How to stay motivated as this year’s curtain call approaches.
The lights are up, Rockefeller Christmas trees are ready for date night viewing, the holiday carol and brunch cruises are decorated to set sail, and of course, the winter lantern festival is fully lit. I mean how does one even fathom focus at such a festive time like the holidays.
When I first moved to America, Thanksgiving always confused me.
‘But it’s so close to Christmas.’ I thought. ‘Exactly,’ one of my American best friends clarified, ‘It’s an extended holiday.’
Essentially, between 11/25/21 – 01/10/22, the city and country begin the holiday wine down.
So what does that mean for us artists? Do we give in to Taylor Swift’s RED version, and all the Hallmark Christmas movies we have been waiting for?
Do we use this time to keep working.
Why not both .. ?
The benefit of the industry beginning to shut down, is that you get the liberty to work on that passion project you have been shelving for months. Or – take that class you have been waitlisted for – ( We Are Actors has a lineup of agency showcases right until December 13th BTW) or go see the plethora of plays that Broadway and Off Broadway have so graciously brought back, or even, make your own movie and while you’re at it – put up your own play.
Think about it ; studio shows, union projects, and most of the big players are commencing their December descent into vacation mode. Which gives you prime opportunity to invite them to your play that just so happens to go up over the holidays.
I have had many friends take advantage of this time of year. At first I thought it was a crazy time to commit to independent work, but they sold out almost every night of a full two week run, because everyone was home for the holidays. Home and wanting a night out to see a show with family. Home and available.
You know how the entire year has all of us on numerous different schedules, timezones, and work commitments? But, during Thanksgiving and Christmas time, those contracts come to an end, the travel schedule is put on pause until the new year, and the work obligations start to relax.
Oh wait, is everyone in town at the same time to finally film some scenes from your indie short film you wrote last Spring? Why not re-write that red herring scene and make it take place in the winter? Maybe the love interests meet under the Christmas lights as opposed to the upstate sandy beach?
Take advantage of this time of year. There are plenty of resources, fellow actors and producers that are also craving uninterrupted creativity.
But what if I don’t have a project ready to be filmed? Or a play ready to go up on stage?
Perfect, use this time to fine tune your script, and learn how you can rent an available theatre space. Use this time to location scout, make a list of contacts to reach out to so that wherever you are in your development process – you can have most of your answers responded to by the New Year. Use this time to learn, progress, and you can still make time for a Baileys Irish Cream.
Now, do not feel obligated to create. This time of year is also YOUR time. Your time to recalibrate from a busy twelve months. Your time to read that stack of books you never get the opportunity to dive into. Your time to re-connect with loved ones, your time to re-energize yourself – however that looks like to you. Listen to podcasts, stay inspired, journal, take a masterclass, and remember that you are never home alone 😉
This is a special time of year, especially to keep making art.