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When to Call It Quits at Your 9-5

Many actors and models have a “day job” when they’re first getting their start.  This is the consistent, often hourly gig that pays the bills – which is kind of important when you’re trying to make it in the industry.  You still have to be able to afford food and rent.

However, there are a few clear signs that it may be time to give up the day job you’ve landed, even if it means swapping for another.  After all, your career ambitions need to take center stage and you don’t want to maintain both if it’s simply not doable.  If you’re exhausted all the time or unable to make it to gigs, what’s the point, right?  Here are some other indicators it’s time to say goodbye.

It’s just not “you”.  If you’re stuck in a rut and are starting to realize that your 9-5 feels more like a twelve-hour shift, it’s probably time to switch things up.  Try to land something that stimulates your creativity so whatever you’re doing will translate to when you’re in front of a camera.  Maybe you decide to work at a theater or artsy knick-knack store.  You could take a position at a gallery, in event planning, or as a blog writer. 

You’re always unhappy. If you’re finding it’s especially difficult to get out of bed and head into work, this is not a good sign.  In fact, your day job may be making you depressed and sluggish, which is not a winning formula for success.  It doesn’t have to be your forever and ever, but your job should be a works-for-now and something you enjoy going to.  Try making a list of what matters most to you and see how much of this is evident in what you’re doing.  If you’re coming up empty, brainstorm alternatives.

You have zero free time. Not only will you need some time to show up to auditions, but you’ll also want to show up prepared.  This means you’ll need some extra space to yourself to memorize lines, get into character, and ensure you know where you’re headed to do a read.  If you are rushing from one obligation to the next and never have time to center yourself, it’ll be next to impossible to give it your all at an audition.

Remember, it’s all about balance when you’re focused on paying the bills while working your way to super stardom.  There are some positions that are more flexible than others and a better match for you.  You’ll know when you strike that balance, and when you do, your performance will shine!

 

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