“Want to get work? Book a vacation”. That’s the old adage in the entertainment industry. As soon as you purchase your ticket back home to visit family (or to a white sand beach to escape the winter) you get a call from your agent with the audition of a lifetime, or you’ve been direct booked for a sweet gig. Talk about bad timing!
I’ve spent my entire life waiting until the absolute last minute to book trips anywhere, in fear of missing out on an opportunity. “Yes Mom, I promise I’m coming home for Christmas. Yes I know it’s December 18th and I haven’t booked my flight yet. I just need to wait a couple of more days to make sure I don’t miss out on any possible jobs”. It’s so easy to become a slave to this idea and the thought that the next opportunity could be the one that changes your life forever – so you better not miss it.
This year, I made the choice to say “too bad” and I booked a trip to Bali for three weeks in January. To be fair, January is probably the safest time to leave the country as it’s generally a fairly slow time of year work wise – but still, the e-mail went out to my agent booking that time off without any hint of guilt. As I get older, I’m starting to realize that I want to carve out the kind of life I want for myself, as opposed to waiting around and letting others dictate how it should go.
For three weeks, I forgot about my wickedly fun but also difficult and stressful life as an artist and business owner. I didn’t check my Facebook or Instagram feed (I’ll admit, I did post some pictures of the epic adventures I was having) and everyone who e-mailed me got an out of office reply. At first it was hard to break those habits. Then within 3 days, I had no desire to be glued to my phone. I was more interested in what new and incredible things we were going to see that day. Lo and behold, by letting go of work, all of a sudden my brain had space to wander and be inspired. And what are artists without inspiration?! By deciding to take care of my wants and desires outside of work, I was fueling the artist inside of me without even knowing it. I arrived back to Toronto last week fresh (albeit quite jet lagged) and ready to attack 2017 with a newfound gusto that had started to peter out by the end of 2016.
So – next time you’re dying to go to a concert in another city, or miss your family and feel like you need some quality time with Mom and Dad, or want to travel to do a workshop or residency in another country, ask yourself – what’s best for my soul? Don’t get me wrong, we all still need to work and will spend a lot of time waiting by the phone, that’s just the nature of this industry. BUT you have the choice to put your wants and dreams first every once in a while. And take it from me…it’s absolutely worth it!