December 1st is officially upon us, and there are three full weeks before most businesses shut down for the end of the year holiday celebrations.
How can you make the most of this time before you too go into a much needed, well-deserved winter hibernation before emerging in January to the start of audition season? How can you use this time efficiently and effectively to set yourself up for vocal and creative success in January?
1. Practice Good Finding. Send old-fashioned handwritten holiday cards to people who’ve inspired you, touched you, believed in you this year. These are on sale.
2. Get your Audition Book sh*t together (read this awesome blog post from Jen Waldman).
3. Create structure and boundaries around your schedule to give you time to warm up, cool down, and rehearse your material. Get your voice in shape now!
4. Grab some Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on equipment like a personal steamer, a Bluetooth speaker, a self-tape light, a TEAM TRAINING workshop (did you hear about our BOGO special?!), headshot printing (Reproductions is having a sale), classes/workshops (Actor’s Connection is having a sale), resistance bands, etc.
5. In thinking ahead to January, seek opportunities to put Golden Afternoons into your schedule. Fill this time with whatever you’d like to do in that moment- read a book or a play, take a walk, listen to some new music, learn an audition packet for fun, write, cook, etc. Having white space in your calendar in an unpredictable industry is crucial to your mental and creative well-being.
6. Host a gathering with other creative artists and brainstorm ways in which you can encourage and support each other in the upcoming months. Make it a monthly check-in to keep yourself accountable (and to have an excuse penciled in on your calendar to have a fun night with friends!).
7. Go see something! Whether it's a live performance on or off Broadway, a friend in a concert, carolers at the mall, a recording at Lincoln Center or Live on PBS, or a busker in the subway, get used to watching something and then instead of judging it, shift tactics and analyze what's working and not working about this artistic event. Consider why you're feeling moved or not moved and exercise your analytical decision making brain.
8. Breathe. Take a walk in the park, go to a yoga class, download Headspace and learn to meditate.
9. Pour a cup of tea, and do some research! Look at your favorite theatres and theatremakers' websites and see what they're working on. Go to MTI and scroll through the theatres who have the rights to the shows you have your eye on. Make a list of all of the theatres where you could work as a local hire. Create a spotify playlist and get familiar with the work of new composers. Read the plays you've been called in for over the past year but never got the chance to analyze. You'll be glad you put in the work now when opportunity calls in the spring!
10. Bake and share cookies with people you love.
As Feldenkrais suggests, “Go with before you go against.”
Meaning: Find things to do that inspire you, spark inspiration, encourage curiosity, instead of doing the things that you “feel like you have to do”. It will be more fun this way, and you may find that approaching your work from a new angle will give you the creativity and freedom to see things from a different perspective.
Happy beginning of December!
Let's do this!