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When Acting Work Slows Down

When the Work Slows

by Darryn Glass

“Never stand still. Only stand still enough to learn, and once you stop learning in that stance, move off. Always keep yourself engaged, in theater, in whatever job you can get. If you can’t get an acting job, then go backstage. Or take tickets. But be around actors because that is where you will primarily learn.”
~Ed Asner

Sometimes, our acting work slows down. I am thinking about the interesting intersection of events that are occurring in my life right now.  I have been working steadily for 15 months in Chicago Theater, while adding to my on camera experience. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been so busy! But my steady work has come to an end (for now) and as I find myself without a booked theater gig or an upcoming project.

What is an actor to do when there is nothing on his “books?”  Let me share a few things I am dedicated to doing while not performing for the foreseeable future.

Keep Training

You never can know it all. When you are not preparing for or actually performing, get back into a class.  Find something you’ve always wanted to work on, whether its on camera, improv, script writing, script analysis, the options are limitless!

When the work slows, take acting classes at ASC

Acting Studio Chicago has many classes that can help you build your skills, from fundamental acting classes, to on camera, to voice over there’s a lot to choose from.  How about something different?  Look into the stage combat or dialects class.  Need to dig deeper, then look into the various scene study classes, or the workshops about Chicago Theater.  Wanting to understand the business more, then Getting Started in the Biz is a great one day class.  As always the staff of ACS can help guide you to the right place to develop your skills and help you move forward in your career.

Be Creative in a New Way

I have started to use the hashtag #CreativeYes.  It means to always say “YES” to any creative journey that you want to embark upon.  When things slow down, it’s a perfect opportunity to try something new. Don’t worry about the outcome, whether it is “good” or not (good is such a subjective word anyway) it’s worth doing.  By being creative and challenging yourself, you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of anyone that is just sitting around “thinking” about creating something.


Right now I am venturing into the realm of film editing, trying to learn the nuances of putting together footage that looks and sounds good.  This is in preparation to someday create a short film, maybe even from my own writing. I’m also working on a new VLOG called Tech for the Actor.  As I have been in IT for over 26 years, I have a unique perspective on technology, and perhaps by sharing what I am using and doing with it, other actors will be able to find nuggets they can use to help them along this journey.

Get out and See Something​

Theatre 1 at ASC

Lastly, if your not rehearsing or performing, go see others perform!  Chicago has a vast number of quality theaters around town with fantastic artists.  Look up what shows are currently playing. Try looking at chicagoplays.com to see what’s playing. Find theaters you have not been to before and go see what they are doing.  Find out what your friends are in and go support them in their craft (something we all need to do more of).

Even when the acting work slows down, there are still ways that we as performers can stay creatively active and involved. I think it’s essential to constantly challenge ourselves to be better at our craft.

Darryn Glass

Darryn Glass is an overall nice guy who is a musician and actor, works in the computer science field and takes classes at ASC. You can check out his website, here!