Quick. Do this today. Like, right now. Don’t hesitate. Don’t check Facebook first. Don’t walk. Run.
For your career, for your life, it has to happen today. Think about what kind of acting gives you the most joy, the most sense of play—the kind of acting that makes you feel like you’re running at full speed in an open field without a care in the world.
Figure out what kind of acting makes your creative heart explode, and then do it. And do it now. Now, post-pilot season, when it feels like there is a lull, is the time to fill your creative tank, firm your creative foundations, and do the work equating acting with joy, passion, and danger. It is an essential part of an acting career.
Playing is not some luxury that only fancy actors who make hundreds of millions of dollars can afford to do. Finding the joy in your work is vital for any actor. Your myopic focus on finding representation, securing better representation, doing casting director workshops, auditioning, booking work, etc., etc., will kill your acting career because the industry isn’t meant to satisfy you creatively. Every once in awhile a project comes around that pays your rent and challenges you creatively, but the grind of auditioning, casting director workshops, etc., isn’t where you find the love of it all.
It’s your job to show up to those professional situations with the tank full, and with all the joy and excitement required to dig in and do bold, generous work without the limitations of self-consciousness and bitterness that the industry can create.
You have to fill the tank on your own, and you do that by constantly reigniting your creative fire with doing the work for its own sake. Your relationship with acting requires constant maintenance so it doesn’t get stale, so you can show up to every audition, every show, and every set primed, ready, creatively flexible, and excited to work. And in order to do that—to be that—all you have to do is play. For its own sake.
The joy of the work is in the doing of the work.
When you do the work for its own sake you remind yourself of why you were called to be an actor in the first place, why you gave your life to the pursuit of this in the first place. And if you don’t have passion for the work of it, you’re going to be unsatisfied. You’re going to get the email from your agent telling you that you have an audition in Santa Monica at 5 p.m. on a Friday and asking you to know 13 pages of dialogue, and you’re going to respond with irritation, anxiety, and indifference, without any spark. But in order to be the person who books that job, you’re going to have to be in the practice of loving acting so that you see it as another amazing opportunity to do the work.
As we head into summer, actors can feel like it’s time to step back and relax—to go on vacation. We agree. Take a vacation from your focus on the business and take this opportunity to find the intoxicating joy that lies in the play of acting.
So, what inspires you creatively? What kind of work is pulling at your heart? What kind of work are you dying to explore? Now’s the time. Right now. Do it for your career. Do it for the little kid you once were whose voice has been drowned out by the business. Do it because in order to be a happy, successful actor you must fill your artistic tank.
Empower yourself. Love and nurture your work. Join one of our classes at BGB to help you do just that.