The spa business is booming. The self-help movement is thriving. Oprah introduces us to new age gurus every week. We’re all hungry for solutions, for inspiration, for ways in which to deal with stress, ill health (physically, mentally, emotionally). We’re desperate to be uplifted.
We put ourselves out there every day in the hopes that we’ll be seen, accepted, praised, hired. We search outward for validation. And if we don’t put ourselves out there, we often shrink into places of self-consciousness and feelings of worthlessness. We build up a toxic load in our pursuit of this business, a business that is, at best, indifferent. That leads to suffering, self-loathing, bitterness. We have to detoxify, clean out, and get back in touch with our creative spirit. It’s our only chance for survival and for success.
As an actor, you must be connected to yourself in a deep and personal way. But as you’re struggling to pay the rent and manage the stress of the business, where is there time to create and maintain a practice of self-care? Where is the money for all that? Most of us can’t afford the Golden Door or Miraval (spas) these days. Yet, as we blaze ahead, we crave an oasis of calm and harmony, a place or a way in which to find inspiration, emotional health, and some sort of sign that we’re on the right path. It’s hard to locate that sanctuary, and it’s even harder to sustain a regular practice of well-being when we identify it. As we chase the dream and chase the business, we get lost. And we wake up one day totally disconnected to who we are as artists—to why we’re doing this to begin with.
Here is what you must do: You must create your own sanctuary through a consistent daily practice of emotional and spiritual nurturing that makes you a whole, happy, creative human being. You must rediscover your artistry.
Where does artistry start? It starts inside of you. You are unique to the universe and the expression of your unique emotional experience is what acting is all about. But before you can express that fully, you have to have a clear sense of who you are, of how you’re unique. When you know yourself, when you walk into an audition room, on set, or on stage with true self-knowing, you become like a rooted tree. Yes, the winds of the business will blow and you’ll sway one way or the other, but you’ll remain rooted. “Bad feedback” won’t wreck you. You’ll be excited about the possibility of booking, but you won’t obsess over it.
So you have to create daily and weekly rituals where you can turn inward, reconnect with your joy and your creativity, and get emotionally open and in the kind of shape you need to book work as an actor. You have to figure out who you are and what you want. You have to fall in love with the creative process—to get back to what you loved about acting in the first place.
We’ve been finding that this is the cure; this is the path to actor happiness and to success. We’ve created a free program that we’re truly excited to share with actors everywhere. The BGB Studio’s 10-Day Actor’s Challenge: a 10-day journey back to yourself, your creative life-force, your full expression of your artistic voice. What’s so exciting to us is that it works. We’ve experienced it ourselves as we strive to grow our business. As we work long and hard, we realize that having a deep connection to doing what we love has to be the core of our endeavor. We have to be aligned with the most personal, creative source in our work by finding balance in this enterprise. By creating the time and space to connect to our artistic power, outside of the business. If we grind it out all day and night (and sometimes we just have to), we lose our ability to truly create. If we focus too much on the business, we forget our humanity. If we lock ourselves in the studio for 12 hours non-stop, as much as we love our jobs and our actors, we forget to breathe fresh air, move our bodies, kiss our children. We lose who we are.
We all have to be reminded of how creative we are, that this work we do can be a fun, artistic endeavor, and a deep expression of ourselves. We have to create the space and time to be quiet and still, ensuring that our hearts, minds, and bodies are connected to each other. We have to find generosity in our lives so that we can give of ourselves in an audition, in all of our work. We have to be artists every day no matter what else we do. Not merely to get a job but for the joy of doing the thing we love so much. This is how we can be uplifted, truly happy, and successful. This is our artistic sanctuary, our source of artistic power. And this is what will ultimately attract the industry to us and book work.
And watch more here on the 10-Day Actor’s Challenge from Steve and Risa.
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