Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers like you get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Hello. Hello my friend. Welcome towards that move me. I'm Dana. I am stoked that you are here and I am stoked that Riley Higgins encouraged me to make this episode, which is all about burning out on auditions <laugh>. Indeed. Uh, this episode will focus specifically on a dancer's experience of auditions, but so much of what I'll talk about today applies for actors and other creative types who find themself offering their time and talent for free to someone else with the hope of being hired for money.
Speaker 0 00:01:13 <laugh> audition burnout, Uh, yeah, that's what I'm gonna call it. At very least it can become audition fatigue. I think almost 100% of us will experience audition fatigue at some point. Really, I, I believe this happens to rookies and veterans alike. Although the circumstances are usually different for those two groups, the results are usually the same. The results are the same as with any kind of burnout. The results of feeling emotionally and physically tired of something in this case, tired of auditioning. The result of that is a serious risk of quitting, aka cutting yourself. Now, burnout is defined by the dictionary as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Sound familiar? <laugh>, I'm gonna go ahead and read that one back one time. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
Speaker 0 00:02:23 It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. That's the definition of burnout. And this week I'm gonna talk about a few of the ways that audition burnout can happen at different career stages. And then we'll talk about how to tell the difference between good old regular stress burnout and my very dear friend, fear. We will also talk about how to avoid burnout by managing your stress and addressing your fears. But first, let's do some wins, shall we? Um, it's hard for me to not celebrate the win that is under my feet right now cause I got a new rug for the pod booth and I really love it. Um, but I'm gonna bring a different win. You know me, I love multiple, I almost always have more than one win. Today I am celebrating the absolute gift. That is Joe Barry. Holy freaking, Joe. Holy smokes. Holy jokes. Joe Barry is a composer, musician, uh, vocalist. Yes. We're just gonna call him a sound wizard. I think that's what I'll call him. And Joe is preparing some very special sounds for some very special sisters. More on that win coming soon, I'm sure, but I'd hate to ruin a surprise. So that's where I'm gonna leave it right now. Now it is your turn. Tell me or someone nearby what's going well in the
Speaker 1 00:03:54 World. Hit me. Yay.
Speaker 0 00:04:10 All right. Congratulations, my friend. I am so glad that you're winning. I'm glad that you are counting your wins, and I hope that you keep crushing it. Let's get into this, shall we? Industry newcomers, I'll call them rookies if you wanna call them. Uh, once, once they find themselves at an agency or pretty well plugged into a healthy, open casting network, um, like once they're pretty well integrated into the professional world, they might find themselves auditioning a lot. I mean, I, in my early days, five auditions in a week was not crazy uncommon. The climate is very up and down right now, but yeah, newcomers, especially when you're going to open castings a lot will be auditioning a lot. And unless they are the 1% in terms of talent or look or connections, we'll call it, uh, they'll probably be getting cut a lot. <laugh> auditioning a lot usually means getting cut a lot, but whether you're booking or not, it can be really exhausting to be doing all the work that auditions require.
Speaker 0 00:05:27 Research, preparation, planning the outfit, actually getting to and from, and then showing up and showing out with all of your talent, you know, in the actual moment. That can be exhausting. And it is very, very easy to slip into thinking things like, This isn't worth my time. This one, No, no, no, I'm, I'm not what they want. This, I probably shouldn't go <laugh>. And the problem with that kind of thinking is that it usually leads to inaction. It usually leads to not going to the audition thinking this isn't worth my time. Usually leads to you wasting your time thinking I'm not what they want. Usually leads to not being the kind of person that you want to be. Heads up, I am totally not talking at you. I know I'm using you <laugh>, but I'm holding up a big mirror in front of my face right now.
Speaker 0 00:06:28 I am not trying to guilt trip you for not going to all of the auditions. I am talking to my myself as I say this. Back in my rookie days, I talked myself out of going to many and audition. I was tired. I was afraid of being embarrassed and or rejected and or both <laugh> and or worse. And, uh, yeah, man, I had, I had many reasons not to go at very creative brain. My brain told me all sorts of excuses about why not to go. And some of them honestly were perfectly valid. But when my reasons sounded like this, this is a waste of my time. I wound up staying home and wasting my time when I thought, I'm not what they want. I didn't want to be around me when I thought they won't even notice me. I didn't see myself. I wasn't acknowledging my ambitions.
Speaker 0 00:07:25 Holy freaking hindsight, man. Oh, thinking about my young self right now. It's, it's like a very emotional thing and it is a powerful thing to have learned from all of those moments. My, my tired, stressed and scared self 10 years ago still exists today, but the circumstances are different. Um, it's, it's funny though, how quickly my brain really accepted and believed those thoughts. And we all probably will believe thoughts that look and sound like those at some point. And we'll probably wind up cutting ourselves from work or opportunities at some point as well. So that exists in the, in the early stage of doing it so much that it is exhausting and easy to default to self doubt. But what's funny is I've noticed that even with a lot of evidence to support my worth today, I've noticed some of those same, not so useful, totally self-sabotaging thoughts.
Speaker 0 00:08:29 <laugh>, um, yeah, period. The end. It happened actually just a week ago. I had my first in-person dance audition in months, I mean, maybe years actually. Yeah, but certainly years now that I think about it. Holy smokes. I, I, I don't know, I wonder how long, but a friend of mine is choreographing a big series and they're hiring a ton of dancers, and they had a big agency call audition, and I knew it would be well run because this friend of mine is an absolute pro not here to waste anyone's time, least of all her own. She is considerate, she is thoughtful, she is very, very professional. And I knew the audition would be smooth and fun because her moves are awesome. And still my brain offered me, I shouldn't have to go. She should just book me. She knows how I dance. She knows how I perform.
Speaker 0 00:09:28 She knows what I look like. She can just call me if she needs me. Wow, <laugh>, that is what my brain offered me first. Now, this line of thinking doesn't directly stem from the type of burnout that you get from going like hard into something with very little reward for a long time. It's kind of is more of like a slow burn. Uh, like, like that water torture, like cold drop of water for a very long time. And usually like, can't you go insane? Um, little bits of discomfort over a long time. I think that's where I stand with auditions right now. And I really, really wanted to say no to going to that audition. I wanted to say no to going to this audition. I wanted to say no to going to all auditions like forever. I'm over it. That is what my brain was telling me.
Speaker 0 00:10:22 I'm over it. Then I managed my mind because I know that thinking I shouldn't have to go leads me to wrestling with myself and with reality. I know that thinking she should just book me leads to me cutting myself. I know that thinking she can call me if she needs me, leads to me not calling on myself. Like not calling on my desires to be seen, to be performing. These are not ideal outcomes. My friends <laugh>. I want to be vested. Yeah, I wanna retire. I wanna see my sag after a health and retirement doing well. I want to perform. Those are my desired results. I found that one of the action items on my list of things to do in order to have that desired result is occasionally audition <laugh>. Can I occasionally audition? Ab freaking the question became not will I go to an audition, but will I take a free class from my friend who is fabulous?
Speaker 0 00:11:31 Yes, totally. Anytime. Will I be okay if taking that free class means I make money? Yes, totally. What about making money and health and pension contributions? Hell freaking, yes, I am all about that. So with my newfound enthusiasm, I picked out an outfit, I went to the audition, and you know what? I had a freaking ball. I had a great time. I sweat in real people clothing, which is a different experience than sweating in dense clothing <laugh>. Um, I also saw a lot of friends, a lot of good people, and a lot of other seasoned professionals that I thought would never have to audition ever again in their life. Like some working ass people were auditioning to be a part of this show. And I wondered what thoughts they managed to show up there today. I wondered what it was that they were thinking. So that's me then and now managing my mind around auditions. Take a quick pause to ask yourself what are your default thoughts about auditions? And ask if they're helping you to get the results that you want. Keeping in mind that you don't get to decide if other people hire you. You do get to decide whether or not you show up to be chosen. You do get to decide whether your name is in the hat or not.
Speaker 0 00:13:06 I am interrupting this episode to tell you about something very sweet. In fact, I cannot think of anything sweeter than having a stellar physical wellness team and program that support your moving and shaken body. There is literally nothing sweeter than sugar foot therapy, the physical therapy based strength and conditioning program for dancers and dance educators worldwide. This is global. My friends, uh, I took my first sugar foot therapy class in person at MOT Physiotherapy in Los Angeles before the pandemic, uh, cuz I was having some terrible knee pain. And y'all, it rocked my world. These techniques, these exercises I carry with me, whether I'm in the studio or in a hotel room or warming up for class, I truly, I, I call on this training, on these exercises and this network often right now, Sugar Foot is online and I am so grateful to have literally hundreds of exercises and dancers specific workouts for just $29 a month.
Speaker 0 00:14:15 Yo, this is a teeny tiny bit more expensive than like one dance class. And I'm telling you, this training helps you in every dance class, in every audition, in every creative process where, let's be honest, who the hell really knows what will be asked of your body? Sugar foot therapy helps you perform your best period, the end, you reduce risk of injury, you stay physically ready for whatever comes your way and whatever lights you up, sugar foot therapy does. Professional movers, they take care of the top of the tops. So please put yourself on that, that list. And if you're in LA dealing with an injury or some aches and pains, go get help at Motif Physiotherapy, which is the brick and mortar home of sugar foot therapy. Added bonus. By the way, treatment at MOT Physiotherapy is in network with SAG after insurance. What a gift. Go get you some, my friend. Check out sugarfoot therapy.com and give yourself the support that you need. Build that team. If you're still on the fence, by the way, go listen to episode 1 27 to hear more about the creators and the content that is sugar foot therapy. Uh,
Speaker 0 00:15:35 All right, so how do you know if you're stressed about auditions, if you're burnt out on them? Or how do you know if you're just plain afraid <laugh>, good old fashioned, scared or nervous and need to work through feeling some unwanted feelings? I will tell you, I will tell you right now, stress is usually marked by being over engaged or overexcited, feeling tightly wound, short breathing cycles, moving without thinking, moving quickly, rushing tasks that should require more time, uh, for getting things that you wouldn't otherwise normally forget, like meals or hang time with loved ones. Usually that type of behavior results in a loss of energy. And operating this way for too long takes a physical toll. So that's stress. Burnout, on the other hand, is marked by disengagement, not over engagement, not not excitement. Burnout's marked by disengagement, feeling like you're vibrating slow and low, mostly shallow breaths, fewer deep energizing breaths.
Speaker 0 00:16:57 Um, I use this phrase a lot, but dragging ass just like really, even when it comes to regular routine items. Moving really slowly through them and in general, not getting excited about future agenda items, not setting goals, not being excited about future plans. The result of this is a loss of motivation, which takes an emotional toll. So stress looks like over engagement leads to loss of energy and takes a physical toll. Burnout looks like disengagement, loss of motivation, and it takes an emotional toll. Now, let's, let's welcome fear to the party. Fear is usually marked by an over engaged mind, like a lot of, a lot of mental chatter and a strong desire to disengage physically, like to, to retreat in the context of auditions, most of us are usually simply afraid of unwanted feelings. How, how will feel if things don't wind up in our favor?
Speaker 0 00:18:12 I mentioned a few earlier, uh, afraid of feeling stupid, unwanted, rejected, afraid of feeling embarrassed or incapable. Ooh, I hate feeling incapable. Um, or invisible. Oh my goodness. I mean, really, the list does go on <laugh>. Uh, we, we typically avoid those unwanted feelings by avoiding the action, avoiding the action of going. But what's funny is that going to the audition doesn't guarantee feeling stupid, unwanted, rejected, whatever, like the action of audition doesn't equal unwanted feelings. The way we are thinking is what brings about those unwanted feelings. If I knew that embarrassed was a feeling I could feel, and it's kind of like sweaty armpits and rosy cheeks and maybe kind of teary eyes and tingly palms in my hands, I can do that. I, and I would rather do that than like 32 pirouettes actually <laugh>. I didn't mean pirouettes, I meant Foy turns, but work, I would love to be able to do 32 PTs.
Speaker 0 00:19:19 Anyways, my point is, most of the feelings that we are avoiding feeling are not that bad. I mean, really, I hate feeling rejected. Feeling invisible is possibly the worst, inconsequential, incapable. I mean, really not my favorite things, but I would rather feel those and have an experience of the world and have a chance at my future world, the the one that I imagine for myself than spare myself. Those feelings ultimately have to feel them anyways, sometime eventually because they're inevitable because I'm a human anyways. I, I, I don't think those feelings are bad enough to miss the opportunity of feeling great. Um, I think that I will feel all of them at some point, uh, might as well get really good at them. <laugh> really good at feeling them. We avoid those unwanted feelings by avoiding action. And when we avoid action, our experience of the world gets very small.
Speaker 0 00:20:25 It takes a toll on our experience of the world. So again, without any fear of sounding like a broken record, <laugh> stress looks like over engagement leads to loss of energy and takes a physical toll. Burnout looks like disengagement, loss of motivation, and it takes an emotional toll and fear looks like an over engaged mind and a strong desire to retreat physically, to disengage physically. This leads to avoiding unwanted emotions, which takes a toll on your experience of the world. I have three really great episodes by the way. Now we're talking about fear and ts the season, by the way, late October to be, uh, talking about fear and experiencing some fear. So it might be fun to revisit some of those episodes about fear. I have actually created a playlist of those fear related episodes over on YouTube. I will put the link to that playlist in the show notes.
Speaker 0 00:21:31 Um, really good stuff over there. Check that out. Okay. Burnout happens when you let your stress go unchecked, when you let your mind go unmanaged. And when you leave your emotional wellbeing un cared for, right? Quitting happens when avoiding unwanted emotions turns into avoiding action. Here's what I find most interesting. You can have stress without burnout, but you can't have burnout without stress. So here's the argument for identifying and managing your stress. You can be stressed. I actually work very well when I'm stressed, but not caring for my emotional wellbeing for a long period of time. I will buckle, I will burn out. Um, you can and probably will feel rejected, invisible, and capable at some point in your life because you're human. So you can avoid burning out. But you can't avoid feeling unwanted feelings.
Speaker 0 00:22:47 You can avoid burning out on auditions by not going. But is that the result that you want to not put your name in the hat to not call on yourself, to not sign up for the opportunities that you imagine yourself living? I think that recognizing your unwanted emotions, allowing them, honoring them, I think that that's a part of your human contract, allowing them to be there, even the worst of them. Take rejection, for example, is still not as bad as stubbing your toe or doing 40 turns without spotting. You are a dancer. You are an artist. Feelings are your business quite literally <laugh>. You deal in feelings. You can be a professional at feeling them and moving on, moving to, and moving through as many auditions as it takes for you to have your desired results.
Speaker 0 00:23:59 That is what I have for you today, my friend. Not an encouragement to go to every audition, <laugh>, but a little encouragement and a few tools to help you identify if the reason why you're resisting this audition is stress is full out burnout or is good old fashioned fear. And I hope that you have a few tools now to address all three, Keep an eye on how you are engaging with the world around you. Keep an eye on your motivation, on your energy and by all means, find the way that you process unwanted feelings. And if you're in need of some good old fashioned community support in doing so, the words that move me community totally has your back. To get more involved with other movers in shakers, just like you visit words that move me.com/whim com. Wt M M C O M M. All right my friend.
Speaker 0 00:25:12 That is what I have for now. Go out there into the world, go audition for the love of God or don't. Totally up to you <laugh>. But whatever you choose to do, I hope you keep it very funky and I will talk to you soon. Bye. This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by Max Winnie, Logo and Brand Design by Bree reets. And big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor, also massive thanks to you, the mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action. I will not, cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review into rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you there. I will 100% not stop you from visiting words that move me.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me, and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also, I will not stop you from visiting the dana wilson.com if you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related. All right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you soon.