What To Do When You Have No Work | Tips & Tricks for Actors to Stay Busy, Focused, & Motivated
Ah the post-show blues. It happens to us all. This weekend was the last of my latest show The Edge of the World at the Potrero Stage in San Francisco and I find myself for the first time in literally years with NOTHING going on; I’m out of school for the summer, I don’t have an internship, I don’t have any acting classes scheduled, no vacations, no auditions and only one 2 day gig next week. After a play I find I always become extremely sad that it’s over and dreading the days where I’m not worked to the bone.
I thrive on being insanely busy and like I’ve said before, work begets work; the more you work, the more you’re out there, the more work tends to find you. I thought since I am at the beginning of post-show blues I would share how I shake it off and get busy again.
Take a class
Some of the best advice I ever got from another actor when complaining about my career feeling stagnant (even though I was working quite a bit) was to take a class. If you have nothing going on and want to shake things up and feel like you’re doing something to progress your career, take a class. As an actor or model, you’re never done learning, growing and progressing. Taking a class is a wonderful way to get a new resume credit, make some new connections, and gain a new skill. Tomorrow morning my first list item is to find a new class to take.
Time to Tie Up Loose Ends
When I get insanely busy I find I let my resume on my website and casting sites get a little rusty. My laundry pile is at an unacceptable level, I have pairs of shoes all over my house, and mail is stacked up on my desk. Take a day or 2 to spend some nice quality time with yourself getting your life back together. When we get busy, especially with a play, everything else takes a back burner. Go take your mom to lunch, catch a movie with your best friend, pay your bills, do your laundry, go grocery shopping … whatever you need to do to feel like your life is back in control again. Enjoy the slow time because you never know when it’ll come again.
Support Your Colleagues
You know how you publicize your project and ask people to watch it/come see it? Do the same! Go see your friend’s show or go to a show where you don’t know anybody. Support the arts when you’re an artist. It’s a great way to spend a night out, a networking opportunity, and kind of our responsibility as artists.
Look For a New Project (Or create your own)
Start submitting for a new project! Get onto those casting websites and get to submitting.
Some of the greatest advice I ever got (from my clowning teacher) was do not wait for work to come to you. It doesn’t work that way very often. Your soul dies while it waits for the phone to ring. Get together with your friends and colleagues and make your OWN work. Actors are resourceful and inspired. Get together and read a play together in the park. Get your friends who are writers together and start thinking of ideas for scripts and try to film your own short. All actors are hungry for work – so get together and make it happen. Don’t wait for work to come to you – make your own.