These last few weeks have been difficult for many of us, to say the least. With the novel coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading, people around the world are urged to stay inside and practice social distancing. For performers in the entertainment industry where their whole career relies on doing the exact opposite, it has no doubt been a challenging time for them to determine next steps. However, Backstage Expert Arden Kaywin argues that now is not the time to feel defeated, but to prosper. Kaywin, who is a vocal and performance coach based in Los Angeles, recently held a YouTube Live as part of Backstage’s new video programming, The Slate, where she gave her best tips for performers to stay positive and take care of their mind during these stressful times.
Performers already live a life of uncertainties; take coronavirus as the latest scaleable hurdle.
“We understand that there are a lot of ups and downs on this path. There’s always going to be a challenge in our path, and just in life in general. So right now is Coronavirus and in six months from now it is going to be something else, there’s always gonna be a challenge. So if you can deal with that challenge from a state of gratitude and from a state of love, then you will suffer less, and the way that you respond to the challenge is going to be way more effective. If you’ve ever been through a dry spell in your career, audition after audition after audition, and it’s not happening for you, that’s a challenge. This is no different. You’re probably running from your day job to your auditions, and you’re stressed and you’re hurrying. And for those of you who have families, you’re trying to take care of your families and you’re doing your day job. Now it’s like, what a gift we have nothing to do but focus on our craft and focus on our training; and not just from a career perspective, but just from a life perspective. What can I be in gratitude for? Stay in the love, stay in the gratitude. Because there’s always going to be a challenge, and you get to decide how you show up to that. Are you going to show up as the person who is going to be disempowered, or you going to show up to that as your light warrior?”
Use this time to take contrary action.
“In coronavirus and everything we’re dealing with right now, it’s so easy to get sucked into the fear of all this that’s going on in the situation, which is why we need contrary action. And I’m not saying be in denial. I’m not saying don’t take the precautions that they’re telling you to take. If they tell you to stay home, stay home! We should all be social distancing like crazy right now. Don’t go out. Take the necessary precautions, but then take contrary action.You want to get on CNN and watch the fear of everything that’s going on and everything that’s going to make you scared; and you want to go on to Facebook and look at everyone bitching. And OK, you get to have a 5-minute pity party. That’s it, because if you stay there it’s going to sabotage you from doing the things you need to do to thrive through this experience, so that when we come out the other side, you’re a better performer. You are better, you have so much more muscle that you have gained through this whole experience in your mindset and in your tools of your technique as a singer and as a performer, so I want you guys to take contrary action. Get the information you need to know, then turn that off. This does not have to be a time that we’re going to back away from everything, lean in. Lean into what you want, lean into your dreams. When else have you ever had this much time to create something amazing so that when we’re all on the other side of this you can go crazy with your career?”
Ask better questions to uplift yourself.
“What questions are you asking yourself? Are you constantly asking yourself: What if I get the disease? What if I can’t do my work? What if I can’t go out for six months? What if this thing takes down my industry? You’re so busy what-if-ing, and what I want you to do if you’re going to be busy what-if-ing, why don’t you what-if the converse? What if this is the best thing that’s ever happened to my career, because now I can actually get on the other side of all those blocks that might have been preventing me from succeeding in a bigger way? What if this is the time that I can use to learn all that new music that I’ve been putting off. My audition book is getting a little stale, and I need some new stuff and I just haven’t had time. What if this is the best thing to happen to your career? Ask more powerful questions, because more powerful questions are going to yield you a more powerful result. So am I asking myself what’s great about this? What is the opportunity in this? Am I going to let courage and joy show up? How can I experience more joy throughout this process? How we look at this is going to determine what happens for each of us and how we’re going to meet this challenge. So this is another really powerful question: How can I come out the other side of this better than I went into it?”
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