If you decide to run a marathon and you’re not in shape, you definitely wouldn’t go out and run twenty miles the first day of training. That would be crazy, right? You’d likely start out with shorter distances so you could build endurance and momentum. The trickiest part, for many, is staying motivated long enough to keep training so you can go the full distance.
Acting is the same. I know I’m a bit of a broken record when it comes to thinking of your career as a marathon and not a sprint, but it’s true. And like any long journey, there will be moments when it’s hard to keep going — when you lose motivation in acting and suddenly a few weeks have gone by without working on anything, it can feel so hard to get back to work. So many actors relate to this.
So how do you get yourself going again after an acting slump? How do you reignite your motivation in acting?
I find that the key to getting fired up again is reconnecting to why you do this work. Check out this conversation from class for an exercise you can do to help jump start your motivation in acting, and to take back control. You’ve got this!
CLASS CLIP TRANSCRIPTION
Sarah: There is one thing I want to throw—this bee I want to put in everyone’s bonnet for the week – around when you’re having a hard time motivating — I know we’ve talked about this theme, which is understandable, right — When you’re having a hard time motivating, try to sit down and write out why it’s important. Because again we know now, we have research that shows when we stay connected to why we do something, and then we give ourselves control, the area of motivation in our brain starts to light up and fire. And that’s what kicks in motivation.
So sitting down, when you’re dreading something, if you’re putting off rehearsing, if you’re putting off whatever the shit is that you need to do, it’s important because…I show up to do my acting work because…and you can write out all the things! Because I want to get this tape done, because I want to get better agents and managers, because I want to open more doors, because I want to do great work, whatever all that stuff is, all the whys, because I want to make some fuckin’ money, because I wanna…whatever, blah blah blah.
All that stuff’s valid, but just reconnect to it and then give yourself one thing that you can make yourself in control of. It feels like I have a choice. I have a choice in this. And that’s the part that fires the motivation part of your brain. And then maybe give yourself one thing that can help you be in control of, okay I’m going to…what’s gonna put me back in the driver’s seat? I’m in control of how long I wanna rehearse for. I’m gonna rehearse for 20 minutes. I’m gonna rehearse for 5 minutes right now! I’m gonna just read the scene again out loud.
Sometimes just getting that one thing I’m in control of, kicks us back, puts us back into the driver’s seat. So just see, just play around with that thought this week, of how I can reconnect to…and you can use this in any area of your life where you feel like you’re having a hard time. There’s things you need to be doing but you’re not motivated to do them because you know they’re important but you’re not…just keep connecting to the why again.