International View: Keeping creative juices flowing during the holidays

Be it the summer or the winter holiday season, it’s the time everything slows down. However frustrating for the self-employed it it might be to take days off, taking time off to chill is important.

I love being busy. Call me a workaholic, but weekend or holidays, if I have something to do I’m capable of spending the entire day working on it. Even though I feel charged by doing what I love, I’ve recently experienced feeling burnt out too, because I went through a lot during the first half of this year. That’s when I realised how important it is to have a work-life balance.

Perhaps it’s only natural that when we really want something, and want to succeed, we take it very seriously. Like any other craft, acting needs you to put in the hours of practice. With experience comes confidence – something I’ve come to realise over time.

Yet there is one more thing I learned quite recently: what a difference having fun with it makes. But when you are burnt out, you obviously aren’t having fun. So I took some time off and travelled and stayed out of social media for a while. I started taking online courses, watching TV series and studying from behind the scenes. I started working on my own projects and I took a part-time job at a charity organisation. I’m also spending much more time with my family and friends doing fun stuff.

What a change it all made! By having things to do in between auditions and acting jobs, I no longer feel burnt out. It also stops me from beating myself up over auditions and prevents me from feeling frustrated about how slow things are during the holiday season (in Czech Republic, some theatres close during this period and casting agencies seem to hold fewer auditions too).

I’ve learned that taking time off from acting doesn’t hurt me or make me a worse actor. Doing everything else I also love and having fun with it makes me a happier person, and therefore a happier actor too.

Image: Lenka travelling in Venice

Lenka Silhanova

Lenka is an actor and blogger currently working in the Czech Republic and UK, who has also experienced the US market. She's sharing what she's learned and experienced with AYT readers. Lenka also has a personal blog called Acting Abroad and is helping potential drama school students on the IDSA blog.