GET RID OF DOUBT AND FEEL FREE WHEN YOU ACT.
So first things first, congratulations!
If you are reading this, it means you know something is bothering you when you act, and you are ready to get yourself to the next level. This is a big step.
A lot of people stay confused because they are not ready to question themselves truly. Instead they look for quick fixes, only to find bigger trouble down the line. So bravo for taking care of yourself!
Now we are going to talk about doubts and freedom. And though they are only two little words, you know what they represent.
-When I say doubt, I mean, any blocking emotion you feel when you act : thinking too much, untruthful, tired, disappointed, insecure, unhappy, ashamed, etc. To put a big word on it, the feeling of fear.
-When I say freedom, I mean that exceptional sensation you wish you’d always feel when you act: fully alive, open, flying, in bliss, available, inspired, proud, unique, special, real, exposed, relaxed, truthful..It’s difficult to stop here;-) And again, to put a big word on it, the feeling of being.
So, let’s get serious. In order to get rid of doubt and feel free when you act, we’ll cover three points today:
1-Know WHY you act.
2-Dissolve your BLOCKS.
3-Muscle up your INSTINCT.
1- Know WHY you act.
It’s probably the most crucial question you’ll ask yourself when it comes to acting because the WHY determines the kind of energy you have in your engine.
So, take a moment: ask yourself why you act. And I mean beyond all the selfish reasons like “I love transforming myself”, “I love the ambiance on a set”, etc.
What is acting after all? Acting is the art of being alive.
You are giving life to stories that impact audiences.
So, that is your job. You influence, affect, impact audiences.
In other words you get to be a politician. You get to say, in my opinion, this is how I think things should be, this is how I think we can grow, this is not right or unfair, this is how we can make it better, expand, etc.
Go to a magazine store. What are most magazines about? The entertainment industry. Why? Because people want to look up to someone ( actor, singer) for guidance, inspiration on what we are doing here and how we go about living.
That is what mythology has always been about and that’s why we still want to hear stories.
Stories unite, move, help, entertain and ultimately give some guidance on life and the existential questions all humans have.
So as an artist, you have an amazing opportunity, to be listened to. What is your take on things? What is it you hate most? What is it you think should change. In short, what do you have to offer specifically and therefore how do you package it consistently.
Let THAT energy fill up your engine. Let it influence the material you explore, the way you walk in the room, the speed you fly when you are in character, the fights you pick with the director, let us see it in your head-shots and your reel. Own it!
2- Dissolve your BLOCKS.
So let’s get back to those dark emotions... Doubt, fear, lack of confidence... Remember;-)?
They are human, right? They are part of your palette as an actor. So what do you do with them?
Don’t judge them, if you are feeling them , it means they served you at one point and kept you safe. If you have come to a point where you feel they are a burden and they are in your way, then yes it’s time to face them and I officially announce you feel safe enough to let them go.
So there is a gazillion techniques to work on your fears ( anything from meditation to tapping and boxing will do). But again there is no magic recipe, there is not one single technique that will liberate everyone from all their fears. Instead, you need to listen to them and figure out which fear needs what. It will be affected by who you are, what the material is triggering inside of you, your day, your past, what is at stake, etc.
Take a pen and a paper, and every time you feel the dark emotion show up, write it down. Make a list of all these limiting beliefs. Then you can address them one by one and determine which exercise feels best at which moment.
One of my all time favorites is listening to your fear, whether you scream it, dance, it, yell it, paint it or write it, you will see how the simple act of fully listening to your emotion instead of resisting it, will make it much more flexible, and eventually it will be an old memory.
A third of the time I spend with any client is working through blocks. Welcoming them, flexibilizing them, and recycling them to transorm their specific energy in art. Ultimately, just understanding this will not do the trick, it’s the actor's consistency with the exercises that will inevitably liberate them.
On a side note, when you are comfortable with these emotions, spend some time with your classics. Dig out good old Shakespeare and see how the quality of these emotions when they are not submerging you, are totally serving your art. And if they serve your art, they serve the audience so everybody’s happy;-)
3- Muscle up your INSTINCT.
Ah, the fun part. Now you can get that flow going.
You have cleared out the way and your dark emotions are only serving you, so you will be able to listen to your instinct much better. So, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, and get a coach if you want to be pushed higher!
Right now, your instinct will take baby steps cuz it hasn’t been solicited for a while. So play along. Take your time and repeatedly trigger it.
Again, there is a gazillion exercises you could do here, and the best one for you will always depend on the circumstances and the moment, but a good one to start with is exploring your impulsive movements: if you have never done this, get on the floor and be a baby for 10 minutes a day. The week after that explore your adult impulses, standing.
What we usually do with my clients is figure out the most challenging exercise in terms of freedom exploration and then commit to do it daily as homework. The results are mind-blowing, so enjoy!
All right, it’s time to conclude...
When doubts are no longer filtering your experience and your instinct is back on it’s feet, you will enjoy the flow of your instrument. It is only with this quality of presence that your choices will be absolute, your characters unforgettable and your impact, magnetic. And that my friends will be art!