A purposeful conversation with Bonnie Gillespie
Our highlight reel is a reflection of our legacy. When thought of in response to the question “what’s on your highlight reel as you’re holding a gold statue in recognition of your work?” it is the destination of the path leading to your future.
This is a question Bonnie Gillespie asks her clients when she starts working with them. Her clients are aspiring actors, directors, and others in the creative entertainment industry. To help them get started, they must know their true north. From there, she helps them find the path to a successful entertainment career.
On this week’s Pursuit of Purpose, I was struck by the parallels between breaking into the entertainment industry and building a successful business. Bonnie shares how she found her own calling in the industry through a side job as a columnist to fill in the gaps between acting jobs. Writing about “what to expect” in the industry led her to coach those who are getting started. “People were looking for a set of rules after picking a career that doesn’t have many,” she said.
During our conversation, we talk about the importance of understanding our own personal brands, running opportunities through our brand filters, and recognizing the power of not taking all opportunities you encounter. Bonnie’s mantra is “Let’s find out…” when it comes to how she runs her business, how she coaches her clients and how she approaches life.
Experiment. There is no downside to learning you might be able to do something differently than how you’ve always done things.
About Bonnie Gillespie
Bonnie built her business by demystifying the casting process and illuminating the business side of pursuing a creative career starting with her first weekly column for actors in 1999. The most popular of her books is Self-Management for Actors, which has been named one of The Top Ten Best Books on Acting Ever Written.
She tours the world teaching curriculum based on this top-selling book at universities, actors’ unions, and private acting studios. She also works as a coach to creatives eager to bring a sense of empowered joy to their storytelling journeys. When not coaching, Bonnie casts indies like the Machinima zombie smash hit BITE ME which made the leap from web to TV with Lionsgate in its second season. Her work on this groundbreaking series led to her membership in the Television Academy. Most recently, Bonnie did a little casting on Twitch‘s first Emmy-winning series, Bernie Su’s Artificial.
Bonnie has been featured on Good Morning America, BBC Breakfast, Sunrise Australia, E! Online, Yahoo! Movies, and in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the LA Times. Her podcast “The Work” is available at Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Bonnie Gillespie’s website
- Follow Bonnie on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube
- Brand Confidence Mastermind
- Schedule a discovery call with Amy
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