How to Still do Your Job (When You Don’t Have a Gig)
As all performers know, there is the inevitable downtime that happens when one project ends and the next one begins. Or, there may not be another project lined up but just auditions on the horizon. Trying to fill this downtime can be daunting. Some performers sink into a funk and start to get restless because they feel they aren’t contributing to their career. However, I’d like to offer some ways to still feel creative while simultaneously bettering yourself for that next awesome gig!
First off: wake up! I mean that literally. Find time to relax, but don’t sleep through half your day. Motivate yourself to get up at the same time you would normally head somewhere for an audition or for your acting class. Use your morning to be productive and I guarantee by lunch time you’ll feel more accomplished than you have in awhile.
Over your cup of coffee, read the news that is relevant to your career.If you are a musician, spend some time on Music-News.com or NPR.org.If you’re an actor, scroll the headline stories on Playbill.com or check out what’s happening on and off Broadway on Broadwayworld.com. There is nothing worse than an artist who is not informed. You must be in touch with what is happening in the performing arts world so you are informed and equipped for your next audition.
And once you are done reading the news, read some more. Make it a personal goal to read X number of plays in a month. And follow through! Finding new playwrights that you adore or new parts you wish you could play is exciting and inspiring. Write these characters down and make it a mission to play them one day. If you are musician or dancer, read reviews from a recent concert or recital you missed but were curious to see how it was received. Read bios of the people who inspire you the most – be it directors, conductors, teachers – and learn how they found their way in their art form.
Work on audition material. You should always be updating your repertoire of audition material as the same pieces that get used over and over again can become very boring and stale. Spend an hour of your time and memorize a new monologue. Push yourself to take risks and try something new with the material. By the time that next audition rolls around, you’ll have a new piece already polished and ready to go!
Email a friend who has a career you admire and ask if you could take them out for coffee (make sure you are not emailing strangers, but actual people you consider a friend!) Swapping stories and hearing about their mistakes and triumphs is sure to help motivate you.
Finish the task you have been avoiding. Just do it! Do you need to get more headshots printed? Have you been meaning to book a voice lesson? Knock off one tedious task a day and by the end of the week, your to-do list will shrink.