13. Going about acting business

…the business of being a busy new year’s woman

So it’s officially my first day of the New Year.  Yes it’s the 4th but I was travelling back for the first few days from a luxurious Amsterdam New Years trip with a few of my besties so I gave myself a few days grace. 

I’m sitting in a Starbucks (not the best 2011 start I know) pondering what I am going to write about to begin the B.A.B.E blog this new year.  As they say, we should start how we intend to finish.  And I was absolutely wowed by Paul Barry’s latest blog when I read it this morning.  I felt refreshed – I felt excited.  And that’s the kind of writing I want to do…. inspiring, thought provoking, and edgy.  That is what I’m going to work towards.  Have a read of Paul’s blog here: “Eight Hours A Day (At Least)”.

Drawn by my inspiring artist friend Steve Alexander

I digress.  As I sit here I realise I haven’t had a coffee for nearly a year.  As at the 18th Jan this year it will be exactly one full year since I have sat down and enjoyed a coffee, and this includes decaff.  And suddenly it hit me.  What would I do if I had to have a whole year off acting.  Would I feel refreshed and cleansed like I do from drinking green tea instead of espressos? “I think not, baby puppy” (name that movie?)

Hell no.  I would be miserable if I had a year off acting.  I would actually be miserable if I had even a day off.  The fact of the matter is the whole time I was celebrating Christmas and New Years all I could think about were all those new years goals I had recently jotted down with my director friend Robin.  Mulling around in my subconscious was that time is ticking away and I have to use every moment, second, and breath to realise my dreams.

So I decided to put together a list of what I’ve already done.  And I intend to keep the same flurry of passion and commitment going all through 2011.  Here’s what I’ve already conquered this New Year.  And yes, it is only the 4th….

  1. Booked my next RP lesson with my vocal coach.
  2. Have a paid film gig coming up this Friday.
  3. Nearly finished writing a short film script that I started writing last night.
  4. Finished reading 20 pages of a feature film from the brilliant director Jane Foster.  Then I begged her to let me read the whole thing!
  5. Confirmed with my soon-to-be singing coach Stu that I am ready for my first lesson.
  6. Practiced RP for 30 minutes twice this week.
  7. Read some inspiring acting blogs (including the aforementioned Paul Barry, as well as Bob Fraser and Ben Whitehair).
  8. Helped an acting friend on her journey to finding a London agent.
  9. Inspired a new friend who I just made in Starbucks to go and join a pro-am theatre company here in London.  Actually truth be told, it was really she who inspired me with her keenness for the arts.
  10. Arranged to meet a new director this week, as well as another informal coffee session with some other inspiring London actors (find them on twitter @LisaMarie_Long and @Natalie_Ames – these girls are inspiring & brilliant!)
  11. Started planning to put on a theatre play in London before April.
  12. Nearly completed my first B.A.B.E blog….you’re reading it now.
Now if you did just one thing on my list, or your own, in the last four days then well done you.  If you did all 12 + some, then you are the kind of actor I want to spend my days meeting up with.  I want to be inspired by other actors who take opportunities by the balloons and really make a go of it. 

I don’t really have time to spend this year with whinging, wining, unhappy, ungrateful actors who are filled with self-pity and not enough work opportunities grumbles.  I am going to spend this year being moved by the creators of fine art (like Steve Alexander, whose work features in this blog), by thespians who make me cry from their stage performance, by fellow actors and friends who pick me up when I’m feeling down, and by people who work furiously on their craft with a passion you only find in every fifty people you meet.  Are you one of those people?  I truly hope so. 

3 thoughts on “13. Going about acting business

  1. Carrie Daniel says:

    Look at you! Jumping right into 2011 with 150% of your passion and enthusiasm. You are motivating me to do more. What play are you putting on? Are you directing, writing, or acting?

    To jumpstart our upcoming convo, I'll list what I've done in the past 3-4 days. They are more organizational than "networking" based things…we are at different places in our careers….

    1. Signed up for acting class by renowned teacher/director in DC
    2. Signing up (tmrw) for monologue workshop to prepare for Feb 28th "general" audition in front of lots of theatre companies.
    3. Found new material for said workshop.
    4. Rehearsed a different, older monologue for said workshop.
    5. Organized all of my plays into alphabetical order — realized that I have lots of material to read. I need to read more plays.
    6. Found a flexible, freelance, part time day job that could last 3-6 months. (KEY!)
    7. Spoke with an actor + video producer + marketing guy about performing in corporate/online viral vids for regional businesses this year.
    8. Sang 6 out of 7 days for 30min-1hour in past week
    9. Did 30 min vocal (speech) warm up for 4 days out of past week.
    10. Dropped an activity that was perfect for me while I was injured but that I knew would take time away from acting/paid day job — my screenwriting group. (let me know if you ever want to take an online class? corey mandell = brilliant teacher.)
    11. Made a pact with a member of said group to stay in touch throughout the year and swap material.
    12. Read your sassy little blog and part of the "chicago" section of "play bills vs. paying bills" blog (really good).
    13. Started on an "ideal life"/goal planning packet.
    14. Found an improv group in DC, emailed them about taking classes in late spring.
    15. Had a friend offer to shoot some new headshots for me (for very cheap) for the february audition….to tide me over until I've got money saved for some pro ones.

    Things I need to do:
    1. work on RP and American Southern accents (THANKS)
    2. build a kick ass website (THANKS)
    3. get new, pro head shots
    4. Tell Angie that she's awesome…..

    You're Awesome!!


  2. Angela says:

    Carrie, wonderful comments. Thank you. I love what you've outlined, and especially that you have the courage to make it public so it can be acknowledged by many. Well done lovely lady.

    And I'm particularly impressed that you've also added your 'things to do' which I can bug you about over the forthcoming months.

    Here's to a brilliant and prosperous 2011. Already on the way.

  3. Carrie Daniel says:

    Thank you for inspiring us to be more proactive and for providing a forum for sharing! (Just realized that my comment was EPIC…it was originally an email…and then I thought "why not?!)

    Hopefully, more actors will comment and add their checklists. I think it's great to see how other actors spend their "down time"….love getting new ideas (example: your accent coach).

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