Pardon me, do you have the time?

Jan 30, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Attitude, Thousands of Stories, Three Actors

I think about time a lot (and write about it herehere, and here). I wonder if I’m spending my time in the right places. If I’m using it in ways that will help me achieve my goals. If I’m taking enough of it for myself. I also wonder how other actors are spending their time. How much of their day is devoted to furthering their career?

From the actor standpoint, I think it’s important to simply look at how much time you spend on your acting career per week. How does that compare with where you spend the rest of your time? What does that say about your priority to your acting career? What does that mean in terms of having realistic expectations of results?

My former roommate (and all around bad ass) recently sent me an email noting that what we actually spend our time on is a better reflection of our priorities than what we say they are. Basically, we make time for the things we actually care about…or at least the things we choose to prioritize. He then asked me what my priorities (read: what I spend my time on) says about me, and if that matches with the person I want to be. Some time-related conclusions:

  • I prefer to write blog posts at 2:37 am then to sleep
  • I spent between 30 and 45 hours on acting-related endeavours (including class, watching TV for research, actor-specific networking, and the like) per week
  • This is a relationship-business, and it takes a lot of time to develop relationships
  • Sometimes I need to listen to my own advice
  • The little daily things over the course of 10 years add up to monumental change, even if you don’t notice it along the way
  • I always make time for friends in need. Always.
  • I am fortunate enough to have a life and schedule that afford me tremendous amounts of “personal time”
  • Large amounts of this personal time are spent reading and researching
  • My first year in L.A. has been spent primarily learning. Learning the business, learning how to be a better actor, learning where the heck my apartment is (our complex is confusing, ok. Don’t judge me).
  • In effect, I consider all of this learning a sort of working actor’s grad school (which I think should be the new motto of The Actors’ Network)
  • I’m getting better about scheduling my own time
  • Attempting to further multiple careers successfully requires sacrificing things like sleep, always remembering to eat, and shaving both sides of my face.
  • It’s extremely hard to get a sense of how long things take in this industry
  • I spend a lot of time “waking up.” This is perhaps related to the fact that I don’t get quite enough sleep. It is also most assuredly related to the fact that morning suck ass.

How are you spending your time? What does that mean? More importantly as my buddy said, do your calendar-priorities match your heart-priorities? Are you living in a way that your goals will be manifested?

Ben Whitehair is the Los Angeles contingent of this blog. Find out more information and view his materials on his website, or read the rest of his blog posts.