0058: As A Performer, Are You Hooked On Hope?

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Hey there, hero!

In a recent group Zoom session with other actors, one of them dropped a bit of knowledge she’d learned from a college professor, a behavioral psychologist. His teaching was around how gamblers are not only hooked on the chance of winning, but are also given the feeling of hope even when they lose.

I did some research on it, and found this article by the BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160721-the-buzz-that-keeps-people-gambling

And as I read this quote, I started to think about how it applies to us as actors and voice talent:

“If people lose a bunch and that lowers their expectations, that will increase how happy they are when they finally do win,” says Rutledge.

And what really resonated was the notion of how random our business is, and how we sometimes look at booking as a win/loss prop bet. We hope we book. And when we don’t, does that kill our hope?

Nope. It often adds to the dopamine hit.

So…are you hooked on hope? Is your audition process a hope-based process? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Hi David,
    Hope??? It was always a worthless word to me. It makes you sit and wait, instead of just doing to make it/things happen. Do the best you can, and when you walk out of a casting, close the door and forget about it! There is nothing you can change, so be happy with what you did, because there are so many reasons why you didn’t get the gig, and none where your performance has to do with it.
    cheers from Berlin, be save, and love what you do,
    JJ

  2. So my dad, himself a gambling addict, would always tell me that “this ain’t f*ing Disneyland, this is real life!” pertaining early acting endeavors. So I think my hope was killed then. Well, after my parents passed away and I joined the Army and thereafter went to law school (because I wasn’t living in Disneyland…. thanks dad). It took over 20 years for me to try acting again. I found that now, I LOVE the process. I LOVE auditions. I look forward to doing auditions, look forward to my projects… unpaid so far.

    As far as HOPE, I do have hope that I can switch lawyering to my side gig and acting/voiceover as my full-time work, but even though I get cast in things, I haven’t been paid yet. But because there’s still the whole “this ain’t f*ing Disneyland,” I guess I am not expecting a paid gig, but absolutely loving what free projects I am doing.

  3. I think as humans e are naturally hooked on hope, hope we get the job, hope we get the girl, hope we have a good time, hope it’s a good diagnosis, etc., As an actor we should all be hooked on hope, hope we put on a good performance, hope we made the right choice, hope to get an audition so you can showcase your talent and of course–the mother of all hopes–hope you get the gig. As actors, I think it’s okay to be hooked on hope as long as you’re resilient enough to bounce back from not getting the job time and time again because if you’re not-you really should go find another line of work. Enjoy the entire experience, win or lose!