Ryan Carter - 5 things to keep you sane when you're Out Of Work
So you're a performer and you're out of work. It happens! To most of us! It's almost a right of passage in my opinion. Admittedly, being out of work can either have a really positive impact on your quality of life, or the total opposite. And you can decide which one it's gonna be.
I've put together a list of 5 Things that will keep you sane whilst you wait for the dream job. It's not a one size fits all, but they worked for me!
1. Get a 'back up' job that you don't hate
I worked in a shoe shop alongside my full time training for 3 years, when I graduated, I just increased my hours and took on a higher role. I enjoyed it, I had a good group of friends, and it got me out of the house for at least 6 hours every single day. They knew what my long-term goals were, so facilitated me going to auditions on my lunch break and swapping things around last minute if I got a recall.
Sure, it wasn't my dream job. And yes, there would be times when I was lacing up someones converse and thinking "Why am I doing this" but, we all have bills to pay! If I wanted a chance at a west-end job, I needed to live in London and to do that I needed to pay rent. Too many of my friends suffice with part-time jobs that they hate, constantly telling themselves 'It's only temporary'. This will be a recurring theme in this blog post, but stop happily living in the 'temporary' place! By all means, be prepared to drop everything when you get offered your dream job, but you owe it to yourself to enjoy your 'back up' one.
2. Have a creative outlet
If you do this as a career, it's because some part of your being isn't fulfilled unless you're creating. You can find places to do this that don't require you to be onstage. Find an outlet that works for you. Sure, you could write a show, choreograph a dance piece, record music or start your own creative production company... but it doesn't have to be an outlet that utilises your skills as an performance artist, it could be as simple as running a new instagram account that sits under a theme that you're interested in or writing a blog about something that sparks your interest.
You can start almost any creative project with your iPhone these days! So why not try it?
3. Selective industry exposure
As a creative, you are hyper-sensitive to stimulus. There are tons ted-talks and books about it. Your emotions are tied to your art, and your art is tied to your work. It's a mess at the best of times. Because of this, you need to be totally honest with yourself to ensure that you're in a good place mentally. If this means not going to see the show you nearly made the finals for, then don't see it! If it means saying no to hanging out with that friend that complains about everything. Then say no.
4. Work on yourself
Sounds like an obvious one, but if you're consistently getting cut in the first round of auditions, you might need to critically analyse whats going wrong. Of course, a lot of the time it's height, look, age, and that's something that unfortunately is never change. However, If you can change something, maybe you should? If your 'go-to-audition song' isn't getting your re-called, book a rep session with a singing teacher and get a second opinion. Go to classes in dance styles that you know you're weaker at. Casting directors often host workshops that can give you an invaluable insight as to what might be going wrong in an audition scenario.
You've heard of the '10,000 hour rule' right? The idea that to become a master of something, you have to do it for 10,000 hours. Thats about 90 minutes a day for 20 years. Are you spending 90 minutes a day honing your craft?
5. Remember what you signed up for.
No-one told you it was going to be easy, but you knew that when you signed up. Think about every party you missed as a kid because you didn't want to miss your dance class. Think about the weekends you gave up to travel to london and audition for the big drama schools.Think about the nights out where you wouldn't drink because you had an audition the next morning. You've sacrificed a lot for this, and you deserve it.