Hands down, the question I get asked most often is “How do you juggle so many things?”
I’ll be honest — it can sometimes get super hectic. But I find I am the most alive and fulfilled when I have multiple things happening, because each creative venture feeds the other.
In the current state of the industry, I think it’s rare to find an actor who doesn’t at least dabble in another creative arena. Whether you split your time between acting and directing, acting and producing, or acting and writing (or maybe more than that), it can sometimes be tough to keep all the balls in the air.
But the reality is that today it is almost NECESSARY to do other things to stay afloat unless you are living off of your residuals, you’re a series regular, or you’re one of the few people who go from one Broadway show to the next. Even many of those people do multiple things!
So, how do you juggle them all and how do you decide where to spend your time?
I have found five key things that have allowed me to juggle the many hats I wear in a day. I know these can help you, too!
1. When you’re wearing a certain hat, wear it 100%. What I mean by that is that when you are acting… just act. Don’t be thinking about the directing job you have on the side or even thinking about how the production you’re in should be directed. Just act! Same when you’re wearing the producer hat or writer hat… just wear one at a time, moment to moment. You can be all the things you want to be, but when you’ve got a particular job… JUST DO THAT. #onehatatatime
2. Schedule yourself to the nines. Okay, don’t laugh, but I still use my own Organized Actor calendar. I invented it for productivity, and it still works so great for me. If it is not written in my Organized Actor calendar, it doesn’t exist. And that includes things that you might not expect to find on a calendar, like vocalizing, sending thank you notes, reading, etc. If you don’t write them down, they will not get done. I take it a step further and color-code everything so I can look at my full week and notice which areas are getting neglected by the colors in my calendar. Try it. #colorcode
3. Choose a focus each day. When you are juggling multiple things, I find it best to make the day about something very specific in ONE REALM of your creativity. Focus on that for the bulk of your day. BUT, so you don’t feel like you are letting the other balls drop, make a choice to do at least one baby step toward your other pursuits, too. But it’s perfectly fine and often necessary to give one project the bulk of your energy. Then, find clever ways to do some baby steps on the others. #onefocusperday
4. Have an awesome morning ritual. Sure, we might all get up and brush our teeth, have the coffee/tea, or whatever. But how about making your morning ritual more empowering than that? Have a few key things you do to start out your day BEFORE you hit the emails, social media and screens. I love the concept of “creation before consumption.” Maybe read a page from a self-development book. Sit at your piano and play a tune, or write one. You could meditate or do yoga. Dance around the room to your favorite tunes. Maybe you listen to your favorite podcast. Whatever you choose, make it something that makes you feel great about having the stellar day ahead. #creationbeforeconsumption
5. Have billable hours every single day. I know that a lot of the “work” that we do as actors and artists is FREE. We don’t get paid to prepare for an audition or even for the audition itself. But it’s important that no matter how many creative pursuits you have that part of your day is spent DOING THE THING YOU DO TO MAKE MONEY. Ideally, of course, that comes from your acting career. But if it doesn’t right now, it might be income from your day job or teaching or coaching. Whatever forms of income you have, find a way to spend time in those billable hours every single day. #incomeeveryday
Leave a comment below on how you manage your multi-creative life, and pass this on to someone who might enjoy it.
Leslie Becker is a Broadway actress, Billboard artist and best-selling author of The Organized Actor®. Since 1994, her teachings have empowered thousands of actors to be strong individuals so the highs and lows of the industry are balanced by a strong belief in themselves. As an actress, she has appeared in 10 Broadway and National Tour productions, and she has starred in over 50 regional shows. She is the host of the Facebook Group Organized Actor Alliance and offers free tips for actors at www.OrganizedActor.com.