We had the good fortune of connecting with Jodie Bentley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jodie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance, oof. I feel like I struggled for so long to walk that perfect tight rope of balance. The balance between my coaching business, my acting career, producing, and life as a woman, wife, doggie momma, and friend. I went into self-beat-up mode multiple times because I felt like I’d fall short in one area of my life. Then my Virgo perfectionism would kick in and I’d eventually feel like a failure.
Over time, this became exhausting. And I found that I could never fully own my success and happiness in one area because it meant I wasn’t successful in another. As a multi-hyphenate that’s simply not a sustainable way to be. Honestly, I’m not sure when the shift happened, I just remember getting so tired of reading about balance and how to achieve balance, and no matter how much I meditated or structured my calendar it seemed like a near-impossible feat.
Now, I think balance is bullshit. I look at it as a pendulum swing. If I’m launching my membership for actors, the pendulum is swinging in that direction and that’s where most of my focus lies. If it’s my husband’s birthday weekend, then the pendulum is swinging there, and emails will wait. If the pendulum swings to a bunch of auditions in one week, then that’s where my focus gets to be, and my assistants will pick up the slack in my coaching business. For me, knowing that it’s an ebb and flow is calming. I mean, we can’t focus on multiple things at once, anyway. To think of balance as a pendulum keeps me sane and able to wear my many hats and dare I say, balance them, without shame or guilt.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I empower actors to stop self-sabotage, build an authentic brand, and craft a marketing strategy to create the career they ACTUALLY want. I’ve been doing that for over 13 years now through one-on-one coaching, mastermind groups, courses and my signature membership, The Actor’s Think Tank. My business started out in NYC, then expanded to Los Angeles where I eventually moved, and now it’s global.
I’m also an actor. When I graduated NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, I had no clue what I was doing when it came to the business of acting. My results were fairly good… but random and rare. I knew I was missing something and I was so sick of not knowing exactly what to do. So, I read every freakin’ business book I could get my hands on. I started taking business principles that worked in the real world in regard to branding, marketing, and sales and morphed them for the creative career of an actor. That’s when I achieved success in my own acting career in NYC. Then after about the 40th free coffee date where other actors had asked to ‘pick my brain’ on how I did what I did, I realized I had a skill set and a knowledge that most actors didn’t have. That’s what I pride myself on, that I understand my clients innately. I know what actors go through. I’m in the trenches with them daily. I’ve created systems to support them in every area of the acting business.
Honestly, running a business is no joke. My business has seen a few incarnations as I struggled to find ‘balance’ and navigate pursuing two passions – acting and coaching. I started off as The Savvy Actor for about 7 years, then that moved into Accelerated Artist for almost 2 years. Then I took a break for a bit. I had gotten burnt out and lost sight of my own acting goals. I was feeling like a fraud in my coaching business because I wasn’t walking the walk and talking the talk in my own acting career. So, I took a step back to regroup, re-prioritize and figure out how I could serve my two goals – being in front of the camera and supporting my fellow actors in achieving their dreams. Then I was finally able to rebuild my business once again from my value of integrity and it grew even bigger than before. That’s what brought to where I am now. My coaching business is thriving with my online courses and products, this year I developed and launched a new software for actors called The Actor’s Office, my acting career is growing steadily as I’ve worked for Netflix, Hulu, ABC, CBS and many more, my writing and producing projects are moving forward, and I have a team of assistants supporting me.
Through it all, I think this is the key – to build everything you do from your value system and to constantly tap into the big vision of what you want. I believe that’s the key to longevity in anything you do. And a big lesson I had to learn was how to delegate and to stop trying to do it all myself 😉
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my god, I have a bunch of itineraries in my Google Drive that I can share with you right now! I mentioned I’m a Type A- Virgo, right? Ok, if my best friend is in LA for the weekend we’d go to Malibu for the day to the Getty Villa, grab lunch at Paradise Cove and go to Malibu Wines on the drive home. We’d also have to go to the Grove/Farmers Market and then have drinks up at Yamashiro in Hollywood for the view. If there’s something great playing at the Hollywood Bowl, then that is a must. Alright, that is WAAAYYY too much stuff for a weekend. Say we’ve got a week – a trip to Temecula has to be on the books with a visit to Europa Winery and if they like chocolate wine then Thornton Winery for sure. Or Solvang for wine tasting. Or the Funk Zone in Santa Barbra. Maybe you’re sensing a theme of mine…wine. I love wine tasting. I enjoy the community experience of it and getting to taste different wine profiles from small vineyards that poured their heart and soul into what they created. If I’m staying closer to home, a drive to Agua Dulce Winery and a hike in Vasquez Rocks is a great day trip. Ok, I’ll stop now 🙂
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I think about all the coaches I’ve had over the years, the number of personal development books and business books I’ve consumed, classes and courses I’ve taken, my shout-out would be a mile long. It’s amazing how many people have touched my life in some way. I feel compelled to mention two people. First my husband, Matt Viera. His belief in me as well as his love and support, convince me to fly even when I don’t feel ready. Second, I want to give a shout-out to my sister, Laurie. Laurie is my older sister who is special needs and functions on the level of a 2-year-old. She taught me patience, perseverance, acceptance as well as being the pure embodiment of deep love and immense joy. When I pause and I think about the woman I am today and how I choose to show up in the world, I owe a lot of it to her.
David Muller Mark Bennington Andrew Russell