For the best part of last year I spent my time stressing about not having enough time.
I would ask people within the acting and modelling industries for advice and I repeatedly heard, 'You have a chance to make a break in the next couple of years, but you are running out of time. After that, maybe go have babies and come back when you are much older.'
This sent me into a tailspin.
I have an expiry date?
I want to be a storyteller, not a 5-minute-fad!
For almost an entire year, no matter what opportunities opened up, or didn't open up, I never felt like they were enough. I consistently felt like I was running out of time.
The irony is that I took a full term of acting classes in the Alexander Technique where our teacher religiously recited the line, 'I have time'.
Yet, until recently these words didn't really have an impact on me at all.
OK, so I am not denying that there are trends for young people 'making breaks' more than within other age groups. And I know that there are often more roles for Gen Y than other generations. However, I can now say that the worst thing I ever did was focus on running out of time.
Exams are no different.
If you walk into room and immediately focus your attention on not having enough time, your performance under the exam conditions will not only be less than your best but you will also be incredibly stressed for the next three hours while you go ahead to complete your paper.
Personally, I don't want any more than three hours to do an exam! Think about it, do you really want to madly regurgitate the things that you know for much longer than that? Talk about writer's cramp!
Don't rush the process
In acting, this principle carries strong.
If you enter a scene and rush through your lines, you will miss your moments and won't be present. Basically, your scene will forever be amateur and won't get any better unless you take time to do your job properly.
As an actor you must get into the habit of telling yourself, 'I have time.' With time on your side you have the space to enter the space present, take your time to connect with the other human beings in the scene and then get through your lines.
Only when you give yourself time do you have the space to do what you need to do, and do your job properly.
When you have time you don't rush the process. You work hard moment to moment. The result is a scene with potential, a story that might actually hit the audience. If you miss the mark, well, give yourself time to go back and get it right. If it's opening night and you can't, take a breath, remind yourself you have time to do what you entered the scene to do, and keep your attention on the moment.
Television is fast. You learn the lines the night before and you film everything as efficiently as possible.
Film and theatre is much slower. You learn the lines months in advance, you rehearse, you ask questions, you research and much more time is allocated for filming.
The results are obvious. Typically film and theatre present characters with depth and a character arc that develops before your eyes within a couple of hours. However, television often has characters with less depth and character arcs can take an entire season.
So, like slow-cooked meat takes time to become full of flavour, I suggest that time develops the actor, but is also the essential ingredient to the success of any story.
Instead of focusing on how much time I don't have, I have decided to think about how much time I do have.
Yes, there are many in the talent industry who make a break as child stars or in their early twenties, but there are also many who make their first appearances later in life.
I have resolved to work hard now and trust the process, realising that I will take the time it takes to find my feet in the industry; if I make a break soon—great! If it takes 25 years, let it be so.
As I have settled into the process and stopped stressing about time, my tail-spin has ended and I have been able to enjoy where I am at today and refocus on what really matters.
You have time
Life isn't about a 'break'. We only ever live in the 'now'. Life is about keeping our eyes fixed on God, who called us to do what we do in the first place and to love those around us along the journey.
So, don't forget you have time to complete your journey. Work hard but don't let time get in the way of the things that really matter, and remember that in time you will have more flavour than you do today.
'Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.' ― Mother Teresa
Charlotte Goiris is an upcoming Aussie actress and model. She is passionate about social justice and story telling. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to receive regular updates @charlottegoiris
Charley Goiris' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/charley-goiris.html