If you find yourself between acting jobs struggling to stay motivated, take comfort that you're not alone. Every actor has gone through dreaded 'rest' periods, but they can offer great opportunities for personal and career growth if approached in the right way. Here are our top tips for making the most of your time off...
1. Stay creative
The creative part of your brain needs exercise like everything else, so keep it stimulated through writing, drawing, photography, music - whatever comes most naturally. Acting is a difficult discipline to practise in isolation, but there are plenty of other ways to keep those creative juices flowing.
2. See shows
See as much theatre as you can. Even if it involves watching productions you missed out on, or other actors you consider rivals, you will always learn something from watching them. And if you attend opening nights of friends' shows there is always the chance of some useful post-show networking too.
3. Meet people
Reach out to friends, have as many meet-ups as you can, go to parties. Anything to get you out there talking to people and sharing your experiences with them. Acting can be a lonely profession at times like this, but there are always others going through it too. And you might just end up discussing a project that could turn out to be your next break.
4. Learn new things
There are always new things to be learnt, from piano playing to horse riding. Embrace your new found time - or at least the time you have when not doing a 'normal' job - by fleshing out your CV (see below) with new skills. Who knows when they might come in handy?
5. Stay positive
This can be tricky, we realise, but it really is important to retain a positive attitude when out of work. A negative outlook will lead to introspection and can even impact your odds of getting more work. If you find yourself getting gloomy, remind yourself this is only a temporary phase and further opportunities will come along soon.
6. Update your CV
This is a very important practical step. It's all-too easy to let your CV languish and then have to cobble something together in a hurry when it's required. Don't fall into this trap. Make it a monthly task to tidy your CV - and be sure to update any websites/social media profiles too (Curtain Call included!).
7. Edit your showreel
Out of date showreels can do more harm than good, so be sure to regularly re-edit. There are plenty of companies that will do this for a fee, or - following on from point number 4 - why not teach yourself iMovie and edit it yourself? It's a skill that will always come in handy.
8. Read scripts
As well as attending plays you should also read scripts. Not only will you gain fascinating insights into the work of writers you admire, but you might come across some excellent audition speeches too. Plus there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than browsing the National Theatre bookshop.
This is crucial, but often overlooked. The more active you are, the better you will feel and the better prepared you will be for that next job. Not only does physical fitness play an increasingly important role in casting decisions, it also makes you far less susceptible to injuries and exhaustion during a long run.
10. Join Curtain Call
Ok, slightly shameless plug alert, but this website really can boost your chances of getting that next job. We're the fastest-growing database of actors in the UK, and membership is currently FREE. So create your profile today and take advantage of a vast range of benefits. Click here to join Curtain Call for FREE now.
Other articles you might like:
Image: John Macmillan in rehearsals for The Homecoming. © Matt HumphreyBack to news