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The Working Actor

The 1 Thing to Do This Summer

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The 1 Thing to Do This Summer
Photo Source: Clay Rodery

The most special moment in an actor’s life comes not when she books her first big job, but when she finally makes that pivotal move to the city where all of her acting dreams will come true. The magic. The excitement. The anticipation. Most important? The age. You will never be younger than you are in that moment. (I hope you basked in it, because it’s downhill after that.)

We’re finally approaching summer. That means you’re either saddled with a sweet gig for the best season of the year, or stuck at home fearfully waiting for countless wide-eyed 20-somethings to crowd your auditions and callbacks, making it all the more tedious to book shit. Accepting this yearly fate is one of the rites of passage of being a professional actor, like annual shouting matches with unemployment and unironic hashtags.

The only thing worse than a bunch of kids fresh off their senior showcase bombarding your city is being unemployed when they arrive. That is why it’s a good idea to distract yourself from your career drought by working on your craft. Heck, even if you’re #werking it at the craft service table this summer, you should still be #working on your craft. Successful performers don’t stop educating themselves. Check out a beginning ballet class at Steps in NYC and you’ll come across performers with as many titanium hips as Tony Awards.

As for new arrivals, there is a thought that once we graduate college, we can move on in our careers without furthering our education. That idea is motivated by assholes with MBAs and jobs that grant stuff like “tenure” and “six-figure salaries.” That’s the real world. This is show business. We have to keep working on our craft or our craft goes away. Our training doesn’t stop when the cap and gown comes off. Why didn’t somebody warn us that school was a never-ending process before we took out loans that we’ll probably be paying off for the remainder of the next decade? If I knew we still had to continue training, I probably would have skipped college and spent a fraction of the cost designing my own curriculum using all the great information about classes and workshops you find in Backstage magazine. #MetaProductPlacement.

If you’re a diligent actor who’s always working on your craft, then I suggest picking your weakest element and giving it a little extra love this summer. Or, if you want to spice things up, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You can also take this time to get even better at a talent you’re already good at. For example, I’m really good at day drinking and even better at flirting with casting directors, so I’ll be working on combining those skills this summer! Make a goal. Draft a plan. Stick to it. I’ll see you at all of the callbacks!

Stay #blessed, and always #grateful.  

Read more articles written about and by Annoying Actor Friend here!

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