Bit by Bit

Eva Longoria in Beverly Hills, 90210


Some of you are big time actors already but want the next thing. Some of you are on the verge. Some of you are just starting out. Some of you are wondering if the break out moment will ever happen.


Everyone started somewhere.


I know it’s not easy to be patient. You know what they say about patience? Patience is a virtue.


I am not suggesting to sit back and do nothing.  I just notice for my own artistic journey that when I get most impatient, it’s because I’m focusing mainly on the end point and feeling anxious that I’m not getting “there” fast enough.


When I take little steps towards my big picture, I always feel better. Like I am making some bit of progress.


Today and every day, take note of the little opportunities that present themselves. Don’t turn your nose up because it is not THE end point. Each bit is moving you towards a multitude of end points that are ahead for you. And that end point might not look at all what you thought it would look like!


Here are just a few film actors who moved their careers forward with the little steps, bit by bit:


  • Dean Norris played tons of cops with only one-liner roles before “Hank” on Breaking Bad.
  • Judd Hirsch transferred from the stage via a teeny role in his film debut in Serpico.
  • Eva Longoria was Flight Attendant #3 on Beverly Hills, 90210.
  • After a 1981 performance in the play A Soldier’s Play, Samuel L. Jackson was introduced to Spike Lee who later cast him in small roles for his films School Daze and Do The Right Thing. 
  • Harrison Ford’s first known part was an uncredited role as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round.
  • Chris Rock did his rounds in bit parts, including Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones was a belly dancer in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
  • Judy Dench won an Oscar for 8 minutes on screen in Shakespeare in Love!
  • Zillions of actors have done zillions of bit parts on their path to becoming working actors!


I will leave you with one question. Apply this to your own unique journey, whether that’s film, tv, music, theater, etc.


What can you do today that moves you forward, bit by bit, in your career?


Let’s nudge each other. Share your wins below!


Your fan who is excited to celebrate your bit parts,


  1. Ydaiber says

    I work closely with a “mentor” who helps me decide the right CD workshops to sign up for, and after reading your post I got an email from her letting me know that she signed me in for a free writing workshop, that’s what I call baby steps towards eventually writing something for myself 🙂 ❤

  2. Kendrick says

    Baby Steps: The realization that I will have to look for student film work and volunteer my time. Can’t get to where I need to be without the reel. “The elevator to success is broken, take the stairs.”- Jenifer Lewis

  3. Arlene says

    I look on actors access almost everyday and submit myself for (usually several) projects every week, and always post my website in the comments section if I can. I figure even if they don’t call me in, it’s possible website traffic and more people getting to know me as an actor. I also try to take as many classes as my wallet will allow- which makes me be strategic about which classes I sign up for- whether is be something on one on one, or a creative writing class to give myself a fun outlet. And I try to keep up with Heidi’s Facebook group! Which makes me feel grounded and connected to a group of people in the same boat as me and inspired!

  4. Lisann says

    Absolutely. It’s all about those small steps that takes us closer to our goals, and our growth in them. As we grow, our goals change, and so we really should just revel in the process and celebrate our small victories day by day. Thanks for the reminder! Best, Lisann

  5. Maylin says

    Love this post today! I always feel like it opens our minds for possibilities, and that in the end it’s a journey. I definitely believe judgment should be left at the door, so work is work, and it exercises that muscle of working. But here’s my thought that I’m still mulling over, at what point do you just start saying no to the things you “maybe” like for the things that move your soul?
    I was watching a great BAFTA series on youtube, and they were saying that it’s all in the choices. Sometimes saying No to things that are not feeding you energetically. Hmmm, maybe it’s – like everything- a personal decision. LOVE LOVE THIS POST!! Thanks Heidi!

  6. Andrew David Rabensteine says

    Such a great reminder! I’m still trying to figure out how to get seen for auditions for the bit parts. I would be thrilled to be Flight Attendant #3! 🙂

    I’ve been working with the Bit by Bit philosophy for a few weeks now. It’s really amazing how just doing some small bit a day will help me feel as if I’m accomplishing something and moving forward.

    I have a couple of bit by bit steps today. 1) Continue editing my reel and 2) Start my Facebook Fan Page

  7. Laura Betz says

    Hey Heidi,

    I think my baby steps right now are learning to give over some control to this manager I’m doing a trial run with…I think that’s story with all of us, right? Having to be self starters business wise but end up tapping into the collaborative spirit when it comes to the business side, in the ways we always collaborate as artists. Though, I’m extending the trial run period to really see what rooms I can get myself in after a dull summer, I’m excited.
    Just submitted on some voice over work and spent an hour at my desk doing different takes for two copies of VO. It’s quite a world 🙂

    All good things to you, Heidi. So happy to have your words, wisdom, and friendship as a constant 🙂

  8. Katy says

    Today’s baby steps: Obtained and forwarded insurance info for a RED camera rental (for a film I co-wrote, which I will also act in), applied notes to our latest draft, booked a One On One appt with an agent I’ve been pursuing.

    “…baby step onto the elevator… baby step into the elevator… I’m *in* the elevator.” – WHAT ABOUT BOB?

  9. Jomack Miranda says

    Love this post! So relevant to actors at any talent level. Recently, I met an actor who performed alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman in the recent Broadway rendition of Death of a Salesmen. He informed me on how hard Hoffman worked, how hard anyone has to work to be that good, besides all the natural talent. Everyday I check backstage and send in head shots and resumes to talent agencies across the city. Those are my baby steps. Thanks, Heidi!

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