Work / Life Balance
You chose to be an actor. Now you have to pay the price. But let's see if there's anything we can do to make life a bit easier...
- I have trouble balancing my professional actor life with my personal life.
- Acting is difficult because schedules change drastically. Ask your partner or family if they are on-board with you for your career. Make sure they know what to expect. Tell them you're always there for them if there's an emergency, but let them know and be honest that sometimes your schedule can change last minute. Just be clear on it. If they're not on board, you'll have to make a difficult choice.
- I’ll let people close to me down if I don’t make it as an actor.
- Track your career. See how many auditions you're getting called in for vs. how many you submit for. Give yourself a good idea of progress so you can show your family how you're doing if they're questioning it. Once you start booking paid work they'll be more proud of you. And once you start booking larger and larger roles, they'll be even more proud. And if they are the types of people that don't want you to pursue your dream, unfortunately I can't help you with that. You might need to go on your own for a while. Or you can have a good, heart to heart, vulnerable conversation with them. Be empathetic and tell them you know how difficult it must be for them to see you choosing something that's not a stable, safe job. Tell them you appreciate that they care so much about you, and that you sometimes feel scared like you're letting them down, but that you're torn because it's your dream. Chances are when you say that, they'll come to your side. Check out the book Just Listen, by Mark Goulston for more advice.
- I struggle making time for myself to enjoy life - all I do is watch Netflix when I have time to myself.
- Schedule it. The problem is that you're reacting to your life instead of proactively designing your life. Schedule time for yourself in your calendar and plan in advance exactly what you're going to do. For instance, plan to go on a trip next weekend, and ask some friends to come with! If you don't plan for "me time," you'll always feel stressed.
- Auditions pop up randomly and I have to completely rearrange my life at a moments notice to get to an audition.
- Yep, that's the life of an actor. Enjoy it!
- This is my career, my business - I have to go after every opportunity. Why am I putting my family through this?
- Again, it's your choice. If they're not on board, you have a tough decision to make. But CHOOSE. See question 2 for more details.
- They ask me to hold time for a project and then they go with someone else - now what am I going to do with all this free time?
- You should always have plans to fill in your free time. Is it plans with family, or plans to move your career forward? Whatever it's going to be, figure out what you want, all the steps to get there, and then break those steps down into small actions. Then whenever you have free time you can take 1-2 of those actions to move yourself towards your goals.