Though January is almost over, every performer will want to have tools and resources handy and available to help them keep their New Year’s Resolutions going throughout the year. Keep the phone numbers of people you can trust with questions, advice, and even to give the occasional pep talk close. Every performer faces rejection, and having someone close to confide in and to lean on for emotional support is key. Start a small support group with other performers and make it a point to celebrate each victory as much, if not more, as you cry over the losses. Start a journal or post encouraging phrases around your home to keep you going. Luckily, in Central Florida, the beach is not so far away. An escape is easy to manage and an afternoon on the beach or a day spent outdoors in the fresh air is a perfect way to reboot and recharge. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery that surrounds you and make the most of life as a Floridian. Enjoy being a performer in a beautiful city.
One more bit of advice for the performer from actor/director, Sandy Marshall, is to “know your special skills.” Every actor has them listed on his or her resume, but how prepared are you to put these to use? “If one of your special skills is juggling, practice it.” Make sure that if you’ve listed a skill, you can deliver. If you think you may be rusty in any area of your expertise, now is a good time to brush up on it.
Maybe you have skills that you have previously been nervous about adding to your resume, and possibly with a little practice or training you can gain enough confidence to include it. You may not even need to take a formal class if you have a friend that is skilled enough to teach you. Many performers are happy to share their knowledge or craft for a small fee or a free meal. Those who make their living teaching lessons, however, will most likely not waive their fee, but may be willing to cut a deal if you are paying for a large number of lessons up front. You do want to spend the money for an educated and experienced teacher for private music lessons or dance, and advanced theatrical training, but if your skill is something less technical you might be okay with novice help. Always keep in mind that it is much easier to learn how to do something right the first time, than to learn it wrong and have to re-learn it.
Network and seek the help of others, and when you least expect it, you may just be exactly what a casting director is looking for. Continue to strive to be in the right place at the right time, but know that being at the right place at the right time means nothing if you aren’t prepared.