5 Things for Actors to Explore In Their Free Time

5 Things for Actors to Explore In Their Free Time

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  1. Observe – When you are not working, you have the opportunity to take time and study by observing behaviour. Pay attention to what is going on around you. If you are in a shop, how do people push through crowded queues to get what they want? How do they pull out their credit cards or pay cash? You can tell just by a customer’s physical behaviour if they are trying to keep it together or are on the brink of ‘losing it’. Depending on where you are in the country, notice how people are dealing with the weather. If they are cold, how do they walk into a department store or restaurant and warm themselves up? How do they talk on the phone? Try to guess what the relationship is to the person on the other end. Observe your family like never before. So, keep a journal of small things and write specifically about how people shop, argue, spend money, deal with stress or celebrate. Be fascinated by what provides conflict, closeness and gratitude.
  2. Feel – Observe how you feel about your emotions and the people around you that are affecting the ???. Every time emotion comes up, don’t push it down. If you shut down, watch yourself shutting down and work to stay open so that you can be in the moment and be aware. Don’t be scared and run away. Feel the power of your emotions. Laugh, have fun. Feel your aliveness. Stay in touch with your spirituality, whatever it means to you.
  3. Do – Stay stimulated. Use the opportunity to go to the museum exhibit that you haven’t had time to go to. See all of the movies, the great TV shows, binge on ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Masters of Sex’, ‘Homeland’, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and so many others. Get tickets to the riveting theatre performance that you’ve wanted to see; pick up the novels you’ve wanted to read. (One fiction book is a must!) Surprise yourself by having conversations with family, friends and others that you’ve never had before. Create art—paint a canvas, write a song, an article, a short story, an outline for a screenplay, a play, or write the whole thing! Create your own vision board for the year. Take a moment to ask yourself what you want to accomplish.
  4. Volunteer – Find an organisation to attend where you can be of service. Every time you put that energy forward, it helps you to deepen your humanity.
  5. Breathe – Take a few days every once in a while to do nothing. And I mean nothing. Stop the machine and just be.

About the Author


is an acting coach based in Los Angeles. She heads up her own acting school, Michelle Danner Los Angeles Acting Studio.

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