Healthy Lists

Pause those TO-DO lists.

Written December 2017, but relevant every year!

First thing for the new year, be healthy.

I’ve been fighting a virus for about two weeks and almost everyone I know is in the battle to stay healthy!

When I’m forced into a bit of a respite when feeling sick, I’m reminded of these things:

1) Doing nothing… can heal you.
2) Binging on Film/TV can drain you.
3) Binging on Film/TV can inspire you.
4) We always need more rest than expected to rejuvenate.
5) The things I think are important, can wait.
6) The things that are important, someone else can help you with.
7) The things you want to do when you feel better, is a long list.

So now I am on the mend and already on the run!

In my classes. In readings of my feature film. In meetings to raise money for the film. Traveling to meet all the people who can help it get made. Making creative time to do the actual creative work. Meetings with people about getting other meetings.

You know…. it takes lots of activities to pursue the dream!

But, we just have to take the lessons forward that we keep getting signaled to us. We should try to learn from our past, yeah?

Why do we get sick anyway? Usually it’s exhaustion and lower immunity system. Or, it is just bad luck of the subway rider coughing on you. Ah.

And/or, maybe our approach is just not working? Maybe we are overcommitting, or underproducing because we are overcommitting. Maybe we are trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Maybe we are caught up in a cycle of activity but unproductivity.

As I pick myself up from the respite of sickness, I find that I start making my “To Do” lists again. And these lists start to get too long again. At that rate, I will end up at the same on-sofa-under-blankets again.

So, this time, I’m trying a new approach. I’m making lists that keep me inspired.

I’m pausing on my TO DO lists. 

I’m making the INSPIRATION lists.

Here are some lists to shape your new year!

List 1


1) Take your time.
2) Work with urgency.
3) Let things unfold as they will.
4) Receive support.
5) Give support.
6) Eat healthy and sleep plenty.
7) Play.

List 2


1) Mingle with others who are inspiring.
2) Work in groups.
3) Watch/do things that inspire your creativity.
4) Talk with others pursuing the same dream.
5) Help others pursuing the same dream.
6) Walk away from it when not inspired, return later and see how it feels.
7) Try a new approach to the same goal.

Sending healthy vibes to all today,


  1. Rory Byrne says

    1) Get to exploring in a bigger way than ever.
    2) Approach each audition with confidence as if its already mine.
    3) Know with certainty I have what I need and keep digging to uncover it.
    4) Be excited about the time ahead of me, not worried it is fleeting.
    5) Acknowledge my life is very full and allow things to go on the back burner when needed.
    5) Root more deeply into this amazing community of New York actors!

  2. Hayley Mulcrone says

    1) Get out and be bold, even when I want to stay inside watching netflix
    2) Treat myself to things that make me happy
    3) Focus on the exciting things in the future, but don’t worry about them too much
    4) Talk to friends pursuing the same dream
    5) Talk to friends not pursuing the same dream
    6) Explore new things every day, whether it’s new places, new TV shows, new foods, just do something new every single day

  3. ryan says

    Hello! I’m a young actor from London and just came across this blog and the rather wonderful and inspirational angles you give on our hectic industry. Like so many other creatives out there I’ve been stuck in a ‘cycle of activities’, but not feeling that it’s paying off. Sadly, I’m terrible at not working – at switching off and letting things unfold. I know that there’s little sense in doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results, but here’s a thought/question:

    When is repeating what you’re doing a good thing i.e.: when is it dedication and persistence and when is it foolish?

    When is it ‘sticking to your guns’ and ‘believing in yourself’ and when does it become a silly ‘cycle of activities’?

    Anyhow, I shared your blog and the article on The Art of Self Tape on Facebook with my UK friends, so you might be getting more international traffic!

    • Heidi Marshall says

      Hi Ryan! Glad you found the blog and it helped you out.
      Two things come to mind regarding your Question “when is persistence to be a working actor good/bad?”.
      I always say two things:
      1)you will know when you can’t do it any longer,
      2)nothing is permanent.

      I have actors in their 40s-60s who come to the studio – they are maybe coming back into the biz after a hiatus, or needing a fresh nudge/perspective after burn out, or perhaps finally for the first time ever pursuing their dreams to be an actor after doing everything else first. They have already changed their mind millions of times, and been persistent millions of times.
      So…. there is no clear path to navigate how to build a career. It is simply a journey.

      There is no answer that is obvious about when you should keep going or stop. You’ll have to listen to your own interests, your own curiosities, your own heart to answer that question, which by the way never really leaves you:)

      Interestingly…MANY MANY actors don’t even get “recognition” until much much later in life. But the whole time the actor was “off the radar” they were still busy working – the average person just didn’t “know” them yet in the public eye.

      Younger actors perceive that there is a limited time frame only to get a career established. And, the older actors know that it takes a lifetime to keep building your dream.

      I share this with you so you can trust the journey you are on. I have learned this lesson for myself over these past years in the biz. The longer I hang around, the longer I get to my own personal artistic goals.

      So…. keep going until you can’t. Keep going while you feel the love. And take a break when you need to! And change your mind a million times!! It’s okay. Trust yourself…
      Hope this helps a bit….

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