At a Las Vegas buffet, you can load your plate up to the ceiling and eat like a king without thinking twice.

In acting, I’d like to suggest another tactic: common sense. I learned this the hard way this week.

Between auditions/callbacks for student films, helping run the business side of an awesomely-ambitious improv team, planning a fund-raiser for my theatre company, and making weekly classes/rehearsals, I have worked myself sick.

Like…literally. Sick with a very stubborn flu.

And when you can’t really move, let alone get out of bed, the acting business changes.

  • You can’t answer emails.
  • You can’t tweet.
  • You can’t rehearse.
  • You can’t attend meetings.
  • You can’t perform.
  • You can’t go to your classes.

…and suddenly you find yourself way behind the pack on all these commitments you made. And in my case, that elevates stress and renders sleep and impossibility. Which is why I’m awake now, my very first morning of moderately good health, at 5AM writing e-mails and blogs, simply hoping to relieve that stress and get back on the same page with everyone so that I might actually get a couple hours of sleep before work.

HERE’S MY POINT:

FRIEND/LOVED ONE – “You do too much. You’ll work yourself sick.”

ACTOR – “Bah! I’m an ambitious young actor. Hard work equals success!”

FRIEND/LOVED ONE – “Yes, but you simply can’t say yes to every single thing that comes along, or you’ll get buried alive.”

ACTOR – “Bah! I’m an ambitious young actor. Hard work equals success!”

FRIEND/LOVED ONE – Punches ACTOR right square in the damn nose.

Trust me, that punch is the best thing that could happen for ACTOR. Don’t overdo it, kids. Hard work is super important, but you have to know when enough is enough for the time being.

You don’t wanna be the one at the Las Vegas buffet with no appetite and a fever, do you?

~JVB

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