It Will Pass

Being an Actor is… interesting.

We live in a cycle.

We want the job.

We get the job.

We’re glad we got the job.

We rehearse.

We feel like we’re not good enough for the job.

Someone tells us we’re great for the job.

We feel better about the job.

We love the job.

Job ends.

Repeat.

We’re Creative. We’re constantly thinking, “I could’ve done that better.”

Art is never perfect. It’s never finished. There’s always something that could’ve been added, taken away, rewritten, painted over or adjusted in some way. It drives us a bit bonkers to think this way. But we’re Artists. It’s what makes us so darn lovable.

What’s important to remember in the cycle, is it’s perpetually in motion. Things in motion, will always keep moving. Totally not the right quote, but you get the idea.

Give it time. Something will click. Something will fall in to place. You will find your flow state. You always do.

That funky feeling that everyone in the room is amazing, and you’re Ringo? That will pass. It always will. As long as you stay in motion.

So keep moving. Make Stuff.

 

 

 

 

An Actor’s Day Off

The time goes on and on.

The hours melt together into one big, fuzzy, intoxicated, exhausting moment. Emotions build and fade. The voice is tired. The eyes get cloudy. The only way you can tell the time  is by the snack table becoming more and more empty.

It’s been a long rehearsal process. It seems like there is no end.

Then it comes.

The Day Off

The one day out of the week when the Actor is allowed to do what they wish.

To not be in rehearsal and be put through a washing machine of judgment, laughter, movement, drama, gossip, jealousy, bonding and more.

The day when the Actor doesn’t have to be told what to do by someone, or by  words on a page.

This is the day the Actor looks forward to. Although, we quickly discover that the Day Off is mostly filled with running an entire weeks, some times more, worth of errands.

  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Washing the car
  • Taking the kids to school/the doctor, or the dog/cat to the Vet. Hoping you don’t mix those two up.

THEN, somewhere in all of the chaos, taking a moment to remember to take care of yourself.

  • Hit a hip-hop trampoline class.
  • Do goat yoga
  • Or just take time to breathe.

All within the confines of “Banking Hours”. Actors gotsta deposit those checks!

What you choose to do on your Day Off is your business. It’s ME time.

But this brings to mind what Steven Pressfield wrote about in The War of Art.

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”

See. You can use your Day Off  to sleep a little longer, watch funny Cat Videos on YouTube, or binge watch the seven seasons of your favorite show on Netflix.

OR…..

You use the Day Off  to hustle. To work.

To put in the time on you and your dreams.  Instead of doing the opposite and counting the minutes until you can eat a whole pizza while lounging in your comfy Avengers pajamas.

You work. Because if there’s one thing that the Actor knows, and dreads, it’s that every job ends. Every one.

Even if you’re blessed or lucky enough to get a series, a role in a super-hero franchise, or a show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, (by the way, if you know someone…).

The inevitable fact is that no gig is forever.

The show will close. The shoot will wrap. So there is no time to rest.

As an Actor and Creative, you are allowed to enjoy your Day Off  by not doing anything. It is okay to “Veg” every now and again. Self care is Super important. 

But how much more would you enjoy your Day Off, if at the end of it you knew you did everything you could to hustle, work, manage and fight your way in to another gig? Or create your own?

  • You took that photo
  • You wrote those pages
  • You created that dance
  • You fought for your dreams

Let’s make stuff.

 

28zxqx

 

 

The Most Important Rule On The First Day

 

There isn’t much that a Director or Producer of a production asks of an Actor on the first day when working on a Stage Production. 

They ask you to be ready. Prepared to work.  Check your Ego at the door. 

They ask you to come with any and all conflicts. 

They do this so they’ll know when you’ll be there and when you’re going to flake because Pilot Season is coming and you told your Manager, Agent or both, you’re doing a show, but to keep you available for anything coming up.  

You know who you are. 

They ask you to have an open mind. 

Basically that means, don’t show up with a locked-in idea of what you’re character is going to do, say and what their motivation is. Be adaptable. That’s what rehearsal is for! 

What you don’t typically realize is, by the time you show up on the first day, it’s not actually the “First Day”. 

They’ve had production meetings for days, some time weeks, before you even show up. 

They know what the stage will look like. What the idea is for the lighting. What you’re going to wear. 

So the first rehearsal day you need to keep yourself open to the idea that, like Life, you don’t know it all. But, together, you will work to find all the answers. That’s what rehearsal is for. 

Just show up, have fun and get ready to play and work. 

BUT! 

Before all that happens. 

After you’ve been cast and you’re sitting around the table with your cast mates. 

Amongst the freshly sharpened #2 pencils, stocked highlighters, script fasteners and delicious and addictive snacks from Trader Joe’s… Thank You Stage Managers and Interns! 

Before you get ready to sign the contracts in triplicate and nominate your Deputy. 

You must follow the most important rule. 

It’s the one some of the most respected Actors I’ve ever had the chance to work with, from Stage, to Film, to TV know and practice. The ones who get remembered and hired again. 

When you have a Call Time…. 

“Early is On time. On Time is Late. Late is….

Don’t Be Late.”