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Trying To Top 2015

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While I think that every year is a successful year for me, I think that 2015 was a particularly good year for me. I’ve been able to accomplish things I’ve wanted to do for years and took steps in my career that I felt were so out of my reach.

Some of the highlights of 2015 for me included getting back into an improv class. That was something that I said I would do every year for several years. I hated that I was breaking a promise to myself each year. But last year, I did it. I had my graduation show from the first level at UCB a few weeks ago and I’m already planning on how long it will take me to save up for the next level.

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I also got myself in a much better day job setup. I still am lacking flexibility in one of my jobs (and I’m working on that now), but I was able to get a second day job that works with my schedule and allows me to make enough money each month that I’m in a much better financial place and finally taking steps to pay off my debt. And I had some amazing auditions (including recurring guest stars and series regulars) and got to work with coaches that I can trust and know that I can call last minute to get in a coaching session.

With all that good stuff from last year, it seems a bit tough to improve on things for this year. I want to keep taking steps and leaps forward in my career and it can be frustrating when things sometimes are out of my control (like booking work). But I’ve found a couple of key areas that I want to focus on this year to make 2016 my best year ever!

First of all, I’m working on my day job situation. While it’s better than lots of jobs I’ve had in the past, one of my main day jobs has lost the flexibility I had when I started working there. It hasn’t been a huge issue yet, but I can see it becoming an issue in the future. So I’m working on seeing what other jobs I can do that work with my career and schedule and pay a decent amount. Fortunately, I’ve been very vocal with my friends about this so they are all on the lookout for me for jobs.

Next, I want to work on making my home environment the most efficient for me for my acting career. It’s getting pretty close with all of the organizational things I have in my home office setup (which is my computer desk and a filing cabinet), but I know that things can be better. I want to be more efficient with my cards that I send out to casting directors when they have something great happen to them. I want to set it up so my free time can be spent more productively. For that, I think I need to make my desk more fun and not just where I sit to work my day jobs for several hours a day. And I want more things that motivate me in the space to remind me why I work so hard.

Finally, I want to continue with classes and coaching. Once I have the money saved up, I’m planning on going to the next level of classes at UCB. I’m also looking to see if there are any other classes I’d like to take and if there is any way I can barter to help pay for the classes (I’m also looking into that option at UCB). And while I’ve worked with coaches on series regular auditions in the past, I want to find a way to have the money to work with coaches on other big auditions like the guest star ones. I don’t know if that will make the difference in me getting callbacks or booking, but any coaching I can get will help me in the long run.

All of the things I’m looking to work on this year are dependent pretty much on me only. That’s much better than setting a goal of booking XXX number of roles in a year. I can’t control how many roles I book, but I can control how I run my career while I’m waiting for those bookings.

I’d love to hear how you are all planning on having an amazing 2016! Feel free to share your plans in the comments or tweet them to me! Let’s work together to stay on track and make sure that we do all that we dream of doing this year.

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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!