Back to School

Today I’m feeling like an energetic bundle of excited nerves.
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Today is my first day of school.
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While I love learning and I love hard work, I’m also very good at stretching myself too thin. Here’s to my goal of maintaining a little bit more balance in my life this year.
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For almost two years now I’ve been seeking something. Some sort of work I can do alongside acting that allows flexibility and remote working. Something that satisfies me, that utilizes my skills and allows me some semblance of control. Because, let’s face it the world of acting offers little of it.
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Like most actors I know, I work multiple jobs: serving, nannying, teaching, a variety of simulation work. I love them each in their own way and feel grateful for the life skills each offers me. I plan to continue working each of these jobs.  As I look farther ahead however, I seek to simplify. To develop new skills and to sustain myself financially. (Life isn’t as fun when you’re broke). I have friends who have started photography businesses, who consult, and who sell their designs. I’ve watched their journeys admirably and enviously, seen how they have started something for themselves that satisfies their person and their pocketbook.
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To this end, I’ve enrolled in the Professional Communication Diploma Program at Douglas College. My belief and hope (because how can you ever really know) is that this course equips me with the skills necessary to pursue freelance writing. Writing for a variety of sectors including Corporate, Publishing, Government and Non-profit. Throughout the course of the program I will build a portfolio, participate in an internship, and learn new skills such as design, editing, and pitching.
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As my friend Meghan so eloquently put it, (she is a writer after all),  this is a strategic move. As artists we rarely wear one ‘hat’ (as so many of us like to put it). Most of us are actors SLASH singers or directors or, in my case, writers. And even a single hat we own (I like to think of my ‘Acting’ hat as being a baseball cap I can wear in different ways, which is slightly hilarious because I can’t remember the last time I wore a baseball cap) has three layers: Theatre, Film and Voice Over (this one is still in progress). My ‘Writing’ hat (I picture an oversized toque I can slide over my eyes to either imagine a scene or descend into the despairing blackness that is writers block) has a  Playwriting and a Screenwriting layer, and now I’m simply adding a third Business layer. New layers strengthen the overall insulation right?
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So here I go. I’m going to add a new layer to one of my hats, I’m going to add some new tools to the toolbox (whichever cliché you prefer). I feel out of my element but, let’s face it, when do I not. That’s what being an artist is. I sometimes feel like I live my life in the element of  ‘hopeful, uncomfortable, fulfilled, anxiety.’ That’s a thing right?
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The next two years are about maintaining balance while throwing myself into the deep end. (Ps I just saw ‘A Star is Born’ and you should too.) I’m diving into school (part-time), voiceover, and screenwriting. I’m continuing, with as much gusto as ever, to act, tell stories, improve as an artist, and write plays. I plan to travel. (Fingers crossed I get into the Iceland Fringe!).
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So for anyone else who is seeking more balance- I’m with you. Let’s do it together, k?
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