Written by Douglas Taurel
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of being an actor and to forget to relax and enjoy the journey. And let’s be honest, it is a grind but we do love it or else we wouldn’t do it. You have to love it to do it.
Our journey as actors takes us on so many amazing turns and experiences that sometimes we forget to reflect on what we have accomplished and the people we’ve gotten to work with. From the famous to the crazy talented to the great friends we have made along the way, I believe that our wealth as actors doesn’t come from the bookings and jobs we gain but from the size of our social circle—the friends we have made and make along the way.
I know that I feel the richest and happiest as an actor when I meet my friends for coffee and talk shop, when they call me and ask me to work on a project with them, or when we build projects together.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel great when I book a role on TV or a big film project, but the feeling never lasts. I find the “up feeling” fleeting. Maybe that is why stars and celebrities lean on other crutches to help them get through fame and stardom: it’s hollow. But when I shoot a film project with a friend who I made from working with him/her on another project 12 or 13 years ago, I feel happy and extremely fulfilled as an actor who is part of a community.
And that is what I believe: What we all are really trying to do as artist is become part of a community.
In this spirit, here are three tips to help you enjoy this journey.
- Actually meet the friend that you keep texting, “We should get together for coffee sometime.” Yes, it’s hard sometimes because of crazy schedules, but it’s worth it. You catch up with old times and you strengthen the relationship. Talk about what is going on in the business for you, but don’t bitch! Stay positive! Ask them, “What projects are you working on?” Really listen to them and then share something with them about which you’re passionate.
- Be of value to your friends. Tell them about a new teacher, director, app, or software that is really helping you. I can promise you that it always comes back around if you share things with your friends. Read a cool blog or article that you found helpful and email it to them the night before you meet so you can have something to discuss—especially if it’s been a long time since you last met.
- Go and have fun at least once a week on something you want to do. Don’t work 24/7! It burns you out and diminishes the quality of your art. There is play in being an actor. For me, it’s sitting in an old bar and reading something I am not working on.
Life really is short so don’t expect tomorrow to be a given. Friends die, move, and time passes. Sorry for being so dramatic, but it’s true, and if we realize that, I think it will help us be happier and better artists.
“You have to enjoy life. Always be surrounded by people that you like, people who have a nice conversation. There are so many positive things to think about.” — Sophia Loren
Follow Douglas on Twitter: @DouglasTaurel