This month we sat down with Sarah, one of our long time Mashers who works for us on the regular, and has a list of credits the length of her arm.
We sat down to discuss balancing more than one job, keeping on top of schedules and how to perfect that work life balance. Check it out below.
Mash: Sarah, you’re what we’d consider an OG Masher, one of our originals. You’ve been with us since 2011, you’re a regular in the field, regular in the office and a much loved member of our staff. Despite all the work you do take on for us, I know this is just your side hustle. You, like many of the other Masher’s we have on the book, have your fingers in many different pies. Can you tell us what other work you take on and a bit about the other projects you’re involved in?
Sarah: Okay, well I am trained in dance and theatre. Since graduating I’ve worked as an early learning dance teacher, for under 5’s. I’m also a regular dance teacher, teaching workshops and things like that to older students. I temp as well, doing ad-hoc cover in various and for various companies. I also freelance as a casting director and casting assistant.
Mash: That is something I didn’t know about you! I do know you’re also an actor…
Sarah: Yes, I am an actor, I work in film and television – you currently see me in a Tesco mobile advert – and I teach mat Pilates. I’ve actually just qualified to teach boot-camp Pilates which is on the reformer machines.
Mash: Wow! And you work in promo!
Sarah: And I work in promo! I love it.
Mash: What is it that you love about it?
Sarah: I enjoy being out in the field and just being interested and engaged with other people. I love high energy activations and being able to be physically active at work as well.
Mash: Do you work at any other agencies other than Mash?
Sarah: I’m on various books but Mash are my main guys.
Mash: Safe to say, you are juggling quite a lot! It must be quite challenging – how do you manage all your work and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time?
Sarah: I have a foolproof system, I use a paper diary with a multi colour Bic pen, so it’s colour coordinated – so at a quick glance I can see what I’m doing each week and hopefully know where I’ve got to be.
Mash: Do you find this lifestyle stressful?
Sarah: Erm, most of the time not but this week, I have been feeling quite stressed because I’ve had a lot to do in my personal life supporting my family, at the same time running curtain sessions. So, I feel like I don’t have anytime at all. So this week it’s stressful, but usually I feel quite on top of it.
Mash: When it does become quite stressful or hard to manage, how do you cope? Do you have any tips with how you manage those more anxiety driven moments?
Sarah: I just go out and be active, I go and do a dance class or go to the gym. I’m very conscious about finding that balance, so if I’m doing a lot of office based work at a desk it is imperative that I have to keep active. I get myself to a dance class or do something performance based or else I will actually go doolally. Or I head to the gym or go to a yoga class.
Mash: And is that something that you’ve always done, or is that a technique that you’ve developed through your years of experience?
Sarah: Well, because I’ve spent most of my life being active and doing sports and dance and things like that, my mind and body is priority. It’s first nature to me, so… if I’m not doing it, its like I have to do it, not for fun or anything it’s more of a necessity for me.
That’s why sometimes when you say ‘do you want to come in for the week’, I can’t do the whole week in an office anywhere! For me personally, it’s just not good for my mind or body.
Mash: That’s absolutely fair enough! Focusing in on your theatrical life, you’re a dancer and an actor. You must have a lot of auditions that pop up and I imagine they must come in last minute. Do you ever find that you’re in a position that you’re double booked and when that happens, how do you manage that aspect of your career?
Sarah: Most of the time I am able to get out of work. I’ll either dash somewhere on my lunch break and pray that the auditions running on time or I’ll just get cover for work and someone else will do my shift. Because, obviously, even though its 3 years of formal training I’ve been through, there’s the 15 years prior, of activities and dance classes parents have sent you to, to have you disciplined and trained. So for me, performing will always be my first priority. So having jobs that understand that and have that flexibility to be able to fill in cover or allow me to run out to an audition across town is great.
Mash: It seems like you have it down pat! In terms of preparing for auditions. That can’t just be turning up, I imagine that there’s time that goes into preparing for auditions. How do you then find time or negotiate your schedule to allow yourself to do so?
Sarah: I always find time at home. Most of the time with commercial auditions you will just turn up and do what they ask in the room. Musical theatre auditions you will usually need to prepare a song but it will be something in my repertoire that I already know. So, it’s just finding a pianist to map it out with me to make sure it’s still OK for me to perform. Or if its live I’ll just be learning scripts, writing it down and making sure that I’m going over it on my commutes and of course at bed time.
Mash: We’ve been discussing work, however, there’s another aspect of your life – that is your life. Having things outside of work is so important for well being. How do you manage your social life with so many projects on the go?
Sarah: Work is my social life! I am lucky to have jobs that are really people focused. In all honesty, most of my friends have moved out of London, settled down or they’re in shows that are in the evenings; they may be away on a job or on a contract, so it can be hard to meet up with people. So I fill my time with work, and when I’m not working, I am a member of various clubs and I’ll go to their events and other socials. I love a social, so I always make the effort to go, when they come up!
Mash: I guess there is the old adage that if you find the job you love you never work a day in your life! So, thank you Sarah, for sitting down with us! I always admire our Mashers who undertake so many different projects and pursue their dreams – it’s not an easy slog! It’s been great to learn about the techniques you use to be able to manage this!
We’d love to know what techniques you use to manage your schedules and learn a bit more about your lives! Head back to our Newsletter and leave your thoughts in our feedback box!