BWW Blog: Gift of Time - Part 3
Most of us were expecting this gift of time to be mere weeks, and now the summer plans we've spent all quarantine dreaming about may not be happening. As summer jobs and artistic work are at best being revised and at worst cancelled, we find ourselves yet again pondering what to do with all this time. After sharing the insights of six inspiring artists, I decided to share my own creative ideas and plans for this upcoming season.
First, find ways to stay connected with the greater theatre community.
Due to theatres pivoting to online platforms this summer, there are limited in-person opportunities. I am blessed to have a job this summer teaching remotely for the Alliance Theatre's camps, but I know many of my friends are struggling to find ways to advance their artistic career this summer. If you are looking for a job, reach out to a local theatre and see if they need help. Some companies might allow for remote internships, or at the very least, you might be able to speak to a theatre-maker you admire and gain valuable insight.
Second, prepare yourself as best as you can for the future, with the hope that you will return to school.
Because of my school's closing, Samford was unable to hold auditions for our fall season. If you are in a similar position, prepping audition materials is an excellent use of excess time. I will be working all summer as the dramaturg for Samford's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Start thinking about ways in which you can assist with your school's upcoming productions. Reach out to the faculty at your school and ask for a project to work on this summer. I'm sure they would be happy to oblige!
Third, make your own opportunities by working on something that you've always wanted to create.
Since I missed out on an opportunity to direct last semester, I've decided to make my own opportunity. I found an adorable one-woman show for the very young and enlisted a friend of mine to perform in it. We hope to tour it to preschools in the fall, but at the very least both of us will gain experience and perform for friends and family at the end of the summer. Using all those crazy ideas that have been floating around in your head, start making plans so that they can actually happen this summer.
Fourth, hone your craft and reflect on the ways you can improve your artistry.
In our line of work, one has to be self motivated, and this summer is the perfect time to devote yourself to becoming a better artist. Reading plays is a wonderful way to become a more informed theatre-maker. Try reading books on acting technique and then working on the exercises they provide. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp is one of my favorite books to reinspire my creativity and reignite my passion.
Fifth, find a hobby that has nothing to do with theatre. Enjoy it.
Sometimes I have a hard time focusing on things that I don't deem productive. However, this summer, I am determined to make time for hobbies that are separate from theatre. One hobby I've been pursuing during this time is teaching my pet bunny tricks. Not only does it enrich my bunny's day, but I get so much joy from seeing her celebrate receiving a treat for her efforts. Find a hobby, something that may seem silly, but brings you endless delight.
To conclude, this additional gift of time we have gives us opportunities to connect, prepare, create, reflect, and play. Make a plan to insure you accomplish your goal and get started. After all, "a goal without a plan is just a wish."