Listen, I’ve got two words for ya. MARKET RESEARCH!
Yes. You read that correctly. In almost every field of work, market research absolutely blows. It’s a fact of life.
UNLESS you’re an Actor.
“Why? What’s the difference?” You may ask.
Well it’s quite simple.
For an actor, market research means watching loads and loads of movies and TV shows. It’s basically a free pass to spend 12 hours on a Sunday watching Netflix. You can literally call a day filled with two large pizzas, three bags of chips, six diet cokes, and the entire first season of Ozark a “productive” day.
Watching movies and TV shows is considered “working.” This is one of the MANY amazing things about acting. Obviously, no one is paying you to do this “work.” BUT you can learn so much and improve your craft by watching movies and television.
You’ll discover a plethora of information if you study your favorite actors. You’ll discover what sorts of characters they typically play. You’ll get a sense of their range. You’ll start to notice their ticks. You’ll notice their blocking. You’ll notice everything. And it’s all beneficial.
Point being, you can learn A TON by studying the actors you admire.
The same holds true if you’re a writer.
I recently jumped into the world of screenwriting and now try to either watch the movies or read the screenplays of my favorite writers.
Currently my all-time favorite writer is Aaron Sorkin. The way he drafts dialogue is out of this world. I find myself spending many a night binge watching West Wing or re-reading his famous play, A Few Good Men. Any time I write, I tell myself to “channel my inner Sorkin.” I’m not kidding. 😂
Now that I’m re-reading this blog post, I’m starting to think this may just be one giant justification for my tendency to binge watch so much Netflix. But who cares, right? It’s all done in the name of MARKET RESEARCH!!