This week’s blog is going to be short and sweet. Why? Because it’s all about putting away the devices, getting out of the house and enjoying the big, beautiful world. If you want to be the best actor you can be, the best human you can be—you need to cultivate a life outside of your work.
Feeling creatively blocked lately? Spending too much time stressing what other actors are doing (and booking)? Running yourself ragged driving back and forth to every audition, class and meeting you can find right now?
The answer isn’t more work…
Read on to discover why you actually need to GET A LIFE! 😜
Not Solely An American Problem, but Close…
While it is probably becoming a more universal issue, the question of “What do you do?” just hits differently in our productivity-obsessed U.S. culture than it does in other countries. We immediately think of our jobs.
And no wonder, Americans consistently work the longest hours among industrialized countries: “137 hours per year more than Japanese, 260 per year more than in the UK,” according to one study. And 55% of Americans didn’t take advantage of all of their paid time off.
Just because actors and creative artists have a more flexible, non-traditional work schedule doesn’t mean we are immune from this trend. There is an atmosphere around acting that is very much, “I’m an Actor! This is my life. I have to give it my all to make it!”
But it’s dangerous to attach your identity and self-worth to your employment status, especially in such an unpredictable industry. Not to mention that so many elements beyond our control factor into whether we are “successful” (e.g. CDs, writers, directors, editors, studio executives, box office numbers, premiere schedules, the list goes on and on!).
How To Redefine What A Successful Actor Is
One of the most important things I learned from studying the rituals and routines of highly creative people is that they also routinely pursue things that are meaningful to them that are outside of their creative endeavors. Their sense of fulfillment and forward movement doesn’t solely come from their career trajectories.
Instead, it comes from nurturing relationships, making a positive impact in their community, or serving a charitable cause. They learn new skills and create art for fun and self-expression, regardless of whether an audience will ever see their work.
The best part about developing other aspects of our life that enrich and fulfill us, that keep us curious and growing as individuals, is that we experience our creativity in a different way too.
Being a well-rounded (and ultimately happier) human being makes us better at our jobs too.
So let’s redefine what a successful, working actor looks like.
What is meaningful to you outside of your acting? What rituals and routines can you create around those pursuits to fuel your passion for life, as well as your creative endeavors?
Let me know in the comments how you’re planning on having some fun this weekend!
LOVE + surprises!