When I saw this posted on Backstage.com, an entertainment trade publication I subscribe to in order to 'get the job done,' it inspired me to write this blog. Enjoy!
1. Do more than what you are told to do. How exciting would it be if I stood onstage and just sang? I mean no smiling, moving, shimmying, feeling, etc. Would you get up and walk out? Would you be interested to hear another tune? I can tell you that I recently had a chance to watch other professionals do their thing and the first thing my friend asked was 'So what did you think?' Immediately I said you are leaps and bounds above these people. They may have had a nice costume and a good enough voice but they were lifeless onstage. But anytime my buddy walked onstage I knew I was going to get his best. Why? Because he didn't JUST memorize the lines...he didn't JUST do what he was told to do. He invested his time and talent into producing something the audience was going to talk about. And hear I am...blogging about my crazy talented friend Adam. You can be a lead or an ensemble member...but it's what you make of it that sets you apart. You can either bitch and complain that you aren't the shining star or you can embrace the one line you are assigned and make it the most important line in the show. It's really THAT simple. I started out in the background...waving my hands and hating every single minute of it. "When's it my turn...why don't I get the good parts?" Blah Blah whine whine. It wasn't until I was in college that I learned the true meaning of "There are no small parts only small actors." Think small...it IS! Think big...IT is.
2.Try new things. Now, everyone can relate to this! Think about it. Many of us are small business owners...and most actors are taught to treat themselves like their own small business. If we stay in our little bubble our reach is small and that bubble will burst and we'll crash down. If we stay just outside the bubble we can jump from one bubble to the next to keep ourselves refreshed and renewed. We don't get bored and we don't bore others. Also, by trying new things you develop new skills that can only enhance your business and the skills you offer.
3.Teach others about what you know. Of course I do! I've been doing that for years in order to continue having an acting career. I take what I've learned - things that have worked for me - and share it with others. And I think the word 'share' is a good word. Share your knowledge. I do this every time I give a private lesson.
4.Make Work Into Play. Yeeeeeeeup! That's one reason I'm hellbent on making this business successful. How many people can say they play to pay the bills? I Can! I Can!
5.Take Breaks. Ummmmm.....ok. This is hard for me. Mainly because I am my company. But I'm getting better. This past weekend I traveled to Cape Cod to visit my parents and I left the laptop home. I even set an auto response to my email. I had a blast and I am feeling refreshed and ready to go. I've also scheduled 'me' days. One day a week I'm not allowed in my home office for any reason. I close the door and I stay away. It's part of my new healthy and clean living. And clean as in making sure my environment is organized and clean around me so I can think better and stay focused.
6.Work when others are resting. I think that pretty much sums up the life of an entertainer. HAHA. Sometimes I find myself memorizing lines on a bus when everyone is napping...or in the middle of the night because it's the first time all day I've been able to concentrate...I keep odd hours. It works for me.
7.Always be creating. Again... Yeeeeeeeup! The moment I stop creating is the moment I throw in the towel. When your passion becomes a chore it falls into that 'to be done' pile...and then 'to be done' never happens. I make lists of ideas. I have pages and pages and pages of ideas. Some good...some absolutely ridiculous. Then I look at those lists and figure out where they belong in my business. Some are recycled, some are rotated to the bottom for later use, and some just come to me. It gives me something to always look forward to. It' never dull.
8.Make your own inspiration. What makes me excited? What motivates me? Why does it matter? And what do I do with the information when I figure it out? Well, many things excite me. CATS! Well, all animals. I love them. They excite me. As a matter of fact, I saw a group this weekend in Cape Cod called T.I.G.E.R.S. and they are located in Myrtle Beach, SC. They have a sanctuary for rare species, and you can pay a hefty fee to be able to sit and cuddle with tiger and lion cubs, hang out and feed monkeys, hold a lemur, feed and elephant and more. So now I'm motivated to kick things up a notch in my business to afford this luxury. I MUST DO THIS! You don't understand. That's how much I love animals. So even though it's not directly related to entertaining, it gets me going. And when your upbeat and happy it helps you be the best you can be. If getting to hold a baby tiger cub gets me up and moving and shaking...well, so be it. Because that's how I roll.
9.Love what you do, OR LEAVE. Again, going back to #7. If the passion dies...leave it. You are either all in or you're not. There is no 50%. Success doesn't happen because you kind of like what you are doing. Success happens because your passion becomes the air you breathe. Without it, you are nothing. Without it, you are not YOU.
So you see...the 9 rules in my life keep me busy. So even though it seems like I just hop up onstage in my 5" stilettos, remember that I spend most of time tucked away learning song after song, monologue after monologue, dance step after dance step. I'm planning birthday parties while designing an event program while writing a blog while updating a website while writing a children's musical. I'm not sharing this so you can say WOW. I'm sharing it because it's 'WHAT I DO!"