You’re having a crappy day. Or a crappy week. Maybe even a crappy month. You’re going through a breakup or someone you love is in the hospital or your gross roommate keeps leaving his socks on the kitchen table. Whatever it is, it’s eating into your entire life, including your craft. So when you’re in class or on an audition, that terrible day or week or month is taking over your imagination and your ability to be present. So all anyone sees….is your heavy personal load.
Life throws curve balls. In fact, it throws curve balls most of the time. It can get in the way. So how can you do your best when life is crapping on your head?
Have you ever given yourself a spa day when life is rough? If not at an actual spa, you’ve given yourself time to yourself? Maybe you went to a movie, or played a pick up game of basketball or went for a hike? Something that you love to do, that makes you feel better and lets you take time off from whatever difficult situation you’re dealing with?
Your acting class or audition can be the same thing. It’s the thing you love to do that makes you feel good and takes your mind off the curveballs. Whatever that personal challenge is, it’s not going to go away while you pay attention to something else. You’ll still have to deal with it when you come back, so why not enjoy your time away?
Dive deep into that class or audition or rehearsal. Allow yourself to fully focus on the character’s life and relationships. That’s your mini-vacation – and taking that break is actually good for you. Just like going to the movies or getting a massage, you’ll be refreshed and ready to deal with those gross socks when you return.
But there’s one thing you absolutely must do for half an hour before and all the way through that audition, class or rehearsal: turn off your phone. I have heard the same story from numerous students: they were “in the zone” while preparing for a scene in class and then right before they came in they looked at a text or email. Would you do that if you were getting a massage or in the sauna? Hell, no! Don’t worry; the text or email will still be there when you’re finished. It won’t evaporate, I promise. (Unless there’s some new app out there called iEvaporate. Ugh.)
Allow your craft to be your spa day, especially when shit is hitting the fan. I give you permission to enjoy yourself. You’re allowed to ignore everyone else for a couple of hours while you do something you love that fortifies you. That “spa time” will loosen you up, put a smile on your face and make you all the more ready to turn those curveballs into home runs.