Since January, I have been on an audition marathon. I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to audition for so many projects and to be considered for some. However, with the volume of auditions (sometimes 8 – 10 in a week) came lots of stress and anxiety. And in full consideration of all of my fellow actors, I’m not complaining and fully see the blessings in that amount of opportunities.
But there were times where I did hit a breaking point. Having one notable emotional outburst, because the volume of rejection that came with those auditions became really hard to deal with. And then, about two weeks ago was my first time having a weekend stretch of no auditions. It felt good, but also extremely scary.
These are things that most actors don’t talk about. Most of the time we don’t even have time to talk about or even analyze the pressures of getting employment. We can be in such sensory overload and trapped in our minds that we can’t even begin to articulate what the work before getting work really entails; physically, psychologically, spiritually, and mentally. The general public sees us in our full glory while we’re on screen or promoting our work in TV interviews and magazine spreads. We share some behind the scenes or day in the life photos on social media which can only give a glimpse into what it’s like to walk in our individual shoes.
Do your body and mind a favor and just do nothing sometimes. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it.
Two weeks ago, I felt permission to finally rest my mind and breathe a little. The fear did linger a bit, “Why are there no auditions?”, “When will I work again?” and so on. I did my best to pay no attention to those thoughts. Just see them and then wipe them away.
I found myself lying on the couch delighting in a coconut ice cream bar and watching The Morning Show. It felt daring as if I was going rogue, but it felt so good. I then decided to go out and get a foot massage and try out an infrared sauna. It was glorious and felt amazing to just self-care and relax.
I was then reminded of my friend Phyllis. She has this reserved time she calls her “moment of nothingness” where she just does…nothing. During this time, she’ll find a space to be alone and not answer her phone and just be. We always laugh and joke about it. But it’s become something that I’ve adapted more into my life especially when I’m not at the helm of urgent deadlines.
Since my first audition-free/work-free/obligation-free weekend, I’ve dared myself to go into many moments of nothingness. Since then, I’ve had some auditions come up and have had a blast doing those. It hasn’t been the high volume as it had been over the course of those 5 months and so I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to just be. And do nothing.
And so I share this with you. When you can, find a moment to do nothing. My favorite moment of nothingness is to put my phone away, play a waterfall video on my TV or laptop, put on my headphones, and just zone out. I also love to lay out on my patio and just listen to the sounds around me. Sometimes, I’ll grab a book, and read a few pages and lay back, and breathe.
Do your body and mind a favor and just do nothing sometimes. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it. Our minds and bodies are working all the time! Moving from here and there, ingesting images from my phones, fulfilling job obligations, and to-do lists. Take a moment to be and do nothing. You deserve it and owe it to yourself.