One of the peculiar side-effects of being in the acting business is that you never knows what you'll be doing on any given day. Ever.
I make plans, but everything is contingent on whether or not I get an audition or a job for that day and time. Normally, we're given the details of an audition the night before, but often it's the same day, and I will suddenly have to scramble to rearrange and make things work as best I can. Plans often get scrapped.
In addition to this day-to-day improvisation, we also never know when/if we'll get a job. We have no idea how much money we'll make in any given year. We can't budget. We can't schedule. We have no game plan.
It has suddenly occurred to me that this is not normal.
I hear people say things like "we checked our budget and figured out exactly how much we could spend" and I don't have a clue what that's even like. For us, if we have the money, we can afford it, and if we don't have the money, we can't. That's not to say that there's ever a time when we truly don't have any money, because we're compulsive savers. We save and invest and mutual fund. What we don't always have is income. So the rule is that if we don't have any money coming in, we can't spend anything. A good year is one in which we have been able to add to the savings, and a bad year is when we've had to eat into it.
And the planning thing can be a problem. People will ask me if we're available to do something a few months away, and I just shrug. Who knows? If something is important, we can "book out" with our agents, which basically means that they won't submit us for any jobs that shoot during the "book out" dates. But that means that we're missing possible job opportunities, and believe me, we don't want to miss out on any opportunities.
So we usually try to just wait until the last minute and then kind of...wing it. Instead of having a game plan, we just have an...outline that we try to follow.
Jimmy has a cousin who plans out every detail of everything she does. It fascinates me. She'll plan vacations far ahead of time, and have detailed itineraries of every activity they will do. I try to do this for our vacations. I swear I do. I attempt to make decisions and plans and reservations, and I just can't do it. It's as if I've gotten so used to winging it, that I can't do otherwise.
I'm thinking this can't be a good thing. It's crazy stressful. It can't be good for the health, right? I think about people who have a regular salary and envy them so much! To actually know how much money you're going to make seems amazing. To know exactly which two weeks you will have off and be able to schedule a vacation for which you budgeted. Wow. To be able to actually promise your kid that you will do something with him and know that you won't have to welsh on your promise? Brilliant.
On the other hand...
It's never the same old same old. Not knowing what you're going to do tomorrow makes life a bit of an adventure. We constantly improvise. It's not boring. It can be trying, but never boring.
So there you have it. I guess I'm a winging it junkie. While I love the idea of security and constancy, I think that in reality, it would make me...bored. Sigh.
What are you? A game planner or a winger?
Check out our other Super Bowl Speak spinners (I was "Game Plan", what did the others choose?)
Come back on Monday for Ginny Marie and my Spin Cycle topic for next week!
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