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Creative Career Coach: Don’t Fool Around

Use your time wisely – don’t delay trying something you’ve wanted to do because the opportunity may soon be gone.

“Thus we play the fools with the time”- William Shakespeare, Henry IV

April is the month we celebrate both April Fool’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. William Shakespeare was a prolific writer of plays and sonnets that have continued to amuse people for centuries. He didn’t have the internet or video games to distract him from writing, though there were plenty of other things to disrupt his work. But he didn’t let those get in the way of being productive. He focused on creating. We can all take some lessons from him.

Shakespeare was full of wisdom and advice like this from The Merry Wives of Windsor: “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

How many opportunities have you lost because you missed the application deadline? If something is important to you, such as applying for the storyboard internship at Illumination, get your application in early. Put important dates on a calendar and give yourself a deadline to get your application done before the actual deadline comes.

And this from Venus and Adonis: “Make use of time, let not advantage slip.”

Have you been using your time wisely? Have you been delaying trying something you’ve wanted to do for a long time? Have you been distracted from what really matters in your life? Have you foolishly been putting off something you really wanted to do waiting for everything to be perfect before you start?

If you wait too long, you may not have the opportunity again. Whether it is signing up for a class to study with an animator you admire, or to finally get a demo reel made for voice over work, why not make it a priority? Set a deadline and get it done.

This reminder is from Othello: “Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.” Let us all be motivated to make our dreams a reality. Don’t fool around with wishing. Take action and make it happen.

In Antony and Cleopatra, we find, "To business that we love we rise betimes and go to ‘t with delight.”  Those of us who have creative careers enjoy a rare and powerful gift.  We are working at arts that we love with rare talents.  Those talents confer another gift.  They give us reasons to wake up in the morning and work with other creative people.  Our days may be long, but at the end of the day, we are spent, fulfilled, and rewarded with the knowledge that we've used our rare gifts to make the world a more beautiful and interesting place.  Just like the Bard himself.


Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a speaker and career coach specializing in helping people with creative careers such as animation and visual effects. She is also a recruiter for clients such as Disney, LAIKA, Lucas, and more. You can reach her for help with career coaching and career navigation, recruiting, or arrange for speaking engagements at Her website is