- Jo Kelly
#11- Don't act, just BE. "Boogie: don't think you need to become a better actress"
This week I feel like I need to tell you the whole truth.
I used to be Boogie.
Sorry. I used to be Boogie BIG TIME.
Back in the days I was an actress. I believed I had talent deep down, but at the same time, I felt a big lack of confidence in my instrument.
As a result, I always felt that I had to “get better” and “improve”. I felt I was never good enough and that I had to strive all the time. Can you relate to that?
I went from one acting teacher to the next, from one method to the best “perfect recipe” to becoming a flawless actress…
I loved studying and felt I was learning so much.
The more I was learning the more I thought: “ Wow! I need to keep learning cuz I don't know all these things… So I should probably…”.
And off I went to the next guru… And the next… Until I did them all.
Little did I know that all these methods were tying me to that feeling of NOT BEING “GOOD ENOUGH”.
They did give me the impression I was getting more and more knowledgable about acting.
They did give me the impression I was doing my due diligence in training and working out my instrument.
BUT ACTUALLY they were KEEPING ME AWAY FROM MY DEEP SELF.
From my truth.
Deep down there was a feeling of not being good enough and that is what I had to DEAL WITH and face in order to work through it.
At one point, I had a big ha-ha moment. I realized all the methods I had learned made me think there was a right way to go about acting.
Those tools always made me feel like there was one certain way to do things and that if I didn't do that, I was wrong.
So I was always trying to “get it right”, and always felt wrong or not good enough at the end of the day.
Then it just hit me: if I was alive, what I had inside HAD TO be good. It had to be interesting without any need for fixing.
I realized it wasn’t about being good enough, it was about being HUMAN ENOUGH. And I was ALWAYS HUMAN ENOUGH.
So I decided to reverse everything I had learnt and instead I came up with tools that allowed me to really tap into what I had to offer in the moment, with all my darkness, light, secrets and shameful parts.
I found ways to bypass my mind and get direct access to my real power: my instinct, true feelings, energy, opinions, wants and the whole enchilada.
The second I realized that all my “stuff”, my inappropriate stuff was what I had been looking for in acting classes all this time, I stopped trying to get better, I stopped trying to be appropriate, I QUIT TRYING TO PLEASE, I dropped caring about judgement cuz I finally heard myself and there was no negotiation about that.
The result is that the jobs I booked right after were the best jobs I ever had. I booked 2 lead parts in films and honestly it was bliss. I felt so committed, empowered and impactful.
I was free, I was truthful, I was dedicated to my character, I was influencing the story, I was influencing my acting partners, I was influencing the directors I worked with. I truly did have power. It was palpable. And it came from honoring who I really was in whatever condition.
Not that it mattered to me anymore, but the work I did was rewarded, I got a couple awards and that’s when I started to feel that what I had discovered as an actress was too big for just me.
I felt tremendous eagerness and excitement to share so I developed my coaching practice and I started to write my own stories and direct my own projects.
Today as a coach, I pride myself to not be a teacher. I am proud to not teach a method.
Because I believe in human beings as a whole perfect and complex entity.
I don't have a method but here is my principle:
AS AN ACTOR YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET BETTER. YOU JUST NEED TO EMBRACE AND CELEBRATE EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE SO YOU CAN SHARE THAT. Which is why I always say “I won’t teach you how to act, I’ll remind you how to be”.
And I know what you are thinking: “That’s not easy, Jo!”
And you are right, reversing decades of molding and formatting in the other direction is not easy. It takes diligent work and practice.
But I can promise you this: “ once you have reversed it your acting and your life will never have been as effortless, aligned, tuned in, tapped in and turned on.
A little reverse discipline to step into eternal effortlessness?
A lot of learning a method to step into more of the same?
The choice is pretty clear to me and I will always bet on what is natural ( your perfectly functioning instrument) rather than what is fabricated ( the method).
I will never ever get enough of seeing actors just being human enough!
I am passionate about coaching because, I see beauty unfold in human beings.
I can’ t ever get enough of seeing source shine through artists.
That is why I am here.
Thank you for reading and if you liked it, I invite you to share this post with like minded artists!
See you next week in the next Blog!