Rob Brydon, Bella Ramsey, Harry Trevaldwyn, Asim Chaudhry, Toheeb Jimoh, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Laura Donnelly share how they keep themselves active between acting jobs
No one, no matter how talented or famous, can spend every moment of every day acting. It’s important for us to have other passions to pursue in our spare time, especially when between jobs. Not only does this keep our minds off the worry of when that next job will come, but it also helps us to be well-rounded individuals with interests and hobbies – essential for our wellbeing.
At this year’s CDG Awards, we caught up with some of the performers who guest-presented and asked them what they got up to in-between roles. Here’s what they had to say:
Performers are creative people, so it’s only natural for them to find other ways to channel that creativity. Writing is not only relaxing, but also gives you the chance to put yourself on the other side of the camera or stage – to be the creator of a scene, instead of someone within it.
This is the case with Asim Chaudhry (Hoff the Record, People Just Do Nothing), who says, “When I’m not acting I do a lot of writing, which is interesting, because with my TV show I’ve been on both sides, I’ve been to castings and also I’ve casted.”
Harry Trevaldwyn (The Bubble, The King) also writes to pass the time. He admits, “That doesn’t mean that I am on time with any deadlines, but it does mean I’ve got that as an excuse to be busy.”
Physical activity is another popular way of staying busy between roles and can take various forms. For Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us, Game of Thrones) that form is sport. She says, “I play football. I still do that sometimes when I am actually filming on a Sunday, which is probably against my contract.”
Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, The Haunting of Hill House) enjoys keeping active in a different, creative way. He says, “I like to be quite manual, so I do a lot of DIY stuff and I have a little place in France, so I go there and just cut down trees.”
For some performers, what they do between roles will not matter, so long as it is unrelated to acting. They use the time to have a rest from acting and preserve their enthusiasm for it. Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso) says, “I do loads of other things, whether that’s gaming, or trying to play basketball with my brother. [I] just do everything that isn’t acting-related, so that when it’s time to go back to acting, I’m still stimulated and I feel creative and I haven’t overdone it.”
Some acting jobs can be stressful and intense, so using the break to recover and look after yourself is also an excellent idea. Laura Donnelly (The Nevers, The Ferryman, Outlander) is a firm believer in this: “Keeping yourself mentally well, I think, is a very important thing, as well as physically well, and so I do like to do yoga, and things that I know are good for both those aspects.” She advises, “Keep in mind that looking after your mental health is as important as the physical side of things.”
If you’d like to take some time to pause and reflect, our guided meditation podcast can help you feel rested, restored and reignited.
It’s also acceptable to not really know how you want to spend your time between roles. Not everyone has a hobby or interest that they immediately gravitate towards. Bella Ramsey admits, “To be honest, I’m not very good at knowing what to do with myself when I’m not working. I’ve just had six months of really not doing much, and it’s been really weird to figure out what I enjoy doing just as myself.”
Using the break to rest or to better understand what you enjoy doing is also time well spent. Taking the time to figure out what you want to do will serve you well for the future when you find yourself between roles with time to spare.
From all of us at Spotlight, thank you to Rob Brydon, Bella Ramsey, Harry Trevaldwyn, Asim Chaudhry, Toheeb Jimoh, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Laura Donnelly for sharing what they get up to between acting roles!
Check out more video advice from performers here.
Photo credit: Scarlet Page