Hey guys! What are you doing today? My goal for you is to do something productive toward whatever it is in life you are trying to do. Since this is Backstage and my column is called “The Working Actor,” I’m going to guess you’re an actor. Or maybe you’re a civilian who saw the cover and picked this up because you’re into sailors.
We talk a lot about how this industry doesn’t really provide us with much control. To be honest, not many careers do. We don’t pay attention to other careers because we are actors, and actors have it worse than anyone else in the entire world. Furthermore, the entire world wants to be us. Why do you think social media is such a big deal? Everybody wants to be “liked,” and now they have a platform to acquire the same magnetic rush of endorphins actors have been pining after for thousands of years. You can be an investment banker and have 600,000 people following your Instagram account about your dog. Actually, how the eff is that fair when the majority of us have dream-crippling debt and still can’t seem to break 300 followers? I digress.
What exactly do we have control over? Our activity. Activity breeds activity. It’s kind of slutty that way. The more you put out there, the more you are bound to get back. Stay active. Do not get lost in your survival job. A day goes by and the next thing you know you’ve been at that restaurant four years with nothing to show for it but back taxes.
It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do. Anything will work if you’re able to justify how it’s contributing to achieving your goal. It’s not always about spending your last paycheck on an acting class or networking at a douchey party. It can be something as simple as listening to a podcast or binge-watching TV. That might feel lazy, but think about all the crap you can learn by watching others. And it’s free. In fact, you could probably give yourself multiple college educations just by being moderately savvy at Google.
Don’t go crazy about making progress. Instead, learn to value your time. People get paid a lot of money for their time, and even if at the moment you are not, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start acting like it. You’ll get more done by pretending an hour in your day is worth $400.
What did I do today? I wrote this column—and that puts me one step ahead of you already, just like most actors in this business. If you go to bed tonight without feeling like you worked on your craft in some way, then pull yourself out from underneath the covers and work on some Kraft mac and cheese—or something.
Read more articles written about and by Annoying Actor Friend here!