Stay updated on the latest industry-related news.  Our news is updated daily.
Not yet a Children In Film member? Click here to view member benefits
Back to News

Defining Success

October 19, 2016

How Will You Define Success?

Success means many things to different people.  Now is the time to sit down and map out how you want to define success in your house. 

Success can be defined as:
  • a favorable outcome of an action
  • growth development, improvement and getting better at something
  • achieving what you set out to do
  • an achievement of something desired, planned or attempted. 

For many performers Success often revolves around a desire to book more roles or auditions.  Or maybe your goal is to update your reel, improve your headshots, or take more acting classes to diversify your resume.  Before you go full-speed ahead down your path to success, CIF encourages you to stop, back up, and define what success truly means to you.

Success looks different for everyone,” explained Casting Director Lisa Pantone, “and it comes at different times for different people.”

So if success is different for everyone, why is it so important to decide on a definition? 

To start, defining success allows you to build a road map.  You won’t know how to get there until you know what “there” looks like.  More importantly, when it comes to child actors, it is crucial for the family unit to sit down together as a team and work through their own definitions. 

“In our family, first and foremost, success is the balance of life,” explained CIF Parent Blogger, Carl Sprayberry, in a recent post. “Ellery and Dylan are healthy, caring, smart, appreciative and creative people.  To my wife Dana and I, this is the greatest success.

Children In Film has developed the “Be Honest” quiz within our KidStart Program to help you begin this discussion with your family.  After you take the quiz you may also want to ask the following questions:

How much time and money can you invest?

Pursuing a career in entertainment takes a lot of time and money.  In fact, initially you will spend way more money working on starting your career than you will earn, and your schedule will be jammed with school, acting classes, auditions and, of course, every day life (such as parents’ regular jobs and other siblings’ activities).  Decide, as a family, what success will feel like?  Are you going to work on your dream of performing for a set period of time and then reassess or do you have a bottomless budget and timeframe?

What are your goals?

Goals are like checkpoints along the path of success.  With each goal you meet you will feel closer to your overall, main goal within the industry.  But what is that main goal?  Is it to perform or to make money? To be a paid, working actor or to be recognized in a crowd?   Discuss, and perhaps even write down your goals, and then take note of what goals you will need to meet along the way.  Do you need an agent? Should you enroll in classes?  Do you need to network with casting directors?  How many casting calls do you want to be going on each month to feel progress?   Remember, achieving a feeling of success often has more to do with the path than the actual destination or, as Miley Cyrus says, “It’s not about how fast you get there or what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb.”  The answers to these questions about your goals will lead you down very different paths within the same industry, so again, make sure you’re aware of your goals before you set out on your journey.

All actors should continue to hone their craft,” explained Lisa Pantone. “Take classes with reliable acting teachers and coaches so that when you get your big break you can walk in to the casting room with confidence and pride for what you do and what you have accomplished so far.”

What truly makes you happy?

Just as happiness is more than a lot of good times, Success is more than a fat bank account and lots of toys,” noted former child star and CIF Board of Advisor member Paul Petersen who heads up A Minor Consideration.The respect of your friends, the health of your children...a flourishing garden and a joyful attitude toward your work...These are the things that make each day a treasure.”

At the end of the day success is about achieving happiness.  When you are successful at meeting individual goals, or achieving a larger goal over time, your chances at overall happiness are much greater. It’s why we humans strive for some type of success every day.  What makes you happy? Money? Fame? Performing?  And parents, what do you want for your children?  At CIF we focus not only on teaching you how to gain success within the industry, but also on helping you raise up successful, contributing members of society who are well-educated and better prepared to face the challenges of adult life. 

Lisa Pantone added, “and if for some reason your version of success does not happen as fast as you would like it to or you expected it to, always remember that things in our lives happen when they’re supposed to happen. That’s what makes life so interesting and fulfilling.”

Click here to learn about CIF members who have achieved success.