“Cut!” the director yells for the 23rd time that day. Just another day in the park, eh? Welcome to the fabulous world of acting, where you need to cry on cue, fall in love with that random co-star, convincingly portray a superhero, then cook dinner for your kids. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than applying eyeliner without stabbing your eye, but stick with me. We’ll break down this balancing act.
Picture this: You’ve just delivered a killer monologue about some existential crisis that has nothing to do with anything. The applause is deafening. But then your phone vibrates. It’s your partner reminding you to pick up diapers and dog food on the way home. Suddenly, you’re yanked back from the reverie of applause to the mundanity of diapers. This is the duality of being an actor.
Actors are the ultimate chameleons, slipping into different roles like a pair of comfortable pajamas. But how do you draw a line between who you pretend to be on set and who you actually are at home, cooking spaghetti while dancing to 80s hits? (Yes, I went there.) Here’s the secret sauce: It’s all about discipline, balance and having a killer sense of humor.
Separate Work From Home
First things first, keep the dragons at work and the Netflix at home. Unless you’re actually filming for “House of the Dragon” – in which case, cool, can we visit the set? But in all seriousness, distinguish your workspace from your personal space.
There’s an art to separating work from home, particularly when your job involves becoming different people. After playing Macbeth, you don’t need to keep addressing your goldfish as “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” Leave work at the door like a pair of muddy shoes. Let’s keep your home a stage-free zone, where you’re not required to deliver a monologue before pouring your morning coffee. Because let’s be honest, Shakespearean soliloquies before caffeine are a tragedy waiting to happen.
Learn to Say No
This is something I used to struggle with, but it gets easier with age. The famous saying goes, “The show must go on,” but sometimes, it’s okay to say, “The show can wait, my cat’s in a mood.” Learning to say no is crucial in balancing your acting career with your personal life. You don’t have to accept every audition, every role, or every invitation to weird industry parties that serve only avocado toast.
Even though acting is your passion and profession, it’s not the sum total of your existence. It’s like eating chocolate – you love it, but you don’t want to stuff yourself to the point where you can’t even look at a chocolate bar without feeling nauseous.
Sure, it’s fantastic to get lost in a character, wander around in their shoes, and perhaps steal their best lines for your future memoirs. But remember to stay grounded in reality. If you start referring to your living room as the “set” or your spouse as your “co-star,” it might be time to take a break.
Maintaining a network of non-acting friends and family helps. They will remind you of your true identity – the one that doesn’t require a script, costume, or director. They love you for your off-screen antics, like your inability to make a decent pancake or your uncanny ability to misplace your car keys. (Does anyone else put their keys in their shoes or is that just me?)
A Sense of Humor
And the award for the best supporting actor in the quest for balance goes to… humor! It’s the wisecracking sidekick in your superhero saga of life. Let’s be honest, acting is peculiar. One minute you’re crying over a fictional breakup, and the next you’re arguing about the size of your trailer.
Laughing at the absurdity of your situation can make things much easier to bear. And if all else fails, there’s always the possibility of turning your life into a one-person comedy show. A day without laughter is like a movie without popcorn – utterly pointless. (Unless you don’t like popcorn — do NOT tell me if you don’t like popcorn. Wait, tell me at DirectSubmit NYCastings.)
The struggle to balance personal life and acting is a grand, epic performance that requires strength, agility, and a willingness to laugh when you stumble.
So, boom, there you have it. The great balancing act between personal life and acting, a journey more riveting than any on-screen drama. The act is worth mastering, not for the recognition, but for the pure happiness of leading a life that is just as genuine and captivating behind the scenes as it is in front. Ultimately, isn’t that the most exceptional type of show?