Some of you reading this blog may not yet have all it takes to live exactly how you want to. Maybe your finances won’t allow it, maybe you’re busy caring for a sick relative, maybe you have other commitments or maybe you don’t have quite enough courage.
Whatever the reasons for your lack of action so far, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways you can temporarily escape from your job without having to quit.
Think of these activities as weekly mini-vacations where you can forget about work and live as another person for a few hours. I suppose some would call them hobbies. I consider them integral to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and staying creative.
I’ve used a number of different types of escapes successfully in the past when I wanted to get away but couldn’t take time off. I’ll profile some different rejuvenating activities in coming posts.
This time I’d like to share my experience with taking a beginning acting class. If my idea of an escape option doesn’t strike a chord with you, hopefully it will at least help you to think of other ways to get away.
Acting Class Isn’t Just for Actors
Taking an acting class is probably a really scary idea for most people. Getting up in front of other people to act out a character definitely takes guts.
The benefits of taking an acting class for most people aren’t in learning to be the next Sean Penn, Frances McDormand or Phillip Seymour Hoffman. As a casual acting student, the real value in taking an acting class is in self exploration and understanding.
Taking a beginning acting class from a serious instructor (preferably someone who teaches method acting like Shelley Mitchell in San Francisco) is an incredibly enriching and therapeutic experience.
To play another character effectively, you first have to understand who you really are underneath the public facade you wear every day. You must get to know what makes you tick and why you act how you do when confronted with uncomfortable situations. This process of understanding can lead to incredible breakthroughs in personal growth.
Taking an acting class can be a wonderfully transformative experience for most people. There are a number of other benefits we haven’t discussed including gaining confidence, becoming a better speaker and understanding other people’s emotions and motivations.
Anyone who wants to make major life changes and understand themselves better would do well to take an acting class.
If you’re on the fence about what an acting class could mean to you, pick up a book about acting like “Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws in The Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters” by Susan Batson. Her book distills much of the insights you’ll gain from taking a class. Don’t think you can get away with just reading the book though. You’ll need to experience what she’s talking about to have any chance of meaningful change.
Have you had a positive experience with taking an acting class? What other ways do you escape from your job? Let me know in the comments!
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photo by Michael Connors for openphoto.net