Contributed by Guest Blogger of the week, James Carter.
I'm writing as I head out to Montauk, NY on The Jitney. It's an annual getaway my lady and I do with some of our closest friends. We look forward to it all summer, for it's a time to relax, sit on the beach and have some of the best ice cream in the world.
In the not so distant past, I didn't take vacations. I remember times when I didn't leave NYC for two and three years at a time. I always had an excuse. Usually, it was lack of funds or being busy. Often, it was both. Then, one day I met this woman who vacationed. I mean, that's what she *does*. If she could live her life vacationing, she would. And I learned the value of getting away.
It's so easy to get burnt out - especially at the OOB level. We have few resources, little money and more often than not we're working day jobs on top of the full time hours spent writing, directing, designing, acting or producing. Sometimes, we feel if we feel if we leave town we'll miss out on opportunities.
But, if we don't take a break once in a while, the creative juices freeze up. Personally, I become a nervous wreck. It's imperative we rest. Sure, there's "super people" out there who run on two hours sleep a night and never take a vacation, but I just can't do that. NYC has a pace that is unlike any other. It amps up and sucks dry.
My recommendation: Get outta town!
Can't afford it? Save $5.00 a day. It's costing me $400 to stay with friends in a hotel/motel on the beach for 4 days. We put some money in a kitty, buy groceries, drinks and firewood for a campfire on the beach, and we just chill out. If you save $5 a day for 80 days, you've got enough cash to get away for a long weekend. Still to rich for your blood? Go camping. Or, find a friend with a house in New Jersey, Connecticut or Long Island so you aren't paying for a hotel. You know someone who will put you up for a night or two, and you don't have to go far to find respite.
Got a gig coming up? There's always a gig coming up. If you use this excuse, you'll never truly live, and more likely than not, you're not being picky enough with the work you're doing. True, work begets work, but how many craps shows have you done that suck your soul (and pocketbook) just because you think there *might* be an opportunity? Let this one go, focus on you, and when you return, you'll have clearer eyes to make better career decisions that will take you further.
This may be my last post for the week, since I'm heading off to "The End." The nickname for Montauk is "The End" because it is the last stop on the LIRR in Long Island. I like this, for it always feel like I'm going to the edge of the Earth, somehow. I feel like I can disappear into nothingness for a few days, and return rejuvenated. Tonight, as hurricane Earl smashes into the coast of Montauk I hope it isn't truly "the end," but I have a feeling it won't be. I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be a beautiful, sunny, new day.
Thanks to everyone at the Innovative Theatre Foundation for a chance to sound off here. You guys are tops.
Looking forward to seeing everyone when I get back!