As a committed actor, you spend a lot of time focusing on building your career, obviously. Between classes, networking, marketing yourself, auditioning and actually acting in film or on stage, you can easily slip into a familiar routine or stagnant rut. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of your growth as a human being. Actually, it is vital to you as an actor.
So, what to do about it?
Go out there and do new things for the first time! Feel the excitement of learning something new! Do you have a hobby? Nurture it, don’t neglect it! If you’re not into your hobby anymore, find a new one. Meet people outside of your usual circles. Travel and see other parts of the world, observe other cultures. Volunteer! Always pick your brain with a new challenge, like learning a new language or just memorizing your friends’ actual phone numbers! (Personally, I don’t think I know anybody’s phone number by heart, except for my husband’s and parents’ over in Germany). Get out of your comfort zone! Get a life outside of acting! How else are you going to gain any experience for future roles?
I’ve heard all this preached quite a few times and said my ‘yeah, yeahs‘… Easier said than done, right? But with a little discipline and determination, you can do it and stop finding excuses not to. No money for traveling abroad? Well, we live in a beautifully versatile country. Make it a road trip and take a travel buddy with you. Plan a route and go for it. Mark a weekend in your calendar and commit to it! You’ll find the cash for gas and transportation. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Trust me! For example, I always wanted to see Mayan ruins in Mexico and it took me three years of online research, planning and saving money, but it was the most spectacular and exhilarating vacation I’ve ever had! Those memories will ‘feed’ me until my next big adventure.
“What fear of heights? What dark cave below?” (Can you see the fear in my face?) *gulp*
If there’s a WILL, there’s a way. It’s as simple as that.
However, if your life gave you some seriously bitter lemons; or maybe your outlook at the moment doesn’t hold much promise for anything ‘fun’ – don’t despair! Even shitty experiences have their value! I worked at two seasonal jobs last year and at times it sucked so bad it made me cry. Seriously! Both jobs were in areas of expertise completely foreign to me. One dealt with lots of kids and the other with retail…in a mall…during the holidays. Yep. I took those gigs on to (hopefully) learn something new and to support my acting habit. I did my best, looked for the positive (wherever possible) and ‘endured’, but I was so glad when it was over. As bad as it was back then, I did gain some knowledge and learned lessons that I wouldn’t have otherwise. And guess what, those experiences also came in handy for some recent acting gigs!
So, what are you waiting for? Are you motivated? Good! Now let me get back to my online courses teaching me about my DSLR camera. I’m trying to have a life here ;)