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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taking a Break

So, I'm moving.


Some of you that have been following along know that I left L.A. last year around this time to move closer to my wife's family.  We had never been in close physical proximity to them before and our kids had only ever had brief holiday visits to get to know them.  We decided to change that.

And while we won't miss Idaho Falls all that much (hey, it's a great town--they now have an OLIVE GARDEN!!), leaving them will be painful.  And yes, it is my in-laws I'm talking about.  I'm one of the luckiest guys on the planet.  Not only am I madly in love with my wife, but I love her family, too.


I'm going to be starting a new job.  I've been hired to build and then run a multimedia production studio.  It's very exciting and more than a little bit overwhelming.  It's also right next to where my parents live.  #score

Clearly, this is a pretty big change for us in a lot of ways.  And in order to really be there for my family, I'm needing to figure out how to better manage my time.

So here's the deal:  my internet radio show is going on hiatus.  The length of that hiatus is going to be determined by you guys.  You've seen or read or heard me ask for help on my Twitter stream, here at my blog, my iTunes page, my imdb page and on my internet radio show.  I've asked you guys to subscribe, to follow, to comment, to review, etc., etc.  And some of you have.  Most of you have not.

I really do understand, and this is not in any sense of the word intended to be a rant.  We're all busy.  We think, "I'll do that.  Just not right this second."  And then somehow weeks go past and we haven't taken action.

But in the meantime, those on the other end of things are left... well... alone.

Something you should know about me.  I love to teach and I love to help.  If, by my words or actions, I can keep someone from making the same mistakes and missteps that I did, it makes me exceptionally happy.  If I get to watch an actor fall in love with the craft, I'm ecstatic.

However, with a few notable exceptions, I have no feedback from you guys about whether or not what I'm putting out there is helping anyone.  I am able to track how many people read my blog, listen to my show and download my archived episodes on iTunes.  That number is far greater than what my subscriptions, comments and reviews numbers would indicate.

And those numbers are important.  They allow me to get the visibility, the sponsors and the support I need to justify taking time away from my family to do this work.  Because it does take time, effort and creativity to do.  And now that I'm starting a new and very full-time job, I'm not sure if it's worth the energy it takes.

That's where you come in.  If you like what I'm doing and want to see it continue and even expand, you need to let me know.  Start by following and commenting on my blog, since you're already here. :)

The other things you can do to help (and not all at once, for the sake of your own sanity) are listed here.  My blogtalkradio page could use followers, facebook "likes", comments and reviews.  Same with my iTunes page that archives all of those episodes.  My imdb page could also use those facebook "likes" (and even just searches for my name, to be honest... which is why the link is just to the main imdb page... type "Ben Hopkin" into the search bar).

Lastly, if you're an actor and looking for training, take a chance on my online classes.  Currently I'm only offering one-on-one training, which is incredibly inexpensive when compared with others in the industry.  I also allow you to try me out for free with a half-hour trial class.  Just email me at actingwithoutthedrama (at) gmail (dot) com to set one up.

But really, the most important things here are the ones that cost you nothing but a wee bit of time.  And yes, I just said, "wee".  *snort*

My blog will return in July, regardless of the response.  My radio show may also return then if the response is strong.  If the response is moderate but enthusiastic, the show will return in August.  If the response is weak, it probably won't come back at all.

I do want you all to know that this isn't intended as an ultimatum.  It's rather a reality check for me.  I have no interest in vanity projects.  If all I'm doing this for is an inflated sense of self, it's simply not worth it to me.  If, on the other hand, I'm really helping out and can receive some (free) help in return, then I'm all in.

So let me know.  It's in your hands.  :)

I'll announce the outcome when my blog returns in July.  Until then, my Twitter stream will still be active (although reduced in the number of tweets) and I will do my best as always to answer any direct messages or emails I receive.  Hope to hear from you all soon!