What Acting School Taught Me About Handling Difficult Transitions

I woke up feeling a little weird this morning.

Not terrible—just oddly uninspired and unmotivated.

I did NOT feel like writing a blog post.

(This, unfortunately, is usually a pretty good sign there’s something on my mind that I should write a blog about.)

That’s why I’m in your feed today.

To talk about transitions.

Fall is hands down my favorite season. (The sweaters, the tea, the crunchy leaves, what’s not to like?!?!)

But, like many people, the stark shift from summer to winter can leave me feeling unmoored. My schedule has changed, but I haven’t yet fallen into the daily and weekly routines that ground me and make me feel like a person.  Auditions have started to pick up, but we’re not in the reliable chaos of winter audition season yet.

In short, we’re in between.

And if you’ve ever taken a song interpretation class, you know that “in between” is one of the most difficult and crucially important place to be.

Here’s some advice lifted from one of my absolute favorite acting teachers at NYU:

If you’re struggling with a specific beat of a scene or song, you need to look at the moment BEFORE that beat. 

People would get hung up on the big emotional climaxes of their scenes or songs.

Oh no! This is the part of the scene where I’m supposed to be weeping on the ground. Why can’t I land this moment?!?!

The answer, of course, was they had not set themselves up for success in the previous beat. Often, we pay so much attention to the big splashy climax, that we don’t do the kind of homework we need to for those smaller transitional moments that get us there.

This is also what I see happening EVERY year around audition season.

When May rolls around, many actors are exhausted, frustrated, and confused.

I don’t get it. I worked my ass off Jan-March. I was going to multiple auditions a day. What happened?! 

This is the part where my teacher would tell them to look at the beat before.

What were they doing in Oct-Dec to set themselves up for success?

  • Were they researching the upcoming seasons and making sure their audition books were full of the types of songs and monologues they need?
    (For help with that bit, get on my coaching calendar ASAP!) 
  • Were they in class getting feedback on their work?
  • Were they establishing the habits and routines that would help them keep their health and sanity when things picked up? (Make time for self-care NOW.)

And look, I am 100% guilty of not doing all the above things.  Today I hit the snooze button. I’m a week late in updating my audition journal, and my “daily meditation practice” is 2 weeks overdue.

I’m not saying any of this is easy.

But you and I both know that it will be 900x harder to start these habits when we’re getting slammed by audition season in January.

So…how can we smooth out this transition a little? 

What’s one thing you can do TODAY to set yourself on the path for success in January?

For me, it was writing this blog and meditating for 5min.

(Baby steps, people.)

What are you gonna do today?

Throw your commitment in the comments for some accountability!

Wishing you tons of love as you work those autumnal beats!

-Sara

P.S. If your one step for the day is starting to get your audition book in shape…I have coachings available. Hit me up ;)


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.

Have a hole in your audition book?!

Download your free copy of Audition Rep Matchmaker's ULTIMATE Audition book checklist here!

Originally published on saraglancy.wordpress.com on Nov 16th, 2018. Photo by Jessica Osber.

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