If you’re an actor, you might occasionally find yourself frustrated with the business and everything that needs to happen to keep your career running. I mean, you’ve got a lot on your plate: survival job, classes, auditions, mailings, bookings, and life. You can get so busy that you may forget why you’re doing all of this in the first place.
Sometimes, you may feel like you’re stuck in a rut or even that you’ve fallen out of love with acting, this thing you’re supposed to love no matter what, that you’ve committed your entire life to. Listen, I’ve been there and I get it. If you do find yourself wondering why you’re doing all of this, here are the steps I take to remind myself why I love being an actor and to help me get unstuck.
Take yourself on an artist date.
Go to the theater, watch a classic film, or find a pretty spot in the park and read a biography of an actor you admire. Take in a museum, or stroll through a new neighborhood. Let your mind explore, relax, and reconnect with what you love about acting, art, and their purpose in your life and in the world at large.
Work it out.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: If you’re not already in an acting class, find one you love and go regularly. There is no better salve for your artist’s heart than working on your craft and being surrounded by other talented people who love what they do. If you’re already in a class, maybe it’s time to branch out and try a new one to gain a new perspective.
Connect with colleagues.
Acting can often feel like a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to! Make a point to connect with your fellow actors on a regular basis. And no, Facebook doesn’t count. Make a “water-cooler break” date once every week with a different actor friend to commiserate, share successes, obstacles, and laughs. No offense to your mom or aunt Mary, but it can be great to have someone you relate to who truly “gets” it because they’ve been there!
Schedule your priorities.
Set aside a little time to revisit your acting goals. Do they still inspire you? If not, allow yourself to daydream about what would. When you figure out what you really want to accomplish that excites you, make time in your schedule every day to tackle this goal in bite-sized chunks. Feeling passion for your goals and actually working toward them a little every day will help you feel motivated and unstuck!
Break new ground.
Learn something completely new! It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it interests you. It can be a new language or computer program or how to write a screenplay. Maybe you always wanted to tap dance or create origami animals or make homemade noodles. There is nothing that can break you out of an artist rut like trying something new. And hey, you never know what will stir your creative juices and give you inspiration for your next role. Rut be gone!
Remember your “why.”
Once you’ve reconnected with your love of acting and purpose as an artist, you’ll remember why you’re taking on the challenges of an actor’s life. Knowing your why is important to stay motivated and positive when your schedule gets hectic, so take a moment to think about it every day. Maybe you could write a little love note to your artist self and leave it next to your toothbrush so you see it every morning. Or if you journal, start every session with your why. Do you always take a coffee break in the afternoon? Take that time to connect with your purpose as an actor.
If you’re too busy to nurture your artist self, you’ll eventually burn out. So take a little time every so often to remember why you fell in love. You and your work deserve it.
Now it’s your turn. What do you do to rekindle your passion for your actor life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Originally published on Backstage.com