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Relationships are familiar

As easy as it would be to put the blame on your significant other for distracting you from your career, you can’t. Just like with family, it comes down to you and your personal choice.

Whether it’s blatant or more subtle, your relationship can only be a distraction if you choose to let it be. After all, you have the power to work on your relationship and to change the relationship. You have the power to set boundaries, find balance and have a healthy relationship.

However, many actors choose to let an unhealthy relationship become a distraction to their career…and the main reason why, as always, is fear.

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Working toward a relationship, even an unhealthy, unstable one, is often more familiar and more comfortable than entering into the unknown territory of an acting career.

Many of us play a similar role in our relationships as we do in our family. If you’re the point person in your family, chances are you’re the point person in your relationship. If you’re more dependent on your family, you probably expect the same from your partner. If you felt abandoned by your family or if you were left on your own, you might either be very independent or very insecure in your relationship. We can identify with these particular roles and responsibilities and we seek solace in their predictability.

When we take on these roles in relationships, they can become very comforting and familiar. Having a relationship can provide a wonderful escape from your acting career. Whether it’s going out to dinner, cuddling on the couch, making love, talking and yes, even working on your relationship, it’s a welcome reprieve from your career. It feels better for the moment and it’s easy to get wrapped up in that feeling.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you can’t do it all the time. If acting is important to you, then your acting career must be your first priority. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship as well. You simply need to find a balance.

Finding balance

Okay, after reading all of this, many of you are probably terrified of having a relationship while you pursue an acting career. Don’t be as it can be done. Here are a few simple tips to help you maintain balance in your relationship and to ensure that your relationship doesn’t become a distraction to your career.

Be upfront about your want

Know what your priorities are and share them with your partner. Tell them how focused, determined and passionate you are about being an actor. You also need to acknowledge, respect and embrace your partner’s goals, dreams and ambitions as well.

Talk about your life as an actor

Communicate to your partner about the time, commitment and sacrifices that an acting career requires so they know what to expect. Also, learn to be a good listener. To be a good actor, you need to be a good listener. The same is true in a healthy relationship.

Be with someone who’s supportive 

It’s important that you have a relationship with someone compatible who “gets” you and what you’re doing. Make sure you’re with someone who is loving, compassionate, understanding and for God’s sake, not someone who is needy! Your acting career is needy enough. Remember though, that support is a two-way street. If you want your partner to encourage you in your pursuit, then you must encourage them in their pursuit.

Set boundaries

As I said, it’s easy for you to get lost in the comfort of your relationship. Be aware of it. Make sure that while you make time for your partner, you also make time for your career work. Sit down with your partner and discuss each other’s career needs.

You need to let them know that you will need time and space — physical and emotional — to put toward your career. You have to also respect that they will need time and space for their own career as well. Make rules and try to stick by them.

As with most things, relationships come down to communication and commitment. I truly believe that when two people love each other, they want to help fulfill each other’s destiny. Find the person that brings out the best in you, not the worst in you. Find someone who loves you for who you really are. Always be open and honest in your relationship and help each other grow as individuals, free of distractions.

 


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Whether you’re auditioning for a co-star or a series regular on a half hour comedy, sitcom guru and acting coach Scott Sedita will teach you The Sedita Method of sitcom acting, which comes with it’s own terminology, coined phrases and unique glossary.

Scott’s internationally best-selling book, “The Eight Characters of Comedy. A Guide to Sitcom Acting & Writing, 2nd Edition” has sold over 100,000 copies and has become a “bible” to Hollywood comedy writers, directors, producers, and actors; and is used as a textbook in over 100 colleges and universities. Find Scott and his staff of professional actors, teachers and coaches at ScottSeditaActing.com.

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