Some people may not realize it, but being an actor IS a full time job. Even when you're not on stage or going to casting calls, there are other things you can do to further your career. The business side of your business still needs to keep moving forward, even when all you have is 10 minutes, there are things you can do.
Being an actor is like being your own boss. This said, there are a lot of entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals who don't do well, because they don't utilize the time allotted for work to... actually do work. Now, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to get by without my to-do lists. I LOVE to-do lists because they keep me busy. Even my lists have lists, I call them "the grandlists" Get it? Children of my lists? Never mind... :)
I create these lists and at any point when I have free time, I look over them and decide what to do next. If it's a repeating task, for instance, checking out Twitter, then I see how much time I spend on it and note it down. It normally takes me about 25 minutes to see who's up to what on Twitter and share the love with likes and retweets. So the next time I have 25 minutes available, I will consider that task.
But hey, here are some ideas for you to add to your own to-do lists. Hopefully you can utilize these:
- Post, retweet, like, or share something related to the industry on Twitter or Stage 32 - focus on the word "industry". We don't need yet another post about Trump, be it negative or positive.
- Add a new picture or credit to your IADB website, or your IMDb profile - I know, there's a limit to how many headshots you can have, but hey, that photo of you shaking hands with so-and-so won't hurt anyone.
- Update one of your online profiles while you're at it. It helps to have many profiles, unfortunately they don't all sync to one another. Keep a list of your online profiles somewhere and update them regularly. Google Drive is useful for that.
- Claim your name on a social media account - if you're reading this blog, you probably already claimed your domain through IADB already, but there's a ton of social media platforms out there, claim your usernames before it's too late.
- Learn a new song or monologue that suits your talents - as an actor it's good to have an arsenal of things that you can do well. Check out our resources for scripts and monologues if you need inspiration.
- Rehearse or run lines - practice with a friend, in front of a mirror, or go to WeReherse and find someone who's available. You can also dedicate some time to run someone else's lines as well.
- Find a new person you can network with - go on Stage 32 or IMDb Pro and start digging for new possible contacts. On IMDb pro you will find other creative's emails. If you feel like they are a good prospect and may be willing to work with you, send them an intro email.
- Speaking of intro emails... work on your intro emails - you may want to have a handful of those ready and swap them out depending on who you're contacting. Always add something unique so the email doesn't sound copy & pasted.
- Contact an industry friend to congratulate them on a recent success - it's not just about karma, maintaining positive relationships with fellow creatives is necessary for personal growth.
- Update your contact list - go through business cards you collected at the last event and input them somewhere that will allow you to easily reach out to the person. Make notes of who they are.
- Find an event - it doesn't matter if it's a Stage 32 meetup, actor convention or a film festival happening in a city near you. Find time to interact with other creatives offline.
- Read a blog or book about acting - well, you can mark this checkbox off right now, but there's a ton of interesting industry-related blogs out there, many are listed on our resource page.
- Watch an industry related video or listen to a podcast - how is it different from reading a blog? Because you can do it while on the go. Convert videos into audio and listen to them on your mp3 player, or listen to podcast on your iPhone.
- Organize your work space - a clean space, means a clean mind and no distractions. If everything is neatly organized and stacked away, you'll find it easier to gain more focus.
- Meditate for a few minutes - sometimes relaxing your mind will help you achieve your next goals easier, if you're not sure how to do so, check out the Headspace app.
- Brainstorm any other actions you can take to further your career - let's be honest, everyone's different, there's no specific formula. That what makes you who you are and is what gets you to where you want to go.