What Actors Do When They're Not Doing Acting (aka How We Stay Sane)

As actors, our lives are a series of spikes and valleys – we audition, sometimes book jobs, work, then will have nothing for often uncomfortable spans of time. The business of entertainment is unpredictable, volatile. Our particular economy is perpetually shaky. To the extent that when the recession hit back in 2008, nothing really changed for either me or Corey. The feast or famine paradigm was designed for actors, I think.

But you can get used to anything, and over the time I've been in LA, I've become gradually more at ease with the vast amounts of unknown. Actually, I can honestly say that I kind of thrive off it. Now, I'm very clear that as an actor, I'm lucky. I have worked consistently during my time in this business, and that's created a softer landing during the down time. But every job feels like a gift (albeit one I've earned) and also feels like it could be the last.

Corey and I have different ways of handling the downs, but we both try to pursue other interests and keep our lives interesting, completely separate from the acting world.

Corey started keeping bees in 2009 and that has proven to be one of the most fascinating ventures we've experienced. For Corey, it calls upon so many of his strengths – care, curiosity, patience, humor and humility in the face of 60,000 beings who ARE OVER IT – and for me it's a continual lesson in letting go and letting things be. Heh. And talk about sweet rewards. YUM. It's also given Corey a chance to partner with the folks at Flow Hive and we're both excited to see the results. You will see the bees featured here for sure.

Checking the bees with Kirk Anderson. C jr was so small!

Also around that time I started meeting with a small group of friends every week. We began as a quilting group, and have evolved to include all kinds of crafts. We've made valentines, wreaths, terrariums, cards, embroidered portraits, lugged sewing machines to each others' homes, shared so many stories and laughed so much we've cried. You'll see this wonderful group of people here, too.

With my wonderful craft group. We made macarons!

One of the biggest lessons being an actor has taught me is that it's vitally important to build a rich, rewarding life that has nothing to do with acting. To love my work is a beautiful thing, but it's so often in the hands of others that to depend on it for happiness and satisfaction is foolish.

So these things we do, these things that engage us in the world and challenge us and force us to relinquish control – they are varied and never-ending. Keep looking out for them.

* Thank you to the wonderful writer and crafter Jen Hunter for the bee interview and the quilting article