This is How We Pivot
Unless you have been living under a rock these past few weeks, you have probably heard a new buzzword floating around the internet.......pivot.
the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates
turn on or as if on a pivot
Now you may be thinking, oh I work in theatre and I don't have [an audience/ my lights/ my sound board, my X] so I can't do my job.
And I'm here to tell you this is when you pivot.
Change what you are doing.
I am currently pivoting hard and pivoting fast.
But Chelseaaaaa, you've had this blog for years and have had these lofty dreams brewing for a while now. There is no way I can pivot right now.
Y'all my blog and following has grown more in quarantine than it ever has in the past.
Time for some tough love y'all.
Theatre isn't coming back anytime soon. And even when it does, it's going to look a lot different for quite some time.
And as much as it kills me to say this, I have always promised to keep it real with you all.
So you have to pivot and you have to pivot fast. Pivoting does not mean you have to change your entire career path (plz don't you are so so talented). It can be as small as starting a blog or offering a resume proofreading service.
I have sound designer friends working on audiobooks now, actor friends offering coaching, playwrights producing a series of their own plays via a Zoom Reading. The options are endless.
There are so many ways to pivot and I've compiled a list on how to pivot and how to do it with grace and class.
1. Think fast.
Last week we dived into the idea that despite popular opinion right now, time is not expendable. You may think you have all the time in the world to pivot, but blink and it's going to be August.
If you want to make the most of this time, you have to start now. I'm a huge believer in weighing pros and cons in my everyday life, but it comes to a point where a decision must be made. You have to start somewhere. Nobody knows anything right now so trying to predict what's going to happen and how long this will last is a waste of time and will increase your anxiety.
One day or day one.
2. Trust yourself.
You know what your talents are and what you bring to the table. Use this to your advantage when thinking of the next step. Absolutely nobody does what you do exactly the way you do it.
Start off by brainstorming a LONG list of your strengths (aka the special skill section of your resume). Include anything and everything you are good at /have knowledge on.
Next brainstorm a list of your passions. What makes your heart soar? Get specific about what parts of theatre you enjoy and what pulls you to it.
Now it's time to think about how you can turn your skills and passions into something you can work on right now. This can be a service or product for others OR it can be a project simply to keep you sane. It does not have to be for a profit.
Some examples to get you started: a podcast, a blog, an E-book, a regular book, an online course....the possibilities are endless you just have to get creative.
Not into making something of your own? Then look at your list of skills and think about how these skills can be transferred into another market. Good with kids? There are plenty of online tutoring services you can apply to!
Also stop with the imposter syndrome bs. You aren't being fake - your skills are important and you have worth.
I heard this quote the other day in an online course by Jordan Lee Dooley and it goes something like...
You don't have to be the smartest person on a given topic. It's okay to educate the person who is right behind you in this journey.
This quote was a game changer for me and helped eliminate this idea of imposter syndrome.
Now I'm not saying you have to shout your pivot from the social media rooftops. But you do need to communicate your pivots with the right people. We all know the saying it never hurts to ask...the worst they can do is say no.
We all know I am a huge social media nerd and I recently asked a company I frequently work with if I could take over as their social media person. Well guess who starts next week 😉?
I know asking in a time where there isn't much to give is hard. But know your worth and don't be afraid to communicate your interests. You never know who may say yes.
If you don't know how to do it, now is the time to figure it out. As my girl Rachel Hollis always preaches, anything you want to know can be found on the internet for free. Want to write an e-book on a topic you have personally struggled with since the dawn of time ?(Looking @ me right now) Do the research. Listen to the podcasts. Read the books. Remember you probably seem like the most intelligent person to the person right behind you. Now it's time to show up for them (and yourself) and learn what you don't know.
5. Stop caring what other people think of you.
I'm telling you now that not everyone is going to support your choice to be happy and pivot during this time. You have to use your judgement and make the calls that are best for you. Block out the negative noise. Be authentic and be real and you will find a community to support you thru this pivot! (You know I'm cheering for you!)
6. Lean on your support system.
Speaking of community, once you find your quarantine support system, lean on them. My quarantine support system looks a hell of a lot different-and much smaller- than my normal support system, but my goodness are they powerful. I bounce ideas off of them, they send me playlist after playlist of music to listen to while I work, they may go on daily walks with me or scream the lyrics of Glorious in a midday dance break, or they inspire me with plays they have written, music they have played, or pictures they have drawn, .
And while I have many friends and mentors and family who have advised and encouraged me during this time-this core four as I like to think of them- is what's really getting me thru. When I think I'm completely out of ideas or imposter syndrome hits me hard- they are who I turn to.
Find your people and lean on them during this pivot.
And if you can (without hurting yourself), offer to be that support to someone else who may need it right now.
Where are you on your pivot journey? I'm here to support you every step of the way so feel free to message me if you need encouragement!