How to Overcome Audition Fatigue and Prevent Actor Burnout

I gotta be honest with you, I am TIRED.

Audition Season seems to get longer every year and I’m seeing burnout in every holding room I walk into these days.

I’m seeing dancers reach into their bags at ECCs and pull out one character shoe and one tap shoe.

It’s not a good look. (Or sound.)

But here’s the thing…

Have you ever decided to take a little brain break in May only to wake up in September realizing you’ve achieved none of your artistic goals? 

It’s like deciding you’re going to take a midday nap and sleeping through the night and into the the next day…For four months straight.

Instead of sleeping away your summer, follow these basic guidelines to make sure you’re resting and not slacking.


Don’t want to oversleep? Set an alarm!

I know it seems simple, but as actor/entrepreneurs we don’t always have the luxury of a set schedule.

If you worked a basic 9-5 job, you might know that your times to rest are:

  • after 5 on weekdays
  • weekends
  • 15 vacation days

As a freelancer, your potential times to rest are:

  • whenever

And of course, the flip-side of this is you can also work whenever.  This is one of the reasons we get so burnt out!

So, if you’ve decided you need some time to recharge, take it!

But set a time frame.

Cash in those imaginary vacation days and say, “I’m taking off the week of May 6th.”

Hold that time sacred and DO NO WORK.  Then clock back in May 13th, and get back to it.

Or, if you can’t realistically take a week off, schedule restorative time each week and say, “I’m clocking out at 5pm Monday-Friday.”

Hold that time sacred and DO NO WORK.  But remember, that means no watching Orange is the New Black before 5pm.

Which brings me to our next guideline…


So, now that you’ve established the time that you’re going to hold sacred for rest, let’s figure out what you’re going to actually DO with that time.

This means differentiating between activities that are restorative and procrastination activities that are depleting.

Restorative activities leave you feeling satisfied and often energized.  A short list of activities that are restorative for me are:

  • Board game nights with friends
  • Walking outside
  • Yoga/Lyra/Rock Climbing/weird and novel workout classes
  • Playing guitar
  • Watching Netflix

Some activities that leave me feeling super depleted are:

  • Scrolling through Facebook
  • Scrolling through Instagram
  • Scrolling in general
  • Watching Netflix

Notice how Netflix is on their twice?  That’s because depending on HOW I consume Netflix it can be either restorative or depleting.

Which brings me to my final tip…


Know that zone you get into when you’re doing your best acting work? That zone where you’re all in, completely and totally invested but not muscling anything.

THAT’S the zone you gotta be in to relax.

There’s a major difference between binge watching Netflix while updating your Instagram, and sitting down with a friend for a movie night with your phones in the next room.

Commit to your restorative time.  A shorter period of mindful rest will leave you ready to spring back into those career goals much much sooner.

So, what do you say?

Ready for that power nap?

Set that alarm and I’ll see you next week!



Sara Glancy is an NYC actor and the founder of Audition Rep Matchmaker, a service that helps match actors with the audition materials that will book them jobs.

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Originally published on on Apr 17th, 2018. Updated Nov 2018.  Photo by Jessica Osber.

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