"You can't be brave if you're tired." Rachel Hollis
The reason this quote has stuck with me is because most, if not all of my students, are pretty much tired all the time. My high school students are exhausted from classes, homework, extracurriculars, and my adult students are exhausted from work, family, kids, etc. And the common complaint is they feel like they do not have enough time to make the needed change that will help them improve not just health/fitness but their career.
So let's flip the script.
In our chosen profession, bravery is not an option. By nature of performing, you HAVE to be brave. Bravery allows us to step into vulnerability, to make big choices in the rehearsal process that are wrong, so we can learn what the right choice is.
And if you are tired, sick, run down, you straight up cannot be as effective because you can't be as brave. It will end up holding you back. And I say this from experience. I stayed hidden and small for an incredibly long time because I didn't want people to see things that were "wrong" about my body. Because I stayed small and because I blamed my body and didn't learn how to properly maintain and take care of my body - I didn't get the roles I wanted. And I didn't end up with the career I wanted, either. I blamed my height and fed into the mentality of take whatever gig I could because it was the only self-validation I had at the time. And that SUCKED. And this is not what I want for all of you, so:
It's about making sure you have time for all of the things, creative and otherwise, and that you're taking care of yourself mentally and physically to be able to experience those things fully. It's a straightforward approach that will get you to look at where your time is realistically going, while also acknowledging where time is being sucked away from you.
I’ve found myself asking many of my students similar questions lately:
“What are you hoping to get out of this audition?” “Is your goal to audition and be in it no matter what? Or do you want to be a SPECIFIC role and otherwise it’s not worth it to you?” Or… most importantly “What’s more important to you and your happiness - to be in A show (any show) no matter what, or to be able to have the CHOICE to spend your time other ways?”
Ultimately what these questions are coming down to is...
What is your PERSONAL version of success?
Back in the day (“B in the D” if you will…) I HAD to be in a show. I was not happy if I was not able to say proudly and loudly “I CAN’T I HAVE REHEARSAL!!!”
It was the thing that made me the happiest :) It was also where my friends and chosen family were. If it wasn’t CONSTANTLY in something or had a show to look forward to, I was immediately a failure. And when I felt like a failure, things got dark.
Honestly, looking back now, it was a pretty awful way to live.
My success was defined, ultimately, by my ability to impress one or two people in a single room on a single occasion. And unfortunately, my happiness was defined by my success in theater.
What’s actually wrong with this, you might be asking?
At the end of the day, having my happiness be defined by my external success… and my external success depend on what someone else thinks of me as compared to only a handful of other people (and sometimes just depending on whether they’ve had enough coffee yet or not…)
Just ends up meaning my happiness is completely out of my control.
So I got smart. (After reaching some serious lows.) And started to define success FOR MYSELF.
For me, in my life, success means:
Plenty of time to spend with my family
Feeling financially secure, or at least having a plan and clarity to get there
Performing regularly but sanely (not always in a show, but really enjoying my time when I AM in a show)
Time to read
Time to watch shows I like
Feeling confident enough in my abilities to go for work outside my regular genre (I’mma be in a podcast soon!)
Ability to take time OFF regularly during the week as well as bigger vacation times
Ability to travel
Lots of Finn snuggle time
As you can see, performance is in there, but in a very measured capacity.
Defining my time for myself puts me back in charge. And it started by REALLY looking at my schedule and seeing what things FELT good to spend my time on, what time I realistically needed to be OFF, what time I needed FREE so I could get things outside of work done, and being able to compare that to what I WANTED my schedule and life to look like.