Michael Giese: The Garden

Doug GoldringCommunity

“All will be well in the garden.”

So says the brilliant Peter Sellers’ character Chauncey “Chance” Gardiner in Hal Ashby’s 1979 film, “Being There.” I often think of this quote when asked by students how to get an agent or work with a casting director or join the union or how to progress with their craft.

The truth is there is no clear path. The ways in which one might achieve any of these career milestones are as unique and innumerable as the actors who ask the questions. In fact, not only is there no clear path, there is no destination. There is no mountaintop. You’re unlikely to reach a place in your career where you say, “I’ve done it! I’ve won acting!” More than likely you look out and see the next valley that needs traversing to get to the next mountain.

The best I can offer anyone is that your career is like a garden. There are different seeds you plant in hopes of reaping what you’ve sown. Each casting director, playwright, or agent you meet is a seed planted to which you now must diligently attend.

Your craft is the same. If you don’t consistently tend to it, it is unlikely to grow, let alone flourish. Sometimes you may need to trim a bit of what is preventing growth. Sometimes you may find a particular plant simply will not grow in your soil. It’s also important to remember, however, that some flowers bloom almost immediately, some are perennial, and some, like bamboo, take up to three full years to break through the ground and shoot up over a hundred feet in a matter of weeks.

So meet the agents, meet the casting directors, work with writers and directors, submit yourself for jobs, send thank you notes and notes of congratulations and career updates, all of it. All relationships need attention whether in your career or in “real” life.

But, most of all, if you’re not working, be in class. Feed your garden daily, trim those weeds, and keep malign influences outside the fence lest they devour what you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

Then, with any luck, “all will be well in the garden.”

– Michael
IG: @giesestreet

Upcoming classes with Michael include Beginner Acting Class IV: On-Going Film/TV starting 5/19 and Beginner Acting Class II: Getting Specific starting 6/17.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes, including Youth classes, camps, and intensives!