A Skill We Can All Learn From Actors
It's not a profession for the faint-hearted. A career where no amount of training or degrees will guarantee work. A community that is both supportive and competitive. Being an actor is tough. Often times I find myself slightly jealous of my friends who work in other industries and their professional growth. Especially when I am sat in front of a grey screen in my living room, recording myself saying lines or acting out some banal stage direction, hoping the person who receives this video will see something in me.
Still, there is something to be said about the actor's dedication. Because in this career, when it's going well... it's going WELLLL. Finding success in this industry, or even the mere journey of getting there, becomes an incredible release of dopamine. The ups make the downs so worth it. Needless to say, there are a few things that actors have to take care of when in pursuit of finding this success. They are great tools for growth and are essential in becoming the best versions of ourselves.
Acting is the only job where you have to continuously prove that you can still do it. A job where you will have more interviews than actually doing the job. Therefore, there is something every actor will or should do before an audition/job. This thing is... warm-ups. Not in the sense of warming up your body before working out (though those are also great). I am talking about vocal warm-ups, body warm-ups, release of tension, energy jumps, improv exercises, etc. In no other profession will someone use physical, mental, and emotional exercises to get themselves ready for work, yet everyone would benefit from doing these.
A salesman should massage their jaw before giving a pitch, a chef should warm up their feet before a long stressful day of standing, a teacher could benefit from doing a few tongue twisters before class, a construction worker should know how to properly breathe... The list goes on and on. These warm-up may seem simple but they are simply life-changing. Most actors will do these on a weekly or even daily basis, because you will never benefit from just one day of breathing exercises. It is important to keep this up for it to have long lasting effects and it's not too late to start now. Look up some breathing, projection and articulation exercises, learn some tongue twisters, find a nice physical warm up that will help release tension and create energy. Create a routine and practice this a few times a week. It will help you for the better. Having the job doesn't mean you can't get better!