How to Protect Your Self from Burn Out
This week’s blog prompt is how to keep inspired or get out of “Artist’s Block.” There are many things that come to mind especially as someone who has experienced “burn out” a number of times. By the third time I realized that I was in a “burn out” state of being again, I figured I needed to find a new way of being, and reframe how I viewed my relationship to my work, my Self and my life.
One of the tools and practices that I’ve applied when I embarked on this “Juilliard Journey” is the art of slowing down. As an ambitious aspiring artist, I had found myself running, jumping and leaping most of the time in my teens and early twenties. That way of being did not allow time and space for me to find my Self in what I did. Looking back, that might have contributed to why I found myself lost most of the time. I am learning that life is a sort of pilgrimage, rather than a race. It is the practice of listening, the inner listening, the inner presence, that allows for me to see where I should go next.
In more practical terms, when I feel lost or clouded by noise I specifically carve out “alone time” or “quiet time” for myself. I have found creative ways of carving these spaces for myself in a 13-hour day schedule in a demanding conservatory program. I found nooks and crannies within the building where I can eat alone during meal breaks, or pass through a different hall way back to the dressing rooms during a ten-minute rehearsal break in the evenings. I plan my life a week in advance (schedule scene study rehearsals with scene partners, find out when I can do laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) so I can pace myself and allow time for sleep or to write in my journal.
I am a 28-year-old woman in my third year of training at the Acting Program of the Juilliard School Drama Division. I have been performing on stage since I was thirteen. I am finding that there are seeds I’ve planted more than 10 years ago that are finally coming to the surface and yet, I still see a pilgrimage ahead of me. When I feel the need to run and grab ahold of something, I remind myself to be still and stay open and present. For I trust that as I continue to live my life and stay true to my path as I am doing, what will be meant for me will come.
REGINA DE VERA
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES