Actors and artists “lose their spark” for any number of reasons. Burnout, dry spells, pandemics (cough, cough, 2020), or feeling “stuck” are just some of the culprits. Lack of inspiration can feel daunting and demoralizing, but it doesn’t have to slow you down. Here are five things you can do to help get the creative juices flowing again.
1. Revisit Your Favorites
Remember the first movie that made you want to be an actor? That performance that gave you goosebumps? Go back to things that have inspired you in the past. Try to reconnect with the part of you that was thrilled by the storytelling, rather than stressed about surviving as a freelancer. If your spark feels dead, you need to rediscover your joy in acting, and old favorites are a great place to start.
2. Consume New Works
If you feel stuck, it’s time to think ahead. Read plays and screenplays by emerging artists. Watch indie films, or see live performances by innovative groups. Understanding what is current in your industry can help make you feel connected to your community. Sometimes passion and drive can be contagious. Surround yourself with groundbreaking art.
3. Change Gears
Do something creative that’s not acting. It doesn’t have to be anything momentous. Just something you connect to that helps you feel artistically engaged. Writing, painting and craft projects are just some ways to get back in touch with your creative self. Make sure to choose something that is just for fun, with no pressure to produce. When your inspiration has deserted you, you need to free yourself from expectation to give yourself the freedom to play and grow.
4. Learn Something New
Learning a new skill is a great way to focus your creative energies and free up headspace to play. It also has the potential to expand your résumé, so it’s a win-win. Take that acting on camera class you’ve been putting off. Or that master class on auditioning, improv, voiceover. Find something that piques your curiosity and shake off the cobwebs.
5. Get Some Outside Input
Connect with friends and colleagues who are feeling strong and inspired. Get that contact high. Sometimes it’s easier to get fired up when you’re talking with other people who are passionate about the same thing.
The important thing is not to panic or get discouraged. It happens to the best of us. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost your edge, and it won’t last forever. Allow yourself to enjoy the process of recharging. You might learn something new about yourself, and you’ll come out on the other side stronger, inspired, and ready to tackle the next project.