In Between-ers: A casual list of things to do when you're not shooting or auditioning.
Radio Silence...our nemisis.
But it happens to everyone all the time.
If you heard this past week's podcast, you noticed how much Sara and I talked about having a project (and life) outside of acting. And no, workout out really hard and working on your career isn't what I am talking about in this particular post, although that is something you should be doing anyway (listen in to next week's pod for our guests "always be a week away" mentality on this)!
However between jobs, obligations, career work, and an attempted social life...aren't we full up?!
I think in the mix, the idea of having a hobby of your own gets lost or prioritized out. But I have learned in the past year, the one thing that keeps me from being truly desperate (read: thirsty AF) in a room is this site and podcast.
So here is a list of things I have used and seen others use as a source of creative freedom to keep them hydrated...artistically speaking.
- Writing: And it doesn't need to be a script. And it doesn't need to be shared with anyone ever. This website was born out of my need to put my experiences into words. Truth be told, I really hated writing. Usually more on the reader-side. But making myself a part of something larger that is 100% fueled by words (and some photos) has felt pretty powerful. So you don't want to write a script or a blog? Cool. Write poems. Write letters to someone you know or a solider you've never met. Write a detailed Yelp review for every business you utilize in a weeks' time. That right there will take some effort, I assure you!
- Running a totally separate Instagram: This incredibly millanial/generation Zed idea is actually very realistic for our lifestyle. Pick something you do pretty typically every day. Cooking, eating, sports, working out, shopping for shoes, drawing celebrities on sandwiches. Whatever. There is this odd type of unwritten agreement you make with the cyber-world when you put something out into it, some binary-coded contract that you will post. I can't explain it. But everyone has a camera phone and we all use social media, and taking something other than #actorlife selfies will indeed be a lot more rewarding to you. I ran a healthy cooking IG for a long time and every post felt like a check on a to do list.
- Teaching someone else something you enjoy: Are you bilingual? Teach someone Spanish. Are you a fantastic runner? Post on an online bulletin board you're looking for a mentee. Is your classical film knowledge unsurpassed? Reach out to your acting class crew online and offer to host "Film History 101" nights. The point here is to take some pressure off yourself and find joy in sharing your talent with another man, woman, or child (kids are great btw, I workout with kids and it's so fulfilling). Sharing your personal happiness with another is THE best way to alleviate your own personal stress.
Volunteering: Talk about a useful freakin outlet! The best benefit for all parties involved. And the best way to realize how #grateful you really are. If you are limited on time, here are some suggestions that are flexible to an actor lifestyle: SAG BookPals, make sandwiches with the Mission for Skid Row, donating your skills to a silent auction (I recently added pilates training sessions to an auction at Race for the Rescues, it requires very little from me but gives a lot), work for the pups and cats at NKLA.
Planning travel: This sounds like a stretch and so damn boughy but it doesn't have to be! Planning a trip for a reasonable date in the future (if you wanna see when are the best times to leave LA, I got em for you here) can not only be super exciting and time consuming if you want it to be, but it can also be incredibly affordable if you take your time to do it! Sitting around waiting to start your adventures for "when I have the time/money/hook ups" is insane and will never work. You just gotta go. But give yourself 9 months to a year to sort and plan and save. It's extremely motivational too. And if you book something and have to push? Well wasn't that the point here all along? ;)