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Secrets to Staying Performance-Ready When You’re Not Booking!

As a freelance performer, your next booking is always on the horizon! But what happens in between?

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As a freelance performer, your next booking is always on the horizon! But what happens in between? It can be challenging to stay sharp and performance-ready without a current project to work on. Your mind can spiral downwards into thinking something is wrong with you as a performer or person. However, being a performer means there will be gaps between your showbiz jobs; it happens to most freelance performers! Reframing these negative thoughts and planning an intentional week will focus you on moving forward and taking control of your goals.

In this article, we’ll share the secrets to staying performance-ready when you’re not booking! The secret to keeping your skills strong and your mind focused between bookings, shows, and gigs. By creating a consistent practice and weekly schedule, taking care of your body and mind, staying involved in your industry, earning money through a side hustle, using downtime to learn and grow, and staying confident and optimistic, you’ll be on your way to landing your next booked and blessed hashtag in no time. So, let’s dive in and discover how to stay performance-ready even when you’re not performing.

Step One: Create a Consistent Practice and weekly Schedule

Creating a consistent weekly and practice schedule can help you stay sharp and focused on areas you may be neglecting or time you may be mindlessly wasting. It’s about getting intentional with your week. This involves two steps…

1) Write down everything your ideal week would contain, from workouts to social media planning time (hint hint, this article has a lot of ideas for great things to schedule in your week, so keep reading).

2) Layer intentional performance skills practice time into your week. This can be through a local or online class requiring you to train your skills or present performance material. It can also be at home filming your work and watching it back while critiquing yourself. The key is to be intentional.

Secrets to Staying Performance-Ready When You're Not Booking!

Performance practice is an invaluable part of honing your craft, as it helps to build muscle memory, refine technique, and increase confidence in your performance. Creating a well-structured schedule is essential to ensure that performance practice is as effective as possible. A good practice schedule should include blocks of time for learning new material, reviewing and refining already-mastered material, and hands-on performance. Additionally, it’s essential to take regular breaks throughout practice to keep the mind and body fresh. Schedule practice time into your weekly routine and stick to it; this will help you stay focused and make the most out of your practice session.

Build Your Support Network and Community

Your mental and physical health determines your quality of life. Focus on strengthening your friendships, meeting new friends, or giving to your community through service. This investment will be there when you need it on a tough day, so never take it for granted.

Create Your Own Work: Secrets to Staying Performance-Ready When You’re Not Booking!

When you are not, #bookedandblessed 😏 get your creative juices met by creating your own work or project. It may not be performing-related, but it could be. A contact I know created a 6 part true crime podcast when she was in a dry season for performance work.

If you do not know what to create, gather creative friends and brainstorm. You never know what potential you all have together, and you will find great fulfillment in getting your creative juices flowing.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind

One of the crucial elements to staying performance-ready in between gigs is taking care of your body and mind. Staying focused and maintaining the energy needed to perform your best is challenging without optimal health. But how do you take care of your body and mind? Scheduling regular physical exercise and other self-care activities can help keep your body and mind in top condition.

Integrating these routines into your calendar makes them a non-negotiable part of your day and ensures you stay on track. Additionally, taking care of your body and mind can help boost your confidence, which is essential for landing your next booking. When you feel good, you exude positive energy, and people are drawn to that. It’s also a great way to combat any stress or anxiety that may arise during the casting and auditioning process.

Now that you know the importance of taking care of yourself, the next step is staying involved in your industry.,

Stay Involved in Your Industry

Staying involved in your industry is crucial for staying performance-ready between gigs. It keeps you current on the latest trends, technologies, and best practices and helps you build and maintain relationships with key players in your field. Here are a few strategies to consider:

First, attend industry events and conferences. These events provide opportunities to learn from experts in your field, network with colleagues, and stay abreast of new developments. Look for events that offer career-focused workshops or opportunities to showcase your work. Follow the leading news sources for your craft to continue growing your knowledge about the entertainment industry and what is happening.

As a freelance performer, your next booking is always on the horizon! But what happens in between?

Second, participate in online communities and discussion forums. LinkedIn groups, Twitter chats, and Facebook groups are examples of online communities where you can connect with other professionals in your field. Joining these groups provides a platform to share your expertise, ask questions, and stay informed.

Third, consider volunteering or freelancing for a nonprofit or other organization that aligns with your values and interests. Volunteering not only allows you to give back to your community, but it also allows you to develop new skills and expand your professional network.

By staying involved in your industry, you’ll be better positioned to identify and capitalize on new opportunities. Plus, you’ll be well-prepared to take on your next booking confidently.

Fine Tune Your Materials and Social media Accounts

Performers need fresh headshots, lifestyle shots, updated CVs and Bios, excellent demo reels and self-tape recordings, and other marketing resources in their performing kit. If yours are outdated, not excellent, or lacking your latest work, now is the time to get your materials sharp and shiny.

You can also plan social media content, fine-tune your socials and branding, and invest time into creating new posts ready for when you are too busy in the future. And here’s how you can earn extra money through your side hustle. One of the top secrets to staying performance-ready when you’re not booking!

Secrets to Staying Performance-Ready When You're Not Booking!

Financially plan out your goals. Then earn extra money & start saving from your side hustle.

Step One: Make educated, achievable financial goals.

This means making a goal like ‘get rich’ achievable by working out what you need monthly and what you’d like to make… so your goal becomes, ‘make $4500 a month from my side hustle.’ Once you know the amount you need to earn, brainstorm what you need to do to achieve this number. Some ideas are selling something or finding a new income stream through babysitting, freelance writing, selling products online, or a weekend job. It can’t be from performing because it’s not a certainty. However, increasing the auditions you are searching for and therefore doing can move you towards this goal faster.

Step Two: Use Your Side Hustle to reach the achievable financial goals you have set

Not only can a side hustle with an actual financial goal in mind help ease financial stress, but it can also provide opportunities for personal growth and career development. For example, if you start a blog or create content for social media, you’ll have the chance to hone your writing skills, build an audience, and potentially attract new clients.

Or, if you decide to offer consulting services in your area of expertise, you can share your knowledge and expertise while also building a reputation as a thought leader in your field.

By focusing on your side hustle during your downtime, you’ll earn some extra cash that will be useful to save for future unexpected needs, stay engaged in your industry, and continue to develop professionally. And the more you learn and grow, the more prepared you’ll be to confidently take on your next booking.

So, take some time to think about what skills or interests you have that could translate into a side hustle. Then, take the first step towards making it a reality. Who knows – it could turn into your primary gig someday! You may also need the extra money for new marketing materials (like headshots) because this is one of the secrets to staying performance-ready when you’re not booking!

Using downtime for side hustles can also be an excellent opportunity to invest time in learning and growth.

Use Downtime to Learn and Grow

One of the best ways to use downtime between bookings is by investing in yourself and your skills. Whether it’s your performance technique, learning new software, or taking a class in a new subject, using downtime for growth can pay off in the long run. Not only will you be expanding your knowledge and skill set, but you’ll also be making yourself more marketable and valuable as an employee or freelancer. You may even have a vision for your own start-up or project!

The Secret to Staying Performance-Ready When You're Not Booking!

In addition to professional development, downtime can be an excellent opportunity to pursue personal interests and hobbies. Whether painting, writing, or playing an instrument, pursuing something you love can be a rewarding way to spend your free time. And who knows, it could even become a side hustle or creative outlet that brings in extra income. Get that start-up going!

You’ll stay sharp and expand your horizons Using downtime for learning and growth,. This makes it always easier to keep performance-ready. And when you land your next gig, you’ll be bringing more to the table and able to take on new challenges confidently.

So, take advantage of the downtime to invest in yourself and your interests. Remember that every moment can be an opportunity for growth. Another one of my secrets to staying performance-ready when you’re not booking is exploring ways to stay confident and optimistic during times of uncertainty.

Stay Confident and Positive: secrets to staying performance-ready when you’re not booking!

During downtime between gigs, it’s easy to feel discouraged and lose confidence in your abilities. However, staying confident and optimistic is essential in staying performance-ready. One way to maintain a positive mindset is to focus on successes and accomplishments. Take time to reflect on your past achievements and remind yourself of your capabilities.

Another way to stay positive is to surround yourself with supportive people. Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues, and let them know about your situation. Talking about your feelings and concerns with others can give you the support and encouragement you need to stay optimistic.

It’s also important to continue practicing a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep to maintain physical and mental health. Taking care of yourself can help you stay motivated and ready for your next opportunity.

Visualize Your Goals and the Success You Want to Achieve

Lastly, try to visualize your goals and the success you want to achieve. Here are two steps that will help…

  1. Create SMART goals. This means: A) Specific: Specify precisely what you want to accomplish⁠. B) Measurable⁠: Define the end result. C) Attainable⁠: Confirm that your goal is possible. D) Relevant⁠: Make sure your goal is aligned with your goals. And E) Time-Based⁠ goals: Identify an achievement date for your goal.
  2. Create a vision board with your goals and aspirations, and look at them daily. Visualization can help you stay focused and motivated on your journey to success.

By staying confident and optimistic, you’ll be able to approach your next opportunity with a clear and happy mindset. Remember to keep investing in yourself during downtime and to take advantage of every opportunity for growth.

Secrets to Staying Performance-Ready When You're Not Booking! Vision board your goals!

In conclusion, staying performance-ready between bookings requires consistent practice, self-care, industry involvement, side hustles, and a positive attitude. By committing to these habits, you’ll not only be better prepared for your next show, gig, or set, but you’ll also be growing as a performer. Remember, downtime doesn’t have to be wasted time. Keep pushing towards your goals and staying performance-ready; success as a freelancer will follow. As the great Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” So seize the opportunities that downtime presents, keep working hard, and you’ll find yourself being a ready performer.

With you on the journey, friend.


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I'm Lara, creativity cheerleader! 

G'day from this Aussie dynamo turned London lass, who embraced the Mama life in Melbourne before embarking on life in Atlanta, USA. With qualifications in arts education, life coaching, singing, dancing, and acting, I've sprinkled two decades of experience into my wild ride as a career artist. Cheers to big dreams and even bigger adventures! 

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