TIME MANAGEMENT FOR ACTORS
Because you never want to be that person with “too much free time.”
While having a totally flexible schedule might seem like a luxury, it can become a huge stress factor if you don’t manage your time efficiently. As an actor – like any freelancer – you need to balance your schedule with expected to-do’s and “me” time. Failing to do so will cause you to burn out. How can you expect to perform at your best if you all you do is run between auditions all day? We are giving you permission to take care of yourself. Be your own main priority. Once you do so, you will realize that having time to regroup allows your creative energy to flow. You’ll feel more prepared, calm and in turn confident to whatever you show up to that day. Here’s how we approach – and get the most out of – an open-ended day:
Do your most difficult task first thing in the morning. Checking off your least favorite activity at breakfast time gives your day momentum. You will be free of that looming to-do and feel empowered to take on the rest of the day!
- Ink + Volt is an awesome planner to both schedule your have-to’s and daydream about your want-to’s. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it will keep you constantly inspired to work towards your goals. Type-A or not, it’ll be your secret weapon. Not quite sold? Check out their blog.
- Not into pen and paper? Give Any.do a download. This must have app is our favorite to-do list and calendar app that keeps us organized and ready to get stuff done.
Find other hobbies. It is important to not make acting your only thing. Find some sort of physical activity that gets you grounded: running, yoga, surfing. Anything that you look forward to doing. If you’re not too keen on working up a sweat, go for a long walk. Dedicating even thirty minutes to moving per day will get your endorphins going.
- Learn a new language with Duolingo.
- Cook. With endless recipes on Pinterest and meal delivery services – like Plated and HelloFresh – that prep and portion all of the ingredients, becoming the next Gordon Ramsay might not be that hard after all – as long as you’ve got that British accent down pat.
Take care of yourself. This goes along with staying active. Nourish your body with food that makes you feel good and brain with books that help you to grow as an individual. On a psychological level, do not take on things that are out of your control – whether it’s things other people say or not landing a role. This does not impact your self-worth.
Get a job. We know, we know. Acting is your job. But the thing is, if you rely on landing a role to pay your rent, auditioning is going to become stressful. The author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, talks a lot about this in her podcast “Magic Lessons.” (We also highly recommend her book “Big Magic” for inspiration to persist an artistic life). This will also give you the flexibility to do pro-bono work that will help you build your reel and learn.
- UpWork is a super reliable freelancing platform which allows skilled independent contractors – from writers to UX developers – to see a company’s hiring track record and pay history.
Give yourself permission to say no. Whether it is a shoot you truthfully don’t want or happy hour with friends – having boundaries is key. Sometimes it’s worth passing on one opportunity, to simply have time for a bath or to call loved ones. Otherwise, you’re going to be running around like a chicken without its head.
Be present. How many times have you arrived at an audition, unable to remember how you even got there? Sometimes we are so in our own heads that we are oblivious to the world around us. Being mindful of what you are doing will allow you to perform at your best.
- Practice meditation using Headspace.
- Fika. Take a moment to be grateful for your life by taking a planned coffee break like the Swedes.
Be patient. At the UpCast office, we like to say that the only thing you can ever be is ready. Show up with a positive attitude – especially to situations you have no control over. This will allow you to react with empathy, and take pleasure in the process. A great read to get you started in this mindset is Jeff Olson’s, The Slight Edge. He assures that the work and you put in, day in and day out, will snowball into a successful career. Read a little each day, rehearse, and learn from others you look up to.