Can actors afford to be lazy?
Let’s review a typical day in the life of an actor…
I’m going to make and eat my own healthy breakfast, workout, take a shower, feed the dog, mow the lawn and then I’m going to climb the Empire State Building while memorizing the lines for my audition tomorrow. And then I’m going to…<screen slowly fades to black>
I agree, that sounds a bit much. But when you’re competing against hundreds, if not thousands of other actors for the same role, you can’t whine about how much work you have to do to win the role.
Here Are 5 Ways to Overcome Laziness
Seriously? Do you know anyone who smiles when doing the dishes?
1. It has to get done anyway, so might as well do it now.
Look, there are some things that just have to be done, right? Like the dishes. Since you know it has to be done, just get it done. By finishing mundane tasks, it frees up your mind and time to do more meaningful projects without the burden of knowing you still have to “clean the dishes”.
*Pro-tip: Listen to podcasts, an educational class or music while you’re doing the mundane tasks. The Monster Boomerang Neckband Bluetooth Speaker sits comfortably around your neck and has an adjustable volume control. It’s also stereo! First song I tested on it was Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.
2. Wake up a tad earlier to check emails and read the news, or watch a few minutes of that show everyone is talking about.
You’ll breathe a sigh of relief when your alarm clock goes off and you’ve already completed a bunch of items on your daily list. Because, you know, if you wait to do them after your alarm sounds, everything else will get in the way.
*Pro-tip: It’s wonderful having some peace and quiet, even if it’s just for the 10 minutes until your snooze alarm reminds you to start your day. I found my waking up “a tad earlier” has turned into 30 minutes earlier. It’s amazing how much one can do in 30 minutes when no one knows you’re awake!
Working, working, working is not a healthy mindset, unless you love to work. Granted, there are some people, like Gary Vaynerchuk, who only rest when they are working.
Don’t let taking a break consume you. It literally is a “break”, not a three hour sleepy nap time.
*Pro-tip: Working on your craft until your mind explodes may not be suitable for everyone. Please be sure to get the proper rest that your body requires. There are charts out there that can give you a recommendation on how many hours of sleep you should have.
4. Asking for help is motivational.
You may need assistance with some things on your to-do list. Example: You want to run lines with a fellow actor to get a different perspective on how you should portray the character.
Having someone else help you actually motivates you. You run off of each other’s energy.
*Pro-tip: A partner will hold you accountable. Sometimes you need that nudge, or in my case, a drill sergeant, to keep you up to speed. Think of Goldie Hawn in the 1980 movie Private Benjamin. Goldie’s character, Judy Benjamin, is the perfect example of a lazy, whiny person.
5. Don’t get distracted…too much.
Ha! Want me to tell you how many times I got distracted writing this article? The full jar of M&M’s I bought from Costco has gone down significantly.
But I would have been more distracted if I had my video game console within plain sight. Or the new book I want to read that was finally released.
*Pro-tip: Distractions, unfortunately, are inevitable, but you can limit them. If there are others in your household, let them know that at a specific time, you cannot be interrupted (unless it’s a “real” emergency). Put your phone on the charger so it’s not near you. Set aside a goal for yourself regarding time. It should be reasonable. Don’t expect to build an empire in a 60 minute timeframe.
Create new habits.
o0o0. This is a tough one because it’s so hard to change. Yet no one says you have to change… it may be as simple as creating new habits.
Identifying current lazy habits is the first thing to work on. Whether it’s checking social media, streaming shows non-stop, or over studying, it’s time to put lazy habits on the shelf and let them collect dust.
Next, breaking bad habits is super hard to do. You really need will power. Think about how incredible it would be if you were the actor chosen to be Spider-man or Captain Marvel. Do you think you could be a superhero if you’re lazy? I’m defining “lazy” as a bad habit.
Lastly, create new, positive habits. Review your goals on a daily basis. Exercise to get your heart pumping. Think about the short-term and long-term effects that positive habits will produce.
Once you put aside your lazy, whiny self, you’ll see that you’re getting more goals accomplished. You’ll feel fresh and invigorating. You’ll be ready to go out there and grab the roles that belong to you!
What tips and tricks are you interested in learning about? Tell us at @DirectSubmitNYCastings!