Step Into the Light

If your day is anything like mine, you pretty much grind away in front of a computer all day. Searching for leads, auditioning, improving your website, making connections, on and on, playing the numbers game day in, day out. It's isolating. It's lonely. And on the days where the inbox is barren and the phone is silent, it starts to feel like you've locked yourself up and thrown away the key. Your own personal Chateau d'If, especially if you're prone to depression and anxiety spells like me. Step into the light. Get outside and be a social creature. It might just save your business.

I have a long history of isolating myself. Whether at the office, in the theater group, or even among friends at a party, I have a tendency to build walls around myself.  Being a solopreneur (to steal a phrase from Paul Strikwerda's excellent blog/book), I don't have to put up with inane office chatter, crummy birthday cakes in the break room, or godforsaken meetings that go nowhere because no one is interested in being present. However, I am also not forced into being social, which for a lifelong introvert can be dangerous.

In an effort to increase my productivity, I've started scheduling everything I do, from auditioning to marketing to waking up to when I eat. I made sure include exercise and social time in my calendar, and not just drinking with buddies. As soul-searingly awful as my old day jobs were, at least there was some sort of social interaction so I didn't feel as though I'd disappeared off the face of the Earth. And since our industry is all about recreating real human moments, having those moments on a regular basis seems fairly crucial to acting believably.

So make sure you build in time away from your dungeon. Jog around the neighborhood. Grab lunch with a colleague. Go shopping if you're lucky enough to have spending money and you're into that sort of thing. Long hours and hard work are certainly admirable feats, but don't sacrifice your social side in the process. Or else you might turn weird.