Thespian Lifestyle

17 Ways to Stay Productive Between Shows

So you’ve just closed a show and are now in that awkward in-between phase. You might be going through a range of emotions like boredom, relief, confusion, anxiousness, and sometimes even post-show depression. But just because you aren’t actively working on a show doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to grow and improve. In fact, these down times are actually necessary for moving forward. So here are 17 great ways that you can stay productive between shows!

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1. Read

Try to read as many plays as you can during this break! Read old plays, new plays, and re-read plays that you didn’t understand the first time. Immerse yourself in knowledge and become unstoppable! Plus, this is a really great way to indulge in a bit of relaxation during this downtime as well.

2. Catch up on current events

This is an especially relevant suggestion for those who are into improv, as it’s going to be wildly beneficial to be able to bounce off of any and all topics that are thrown your way. A super easy way to regularly stay updated on current events is to subscribe to the Skimm➝.

3. Clean up your space

A clean space can usually result in a clean mind! If you surround yourself by clean and happy spaces, you just might come up with new ideas as to how you can move forward in your career. So use this time to deep clean and get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy!

4. Take lessons

If you aren’t already, get on those lessons and practice your craft! There are lessons for everything these days – online and off! Whether you’re looking for singing lessons, Shakespearean tutoring, or even online audition help, you’ll be sure to find what you need. These lessons will put you one step ahead of everyone else.

5. Get active

Treat your body to some whole foods and physical activity during this downtime. The more energy you spend, the more energy you create for yourself! And guess what’s going to get you through these down times? Energy!!

6. Get in touch with nature

We thespians spend A LOT of time indoors – and often in the darkest spaces with absolutely no windows. During your down time, it’s going to be essential that you get outside and breathe in some of that beautiful, fresh air. Go hiking, get on a boat, lie on the beach, take a swim. These outdoorsy moments are sure to spark some new ideas and creativity.

7. Research theatre opportunities

Make sure to keep putting yourself out there – send those applications, get auditioning, and line up some interviews. Don’t stress about it, but DO incorporate this into your schedule. This is how you are going to turn your downtime into a precious, temporary break.

8. Meet people

AKA networking! The theatre world is relatively small, and the more people you know, the better. You can even use networking apps like Shapr➝ to meet complete strangers for a coffee or a Skype call. Go to talks, events, after parties, opening nights, and everything you can think of that might get you connected to others in the theatre scene.

9. See shows

Just because you aren’t working on your own show right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support others. Plus, the more productions you see, the better you’re going to understand what makes theatre “good” (at least for you)! And if money is tight, you can check out these ways to get ways to get cheap theatre tickets.

10. Get inspired!

Read up on some interviews with inspirational figures in the theatre world. We even have our own interview series that you can work your way through. There you’ll find interviews with not only actors, but also sound designers, playwrights, costume designers, and more!

11. Further your education

Depending on where you are in life, a theatre degree can prove to be wildly beneficial! Check out our list of international theatre programs, and start applying. Or, if you’re not ready to commit to a full-on degree program, you can check out our list of online theatre courses!

12. Listen to new show tunes

Stay relevant and keep yourself up-to-date on the greatest show tunes by listening to some new musical playlists. And if you haven’t already, make sure to follow Theatre Trip on Spotify!➝

13. Watch theatre online

The digitization of theatrical productions is relatively new. But there are already so many resources and ways to watch theatre online. This means that you basically have no excuse to not be constantly watching theatre, even if you don’t have easy access to shows in your area!

14. Create your own opportunities

Call up your theatre friends and brainstorm ways that you can create your own opportunities! Put on a play in the park, record a radio play, use your available resources, and encourage one another to keep growing as theatre artists.

15. Watch a TEDx Talk

Did you know that there is an entire subsection of theatre-related TED talks? You can even sort by topics such as “biz”, “technology”, “community”, and “performance”. This is a great way to stay productive between shows while also embracing a bit of chill time. If you’d like to save yourself some time, you can check out this list of my favorite theatre TEDx talks – ranked!➝

16. Write a play

This doesn’t have to be a full-length piece of art. Play around with writing a short 5 or 10-minute one-act play! Even if you aren’t a playwright yourself, this exercise is going to help connect you to where the stories come from. And the more we understand one another’s fields, the deeper we can explore as theatre practitioners. Plus, you might even tap into an undiscovered talent for writing!

17. Enjoy yourself!

Try not to take this downtime so seriously, as sometimes our bodies are in need of a good old-fashioned rest. Have a bit of fun. Watch a movie. Spend time with family. And rest in knowing that this break is only temporary.

How do you stay productive between shows?

We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! Or if you have any big auditions coming up, let us know what you’re auditioning for!

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Stacy Karyn, Author of Stay Productive Between Shows.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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