The only thing predictable in the life of an actor is time. We may not know what to do with it, but we know it’s not our friend. Time races through the highs and revels in the lows. It escapes us when we aren’t paying attention, and is impossible to find when we need it. As we approach the end of the year, we’re destined to be surrounded by that very general but haunting thought: How is it already 2015?
The good news is you made it through another year as an actor. You crossed the finish line of 2014, when countless others dropped out along the way. I feel like we all deserve a literal medal for that. Marathoners get one. Why shouldn’t we? I guarantee actors experience the same amount of emotional chafing that physically afflicts runners.
As you look to 2015, you might feel obligated or obliged to come up with a New Year’s resolution. I’m not against specific goals, but if your resolution is to “get on Broadway” or “book a pilot” then you’re kidding yourself. That shit is as out of our control as stopping a clock. Instead of dealing in specifics, I suggest developing a theme for the year ahead.
If you name your year and live your life by it, you’ll be more likely to reach the end of 365 days believing you actively engaged in a goal you could control. For example, say you want to be more confident; I propose 2015 “Balls Out.” You can apply your mantra to anything and not feel guilty about the outcome if you truly believe you followed it.
I’ve used this idea myself. “Bold Decisions,” “Don’t Give a Shit,” and “Spread Your Creative Seed” are all actual themes that helped dictate the last three years of my life. “Bold Decisions” is when I created Annoying Actor Friend. “Don’t Give a Shit” is when I wrote a book. I have no idea what “Spread Your Creative Seed” will do, but hopefully something got pregnant.
This way of thinking took me from being bored on my couch, about to quit doing anything creative with my life, to developing a brand that has led to many things, including a year writing for Backstage and a social media presence that earned me a $40 gift card to Outback Steakhouse.
It might seem douchey to spend half this column talking about me, but you know who’s writing it so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise! What I’m saying is, we have the power to put time back on our sides if we can find an efficient way to use it. Sticking to a theme keeps me focused on goals I’d love to achieve, but also opens me up to ideas and opportunities I’d never imagined. This has been one of them.
As my time at Backstage comes to a close, I thank you all for the tremendous honor it has been for you to read my words. I hope you kill it in 2015.
Stay eternally #blessed and forever #grateful.
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