Dealing with Dirty Laundry
Ok, real talk... Ever feel like you're suffocating under a pile of laundry? (If you've seen Last Nights of the King, you get the reference ;)
Ever find yourself avoiding things you need to do and opting for more fun, or mundane "easy" tasks? (ehemm.... I'm guilty! I'll choose a house project over film company/investor research any day.)
We don't love chores, right? But we have to do them.
I didn't learn much about the "chores" of the industry in acting class in university...(Maybe they teach on them more now? I hope so...) Oy, are they FUN! (*deer-in-headlights-smile*)
Of course, in reality, they are all GOOD-
part of GROWTH and
because ultimately, all services are about relationships.
But, they are not easy.
So, in the spirit of sharing what goes on behind the scenes, here's a long (albeit incomplete) list of acting/writing "chores" I'm learning I need to do to care for Pierced and Perfected and my other pieces of "creative laundry". (Skip down to the bold if you just want to read about my #1 most important "chore".)
Research film festivals, their cultures, and their leading people to find potential investors for future projects
Research film companies, distributors, and platforms where P&P (or future work) cold live and produce a little income
Write supplemental material to go with the movie
Keep my resumes and profile pages up-to-date
Stay sharp in my skills by attending classes and doing shows
Build community by helping others with their art and asking for help with mine
stay healthy and workout regularly so my look actually matches my headshot and I don't have to change your size card every few months...but also be kind to myself when I'm imperfect in that area (which is usually)
Maintain a social media presence to build a platform of people who actually want to spend their time reading my thoughts and spend their money to support my mission
Continually expand my clientele
In order to do that, develop basic to intermediate skills in website design and graphic design so everything I put up has visual appeal
Have a pulse on the industry at large and understand how I fit into I can position myself to not be obsolete
Communicate regularly with my agent
Submit all my self-tape auditions in a timely fashion and be sure to also keep auditioning for local professional shows
Watch the latest media and stay in-the-know about the actors, influencers, directors, writers who most jive with my idea of how I want to grow and follow what's good in their example
And above all- keep making work so that people know I exist.
And oh yeah- and email my people a lot, too.
As you can probably tell, thinking about all the to-dos this way doesn't help me live in the best frame of mind. So here is the number one "chore" on my list right now. Can you relate?
#1 STOCK UP ON MOTHBALLS.
Ok- that sounds weird. Who even uses those anymore anyway? I imagine we all have some pieces in our closets that rarely ever see the light of day. We like these pieces, but we don't pull them out to see how they are holding up very often, so when we do we shriek, "How'd those holes get there??"
Mothballs help prevent moths. And for the sake of metaphor, moths are lies we believe about ourselves. If you're also a creative, you probably have more than your fair share, too.
So...what eats at you?
Here's what's been eating at me:
In the last couple weeks, I've realized that for a long time I've accepted the limiting belief that I won't be able to find a sustainable way to live off my art unless I work harder...and of course there's no ceiling on the scale of what "working harder" means, therefore I can't work harder and therefore the whole kit-and-kaboodle is a lost cause. Then, I lay on the guilt that I won't be using my gifts well to honor God if I'm not successful. (That's a happy train of thought, no? And a lot of pressure.)
All this comes right on the tail-end of a successful and exciting spring in which I felt full of hope and energy. How quickly emotions and outlooks can change!
These moth-lies do a lot of damage in the background, in the dark. So I'm committing to air them out and confront them with truth. That, for me, has looked like going back to the poetry of the Psalms in my daily reading time (I love it so much), asking others to send me scriptures that help them, journaling and praying, and sharing about all the feels with trusted friends. God has really given me a great many resources to set my mind on what is good, and when I reorient it- I can remember gratitude. And gratitude feels GOOD. I was shocked to realize how ungrateful I feel when in the middle of those negative thoughts.
I could reframe that negative spiral and say instead, "Wow! It is such a GIFT that I have the time and space in my life right now to pursue art, to make connections, and to do all these wonderful- though sometimes pesky tasks- in order to make Scripture come alive to people. It's a JOY to collaborate with creatives and imagine making art that shifts how whole groups of people think. It's an amazing gift that God's provided money to live on through an awesome husband who has adopted my dreams as his and wants me to succeed and be able to focus. It's a SPECIAL chapter of life right now, without children, that I even have the ability to CHOOSE how to spend my time. SO many people would love to be in my shoes right now. I have been given a GIFT.
And of course, MOTHBALLS STINK. All I just mentioned is hard interior work. I still have to dig through the closet of why I have chosen to believe those lies in the first place instead of those positive thoughts I just wrote out. Why do I sometimes choose to see through that negative lens when the positive is SO MUCH BETTER? I haven't figured it out yet, but I am working on it, and I invite you to join me.
Let's go buy some mothballs, air out our issues, and tackle our lists with gratitude and grace for ourselves and others.
Thanks for reading and joining me in the journey.