Apps for Action

Apps for ActionThe new year is all about action, especially as pilot season is upon us. Time is of the essence and somehow, although part of us resolves to simplify, we end up juggling a million things at once … once again, as all artists do. I have found 7 apps for your MAC, PC, Ipad, Android, Iphone, what have you, that have helped me with my juggling act. And coming from a girl who used to hate technology (seriously did)… this is really saying something. The rundown is this:

1.) Luminosity
The Human Cognition Project is a brain training program
developed by neuro-scientists. In daily 10 minute workouts it helps strengthen your memory, attention, and problem solving skills … all really important for the actor. And after all … the brain is a muscle. Its a subscription based app but its totally worth it. I try to do it first thing in the morning with a cup-of- joe. Weirdly, I’ve actually found that its made me more attentive; a better listener.

This is an award winning task/to-do list app. I know there are a lot out there, but this one is the best. Their slogan is “Make Things Happen.” Its clean, easy to use, and its free. In the morning it will automatically prompt you to plan your day, and when you cross out a task after completing it, it tells you “you’re awesome.” I find this really helpful because its easy to let small mundane one-time tasks take over your entire day. Then a whole day goes by and you didn’t stick to an important routine of submitting to new projects, sending out updates, and working on the work…the stories:which you should do everyday. When a task comes up you enter it, get it out of your head, and are able to focus on the task-at-hand. The task lists are broken down into TODAY, TOMORROW, UPCOMING, and SOMEDAY … super helpful!

3.) Rehearsal 2
This app is pretty amazing. Its created by a working actor, “battle-tested” in Hollywood, and used on shows like Castle, CSI, and Dexter. It organizes scripts for your auditions and for when you are working on set. You can upload scripts or open them directly from a mail message. It will break the script down into scenes for you, and allow you to highlight and record lines. You can also create notes to yourself in the margins … A pretty invaluable tool for the working actor. Download it for a one-time fee of $19.99.

4.) Coffitivity
This app is pretty fun. Its free and it streams ambient sounds found in coffee shops. Great for working at home and especially when you are experiencing, writer’s block, or lack of motivation. Science research shows that these kinds of sounds are proven to boost creativity and productivity. And its especially great for hermits like myself who would much rather work from home then drive to an actual coffee shop.

5.) Penultimate
This is one of the best digital handwriting apps. You can use it to take class notes, outline your next screenplay idea, write a character journal and all in your own handwriting. You can even doodle … if that’s what you are in to. I’ve used it to email handwritten notes to people; like a thank-you note to my agent … who doesn’t like getting a hand-written note?! It syncs with Evernote, (which is great if you use that) plus its free.

6.) Insite Timer
This app keeps me sane and balanced on those days when there are not enough hours. Its free to sign up and once you do, you can set up reminders throughout your day to meditate; stop and breath. I’ve set mine for the middle of the day. I’m not much of a mediator but it reminds me to stop and refocus on the things that are really important. Its a great tool for stress management. You can title your reminder … right now mine says, “What are you grateful for?” Also a cool feature … you can view a world map to see how many people are meditating at any given moment around the globe.

7.) The Skimm
Its important for actors to keep up-to-date on current events. If we are going to help tell the stories of the world we have to know what those stories are, but its hard … between casting submissions, casting opportunities, booked jobs, day jobs and everything else to keep up with it all. The Skimm makes it easier. Its an email subscription that once you subscribe to it emails you a daily newsletter. They read the headlines from many news sources and give you a blurb about happenings. This gives you a quick rundown with the links to fuller articles if you read something that interests you … quick and easy knowledge.

Hope these are helpful to you. Go to it!