• Ashley Craib

Do as I say, not as I do.

I have a bad habit of using chores as a distraction. If I have extra free time, in the back of my mind I know I could be writing, reading, or learning that new language I keep telling myself I'm going to learn. There's always something you can be doing to work on your career. My problem is, I'm either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. Sometimes I focus on the fact that some things I want/need to do for my career cost money that I don't have. Sometimes I find myself down in the dumps that day. There will be no particular reason for it. Random onsets of depression come with the territory of being an artist. It's just plain exhausting sometimes. You're juggling not only your day job that sucks the life out of you, but also classes, auditions, side projects, research, marketing, writing, reading, the list goes on...

So instead of being productive, I'll focus on chores. Laundry, dishes, scrubbing down the stove, cleaning the bathroom, organizing my closet...little tasks to keep myself busy and give myself the illusion of productivity. I'm not saying you shouldn't keep your house clean. But are you using it as a distraction like I am?

Here are things I haven't started because they seem too overwhelming to accomplish:

1. Writing my pilot.

I give this advice to my friends and boyfriend all the time. You just have to start writing. You'll never finish anything if you don't start. You can't get notes if you don't have a first draft. Just start writing.

2. Learning a new language.

I don't know what scares me about this. Maybe that I won't be able to retain it? Or that even if I do I'll sound silly when speaking it? Just little fears. What are you supposed to do when somethings scares you? Oh right, do that thing that scares you.

3. Learning an accent.

This is the same with learning a language. What if I just can't get it? What if my ears aren't well trained enough to hear how I am supposed to be saying something? I think if I had a class or a coach I'd feel more confident than trying to learn it on my own. -- Well then find a coach!

4. Training in a fighting style.

This is expensive. I'd really like to be trained in fighting to have as a skill for film. Along with the money aspect, I'm afraid of actually getting injured. Another fear keeping me from a goal. It's something I really want to do though. Maybe a goal to focus on in 2019?

5. Collaborating with other actors.

We have multiple sketches written out that need other actors. We've been so jaded by working with LA actors that we're afraid of setting up a shoot date and planning everything out. People have this idea that something should take an hour to film. Well if it's a short 30 second sketch with two people, yes. If it's a 3 minute web series episode it's going to take a bit longer to get all the coverage. Working out schedules, trusting an actor to show up and do the work, knowing our dog is going to be a part of the equation to shoot around, factor in lighting and sound, makes it a little overwhelming shooting with other people.

Instead of trying to really accomplish these things, and overcome the fear of failure associated with them, isn't it easier to just say "Oh I just don't have the time right now". It's easy to build the illusion that the other things are more important and pressing. They're not.

What are some things you're putting off until "you have more time"? Are you distracting yourself with busy-work?

Sometimes "later" becomes "never".

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