5 Ways to Stay Creative Without Acting Work - Especially During Covid-19
We've been talking to thousands of actors over the past 6 months and a universal problem is of course little to zero opportunities to work, or to act full stop. Whilst we as actors are used to prolonged periods without work, it's a lot more difficult to manage when there aren't even any opportunities to audition, rehearse or perform in anything other than a zoom read - let's be honest, it's not quite the same is it?
As frustrating as this time is, it also gives the perfect opportunity to expand our horizons as actors and indeed to focus on what's important to our overall wellbeing. As Andy Nyman so kindly shared in our interview a couple of weeks ago (read here if you missed it), if you're a happier actor, you'll work more. Having spoken to so many actors, we wanted to share 5 of the best ways we've heard to keep your creative juices flowing. So when theatres, sets and casting rooms eventually do re-open (hallelujah), you'll still be at the top of your game.
1. Watch Live Streams of Plays
From The National Theatre to The Old Vic and even Hamilton on Disney Plus, lots of incredible shows are still at your fingertips. In exactly the same way as live theatre helps to keep your imagination firing and gives you incredible examples of actors at the very top of their game, so do live streams. Some particular favourites have been: NT Live's One Man, Two Governors, The Bridge Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Soho Theatre's Fleabag. We can't wait to see Andrew Scott in Three Kings by Stephen Beresford as part of The Old Vic's 'In Camera' series (sadly Andrew Scott has not been very well so the start has been delayed, we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery). Whatsonstage.com have a great article on all of the shows you can see here.
2. Keep Reading Plays, Scripts, Scenes & Monologues
As simple as it sounds, it's very easy to get out of good habits during such a difficult time. Doing a scene or monologue once every couple of weeks is the perfect way to stay on top of your acting. Don't be lazy and make sure you prep each scene and character properly to make the process and outcome as useful to you as it can possibly be. The big plus at the moment is how many other actors are also looking for someone to act with. If nobody springs to mind for a certain role, hop on social media and post in groups or tweet to pages (we love connecting actors to one another on Twitter, just tweet us here). We can all come together so easily so why not do it? Also, if you're already on the platform, or even if you're waiting for the test to finish so you can start uploading your scenes, then Flairbox will be the best place to rehearse, record, and upload these scenes.
3. Learn From the Best
As tough as online classes, workshops and lessons can be, the wonderful outcome is that anyone can access acting advice from the very best in the world wherever you are in the world. You simply don't need to be in London anymore. Casting Directors like Manuel Puro and Sophie Holland run self tape courses and one to one sessions respectively in order to help as many actors as possible. The Actor's Centre have a wonderful online programme of workshops. Flip the problem on its head and take as much as you can from as many incredible casting directors, schools, groups and workshops as possible. They really do want to help you through this time so it's up to you to let them.
4. Self Development for your personal life too
We all have that one thing we've always said we should do more of. For some people it's yoga, for others it's cooking, horse riding, going to an art gallery or whatever floats your boat, what better time to work on it? By challenging yourself to use the increase in spare time, not only will you feel more accomplished and thus happier, but you'll also pick up new skills that could make you PERFECT for the next big role you spot. Every time you pick up a new skill, you're making yourself more easy to cast.
5. Watch more Movies & TV
We know it's not the same watching movies from home but in what other job can you class watching films or tv shows as 'research'. Don't see watching films or shows as lazy or time wasting, it most definitely isn't if you do it in the right way. Find actors that you can learn from or characters that may challenge you and give them a watch. Immerse yourself in their world & their lives. This is also the perfect way to find scenes that you can then prep, rehearse and record. Soon enough you'll have the perfect place to put them in front of the right casting directors on Flairbox.co.
By Rob Eades & Elliot Janks