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Let It Go! The Pareto Principle

February 26, 2018

 

Full disclosure - I still haven't seen Frozen. I write "still" like I am planning to do so. I'm not...but does that disqualify me from making the pop culture reference? I think not. 

 

Many of you might be familiar with the Pareto Principle, often called the "80/20 Rule." Mister Pareto did some serious observation on Pea Pods and Wealth Distribution in Italy back in the late 1800's. Essentially his findings were this: a large proportion of the effects (roughly 80%) come from a small proportion of the causes (20%).  From there people argue that the remaining effects (20%) come from the rest of the causes (80%). Simply put there is an inverse relationship between the two --

 

"Why bring this up Mark?! I'm in my head enough as it is. I don't need you throwing around economic terms while I'm trying to learn my lines!"

 

Fair enough...But this might help you audition and self-tape better. I am no stranger to tense auditions. I have seen it in others and have dined on that stress many a time. I obsess over the smallest little head turn or the inflection on a line. Something that could take 20 minutes takes 2 hours and ends with me questioning why I didn't go to law school. The final result is that most of the work I did after the first 20 minutes didn't amount to didley squat. Yes maybe there was a small amount of change (maybe that 20%), but I'm probably the only one who noticed it. 

 

"Mark, I need every edge I can get! I'll take that 20% even if I have to work on it all night."

 

Whoa, Donna Summer in a phone book...

 

 

 

This is where the real insight comes in to play. That stress, that insatiable desire to get it perfect is the real culprit/cause in your work. That is the 20% that produces 80% of your work. It's hard to see from the inside. You want the part. You need the part. You're living with that stress so you don't see it on camera. You see the crafting of a role (or the final 20% of those effects).

 

Put another way...You are a computer. In the background, there is this small application taking up 80% of your RAM (is it RAM or ROM?). You can only effectively run a few more applications.

 

"Mark, why the hell are you telling me this?! I'm not a computer! This is not some sort of Elon Musk simulation world! Don't you make more money the longer I work with you?"

 

Yes, but I want you to have the best possible career. And that means I want you to enjoy being an actor! I'm a part of that community and I got your back.  I am simply saying you got this! You are enough!

 

 

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