Back in the game

Let’s be honest, the word “seminar” doesn’t usually get people excited…which is pretty understandable. But, if you’ve ever been to a Capes Coaching seminar, you know that we do our best to make them fun and inspiring. After all, we know that (especially in places like New York and L.A.) time is a precious commodity — we want to make it worth the investment. So, what excites ME about our seminars? Well, outside of being able to share what we do, I love meeting artists from every walk of life, each with their own unique story, some of who end up inspiring me. Even better is when I see a familiar face in the crowd — someone who came to a previous seminar and has a story about how their life has been affected by what they learned.

About a month ago, Ronalda Nicholas-Frazier showed up to a seminar we were doing at SAG Foundation, and she brought a special guest along with her — her mother, who you would never know was in her nineties(!). Ronalda had been to one of our seminars about a year beforehand and she was back to get some more career support, introduce us to her amazing mother, and share the story of what transpired in her career through the previous year. Let me tell you, talking to these two ladies left both Jodie and I inspired beyond words! And it was a heartwarming affirmation of the work that we do every day.

We asked Ronalda if she would write up something that we could share with our audience and she gracefully obliged. So, I’ll leave it to her own words to spread a little inspiration your way…

In one year, I jumped from “no acting career” to performing lead roles in three New York theatrical productions, reinstated my memberships with AEA and SAG, completed a winter acting internship with The Looking Glass Theatre Company, and I’m now a member of The Magis Theatre Company. I am where I am today, in part, because of Betsy Capes, founder of Capes Coaching.

After a 33-year hiatus from acting to raise my now 23 year-old son, finish my Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU, and work as an adjunct Professor of Public Speaking for years, I became unemployed a year ago. Not long after, I attended a Capes Coaching seminar at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Betsy had us set a one-month goal. Mine was to decide whether or not I would return to the business of acting. She then had us create a plan of 5 action steps to meet that goal: I chose to 1) Finish reading a book I was reading that interviewed actors about their life, passion, and craft; 2) Interview three working actors; 3) Take an acting class; 4) See a play; and 5) Pray for guidance. Betsy also had us pair up with someone else in the group as accountability partners. One month later, following my 5-step action plan, I made the decision to go forward with an acting career. My accountability partner and I continue to set small achievable goals the way Betsy taught us and encourage each other to accomplish them.

This week, I returned to Betsy’s seminar at the SAG Foundation to move to the next level of setting goals and action steps to further my acting career. At each seminar, Betsy has us rate how we’re feeling about every area of our career on a scale of 1-10, 10 being strongest, 1 being needs a lot of work. At last year’s seminar, the area of inner balance (which was the area affecting my decision to return to acting) rated 3, and this year, having accomplished my goal and others in this area, I rated myself a 7 (the highest of all my career areas). Now my lowest areas are marketing and networking.

Jodie (Betsy’s sister and business partner) helped me realize that before I network, I need to know what I’m marketing — my brand, my type, etc. — and helped me create a new one-month goal and action steps to identify my type and practice sharing it with three people I trust. To strengthen these low areas of marketing and networking in my acting career, I will also be doing the Artists In Action Marketing & Networking program. I’m really excited about moving forward with these programs that are user-friendly and bring about specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely results when applied.

I am so grateful that Betsy and Jodie have made their support available through blogs, Facebook tips, free seminars, and cost-effective programs. Thank you for empowering me, helping me to treat my acting career as a business, and giving me the tools to grow it.