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Support for actors can come from many sources. It can be from family, friends, or fellow actors.

Support can come in many ways. It can be help finding a headshot photographer, getting advice for submitting to agents, or receiving the offer of a ride to an audition.

You will encounter many people who offer some kind of support for you. Most of it will be conditional. Here’s an example: “I’ll like your Facebook page if you like mine back.”

If. That’s the pivotal word. If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Mutually beneficial relationships are an asset. Everybody wins, in some way. Yet they need not be the only place we draw support as actors.

So where does unconditional support come from and what does it look like?

Here’s what it looks like. You get that support in words or deeds no matter what. It flows endlessly.

It could come from a parent, a child, or a spouse. It could come from an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or a cousin. It could come from a co-worker or the person who sells you coffee every morning. Someone personally connected to you.

It could come from a Facebook friend, one you have never met in person.  Someone who always offers praise or encouraging words in comments.

Not booking a job doesn’t end the support. It continues.

Not getting an agent doesn’t end the support. It continues.

Not “making it” big doesn’t end the support. It continues.

Unconditional also looks like this. The person offering it allows you to set your own career expectations. The person offering it allows you to make your own career decisions. The person offering it gives you space to succeed and fail, learn and grow.

There is a responsibility for you, though. To keep the unconditional support truly unconditional, you have to do some work.

Here’s your part. 1. Show gratitude.

That’s it. Simply show gratitude for unconditional support. Whatever that means to you. It could be saying thank you by phone, in person, or in a card. It could be sending a small gift. It could be dedicating a performance to that special person. It’s truly up to you.

Remaining deeply invested in your career and using acting as a way to provide acts of service to others are two ways you could invite even more unconditional support into your life. And won’t that be a welcome thing.