As a girl living in New York City, I can tell you that the hustle is real. We always have places to go, people to see, and high notes to hit, honey! But at what point is that NYC grind hurting us more than helping us? As actors, singers, and dancers, WE are our instrument. Our minds and bodies are the tools we use to tell a story, they are the medium used to connect our message to an audience. So, it is up to us to make sure we are taking care of that instrument and staying in tune… spiritually, physically and emotionally!
I don’t know about you, but there are so many days that I feel like I am being pulled in about ten different directions. I think that in order to live in NYC, you have to enjoy the hustle- the constant need to be doing something, to feel productive, to put the pedal to the metal and get. shit. done. I have found that it is SO important to take time for myself, each and every day, to meditate and sit in solitude. I prefer the morning, when I can have a cup of coffee, and watch as the light slowly begins to fill my apartment. This is my time to reflect on my actions from the previous day and to set my intentions for the day that lies before me. The peace of mind I get from this time is something I cherish, and something that I think helps keep me grounded from day to day!
Ugh. Working out. Exercising. Being healthy. Eye roll. I can tell you right now that last night I ordered pizza at 10:45pm and ate it while enjoying a nice glass of cabernet (no regrets). I am in no way a staple of health. HOWEVER... I have found that exercising regularly does actually help me sing better and stay connected with my body in a performance. It opens me up, loosens my muscles, and rids my body of the tension I carry with me all day long. I love to run in the park or hit up a Bikram Yoga class.
Besides exercise, I am starting to learn that what I put in my body really does affect how I feel and perform (shocking, I know!). I used to think I should skip meals, so I could "feel skinny" for an audition, or eat whatever I wanted one day, and be super low calorie the next, and it would even out. NOPE. When I eat a nutritious, clean meal, I can really feel a difference in my physicality. I know, you're like, "Duh Chelsea, #health," but THAT BLOWS MY MIND! SO next time you see me eating chips in class please call me out.
This one is sometimes super hard for me, believe it or not! I think that as artists, we naturally take on a multitude of feelings, problems, hurdles and heartaches- even if they don't belong to us. We are extremely sensitive creatures, reactive to every little thing... we love deeply, we fight fiercely, and we feel EVERYTHING. We also have an extreme need to please- a sometimes desperate need for approval (No? Just me? Cool). While all of these traits can help make us great story tellers, they can also make us crazy human beings!! For me, I struggle daily with my need to please others, to try to keep everyone happy, and my inability to say no. Luckily, our BRILLIANT teachers have taught me a couple of life lessons that help when I have an emotional freak out:
LINDSAY SAYS: Life is quick. She has taught me not to spend my time worrying about where I'm at in my life, or by comparing what I have or haven't achieved with someone else. She says to be grateful for where you are in life, what you're doing with your life, and who you're spending your life with. Try to live life "fully and joyfully". When I feel anxiety coming on, I try to think back on this advice. I have all the things that matter in life, and am so lucky to be living this life I have been given.
SIERRA SAYS: Ask yourself WHY. She says that anger and anxiety often come from a place of fear. Every single time I have asked myself "Why am I angry right now? Why am I upset?" I have found that it is because I am afraid of something. I'm not upset about the feedback I got in class, I'm terrified that people I respect don't think I'm a good actor. I'm not angry that my text or email was ignored, I'm worried that the person I sent it to doesn't care. It goes on and on and on. And once you have this knowledge, you are better able to combat those "freak out" feelings and put them in perspective!
RSO SAYS: When you're feeling sad, do something nice for someone else. It will automatically make YOU feel better. Doing something for someone I love, just to do it, feels awesome and takes my attention away from ME. No expectations, nothing, except to focus on the other person and remember that your life is about more than just YOU. It always puts things in perspective for me.
How smart are they?!
YAY! Bam. My thoughts on how to stay in tune no matter what. I may not have perfect pitch, so take these ideas with a grain of salt, but know this- you are your own one of a kind, unique, beautiful instrument, and the world needs the magical music of YOU.
Chelsea Moss is an NYC based Actor, Singer and Dancer. She currently teaches at Broadway Dance Center in the Children and Teen Program. She also works closely with Lindsay Mendez and Ryan Scott Oliver as the managing director of their successful acting studio Actor Therapy. She has performed in such celebrated venues as Symphony Space, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Ellis Island, and more. In addition, she studied as a lyricist with the BMI Workshop, and trains at the Esper Studio. Chelsea is represented by Across The Board Talent Agency.