Happy summer! I hope you’re taking the time to relax and do some self-care while catching some rays. It’s the slow season, so soak it up! Network television shows are still on hiatus and won’t start casting until around the beginning of August. This is the perfect time to catch up on the things you’ve been sweeping under the rug! My suggestions below:
Learn a new scene every day and self-tape it.
When you learn a new scene, it’s like going to the gym for your brain. Challenge yourself to do this every day and you will train yourself to remember more and more material. When you practice self-taping, you will also fine-tune and develop your audition skills. It’s great to do this when you don’t have so much on the line and there’s not the pressure of a real audition.
Catch up on the classics.
You will work many times with directors who aren’t very articulate and don’t know how to talk to actors. Instead, they will give you direction by referring to a famous scene in an iconic movie. If you haven’t seen that movie, you won’t understand the direction. Being a walking, talking film library will always help your performances, because you’ve seen and studied great acting by watching these films. Make sure to check out my lists of “Marci’s Must-See Movies” at marciliroff.com.
Use your beach read to better your acting.
You’ll also find a list of essential reading material for actors on my website. There are so many great books out there that you should be studying. As we know, there are many different techniques and methods you can use for your craft. I suggest you immerse yourself in these books and try out some different methods.
Go out and fill up your well.
Sometimes, you’re not feeling creative—and that’s OK. As an artist, you can’t be creative 100 percent of the time! To recharge, you’ve got to go out into the world and experience life. When you get too wrapped up in your work, you’re not being present and fully experiencing life. Use this downtime to go out and take in a concert or art show; hang with your friends and family; take a walk with your dog and breathe in all that nature has to offer this time of year.
Get your butt to the theater.
There’s nothing like an up-close experience in the theater to inspire you as a performer. It’s a way to watch the masters at work! Sit back and enjoy the show.
Make sure your calling cards are up to date.
It’s part of your job to make sure that your résumé, reel, links, and headshot are reflective of you today. Plus, you need to confirm that your representatives are only sending out these updated materials.
Stay sharp in acting class.
Enroll in a new class so that your ongoing study doesn’t stop. You never stop learning, and challenging yourself is always good! Bringing a new teacher and group of students into your life will give you more ways to connect to your audience.
This story originally appeared in the August 1 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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