3 Things From the Holiday Season That Make You a Better Actor

This season, take a moment to see how the holiday spirit can positively affect you as an actor. Here are three things to think about all year long!

Gratitude The holiday season is a time for reflection. It’s a time to think over and take stock of all that you have and everything you’ve achieved over the year, as well as a time to appreciate all the loved ones in your life. We all know that there are people who have much less out there, and that we are very lucky to even be in the position in which we currently find ourselves.

But how long does that gratitude last? Typically not for very long, maybe a week or two? Suddenly we’re back in the grind and the hustle, and asking ourselves, “Why didn’t I book that job?” or “How is that person doing compared to me?”

But what if you carried that gratitude into the new year, and more specifically, into your work? Gratitude for the jobs that you have gotten (no matter the size of the role or scope of the project). Gratitude for the auditions that you get (no matter when they come or how often). Gratitude for the relationships, friendships, and connections that you have made. Gratitude for the simple fact that you, as an actor, get to pursue your dreams.

Life-Enriching Experiences Over the past few weeks you’ve probably done a number of things that had nothing to do with acting. Maybe you’ve played board games with the family, donated time and energy to a food bank, or made snow angels with someone you love. Maybe you just had some much-needed time off. You have lived a life outside of your chosen career, and potentially made memories to last your lifetime, and you have made your life richer for it.

One of the ways that we can continue to grow as artists and actors is by giving ourselves these life experiences. Audiences want to see real people living real lives; and by getting out there and having true experiences outside the world of acting, be they positive or negative, we have a much deeper well of emotion and frame of reference.

The more life experiences that we have, the greater our range as actors. Our understanding of the human condition grows as we build this collection of events and experiences. Get out of your comfort zone a little, and see what the world has to offer. You will be a greater person (and hence a greater actor) for doing so.

Fun Holidays can sometimes be hard for people. There can be loneliness, family conflict, and sometimes, painful memories. But, hopefully, the holidays also have some joy in them, and some fun. Ideally, you had some special moments with friends and family, you gave and received gifts, or simply had a moment or two of feeling at one and peaceful with the world, which gave your heart a little joy.

Although this feeling isn’t coming directly from your craft, it is the same reason why you entered into this career in the first place. These are the same feelings you had when you first discovered acting. Take that feeling with you every day. Bring that feeling of joy and fun with you into the audition room and watch it transform your experience of auditioning. Forget about getting the job, and instead, bring yourself back to that feeling of joy and watch how contagious it is for everyone around you.

This is a special time of year for many of us. A time of reflection, peace and love—a time for refueling and for rebirth. And in the practice of mindfully bringing these aspects into our lives, even just for a little bit everyday, you will find that you create for yourself a much more happy and fulfilled life, and therefore a much more successful career.