With One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest getting ready to open, I have spent my free time browsing audition announcements, so that I can avoid as much “down time” between productions as possible.

Err…let me correct that: I’ve been trying to browse audition announcements. Actually finding them is another story entirely.

We’re in the clutches of winter in Chicago, which means people are staying indoors, ordering delivery, and (most regrettably) not doing many shows. So what do we, as actors, do about it?

In my opinion, a snowy backdrop is perfect for exploring other parts of your “actors’ toolkit.” What better time than when it’s zero degrees outside to:

  • Brainstorm ideas for that play you’ve always wanted to write!
  • Call or e-mail those valuable connections you’ve worked so hard to get and invite them to coffee!
  • Write and record a song and/or a video, then put it online for your friends and colleagues to enjoy!
  • Organize your life! (Yes, don’t forget, you should have one of those outside the theatre!)
  • Come up with a ideas (e.g. business cards, headshots, classes) to better promote yourself once audition season starts!

I could keep going.

My point is, it never hurts to make our own opportunities! As creative individuals, it’s a muscle with which we’ve all been gifted, so get out your guns and flex! Don’t fall into the trap I did when I first came to the city:

“I need to audition and that’s all I need to do and if I don’t do that I fail and there’s nothing else I can be doing right now to help my career except auditioning and there are not many auditions so I must be failing dammit I suck.”

To you, my friend, I say,

“You’re fine! Breathe, silly! Just focus on other ways to aide your life in theatre! This is a long road, and the rest will come when you’re ready! :-)”

You gotta include the smiley face at the end. That’s the whole point.

~JVB

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