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An Actor’s Productivity Checklist


Jen LevinI was in a recent therapy session (I’m currently in recovery for a binge eating disorder) and my therapist challenged me to track things regarding my recovery on a checklist for the next 90 days. I am working on that, but as I created my checklist I realized that this is a perfect actor challenge! It goes along with my 10 actor goals for the year, but this way I’m doing daily check-ins with myself.

So I created a productivity checklist regarding my acting career. I picked 10 things that I want to make sure that I focus on for the next 90 days. I’m going to track my successes and where I need to step things up. I’m about a week in, and I’ve already started to notice some patterns.

First, a little instruction on the checklist. There are 10 things listed at the top and then I wrote the dates for the next 90 days down the side. Each evening, I reflect on what I did and check off what I can. The goal is not to do all 10 things (although that would be amazing). But I should try to do something every day.

While you can pick whatever you want to have as your 10 things, here’s what I picked (and a little reasoning behind it):

  1. Audition. I think that this is pretty self-explanatory. When I get an audition, I check it off. Since this is not something I can control, I’m not too worried about how often I check it.
  1. Self-Submitting. I’ll admit that I’ve been slacking a bit in doing this. Sometimes I check online for notices multiple times a day. But there have been times where I haven’t checked for a couple of days. I’ve already noticed that I’m slacking on doing this on Fridays and the weekend.
  1. Rehearsal/Class. I’ve been meaning to get back into acting class so I have this on my checklist as a reminder. I am thinking about changing it to Rehearsal/Class/Booked Work because I’ve realized that I never made a spot to check off being on set for booked work (Freudian slip?).
  1. SAG-AFTRA Event. There are so many amazing events to go to that the union does, and I’ve been slacking in going to them. I want to make a more conscious effort to not only attend more events, but to become more involved in my union.
  1. WIF Event. I’m also working on being more involved in Women In Film. I haven’t stuck this in the same category as union events as those are mainly actors and WIF events are much more varied in the types of people who attend.
  1. Ms. In The Biz/Tweetup/Inside Acting/Actor Event. This category is for events for groups that I’m more a part of than WIF and the union. These include events for the writers of MITB, general events for readers of the blog, tweetups, Inside Acting events for the listeners, and Inside Acting events for those of us who work for the podcast.
  1. Research. This includes doing my work for the fall tv season, looking up information on the upfronts, and researching auditions that I have coming up.
  1. Sending Thank You/Congrats Cards. This is something that I do after upfronts, booking work, and meeting new people. All casting directors who has a show picked up after upfronts gets a congrats card for me. And when I meet new people, like the guest mentor I had in my Women In Film mentoring group, I always send a thank you note. These are all handwritten and hopefully help me stand out a bit more. And if they don’t, I still am happy to send them out.
  1. Online Networking/Interaction. When you aren’t busy doing other things related to your career, it is so important to keep an online presence. This could be on twitter by tweeting out industry news or replying to others in the industry, participating on message boards, or sharing news on Facebook. I try to do something every single day that helps me maintain not only a presence online, but a reputation as someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about news in the industry.
  1. Promotional Materials/Reel Work. I’ve realized recently that I really need to update my reel. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since doing the scenes I did and I really need something new. So I’m focusing on finding and creating scenes that best represent me and putting together a team to help me shoot it. I’m also hoping to update my headshots soon. I still look enough like my headshots, but I’d like to update them with my longer hair and some of the new clothes I have gotten. So I need to work on saving up money for this.

So those are the 10 things I’m focusing on for these 90 days. It seems like a lot and can feel a bit overwhelming, but I’m taking it day by day.

I’d love it if some of you would join me on this 90 day journey! If you are going to do so, please let me know in the comments and feel free to share the 10 things you are focusing on. I can’t wait to see where all of us will be in 90 days!


About Jen Levin

Actress/Blogger - I’m originally from the Bay Area, but I’ve been in LA for over a decade now, so I consider myself a native. I’m working as both a blogger and actress (with a couple of day jobs to pay the bills on the side). I love being in the entertainment industry where every day is an adventure! When I’m not working on my career, I’m either reading (I’m a total book nerd) or enjoying my newfound love for spin class (which is helping towards my goal of losing 100 pounds for the last time). I like to joke that I’m a girl with Southern charm and Jersey moxie, which I think has worked well for me so far!