After working 15 hour days and forcing your eyes open thru night shoots, the opportunity to stay home and do nothing can seem a godsend. However, after about two weeks of this, the novelty of sleeping in til 10am, watching movies all day, and not getting out of bed can start to feel rather banal. And you get that itch to go back to work.
Perhaps you are sending out resumes every day and nothing seems to come of it, and you start worrying--where will your next job come from??
In these moments of unemployment, I find it best to start project. Find something to do that will make you a more well rounded person for when you finally do get that interview. Learn a new skill, invent something, become an expert on a subject. Anything you find productive.
In my time at home, here are a few things I have taken to:
1. Start a blog - this helps me get my thoughts in order and also encourages me to look at other peoples blogs and start conversations with fellow film bloggers. I've actually met several cool people out there in the blogosphere who I now consider friends :)
2. Get in shape - I love trying new forms of exercise, my latest affinity is for Cardio Barre--I highly recommend giving it a try, it gives you a great workout, and the real topper is that you get to feel pretty while doing it! Working out also helps relieve some of the stress of being unemployed :)
3. Write a webseries - I suggest webseries because they are generally shorter than a feature screenplay or spec television script. Everybody has little ideas that pop into their heads, and even the non-writer can usually manage a webseries. I am currently working with a partner on one--which is also a great tactic because you can keep each other motivated!
4. Watch AFI's Top 100 Movies - after watching the Oscars, I always get on a movie binge and want to watch every great piece of cinema that I can get my hands on. Knowledge of classic cinema is part of being a more well-rounded filmmaker.
5. Read read read - After all, reading is a great way to find new stories and ideas for film/television! Understanding the fundamentals of what makes a great story great is invaluable. If you need a few recommendations, my favorites of this past month have been: The Book Thief, Sarah's Key, and Cutting for Stone.
6. Get your finances in order - Tax season got me thinking that next year I want to be very prepared and organized. I setup a new system for keeping track of my paychecks and receipts. There are two great sites that I discovered that I thought I'd share: Mint & LearnVest. Both are designed to help you better manage your money.
7. Create personal website - Great way to showcase yourself and your accomplishments. iWeb makes web design very simple and fun these days!