How to Feel Like an Artist in the Town That Makes Big Momma’s House 3 | Guest Post

The following is a post from creative and business mastermind Laura Simms, full bio at end.

Angelinos, can we agree? For all the lovable things about LA, it has a special way of sucking the magic out of acting.

Most LA actors fall in love with the arts in their hometown, move to LA to play bigger, and end up working in entertainment. The arts vs. entertainment: similar, but distinctly different.

Hustling in entertainment, there’s just so much to do. That feels like it has nothing to do. With art. It’s easy to loose your roots, sense of purpose, and passion when you’re driving to Burbank for auditions, workshopping in Studio City, taking class in Hollywood, sending postcards, having coffee with that girl from your power group, spiking imaginary beach balls in commercial auditions, all while being your Best Self! and showing up with the hairdo in your headshot (why did you let the MUA give you Texas curls?).

But you are an artist. And if you don’t feel like one, you gotta fix that. It’s better for your spirit, and your bottom line. When do you do your best work? When you can bring the goods with confidence, artist to artist.

Here’s my short list for reigniting your artist-spark:

  1. Do theatre. Do theatre that you care about. Not just that lame LA doing-a-play-to-showcase-for-something-else thing. Do work that matters to you in front of a live audience.
  2. Start your own middle finger project. You never get cast as the weird neighbor with 7 cats? Cast yourself. Do a webseries, film, sketch comedy, put on a reading. Create your own content.
  3. Change mediums. You gots to cross-train those creative muscles! Blog, paint, direct, write music. Do anything but perform.
  4. Get out of LA. Not forever. Or maybe forever. LA is not a good fit for everyone, and there’s no shame in that. But at least leave for a long weekend every now and then to recharge and get some perspective. You might be surprised at what you miss and what you can live without.
  5. See live performance. Not your friends’. You get more Facebook invites to see friends’ plays than Charlie Sheen gets *insert something trashy here.* Ditch your friends for a spell and see shows out of pleasure and curiosity.
  6. Do improv. Get on your feet & collaborate. You will fail and succeed so many times in a night. It’s a rush.
  7. Move your body. Dance, caopeira, contact improv, martial arts, clowning. Heck, Zumba will do. Your body is a coiled spring of strength, agility, and instinct. Test it.
  8. Stand for something. I’m a big believer that art is activism. Become an activist. Take a stand. Go to a rally or protest. Volunteer. Get involved. Say something with your actions.

Your sense of artistry and capability are worth investing in. How do you stay fired up?

Laura Simms helps creatives design the life & work they want at Create as Folk. Life coaching collides with creative career coaching. Pow! Strategy, momentum, results. Find her on twitter @laurasimms, and learn how to work one-on-one. Wanna check her actor cred?