A productive life calls for some planning. I’ve been an artist and entrepreneur for all of my adult life so I know that maintaining a productive and balanced work life can be challenging when you are your own boss.
Here’s a little prescription I intend to use in order to chase away my post-show blues and get back into the flow of a winning #artistlife.
I N S P I R A T I O N (20 Minutes Minimum Daily Requirement)
B R E A K F A S T (Daily. May be consumed during the Peak Performance Period when necessary, but no more than 2x per week.)
P E A K • P E R F O R M A N C E • P E R I O D (Morning Edition. 5-6x Weekly. 4 hours)
L I G H T • P H Y S I C A L • A C T I V I T Y (2x Daily. 15 minute intervals. May be skipped on days of Heavy Physical Activity.)
H E A V Y • P H Y S I C A L • A C T I V I T Y (3x Weekly. 45 Minutes Minimum Requirement. May be accomplished A.M. or P.M.)
L U N C H (Daily.)
P E A K • P E R F O R M A N C E • P E R I O D (Afternoon/Evening Edition. 5-6x Weekly. 3 hours.)
D I N N E R (Daily.)
T H E • C H E C K - I N • P E R I O D (4-5x Weekly. 30 minutes.)
G R A T I T U D E (Daily.)
I hate the learning curve. I always want to just skip to the point of mastery and ride that thing out into the sunset.
I can't exactly pinpoint when this happened. But at some time after a long history of being the teacher's pet, the honor student, the perfect attendance, dean's list, magna cum laude awarded (and modest little twat) that I am... I stopped loving being a "learner" There's a concept in developmental psychology that explains that once we've hit a certain age and life benchmark we gather and store new information as "crystalized learning." Basically we're not little sponges anymore. We're just learning the necessary bits for the tasks at hand. Clever, relevant and everything that all of the people who used to cheat off of my work were trying to explain to the rest of us over-achievers: "None of this extra crap is going to matter when we get into the real world."
If you are an Industrial Architect you probably don't need to know the kingdom, order, family, or species of salt water vertebrae in the Mediterranean Sea for job security. You've got to be a whiz at mathematics and have a passion for design and city planning. Makes sense. You need to learn your skill, master your skill, and love the process.
Oh, the process.
So as an actor the P R O C E S S is a vast micro to macro web of "hurry-up and wait" and "be ready at all times" and "right place at the right time" intersecting at various shades of green from "greenroom" to "too green" to "greenlit" to "green screen." Basically a bazillion variables that are all just a means to do the thing that you love, tell stories.
And the only way to tell those stories is to put in the work. Learn your lines. Rehearse your beats. Discover the character. Find the truth. Practice it. Make mistakes. Fail forward. Loose your inhibitions. Learn, rehearse, discover, find, practice and repeat until you reach that euphoric moment of truth which allows you to throw it all away and just be. (*Pauses for the moment.)
Every new side, scene, job, level has its own curve and it's maddening being at the bottom of that dip when you thought you had it but realize you don't and mastery seems like a hopeless dream. Ugh. I HATE IT!!! Where is my sunset?!
Anyway... just a little "discouragingly realist" pep-talk from me and the learning curve.
enisha b jane
In my own words.