Hey. I hope you are well. Today I am here to tell you about a comfort habit or practice that you have been doing for quite some time. I hated it because it keeps you stagnant as a person.
In my early education years, I discovered I had the ability to perform well and probably better than the best academic giants in my class but I always came behind them whenever test/exam results were brought back. It kept happening to me even at university. When I joined acting, I realized I had the potential to perform well in any role given to me but I still didn’t do my best even when I had been gotten the script a month earlier. I always felt there is something I had left out in my performance. Then I sat down one day and I tried to list down the factors that had kept me from achieving my full potential. I wrote down the task, how I had performed at it and then reason why I had not achieved above 90% in each of the tasks I had on my list. Out of every 10 activities, 8 of them had not been fully done well because of the practice I am going to talk about in this letter. I believe you will discover that you are living your life like I was before I discovered this as my biggest losing factor. I discovered that I was the emperor or king of postponing assignments. When class assignments were given, I believed I would get time after class and do them but I kept postponing until the time the teacher asked for them and I had not done them. When they told us that we had a test or exam and instead of reading from the time the term started, I would keep telling myself that I was smart and that I would read ‘tomorrow’ until I realized it was the last day to the exam and I had not read work which had then piled. When I got to university, some of my coursework assignments were not the best because instead of going to the library and internet and research in time (2weeks given until deadline), I would keep saying ‘tomorrow’ and when it got the time they needed it, I would scribble on a piece of paper and hand in and when the lecturer marked, I was below average because I had no quotations or sources from which I had done my research. Still at university, there was a project called ‘People’s Theatre’ (rehearsing stage plays that we had to perform to locals for 2weeks. It was directing project for finalists and it was acting project for other year groups.), some finalists discovered a group of us who were good actors and they would cast us in as many lead roles as possible and we could not say no because we looked at it as a privilege. When I was cast, since I believed I was a good actor, I would not read and rehearse my scripts until 1 day to the performance. When I got to stage, I would get low marks because my characters lacked depth and understanding from me as the performer and also I kept losing dialogue which made the rest of the cast lost too. I got messed up every time and it got worse especially since I had lots of plays to perform in. I did all but none was outstanding and if it did, it was outstanding for its poor execution. I guess we are together now. You realize you fall somewhere in my past scenarios, right?
If you are in one of the above scenarios or even worse, you are officially a native in the nation called ‘PROCRASTI’, you can call it PROCRASTI-NATION. You are ‘A PROCRASTINATIVE’ or ‘A PROCRASTINATOR’. These are people who can’t do an assignment in the NOW! No matter how small the task is like washing dishes, laying your bed, bathing, going to register their sim card or for national ID etc. you can’t do it now but wait for tomorrow. Problem is, the tomorrow never comes and it keeps going to another tomorrow. You will find the sink and whole house stinking with rotting dishes from a week ago, some have bad body odour because showering is kept postponed, they are late for all deadlines because all assignments are not done etc.
The above is the problem standing between you and your next level of greatness. When I discovered I should start pushing myself to take a step towards accomplishing my assignments NOW or RIGHT AWAY, I started seeing progress. You can read this letter now because the PROCRASTINATOR i was in the past (who I fought out of my life) would not have let me do anything that would make you believe in me.
‘I WILL DO IT TOMORROW’ is your best phrase whenever a task is in front of you. You are given a script earlier than even the shooting schedule but because of your procrastinating/delaying/postponing/adjourning habit, you end up sitting on it until you realize the shooting is the following. You panic to try cramming your lines in one night and tomorrow when you turn up for shooting, you look sleepy and messed up. You mess up the whole shooting schedule because your dialogue which is now in the short term memory keeps getting jumble due to the pressure and nerves. The scene that is supposed to take 30mins takes 3hrs and it frustrates the entire cast and crew. You are either given a break to get your act together as they shoot other scenes or with a nonsense producer, you are fired from the project. Because you are costing us money! Yes, you are a good actor my dear but word keeps going around that you are not serious because you never come on set with your lines in the head. Every producer keeps hearing this about you and some actors keep dropping projects as soon as they hear that they are cast with you. Slowly you are going down the drainage and you are no longer on the list of any serious producer/director.
This is just one of the many scenarios your procrastination will see you fail as an actor. STOP WATCHING YOURSELF FAIL, WAKE UP AND GET BACK ON TRACK! The choice is yours and no one else will help you that much. There will be no rescue ship from that ‘PROCRASTI-NATION’ until you decide to kick it out of yourself.
Thank you for reading this too and see you at the best side of acting.
I remain yours lovely.
Lover of Actors,
Kasule Douglas ‘Benda’
Founder of Benda Bookings