It’s the part of an actor’s job we don’t spend a lot of time talking about. We like to be busy, to know what projects are coming around the corner. But the fact is, actors (and directors and writers and so on…) spend a lot of time waiting.
Waiting to hear from this job or that. Waiting for auditions to come up. Waiting for their big break.
Under the #Covid19 pandemic, the world is in a time of waiting. Waiting to see if our #socialdistancing measures will be effective. Waiting for the schools, restaurants, movie theaters, play productions, libraries and so on to open their doors again. Waiting for the anxiety and fear in the wake of uncertainty to subside.
What can we do in this time of waiting?
Rest is such a necessary part of our existence that God built it into our natural rhythms of life, yet we do not take it seriously. We run ourselves ragged, maybe trying to get the minimum recommended hours, but working hard seven days a week. So when everything shuts down and social distancing is encouraged, i.e. when rest is handed to you on a disinfected platter, take the time! You might even find some habits that stick around longer than the quarantine.
Rest does not mean “binge watch Netflix” or “lie around on the couch from sunrise to sunset”. Healthy rest is setting a rhythm of activity for your day. Wake in the morning, get dressed, make your bed. Do things around the house. Go for a walk. Read a book. Play. Eat nutritious food at regular intervals. Wash your dishes. Go to bed before the day is over (that is, before midnight).
Most creatives I know have at least a dozen ideas simmering on the back burner. They simply lack the time to develop them.
Here, *cough, cough* (clearing my throat, not a virus!). Take some time!
Shakespeare wrote a number of sonnets during the Plague when the theatres were shut down. Pull those ideas out of the back of your brain, dust them off, and see what might come of them!
If you don’t have any projects calling for your attention, focus on your craft. Take an online class. Build an audition book. Work out. Practice singing. Work on new skills and keep your current ones sharp.
We live in an unprecedented age of communication. Honestly it’s too much for me sometimes. I’m overwhelmed by the options. Nothing will ever replace face to face, in person contact, but in this time of social distancing, there are ways we can reach out.
Write letters. Marco Polo. Zoom. Zello. Facetime. Google Chat. Text Message. The sharing of Memes through Instagram and Facebook. Email. And those are just the ones I am aware of (because I am old and more and more out of touch with ever changing technology!)
Take a walk through your neighborhood and say hi (from a reasonable distance) to your neighbors. Check on them and make sure they have everything they need. Offer to go to the store or play with the kids. Be responsible, wash your hands, and let the people you love know that you care.
Spend TIME in prayer. As you walk through your town, pray for the establishments that can’t be open right now. Pray for your neighbors. The schools, the teachers, the students. Pray for the leaders who are making these decisions.
Do more than the standard 10 or 30 minute devotional reading of the Bible. Dive deep into a study (might I recommend the Script Study for just such a venture?). Savor the Word. Dwell on it.
Waiting may not be comfortable, and even less welcome when it is forced upon us. But like so many things, there is good to be found when we embrace it.
How are you surviving the waiting? Share your thoughts at the All the World a Stage Facebook Community
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