You’ll Never Be Ready (And Why That’s A Good Thing)

iStock_000022176248_SmallHey. You’ll never be ready.


You’ll never have the training to tackle Hamlet. You’ll never be ready for your first feature. You’ll never have the charisma to carry an AMC series and you can’t afford home studio equipment.


You won’t be skinny enough to book that commercial. You won’t have the star power to to dazzle producers. The pilot you wrote isn’t ready to pitch and it’s not the right time to audition out of state.


The thing is, you’re going to have to do it all anyway. If you wait for the perfect moment to seize or create an opportunity, you’ll watch your career slip right past you.


Instead of waiting, decide you’ll do it. Decision is a power move. Deciding signals the rest of you that you must be prepared, that you have a shot at success, and that you are worth it. Decide hard enough and you can trick your anxiety into thinking you know something it doesn’t.


In a high-rejection business, we need to play our own mind games and win. Instead of telling yourself “I’m not ready for this” start thinking “This is what I’m choosing to do.” Repeat it even when you feel like a fraud. It’s terrifying, because it holds you accountable, but it’s also freeing.


I think we actors often tell ourselves all the reasons we won’t book to take the sting out of rejection. But it doesn’t keep us safe. Instead, it rewires us until we believe we aren’t good enough, haven’t worked hard enough, aren’t worthy of booking.


I recently had an audition I really cared about. I caught myself thinking of all the ways I wasn’t right for the role, all the actors I knew who could do it better, and the many reasons I wouldn’t book it. So I did an about-face. I started telling my friends how much I cared about the role and how hard I was going to work for it. I started telling myself there was no one who could bring exactly what I would to the role (even when I didn’t believe myself). I worked it in class and let my classmates celebrate with me when I got a callback (which may have cost me 5 years off my life in social anxiety). I don’t know whether I’ll get it. But I do know that changing the way I talk to myself pre-audition, while emotionally terrifying, makes me feel stronger. I feel like I put in good work, and like I was worth the work I was doing. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t book it. But the the risk will be worth the disappointment. Because instead of feeling like a helpless pawn at the mercy of circumstances beyond my control, I have cast myself as the queen, calculating possible sacrifice, and deciding to play anyway. My chess analogy falls apart here, nerds. You know what I mean.


Form positive mental habits. Be on your side. Accept that you’ll never be ready, and let the loss of that limitation empower you.


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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at