Visit www.upcomedyclub.com for REACH show info.
12 Tips to Keep You Creative, Smart and Committed to YOU in 2013
By Dionna Griffin-Irons
- Establish a specific goal and artistic life plan. What do you want to do creatively THIS year that you didn’t do last year? What do you want to improve? Be specific. Do you want to work with a theatre company, director or institution that you respect? Introduce yourself. Take a moment and pull out that 2012 planner and calendar and review those past auditions, interviews and meetings and assess what worked and what didn’t. Use it to fuel your next appearance and build a better relationship in 2013.
- Expand your community and network with theatre companies, fellow actors, directors and producers. Get some business cards printed and some reasonable headshots and distribute. Make sure the headshot looks like you now, not in 1990. Ask for referrals to save money.
- Attend a network event, party, or opening of a show. Be a social butterfly for one night. Fake it if you’re not. Get to know your community and artist peers. In Chicago? Attend the Outreach Meet and Greet event announced in the newsletter. No one is going to know who you are unless you come out of your shell, dark cave, and studio.
- Commit to seeing more theatre and improv shows. Simple enough. Art inspires more art. Get out and see more work. Read a play a week. Read a book a month. Become a sponge and soak up everything that tickles your creative fancy.
- Take a class in improv, writing, acting and music – anything that gets your muse going. Why? You must always be willing to grow and allow yourself to discover and often that happens in the classroom setting. This keeps life exciting, hones your talent and keeps away the I’m-not-doing-anything-creative blues. Get referrals on teachers who are the best in what they do. Every city has them.
- Lock up your ego and start listening to your truth and wisdom. Start writing and journaling to help you hear your voice – the real you that knows what he/she wants.
- Junk the junk, release the funk and bring in the new. Whether it doesn’t serve you creatively, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually or personally (people, places, things), it’s time to let go of your dead weight you’ve been carrying over each year. That stack of papers that’s been hanging around since 2010 (or 1990), that book haven’t read in years, or that significant other who is not supporting your craft could be the very thing that is holding you back. It’s time to junk it, release it, and bring in new energy. A creative cleansing is in order. Start now.
- Act smart. Trick yourself into being disciplined. Break your activities into small increments- 10, 15, 20 minutes. Doing a task for 10 minutes sounds a lot easier than an hour, right? You only get better in this work through repetition and consistency. If you’re a writer, write; an actor, act; an improviser, improvise; a lover…well, you get my drift. Establish small rituals and routines that support who you are. Outsmart yourself and do the thing you really want to be doing.
- Become frugal for a season or year. We’ve heard from every finance guru around that we should save our money and spend less and get rid of debt. Isn’t it time we start listening? There is no reason to be a starving artist. Get a roommate and split the costs and save the rest. Sacrifice on the front end to reap rewards later.
- Fine tune a virtue. Patience, honesty, gratitude and humility are excellent virtues. Pick one or all of them and work on being your best self. Sounds a little Oprah-ish, yes, but let me be the first to say that a virtue never hurts anyone when it comes to the entertainment industry where rejection is normal. A virtue can cut through ego, depression and envy anytime, any day.
- Be thankful. Ah…gratitude goes a long way. You will breathe easier, sleep better and improvise better when you realize you have more than you think you have. Count your coins in your savings jar or count real blessings – people in your life who have helped shape your journey and who you are today including the mother who gave birth to you.
- Laugh until your belly hurts. Laugh hard and freely. Go to more places where laughing is encouraged. Break your inner silence and shake things up a bit. Laughing raises your energy and doesn’t cost a thing. Now, get on your train and start moving!