Can I Take Vacation As an Actor?

Missing out on your life due to FOMA (Fear Of Missing Auditions)?

Maybe you can relate:

You plan a vacation and as soon as you pay for your flight, auditions start coming in that you now won’t be able to go on. It’s uncanny how this always seems to be the case, isn’t it? Now that you’ve booked your non-refundable flight, fear sets in that you’re missing out on opportunities, and what if THAT audition was THE audition that was going to ignite your career?

So what’s an actor to do? To vacation, or not to vacation. Here are some things to think about to help you decide whether to take some time away:

1. Vacations are good for you!

According to this piece by NPR, there are multiple benefits of taking time off. Lower blood pressure, lower stress hormones, and more life satisfaction, to name a few. In the Framingham Heart Study, more than 12,000 men were followed over nine years, and it was discovered that “The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived.” I’d say that’s a win!

2. Time off can fuel your artistic life.

Burnout is a real thing. As creative artists, we have a lot on our plates. From survival jobs to auditioning, rehearsing, going to classes, gigs, working on marketing, and of course, personal relationships, it seems an actor’s life is one of constant motion. Taking time away from your usual surroundings and “to-do” lists can help you reset and recharge your creative battery.

3. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint.

My guess is you want a long and fruitful career. If that’s the case, think long-term. If you plan on being an actor for at least the next couple of decades, make plans to live your life as well. In the grand scheme of things, missing out on an audition because you took a few days off to see the Grand Canyon is not going to matter in the long run.

For years, I was afraid to book out or go anywhere too far away or for too long, thinking I would miss out on auditions or jobs that would inevitably come in as soon as I clicked “book my flight.” As a result, I never really had enough time off to recharge and never experienced any place further away than a few hours drive. I was not living my best life.

Happily, several years ago, I realized I was no longer willing to put my life on hold just in case an audition came up. I booked  a glorious vacation to Florence, Italy. Guess what happened? The moment I clicked “purchase ticket”, a huge audition opportunity came my way with hold dates during my (non-refundable) vacation. I auditioned with the caveat that I was unavailable for the dates I would be away. Long story short, I booked the gig AND had a glorious time with my wife in Italy! My creative tank was refilled, and I arrived on set with renewed energy and a change of perspective.

Have you ever let your FOMA keep you from taking a vacation? Are there steps you take to overcome this fear? I’d love to hear about it!