Does anyone else want to roll their eyes when casting directors go on and on about how important the "special skills" section of your resume is to the casting process? Did Hilary Swank know how to box like a champ when she was offered "Million Dollar Baby?" Did Joaquin Phoenix know how to sing when he signed on for "Walk The Line?" And does anyone think that Keira Knightley spent her childhood perfecting fancy soccer footwork that happened to come in handy for her role in "Bend It Like Beckham?" (Ab work, maybe. Soccer moves? No.) Interviews indicate that these "special skills" were not listed on any of their resumes.
Just my opinion, but I don't think anyone should run out and take a class or learn a skill for the sole purpose of adding a juicy tidbit to their "special skills" section, with the exception of dialects, but I do think it is a good idea to get out of the acting world every now and then and try something out of curiosity or for sheer fun regardless of whether you will be able to "use" it later on. Give yourself a break! Rest your weary actor mind!
I am the biggest offender when it comes to following my own advice. Anyone else get tunnel vision when it comes to their career? I find that my days are filled with one, two and sometimes three survival jobs, followed by rehearsals or mailings or on-line submissions, throw in an audition or two and who has time for fun? Or money to spend on expensive extracurricular activities when you need more headshots, postage, and funds for acting classes? It could drive a person mad.
I have wanted to learn to belly dance ever since I was a kid. I have no idea why. It just looks exotic and fun. Every year I promise to just go for it, even though I'm a horrible dancer and have no reason to believe that I would be good at it. I'm tired of this strike, but it has afforded me a little more time to branch out from my bubble and rekindle my curiosity about the world. And...come Monday, I'm gonna bust out the belly! I'm so excited. I'm going to learn how to use finger cymbals and drums and test my veil work and shimmies. Good Lord, I hope the studio doesn't have glass windows!