*Photo by Justin Patterson
(Or what to do when you have nothing to do)
Even the busiest of showgirls, who go from job to job and seem to work nonstop, have lulls in their career. What to do with this unpaid, unasked for vacation? If you are anything like me, you don’t actually like too much time off, watching your bank account dwindle, and your skills get soft.
Well, DON’T TAKE A BREAK. Ok, take a short one to recharge, because I’m a firm believer in taking time to regroup and re-gather your strength in the battle of life. Visit friends and family, and do all the stuff you don’t get to do when you’re working. When you’ve done that, (and you’ll know because you’ll start getting itchy for a new project) just put on your shoes, and go to work…on your craft. Go to classes. Go to your lessons. Read. Learn a new skill that during your busy times, you don’t have a chance to work on. Be willing to work on a project for free…you never know what they’ll get to direct or choreograph next. Then they see you at that next audition and remember how great you were, and how you gave your time freely to help their vision. (Only do this for people you actually feel this way about. Don’t do this for someone you really don’t jive with.) In the past six months, I had the opportunity to do some work with a choreographer I’ve always wanted to get to know, and not only was it the most fun I’ve had in a while, but I got to use my skills and talents in an artistically safe environment, and I got a chance to show myself to several new people who I’d be lucky to work with again. I also just spent a lovely evening reading my good friend's wildly beautiful screenplay, which is soon to be produced. Again, got to flex my artistic muscles, in front of people I’d like to work with. Win-Win. Coins in the jar.
The times when I don’t have a project is when the most neurotic parts of my mind will start to act up. Too much time to think about things can do nothing but create a downward spiral. The only cure is to get moving, and get working. As Luigi, the father of modern Jazz dance said, “Never stop moving.” I’d add always be thinking to that. Keep a note pad handy for ideas. Keep living and reading and learning…chances are it could lead you to an idea. Just because you aren’t seeing an income yet from an idea, doesn’t mean it never will be lucrative.
So use that unasked for vacation to better yourself…because sometimes keeping busy brings more busy. Faster than you realize, you’ll be working and wishing to get that free time back!
Bulletproof Bette shares her wisdom in the first ever Showgirl’s Guide to surviving and thriving in a city and industry that wants to eat you for lunch. Get exclusive content when you sign up below!