Brad had me read a chapter of a book he's reading called The One Thing by Gary Keller. The chapter was on discipline - ch 6 if you want to look it up, called A Disciplined Life. The chapter debunks the idea of being a disciplined person and talks about how it's really just about repeating an action enough times so it becomes a habit. The magic number of repetition? 66. Which is different than the number 21 that I had heard floated around. The best thing about this chapter - because what he's saying is quite familiar and similar to other things I've heard around discipline - is that he's purporting that it might be effective to just focus on ONE action. And through that, the halo effect results - meaning all other things fall into place. He sites examples of people, who by focusing on one habit, then benefitted from spending less time watching tv, eating better, less stress, less impulsive spending, etc.
SO...the question for myself becomes - what is the ONE action? I was thinking about how I have focused on losing weight, being more organized, making better lists, working on clutter...this list goes on forever. And so I remember to pick my head up to see above the trees to say - well picking the one action would depend on the thing you want. If I want to be an actor, and continue to be an actor - shouldn't acting be my habit?
In the last 2 years or so, I've put in effort towards marketing and organizing and all the things I talked about in the paragraph above. But they were all so that I worked more as an actor. I can say for the last 4+ years, I worked regularly. Happy to report that I worked enough as an actor so that I could support myself. And let me also say that that is NOT with the support of my husband. This may seem like nothing to anyone else, but it's always been really important to me to tally my wages at the end of the year and see that whether or not I was married - I was able to support myself. Call me crazy or over-independent (can anyone ever really be too independent? don't answer that) but it gives me peace of mind that as I pursue a career in something that I find pleasurable and fun and well, like a dream - I am still practical and "paying my way".
So what I've deduced is this: Act. Every day. Thinking maybe 3 hours is a good number to start. Spend 3 hours acting. Because it's what I love most. So whether or not someone is going to pay me to do it - I should just spend time doing it. And acting with the material that I love most. Finding monologues, scenes, pieces to act that I find most compelling. I wish that I could say that most of the auditions I get are for plays or tv shows or films that I find incredibly compelling. And I will say that as I've gotten older and people have gotten to know me more in this industry - it has increased. But since I have this in my control - why not take the roles and scenes I find the most compelling and just work on those?
So that's my discovery for today. I hope this is somewhat revelatory and inspiring for you - whoever is reading this.
My other thing? I'm just trying to get the number of these blogs to 66 now so it becomes a regular habit. How exciting. To have this goal. Here's to 66.