Let’s be honest, being an actor right now can feel a little desolate. In the matter of a few weeks gigs have been cancelled, auditions have dried up, and any semblance of normalcy has disappeared. That paycheck you were banking on (pun intended) this Summer is out the window and the thought of getting ahead as an actor in these uncertain times seems like a distant dream, even more so than usual.
With all the odds stacked against you, giving up seems like the only option. After all, what’s the point of investing any time and money into a career that is dead in the water, right? This is an understandable sentiment right now, but it is also a mistaken belief you are holding and very toxic to your growth.
It is exactly now that we need to align our thoughts, focus on our inner game, and rise up stronger than ever before. It’s in these moments of our deepest adversity that we must find the strength that takes us to the next level. As an actor, you have a gift to share with the world. You have a responsibility to affect change in even one other person. Don’t let that light go out, it is more important than you know.
Here are three ways you can stay hopeful (and present) amidst a world of uncertainty:
1. Embrace Change
Things will never be the same after this. And that’s great. We all needed a change. Everything comes to pass, and the sooner you get into relationship with that truth, the better. You do your strongest work as an actor when you are not attached to an outcome. It’s the most authentic, the most present and the most moving. The same is true for your life. When you stop trying to control everything, and instead remind yourself “Everything Happens as it’s Meant To”, you will be more productive, more successful, and most importantly more at peace.
2. Connect with Your Inner Child
When was the last time you got quiet and talked to your inner self? Many actors forget to do this and instead make all their decisions based on what is outside of them. A simple scroll of your Instagram feed turns into an overload of “I should be doing that”, “Why are they succeeding and not me” and leads to a bunch of fear-driven action steps that really don’t serve you. Your fear of never succeeding makes you submit to every single audition you find and pretty soon you are burnt out and bitter. A global pandemic leads you to believe acting is gone and so you stop everything, close up shop, and push your dreams aside until next year.
Your inner child, the one who led you down the path of acting to begin with, knows that it’s what’s inside that counts. It’s been scientifically proven that thoughts become things (look into Quantum Physics). So, while people are freaking out, get quiet at least once a day and ask your inner child what to do next.
3. Focus on What’s Working
We are what we focus on. Period. Think about the most successful times you’ve had as an actor. Chances are, these times were also your most positive. Actors work most when actors work most. You read that right. You book more when you book more. Ever notice that you ROCK auditions when you already have a gig? But, when you haven’t worked in months, your auditions are terrible. This is because when we are working, we are focused on what’s…working. And when we are not working we are focussed on…what’s not working.
The good news is we always have the choice to focus on what’s working and there’s never been a more important time to do just that. Sure, the business is shut down right now (not fully) and that sucks. But, there is so much to be grateful for. Casting Directors have time on their hands (for the first time ever) and many are running free workshops, you have a rare opportunity to focus on growth instead of hustle, the world is waking up to what’s really important (which is great for artists), anyone can make their own project from home with their phone and people are craving content, the list goes on and on.
Don’t let anything or anyone steal your joy. Keep dreaming, dear artist and find new ways to share your art. And when we all get through this (and we will), you will be better for it. And that’s something to be hopeful for!
Author Bio: Tony Babcock is a Life Coach, Acting Coach, and an Award-Winning Actor & Filmmaker. He is the CEO of IYA Studio for Actors and offers online courses, 1:1 coaching, and in-person intensives and workshops. More at www.iyastudio.thinkific.com