Yes, indeed, it's THAT time of year.
We are mammals after all - and hibernation sounds about right: a snuggly blanket, a good book, Netflix, carbs and comfort food, warmth, naps, dozing off...
Of course, that's a luxury this time of year, as auditions amp up, applications are needing to be addressed and filled out, learning your music, your lines, your role for that show you booked are necessary, getting papers written for your classes are going to be due...
Or is it a luxury?
This is the time of year where I don't make resolutions, but I actually give myself "still time" to contemplate what's on my plate and what I want to change.
Listen, I like a full plate. I like having things to do. I also like crossing things that are done, off the list. That sense of accomplishment is rather delicious indeed.
The other "list" I am maintaining is the "I don't need that anymore" list.
That's the list where I can say I have earned my way out of needing something; have decided to step away from something; have decided to clarify my involvement in something; have decided to simply something.
I am beginning to love this list, because it really does allow me to slow down, consider what I DON'T need, and how I will nurture what I DO need.
So often, we are constantly chasing what we feel we need to DO. What about sitting back, taking a breath and saying "what do I need to release?"
It can be simply giving yourself permission to let go of something - even temporarily - to allow a clearer head space; an opportunity to focus further elsewhere; a chance just to not only catch your breath, but BREATHE.
You do NOT have to go to EVERY AUDITION. Pick the ones you are right for, and the shows that make sense for you.
You do NOT have to apply for EVERY YAP. God knows, the application fees themselves could cause heart failure. Pick the companies that you respond to in their mission statements, how they build their seasons, what their reputation is.
You do NOT have to keep your priorities the same every day. Every week. Every month.
"Regular" voice lessons might mean weekly for a while, or bi-weekly for a while, or monthly for a while.
"Regular" work on your craft may mean you need to adjust how much time is spent on what aspect of the craft determined by simply what you NEED in that week, and for that commitment.
Give yourself permission to RELEASE a little. Stretch. Sigh. Eat some carbs.
And some days, it means, just pulling the covers back up and hitting the snooze one more time.
Life will be there when you get up. It will greet you fully whenever you are able to look it in the eye and say "okay, let's figure out what I need, and what I can release, TODAY." And even consider doing that in reverse order: "What can I release today, in order to embrace what is needed?"
Time to enjoy the stillness. And the fluidity we call an artist's life.
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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