“Free time is a terrible thing to go to waste.”E.A. Bucchianeri
As Bucchianeri wisely stated, free time is precious and we should use it accordingly. When free time isn’t (unfortunately) a substantial component of our lives, the moment we grasp it, it often gets filled with something we’re passionate about and haven’t had the chance to dedicate ourselves to or we lazily procrastinate through it. The latter could become the case even in an eventual situation in which we get a lot of free time on our hands; when being swallowed by the deep and confusional sea of options of things we could possibly do, the easiest option seems to be ignoring it and somehow just navigate through it. However, the easiest option often isn’t the best one.
The best option is to dedicate your free time to self-development, possibly surrounded by your loved ones, a cozy house with an optional garden or a beautiful view of the sky and a vast variety of snacks. We would like to suggest you some ideas, options and activities to try out to keep yourself busy during your free time.
You might be thinking, does this mean binge watching is a waste of free time and I should give up on it? As actors, we’d be crazy (and most likely had chosen the wrong profession) if we were even remotely suggesting that watching movies or series is a waste of time. That is why we actively encourage you not to give up on it, especially when you’ve got a lot of time to watch a variety of things, because that is one of the most immediate ways of learning. Being a multilingual and multicultural agency we would like to propose international works which will make you dive into new cultures and worlds.
don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about you and guess what? You can watch plays from the comfort of your home too!
An amazing platform that offers a selection of theatre productions is Digital Theatre +. Moreover, only recently the National Theatre has started to broadcast live performances on the National Theatre Live website.
Physical activity is important for your overall well-being and you don’t need to necessarily go to a gym to keep fit. Actually, it’s surprisingly effective, more stimulating and less time consuming (because you save the travel to and from a gym) to do it within the confines of your propriety.
There is a whole universe of training sessions available online, the biggest and best platform for them (FREE) probably being youtube. In order to be consistent and see the results, challenge yourself and add it into your routine; here are some workout suggestions:
With a lot of free time on your hands you’re lucky because you can finally finish reading that book you left half read 2 years ago, because too much work and responsibilities got in the way…or you can indulge yourself and read something new and informative.
A very good series of books available on Amazon is the BIG IDEAS SIMPLY EXPLAINED, among which you can find The Psychology Book, The History Book or the Business Book.
And if perhaps you get passionate about a new subject among these you can dabble in an Ivy League course to expand your knowledge and even potentially acquire a certificate. There are 450 Ivy League courses available for free on freecodecamp.org in any subject you can possibly think of, provided by high-end universities such as Harvard and Yale.
If you’re in the academic mood a great middle-ground between the above suggestions is Masterclass: a platform offering classes by the masters of their crafts such as Martin Scorsese teaching Filmmaking, Natalie Portman teaching acting, Neil Gaiman teaching writing and Gordon Ramsay teaching cooking.
On the note of cooking, having fun and freeing your inner master-chef during your free time is extremely gratifying and filling (in every sense).
If you are in the mood of being artistic you could try doing some DIY projects, collage work or wabi sabi. That way you will merge productivity with fun by creating something useful for your house or garden, such as a rug or a personalised mug.
Or else take out your cards and table games and challenge your house-mates or family; a cool app is Psych which includes many quiz’s in which you can participate both with the people near you and far away.
Nofilmschool.com – A website that offers advice to aspiring filmmakers on just about anything from setting the right light to pitching your film to a producer. As an actor, it’s always good to know the difference between a cap and a cheat on set and, maybe, there are some tricks to steal from your fellow filmmakers as well. Successful directors are incredibly good at selling their films, after all…. Finally, you can also find the latest Hollywood film scripts on there – something to take to your acting class.
It’s January, so if you’re a freelancer, you know it’s that time of year again. With the deadline coming up to file your HMRC Self Assessment online, Lory has found that the 1tap receipts app has taken the stress out of filing a tax return, and has helped her organise her receipts, expenses and invoices all in one place. The app extracts all the important information, such as the supplier, date, amount and then categorises it. The only thing that you need to do is email or take a picture of the receipts, bills or invoices, and that’s it! You’ll be able to track your all your taxes. It also saves everything on the cloud for the next 7 years, so you won’t have to worry if you end up losing a receipt. With less than a month to go, it’s a great way to not only get last year’s tax ready, but also organise this year’s tax so you’ll always be prepared for the January 31st HMRC deadline!
Daniel has been experimenting with the Pomodoro Technique recently. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s, who would use a tomato shaped kitchen timer (Pomodoro, italian word for tomato). The technique consists of using a timer to break work down into 25 minute intervals, separated by 5 minute breaks. After 4 Pomodoros, you can then take a longer break, of 15 to 30 minutes. Daniel says it’s helped him considerably with his time management by dramatically reducing the time it takes for him to sit down to work, as well as the time he usually spends procrastinating during tasks. There are loads of free versions available for both iPhones and Android, so just google “Pomodoro Timer apps” and get yourself on the right track this New Year!
Even on a small budget, there’s no need to have a haircut that looks like the Cookie monster… if you bring a bit of patience with you, that is. Trainee hairdressers at Sassoon Academy and other high-end salons offer very affordable cuts, or even free cuts (bonus!) to willing hair models. The sessions can take up half your day so make sure to bring something to read and snack with you. But, if you’re lucky, you’re getting a cut worth a few hundred quid in return. And as Joan Crawford once said “I think that the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent, of course – is her hairdresser.”
The Voice Café website was first launched in 2009 in response to requests from students about where to find authentic examples of accents to practice with.
The Voice Cafe is an interactive tool for learning accents & dialects that enables you to Explore Accents from, Britain, America and around the world! Each accent has approximately 30 minutes of native speaker recordings, plus a self-record My Voiceover Practice area to help monitor your progress, and even save your best samples for a sketch voice reel or oncoming presentation draft. You can make a one time purchase for (each dialect pack costs £2.99) and includes lessons for vowels, diphthongs, monologues etc. and also has some useful information and tips about the accent you’re trying to learn.
Calin has used it to brush up on his RP (modern) and says that “you can’t deny the usefulness of the app when you’re not a celebrity who can hire a voice coach yet.”
Where to find more information: The official Website
When Daniel had a pretty bad case of stress-related insomnia about two years ago he decided to finally give mediation a go. And it changed his life. Meditation helped him to be more present (very beneficial for actors), become more self-aware and helped him develop a less pacey, more focused and centered mindset from which he has since benefitted in all areas of life. He just finished Deepak’s 21-day meditation experience. He releases a new one a couple of times per year and you can do it for free. This was his fourth one. He strongly recommends you give it a go!
In the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Oprah and Deepak guide you on a free online journey to enjoy the life-changing benefits of meditation in an easy and inspiring way. Each 21-Day Meditation Experience focuses on a unique theme, offering deep wisdom, practical tools, and refreshing insights to help you grow and evolve each day. Inspired by the notion that it takes 21 days to create a habit, each 21-Day Meditation Experience offers: Daily audio meditations, motivational messages, thought-provoking journal questions to anchor the day’s teachings, articles, videos, and tips to help create a thriving meditation practice.