Guest Blogger at IVS
Thanks to my friends Tim Russell and Jenna Pastuszek over at Innovative Voice Studio for featuring me on their BADassery spotlight series this month. I originally participated in their program fall 2019 and am thrilled it is continuing during quarantine. As part of the spotlight series, I was invited to write a blog post for their website and social media. Here it is!
“This is fun. This is fun. We are doing this for fun,” chanted a director of mine opening night with a wink. Nerves were high in our green room as they always are at any opening. But rather than let those nerves collect in our clenched throats, she invited us to let them out with a wink and a giggle. “Join me!” she dared, and our whole cast began awkwardly chanting with her, “This is fun. This is fun. We are doing this for fun!” What started as self-conscious mumbling quickly turned into proud declarations of glee. “Oh yeah,” I remember thinking, completely elated, “I really like this performing thing I’ve worked so hard at. How did I forget that?”
Often in show business, it becomes easy to neglect the reason we all decided to be performers in the first place… it’s freakin’ fun! However, there can be so much pressure to book the job, sign the agent, make the strategic career move, grow your social media following, invest in the latest self-tape equipment, write the next Hamilton, start your own podcast, get seen at the ECC, maintain the perfect actor website, take the right classes with the right people… our to do lists go on and on!
Sometimes the pressure of our to do lists cause us to lose sight of the joy we bring ourselves and others doing what we love. Remember how great it felt the first time you made an audience laugh? Or how satisfying it was to move an audience to stillness so profound you could hear a pin drop in a 400-seat theater? That feeling is why we make our to do lists in the first place. What a tragedy it would be to let the stress of success (whatever that means) distract us from the fun of it all.
So, whenever you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or unsure what task on your to do list to tackle next, remember… this is fun! Even if performing amidst a global pandemic looks different than it did before, there is still plenty of enjoyment and discovery to be found if you’re hungry for it. My advice? Give yourself a mantra like my director did to remind yourself why you started on this journey. Keep it short, sweet and most importantly, fun!