Back in November last year I parted company, very amicably, with my then agent. It really just wasn’t happening for either of us so it seemed sensible to go our separate ways. Something like that, of course, always provokes a kind of “where am I going?” thing. We all have that, don’t we? No auditions for a while. Auditions but no jobs for a while. We need something to change, something to restart the enthusiasm and the optimism.
Goalsetting: Defining in advance what counts as success or failure…
So I started thinking about goals. Now, I’m not normally one for Goalsetting as a strategy. I know people who swear by it, but it does nothing for me in general. It always seems to me that setting yourself up with targets to miss is a risky process and the biggest risk of all is defining in advance what counts as success or failure. At that point however, it did seem that there were two specific things that could be seen as “simple” business objectives for the coming year, so why not?
Goals: Easier to write down than accomplish…
I’d already decided that looking for a new agent could wait until the New Year. Three or four weeks before the Christmas madness is probably not the best time to be doing that kind of thing, but “Get a New Agent” is exactly the kind of bold, simply stated, measurable, result-oriented thing that fans of Goalsetting love to point to. And of course, like all these things, far easier to write down than to accomplish. The second thing that occurred to me came during the inevitable “Must Tart Up The CV” moment that comes whenever something fairly drastic happens. “In 2016”, I thought, “I’d like to get a major role in a prime-time TV thing”. Now I wasn’t thinking, “I need to be a star” or anything, just that it would be great to know that I could get such a thing. I didn’t care really what it was, a drama, a sitcom, whatever. Not asking for a regular character or anything, just a good role. Again, easy to say, less easy to do!
So that was it – I’d set my two ambitious goals for 2016. I set about working out my strategy, like a good Goalsetter, for achieving these things. By Christmas, I had a plan, and was ready to put it into operation in the New Year.
It didn’t work. I never put the plan into operation.
Life: How things really happen…
In the week between Christmas and New Year, I got a call from the BBC, straight from my Spotlight listing. Would I like to audition for a programme about the Hatton Garden robbery? I would. I did. I got the job.
In the first week of January, we filmed what became “Bad Dad’s Army: The Hatton Garden Heist”, a prime-time reconstruction of the biggest burglary ever. During a break in the shoot, I mentioned to one of the other guys that I was about to start the search for a new agent. He said “My agent is looking for someone right now, why don’t I ask him to give you a call?”. He did. The agent called. We met. I signed up.
My two so-called goals happened just like that, without me ever doing anything from my plan. In the first week of the year. That’s not “Being Goal Oriented”. That’s not “Having A Plan”. That’s just how life works. Things happen.
So. There you have it. Goalsetting? It just doesn’t work. Of course it leaves me with a problem. What the hell am I going to do for the rest of the year?