Hey Actors, Get a hobby!
As actors, we are passionate about our career pursuits. We know we’re meant to be on stage or on screen and we spend all our time thinking about what we want
to create and how we’re going to create it.
It’s easy for us to make our career the sole focus of our life because there’s always something more we could be doing: studying our scenes, planning our marketing, going to networking events… the list goes on. Sometimes, it gets to be a little too much!
The truth is, whenever we hold on to anything too tightly, no matter how good the intention is, we’re not necessarily helping it. Sometimes we’re even choking it and hurting it.
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my career is pick up a non-acting related hobby, and I highly recommend that you do the same (now I’m not talking about going to the gym, because every actor out there goes to the gym… it’s practically an occupational requirement).
I’m talking about participating in an activity that has a community of people who aren’t actors. It’s something you love so much that when you get there, you cannot think about your career.
For me, that’s playing tennis. I love it because it satisfies my competitive drive, it’s athletic, and I get to go outside. Not only that, but no one in my group is an actor, which is a nice change of pace.
I even challenged myself and signed up for a tournament. Now I get a little break from worrying about whether that casting director saw my submission and all I have to think about is my topspin.
Let Your Life Inform Your Acting
Let your hobby be an opportunity to meet people who are outside your field. Believe it or not, there are some really awesome non-actors out there who are on a life journey that’s much different than yours.
I believe that to be a good actor, you have to have a full life. When we’re playing a character, most of the time that character isn’t an actor – they have a full and beautiful and well-rounded life. As creatives, we need to push ourselves to do the same thing.
Let it be Natural
Just notice if you’re reading this article and thinking, “Uh-oh! I better find a hobby! What can I do?” Sometimes actors are very Type A and like to be in control, so we’ll force ourselves to get a hobby as though it were an assignment. Just remember, a hobby is supposed to be fun!
I encourage you to say yes more often and try some new things. It might be the weirdest thing out there but you just don’t know what will open up in your creative life when you make yourself available for new experiences.
Name one hobby that you have, or you would like to take up, that can help you live a more content, rounded-out life. Leave a note in the comments section below to inspire others!