies and see the red locks a-flowing. I had to be honest with myself, that I am not yet competing at that level.
Once I made that realization, I emailed my manager and asked what she thought about my being a brunette. Ironically, the whole office had been thinking the same thing and were elated I brought it up. I reached out to my commercial agent and asked her opinion. She said that brunettes go out on commercial auditions 50% more than redheads nowadays. Sold. Brunette here I come! And so, I did.
Ever do things because that is just how you’ve always done them? Yeah, I was totally living that. Well, if I’m honest, that’s living in a hamster wheel. I felt in my core that a big shake up was coming. So….what else didn’t I know that I didn’t know? I kept asking myself that question because if you change nothing, nothing will change.
I know I have a sold acting technique. I know I’m a good actor. I know I audition well. Ok, wait….a….sec. Breathe. Yes, all those things are true. And then I asked myself, “Right now, what don’t you know that you don’t know?” Obviously, I once again couldn’t answer that in the moment. And then it hit me. Get in an intense acting class, shake up my technique and put it back together. Why not?! So I did. Man, was it exactly what I needed to rekindle my passion, take back my creativity and find my artistic freedom. (Thank you, Crista Flanagan! )
I could’ve changed nothing. I could’ve complained about the industry. Complained about the casting directors. Complained my agents weren’t getting me in enough. Blamed the outside world because I knew what I was doing, I’d been doing it forever.
Sound familiar? I invite you to ask yourself in your industry and with your goals – what don’t you know that you don’t know? Don’t take my word for it, a research study from Stanford University found that a half hour of complaining every day physically damages a person’s brain. Yikes! So, complain or find out what you don’t know. I encourage my clients to always discover the latter.
Here are five steps to take to uncover what you don't know:
1. Make a list of areas where you aren't getting the results you desire
2. Look outward and be observant - notice what's happening in your industry
3. Look inward and be observant - notice what excuses keep you in stasis
4. Research people who you admire and find out what they’re doing
5. Seek out the advice and knowledge of the people you trust when you're ready to shift
Remember, you’re not alone. We all don’t know what we don’t know! You just get to have enough courage to figure it out, if you’re committed to taking massive action towards your deepest desires. Life is a journey of constantly growing, learning and shifting. If you think you've got it all figured out, that's a sign you get to dig deep and examine what you don't know.
I’m still waiting on some hard data results of the two new discoveries I unearthed. We’re about to release my new brunette pics this week. I’ll say this, my first audition after my new acting class, I had a callback straight to producers where the casting director gushed over how she liked my new hair color. I’ll take that as a sign.
Need support in uncovering what you don’t know? Sign up for a free 20 min consultation. I’ll point you in the right direction and see how I can be of service.
Posted on October 9, 2018
by Jodie Bentley