Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Hey, there!

I love coffee dates.

I offer to have coffee dates with almost everyone I come in contact with.

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Whether it’s someone wanting to learn how to get started in VO, someone who’s just arriving in LA to begin an acting career, or someone who want more information on Rehearsal, I’m all over coffee dates.

And as I’ve watch engaged, enthusiastic people make great use of their time with me, I’ve jotted down some of their best practices. Use these, and you’ll get a lot more out of the time we spend together. Here’s what you should be thinking when asking me on a coffee date.

[box type=info]Hey, want to know what NOT to do? Read/watch this:[/box]

[dropcap]1[/dropcap] You’re going to be on time. I understand LA traffic. I get that sometimes, life happens and you’re delayed. But when I’m meeting someone for the first time, I give myself traffic time, parking time, finding the building time, even stuff that you don’t see coming time. I will arrive 1/2 hour to an hour earlier, especially if it’s somewhere I’ve never been. Then, I can chill at the table, in my car, in the lobby, wherever, knowing that I’m within striking distance of where we’re meeting. That way, there’s no time wasted on apologies or complaints about the traffic or how crappy your life is, and we can get down to the business of getting to know each other.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap] You’re going to research me before the date. Actually, you’ve already gotten to know me from my presence online. I’m always surprised and delighted when someone asks me about my radio career, how Heroes happened, what it’s like to have an app like Rehearsal, along with what they want to know. It makes me feel like this hour is important enough to them to maximize it, and getting to know my background may open the doors to questions.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap] You’re going to be clear about what you want. Have a goal that clearly defined when you sit down to talk with me. Make it simple and short, not a laundry list that we’ll never get to. Examples of great “asks” are: “I’m stuck. I don’t even know where to start. What are the first steps I need to take to ______ ?” or “As you approach an audition, what goes through your mind? How do you make the most of those opportunities?” We can always spend more time on the answers to those questions, but make sure we don’t run out of time because the questions are too broad.

[tweet_box]Be on time. Research me. Jot down what you want to know. And two more ways to have excellent coffee dates with me and other potential mentors: [/tweet_box]

[dropcap]4[/dropcap] You’ve going to have some extra questions ready. If we dispatch with what you have for your clear goal with me, we can explore the other things you need. One of my favorite questions is “How can I help you?” and “What would you like?” Have your laundry list of questions you’d like answered somewhere in the notebook you bring so you can ask those if time allows.

[dropcap]5[/dropcap] You pick up the tab. Well, to be fair, you offer to pick up the tab. I won’t let you, but at least I know you’re willing to do so. No, really. Reach for the check, and let me win the tug of war for it. I insist.

In another video, I’ll be sharing some not so excellent ways to have a coffee date with me, and how to avoid them.

In the comments below, share with all of us your best practices. How do you maximize the opportunity you have when you get an appointment with a potential mentor?

Hope this helps.


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and this is today’s one-a-day video
we’re doing a new video every day for
the entire year that’s my challenge try
to give you something really useful to
use throughout the course of the year
and today what I want to do is I want to
talk to you about how to have a great
coffee date with me now one of the
things that I really take a lot of pride
in doing is having regular opportunities
to grab a bite to eat and talk about
what’s happening for people that are new
to Los Angeles to the performance base
new actors new voiceover talent new
people that are coming to be a
professional in the business and I love
doing it because it’s my way of giving
back I mean everybody’s got to eat right
and people that are coming here that
aren’t necessarily you know flush with
money they haven’t built a war chest
which is one of the things that I talked
about earlier in in this series of
videos you know what having a war chest
can do for you in terms of giving you
freedom you don’t necessarily have that
they’re often hungry both for
information and for food and so I’d like
to sort of give them that head start and
so I’ll have coffee dates with people
all they do do is ask if I’m available
I’ll do it but there are some ways to
have a good coffee date with me and then
there are some ways to not have such a
good coffee date with me and they’re
pretty basic but they’re things that
people sometimes don’t think about
either because they can’t believe that
you know I’m not gonna ask them to pay
for the meal or I don’t know people are
naturally skeptical and I can understand
why you know there’s all these people
hanging out waiting to take your money
to help you become successful so when
people have a coffee date with me there
are five things that I want to share
with them that they can do so grab a
piece of paper and a pencil or type it
into your your chat window or whatever
and send it to yourself but the first
thing I want you to know when you’re
gonna have a great coffee date with me
is that you want to be on time and it’s
not just because you know I have a busy
schedule and I’d like you to respect
that but because you have a busy
schedule and I want you to get on with
your life as soon as possible and I
get it you know traffic wherever you are
wherever you’re gonna have a coffee date
here in LA if you’re gonna have a coffee
date with me I get the traffic sucks
it’s horrible
so give yourself plenty of time if you
don’t have a car and you’re taking
public transportation you know the
schedules are available use Google Maps
but just be on time be on time so that
we can both plan properly for the day
and if you’re not going to be on time
then just pop me a quick text when
people arrange to have a coffee date
with me we exchange information and just
let me know so that’s the first thing be
on time the second thing is you want to
research me and what I do and what my
experience is and what I’ve offered in
the past to people before you come to
the date you want to make sure that you
understand what I have in terms of a
skill set what I can help you with
because number one you might ask me
something that I’m not really familiar
with I’ve had people come to coffee
dates with me and go how do I get a job
as a writer on a television show I
haven’t the foggiest idea I mean I can
come up with some things you know kind
of thinking that maybe they’ll work but
what I know best is voiceover on-camera
performance rehearsing storytelling
things that are in the performance space
so just research what I’m doing so
that’s the second one so be on time
research what I’m all about before you
meet with me and then the third thing
that I want you to make sure of is you
know bring something to write with and
be clear about what it is that you want
what are the things that are confusing
to you what are the things that keep you
up at night that make you worried that
you’re unsure about or that maybe you’ve
heard some things about but it doesn’t
quite sound right or you’ve heard about
and you’re like wow that seems pretty
simple or you know whatever
but just you have an idea of what you
want so write down those questions have
an idea of what you want that’s number
three and then number four you want to
have some extra questions ready because
you may be asking me questions that are
just simply fact-based you know what
kind of microphone should I use how do I
set it up my studio at home to do you
know self self recorded auditions maybe
it’s just fact-based as opposed to
discussion based where we kind of
explore what you’re doing I’m
I’m gonna be asking you about your
journey and where you are and what you
want and things like that but have some
extra questions ready and then finally
number five pick up the tab I’m kidding
try to pick up the tab go ahead but
don’t because I’m paying I just I I
appreciate the fact that you might want
to pick up the tab and that there’s
value in in what I’m providing and you
want to sort of do a quid pro quo but
it’s not necessary I really I gotta eat
I really enjoy company while I eat I
love actors I love voiceover performers
and so let me do this favor for you both
giving you food and drink and
information that’s really what I love
doing that’s my way of giving back I
mean there’s so many people that
supported me in my quest to be a
professional and there are so many
people that continue to support me as
students and clients and this is one
thing where I just feel like it’s
something I’d like to do so let me do
that for you okay so first you’re gonna
be on time second you’re gonna do
research on me before you come to the
date third you’re gonna know what you
want you’re gonna have a set of
questions that really focus on what you
want as opposed to gosh you know there’s
so much I can ask you you know use your
time wisely and then also number four
have some extra questions that you might
want to ask me just in case we have
extra time and then five let me take
care of the tab I really appreciate that
now I’ve got another video where I tell
you how to have a crappy coffee date
with me and you don’t want to do any of
those things and this is actually
because there are two types of people in
the world there are people that it that
like toward language you know what do I
do to be the best in the world what are
the things that I can do to get good at
this what are what are the positives and
then there are people that want to know
about away from things like what do I
need to avoid what are the mistakes that
I might make how can I stop being stupid
about this you know and so this is for
the people that want toward language
these are the things to do and I’ll have
another video for you soon that will
tell you what not to do so stand by for
that so I’d love it if you would take
the time to talk about any coffee dates
that you may have had in the past that
maybe worked out really well what were
the successes there or the coffee dates
that didn’t quite turn out so much okay
or what’s a coffee date I mean if you
have questions please put them below if
you have comments about what I’ve said
put them below if you’ve ever been on a
coffee date with me let people know I’m
not I’m not scary I’m not an ogre I’m
not really a creepy evil villain like I
am on television right and of course you
can always subscribe to my channel here
on YouTube and if you want to see the
last video I did you can click on that
and go check that out and in the
meantime I’m David H Lawrence the 17th I
want to thank you so much for watching
and we’ll see you tomorrow.



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  1. Hi David,

    I’m so glad you’re doing this. I’ve already received some much needed inspiration and clarity. Can you please share a link to the video where you discuss the “war chest”? I think I remember you talking about it on IAP but I’d like to review the info again. Thank you!

  2. David, I would also love a coffee date with you…i assume they are not just for people new to LA? I would think of it sort of as a pre-cursor to that private I have been threatening to schedule with you…so that I can get the most out of it one scheduled! And I hope we would be drinking cinnamon coffee 🙂

  3. I love to study successful people. When I see what their processes are and how their minds work, it sinks in somehow. I’ve had 2 coffee dates with David. I scribbled notes constantly and made those long term and short term to-do’s part of my process or least I think I do. Then I go back over those notes months or years later and say, hmmmm, I forgot to make that one part of my process or actually think, wow, that was a brand new thing for me then and not its a no-brainer I do all the time. He’s successful, right? So I wanna do as much of what he does. I don’t want to say, well, I’ll skip that one. It’s a process, but I keep at it.