Green Shirt Studio

3 things actors should be doing every day (and probably aren’t)

Acting ClassBeing an actor is exhausting. You have to find auditions, make sure your resume is up-to date, communicate with your agent (or find one). And that’s just to get the job. Once you get an acting gig, there is a whole other world of work that comes into play. Not to mention, you are usually doing all of this for your acting career while you are busy at your other “money job” so you can pay rent.

With everything we have to manage as actors, it’s no wonder most of us wind up neglecting at least some aspect of our work. I know how easy it is to get behind because I’m chronically bad at managing myself. For a long time I found myself frustrated, behind schedule and ready to give it all up. I felt that way until, in grad school, I stumbled upon a way to keep myself productive and energized. It’s very simple: I divide my tasks into three boxes (literal or figurative): craft, commerce and art. Then I do one task fully from each box every day. Every day. The result? I am more accountable, more balanced and more joyful in my work and life than ever before.

Here’s how it works:

In this box, put all things you want and/or need to do in order to strengthen the nuts and bolts of your acting. It might be something big like taking a class, or something small like doing a ten-minute vocal warm-up before you leave the house. These are the things that make your actual acting better in the long-run and strengthen core skills.

Everything you do for your career and to get work goes in this box. Memorizing those sides for the audition? Check. Submitting to agents and casting directors? Yup. Finding a new audition monologue? Into the commerce box. All the things that make up the business side of your acting business go here.

So what goes here? What jobs are left? Here, you put all things that actually replenish the well and nourish that part of yourself that made you get into being an actor in the first place. Your artist’s heart, your inner-child, your soul — whatever you call it, all the things that turn you on artistically go here. It doesn’t need to be high-brow or even directly related to acting, it just needs to be something that actually excites you to do. Sound like fun? Good. It should be.

Most actors only ever end up working on tasks from one of these boxes. We all know these actors or maybe you are one yourself. The wonderful actor who never actually gets to work because she doesn’t have a good headshot and never gets called in to audition? She’s neglected commerce. The actor who has great headshots, goes to every audition but never gets cast? He has neglected his craft. That poor actor who spends every spare minute reading acting books and talking about the business but burns out after a year? They’ve done nothing to nourish themselves artistically and have nothing left to give.

You might be saying to yourself, “I don’t have the time for all this!” So here is my challenge to you: spend the next week, just one week, doing something for your craft, commerce and art each day. After one week, write me an email ( or post in the comments section below and tell me how it went. Committing yourself to working on all three aspects of yourself everyday will give you a sense of balance and purpose in your life. Why not begin that now?