Tips from the Actress and VIVA GLAM Editor herself: Candace Kita
I’m always surprised at how quickly time goes by. Days, weeks, months, and years fly by in the blink of an eye. When I stop and realize that I’ve been an actress in Hollywood for 24 years, I just can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday that I was driving out to California from Texas in the 105 degree heat of June with only my best friend and a dream.
Today, I’m still going strong and many people ask me what I do each day to stay focused in such a competitive occupation. Here are a few things I do each and every day to give my best performance.
Go to bed and wake up early
Let’s start the day by going back to the previous evening. Ask yourself what time do you usually go to bed, and what time do you get up? Do you feel refreshed and fully awake in the morning? If you get enough sleep, you will feel full of energy and excited to start the day. I go to bed early and am up before the sun rises each day. Why? I believe in the old adage, “the early bird gets the worm.” I want to get as much of my personal business out of the way before the real workday begins. Then, I’m focused for my auditions and jobs. This habit started when I was on a show for FOX Kids. I woke up each morning, 5 days a week, at 4:20am and was in the makeup chair at 5:45am…for two years. If I can do it, so can you. And you will only reap the benefits of waking up early.
Once again, let’s go back to the night before to work on your schedule. First off, do you keep a schedule at all? Whether it is on your phone, computer, or hand-written, it is important to have a schedule for the next day. By using this map, you know what meetings and other items you have pressing, who you are reaching out to, and what to focus on. This will allow for a better night’s sleep because you can leave these items on your schedule, rather than in your head. Always stay one step ahead of the game and allow yourself plenty of time to get prepared – mentally and physically – for the challenges that lie ahead.
Be on time
If I can be on time, so can you. There is really no excuse for being late. My time is precious and I don’t want others to waste it for me. And you will begin any meeting on the wrong foot if you show up late. Even 15 minutes late tells the other person, “my schedule is more important than yours” or “you are not important to me”. Even if you have to set your clock 15 minutes ahead in order to trick yourself into being on time, do this. Good business practices begin on the most practical, basic level, including being on time.
Do 5 things for your career each day
Each day I do five things for my career. These can be both big and small. I never believe in relying on someone else to do the job for you so don’t rely on others to manage your career. An example of five things could be: contact my agents and see if they have everything they need (including headshots and resumes), update my information on all casting websites, update all social media, reach out to publicists, and pay my commissions. Think one day ahead of five things you’ll do for your career the next day and make a promise to yourself that you will execute them.
Listen more than speak
Listen more than you speak. Why? You’ll learn more this way. This goes for business and personal relationships as well. I find the mistake most people make is talking too much about themselves and simply not listening to others. People will love to tell you everything you need to know and then some, but they fail to see an important lesson; you will learn more by listening to others than by listening to your own voice.
Each day I like to take a small amount of time for myself by factoring in beauty time. I take the time for a facial, manicure, pedicure, tan, and hair upkeep such as deep conditioning and getting it cut. I also try to improve my makeup techniques by looking at social media tutorials on Instagram and Facebook. I like to try new makeup hacks so I won’t look outdated or get stuck in a fashion or makeup rut.
A friend of mine once said it is important to factor in a small thing that you are looking forward to all of the time. This is a “bonus burger” and it can be anything from a small gift you purchase for yourself, something interesting to eat, a fun movie to watch at the end of the day, or anything else you are looking forward to. This bonus burger should have nothing to do with work, but rather is something that excites you, inspires you, or relaxes your mind.
Constantly evaluate yourself. Each morning I take a look at myself in the mirror. And I try to be as honest with myself as possible. How am I looking? What needs improvement? There are little things you can do that will help tremendously such as getting your eyebrows plucked, getting a facial and moisturizing. No matter what age you are, you can take the time to look your best for yourself.
Spend time alone
Spending time alone is vital to overall mental health. This is time when you re-energize, revitalize, and contemplate. If you are constantly on-the-go, you might feel drained and lackluster. Being alone will help you to regain your mental energy to get out there and succeed!
Your comfort zone
Everyone has a comfort zone and each person has different degrees of where that zone actually lies. Some people are low risk takers while others are high. Each day I try to step outside of my comfort zone, even if only for a while. Because I’m an actor, I’m performing in front of people at auditions almost every day. This, to some, would be way outside of their comfort zone!
But for me, it is a daily occurrence. But I still challenge myself to do other things such as visit restaurants by myself and travel more in order to enlarge my comfort zone. After all, nothing of merit is achieved when you’re too comfy.
Have 5 long term goals or dreams
I always have five long term goals in the back of my mind at all times and focus on these daily. You might not achieve these goals quickly, but if you focus positively on them, I believe you will eventually manifest them. For example, I have always dreamt of visiting the Virgin Islands. I knew it was somewhere I would visit although I didn’t know through what circumstances. I flew with VIVA GLAM to Anguilla last week to shoot our latest contest winner; I knew one day I would be there. Goals and dreams can be business-oriented or personal. Have them and watch them become reality.
Believe in yourself even when others don’t. Actress Minnie Driver said someone asked her, “Why do you think you can make it in this business when so many are trying?” She replied,
“Why can’t it be me? Why not me? I believe in myself, so why can’t I be the one to succeed?” You will always have doubters. I’ve never listened and have always believed in myself even when no one else has. Believe in your talent because perseverance is the true key to success.