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January 2nd Works Just as Well…

January 21, 2014

Sorry to be the hipster of the group….but I’m anti – New Years Resolution. I’ve found the best way for me to function in all areas of my life is to live each day as proactively as possible, not letting a moment go to waste by waiting to pursue a goal that is of great worth to me. January 1st feels exactly the same as December 31st to me, and waiting to get things done only causes me stressful days and sleepless nights.

So I put my OCD to good use and make clear, concise lists….and lists of lists. Lists on my phone, on my bulletin board, in my notebooks, on bathroom mirrors, everywhere I look….and my greatest joy comes from checking them off. So the moment I think of something I need to get done, I’ll pencil it into my planner or type it into my phone. When I think of a major project or a weighty goal, I write it everywhere, tell others so they hold me accountable, and make additional lists of what it is I need to do to achieve said goal. Whether that happens in January or August, I get to work on it right away.

So instead of listing my non-existent New Years Resolutions, I’ll list off some of the things I have left on my ever-growing To-Do list:

1.)    ITS TIME TO GET AN AGENT! I’ve been in SAG since I was seven, I’ve been making commercials my entire life, I came out of the womb acting. But when I left the country for several years I left my agency. I’ve returned home only to realize I had very little clue about how to go about finding an agent. Likely because I was four years old when I signed with my agent and obviously had very little to do with the process. I’ve been booking solid work in the live performance spectrum but would much prefer to return to film/tv, a path better supplemented with the help of an agent.

  • PROACTIVE PLANS: I’ve made a gazillion page list (I have a list obsession) of agencies I found online, in Samuel French’s Guide to Agents, from the advice from friends ect. I reworked my resume, reel, and website until I was blue in the face. And have started sending in two or three submissions a week. 

2.)    MOVE FORWARD, NOT BACKWARDS! Yes, this seems obvious. Yet every time a show of mine ends, I begin to panic. What if I don’t book anything for months? What if my rent goes up? What if, what if what if? I stress myself to death and accept the first role I get offered…even if it is in a show that will not advance my career, doesn’t pay well, and is not exciting or challenging for me in any way. Then I miss better opportunities because ‘m stuck in a show I shouldn’t have even considered.

  •  SUITABLE SOLUTION: Calm down. Realize that I have more than enough savings from my contracts abroad and keep in mind that in the long run, accepting second-rate shows will do me more harm than good by holding me back. Be choosy while I can be and keep my goals and dreams at the forefront of my mind…instead of letting my worries and fears cloud my every thought. I’ve lived for almost a quarter of a century, there is no point in waiting any longer to pursue exactly what I want to achieve rather than lingering in what feels safe.

3.)    TRAVEL WITHOUT “LEAVING”! Is that a paradox? I think not. I think somewhere in the past few years my love of traveling and adventure managed to surpass even my love of performing. But it did not surpass my love for my boyfriend. We have dated for 5 years and I spent two of those years out of the country, which was hell. Every time I get work abroad, the contracts require me to move away and leave my boyfriend for long periods of time (not to mention quit my job, sell my car, leave my apartment, turn my life to shambles!). And I can’t exactly travel just for vacation all the time as I would very quickly run out of money. But alas, I will not give up my wanderlust!

  • ADVENTUROUS ANSWERS: I’ve been researching and applying to corporate entertainment companies who book out of the country gigs that last only a couple of weeks. I get to make money and perform while getting free travel, plus I don’t have to sell everything I own or be away from my ever faithful….ever patient…..boyfriend. Yes, I use performing arts as my own personal travel agency.

4.)    PUT MY OTHER SKILLS TO USE! I’ve played the piano my whole life, I’m learning different languages, I’ve beaten my body to shreds learning acrobatics and stunts, I have an affinity for writing. What is to become of all this?? Well, nothing if I don’t start marketing my skills, training more thoroughly, and coming up with some conducive plans.

  • MARKETING MADNESS: Recently I’ve become obsessed with filming everything I do and putting together killer reels, then sending these reels out every chance I get! If something is not in my main skill set (singing, acting, dancing), I used to chicken out and not submit for a project because I think I will fall short in the director’s eyes. But what have I got to lose?! I’ve booked some jobs which I thought were way out of my league simply because I swallowed my fears and just submitted what I had. I plan to make better piano reels, assemble a writing portfolio, take a language class, train on a more regular basis, and start doing any work that I can (paid or not) that showcase my skills I feel I haven’t quite mastered, but would like to pursue with more training and experience.

5.)    THIS ONE’S NOT CAREER RELATED: I’m working on emotionally practicing what I verbally preach. I write in my Green Room blogs about being calm and taking things in stride, doing work that makes you happy, and not hanging on the words of others. Yet on a scale from 1 to ripping-all-my-hair-out-from-stress, I’m bald. Im working on appreciating the life I have and letting go of the things I don’t, enjoying my 20’s rather than spending all my time worrying about my 30’s, and being at peace with what I want out of my career, rather than what the media and my peers tell me I should want.

Now. To make me feel less stressed about all the things I need to accomplish in the future, here are a few things I’ve accomplished since returning from my contract abroad that were on my To-Do list for quite some time:

1.)   JOIN THE UNION: Happy to say I am officially SAG-AFTRA and now AGVA!!

2.)   FIND A COVER BAND: Lucky me, I’ve found three. And it is some of the most enjoyable, well-paid work I’ve booked in my life.

3.)   FIND AN EPIC LIVING SITUATION: I am happily able to afford my own studio apartment all by myself, in a lovely area! Does this make me a grown up??

4.)   FIND PEACE: Over the past few months, I have come to a much more settling place in my career and in general. This is a process, but I am learning, and ever improving.

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers and readers. Don’t wait until a specific calendar date to make your dreams a reality, don’t waste a single day!

The Reckless Artist sig

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One Comment leave one →
  1. The Mothering Actor permalink
    January 21, 2014 3:18 pm

    “corporate entertainment companies who book out of the country gigs that last only a couple of weeks.” Intriguing…. What kind of gig are these?

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