Getting My (Acting and Otherwise) Shit Together

If you’re a consistent reader you may have noticed back at the end of April, I mentioned doing a series of “get your shit together” posts about trying to get your ducks in a row, meaning life, career, body, mind, all of it.

And that never happened. HA! Ironic, yes?

I think I had a lot of work to do on myself and felt like “guiding others” while trying to figure out why I had so many missing pieces in my own day to day felt, well, wrong. So I thought it would be worth both our times to update you on what I did and maybe in some way it will help you check in on your own ducks/pieces/general shit BEFORE the New Year instead of waiting for the champagne hangover to dull.

2018-09-29+17.jpg

Career

I had been spending so much time on my day jobs (like becoming a trainer) which was awesome and really rewarding! But it also took a great deal of energy and focus away from my acting career. I am so glad I gave myself that time to enjoy and test out that world. I loved it so much. But to be bluntly honest, I had to spend so much time being “prepared” to go to work: writing workouts for classes, making plans for clients, making playlists, keeping up to date on all the latest info and knowledge…I’m just not someone who will do something without doing it WELL. And that is not always helpful. I let my day job run the show, and put my career on the back burner.

When I realized this I had to make monumental shifts in my focus. Firstly, I got a new job. I needed one I could just show up to more or less. I needed less prep-work pertaining to my money job so that my free time would be spent on the more important stuff. And I also needed consistency. Financial consistency in this roller coaster career is so important to me. So I started nannying again and kept on my food prep clients. I am already almost completely out of any credit card debt I accumulated and have more wiggle room to invest in my career, which leads me to…

class

I got back into an on-going acting class as of October. I spent some time over the summer testing some out and ended up at John Rosenfeld Studios (you have heard them on this podcast, or this one). Due to time and money constraints, I had taken this off the table long ago. But being surrounded by, working with, and learning from other working actors is so pivotal to my success. I have scripts in my hands every week no matter what. Major win.

Mentality

Hiring a career coach (who spilled all the details in his podcast episode) has been the greatest investment I think I could have made this past year. I have been at a crossroads, after having left my reps last winter and being a bit older (even with all my sunscreen…) and the fact that I hadn’t booked anything “good” in the past year. I felt like I was almost on my way out. We all have those days…but I was having a lot of them in a row. After working with Brian for 6 months now I can honestly say my mentality towards my work and my mental health, in general, has probably never been better….well maybe when I was like 8 and didn’t really have any life problems other than what was for dinner *sigh. Spending time with a coach (or therapist) who has no influence on you/your work and simply talking to them out loud is pretty magical. Figuring out not just what I bring to the table for something like an agent meeting but also what I bring to the table for myself…that’s been huge.

I also started consistently meditating. Please don’t close this browser tab because I’m so #unrelatable. I use an iPhone app and do it while laying in bed right after waking up and holding my dogs and praying they can wait 15 minutes longer before they have to pee (not always the case). Headspace has been the jam for me but there are so many others including lots of free ones. Has this made me into a whole new person who does yoga 12 times a week and reads intensely into her horoscope? Not yet. But it does remind me to breathe and to clear my brain of all these ideas that I think are true but are actually just “thoughts”. I’m all about the small victories.

Health

I started doing this thing called sleep, I don’t know if you heard of it? It’s amazing. And free. Honestly, though, I had been coaching 6am/6:30 am fitness classes 2-5x a week for almost 6 months before I changed jobs (ie the Career paragraph above) and I had become so run down. I would go to bed stressing about not getting enough sleep and then wake up exhausted and depleted only to drag my ass to the gym. I was hungry all damn day. I spent months like this thinking that I was going to get used to it “soon”. But soon never became now and I was melting like the wicked witch on a daily basis. I strongly believe people function well at different frequencies, and figuring out your own is really important. Turns out mine does not vibe well with a fresh 5 am cortisol hit followed by hours of physical exertion. I’d love to be and TRIED to be one of those people who can knock out work and a workout in the wee hours of the morning. But the fun thing about getting older is figuring out what works for others does not indeed work for you.

So after changing the work timing, sleeping more, and meditating (is there an echo in here?), I am now left with my on-going and consistent struggle of nutrition and exercise. FUN. I am still figuring this one out, to be honest. I am trying very hard to keep my mind focused on the real task at hand: eating good food and moving my body without too much obsession/concern with either. The struggle is real here. I started working out from home often, which has helped me find time to work out which I would have previously missed. I love the YouTube for Tone It Up, PopSugar, and this one ab workout for some reason. I also am trying new things and finding consistency in my own food prep. Eating real food and drinking a lot less…although I probably still enjoy one too many cups of coffee and spoonfuls of peanut butter on a regular basis…has been a major positive.


So that’s pretty much the whole deal. I signed with a new manager over the past weeks (I’ll write about that for you too) and feel a sense of general calm in my day today. I think you can see now why I wasn’t in place to write a step by step guide to doing all of this. I had to make a lot of little moves to amass bigger ones. I can write out some more about my acting profiles, photos, etc if we want to go deep in the career deets at some point? But for today that’s all I got.


Sam Valentine1 Comment