Today, I am going to share about the coaching sessions I had a while back with a working Spanish actress I will call… Boogie. ;-)
Boogie was working a lot. To be precise, she was known enough to be working all the time. She was having plays, on top of leads in TV series…. Boogie was working every single day.
So you may ask… Why did Boogie need a coach? And why did she choose a coach like me?
Well, Boogie was suffering when she was acting…
She wasn’t experiencing any flow, bliss and she was rarely being “in the zone”.
When Boogie acted, she was working hard, using a lot of effort to not feel blocked and to open her instrument. She felt inauthentic, fake and unhappy as she felt like it was such a struggle to deliver what she thought was demanded of her or what she thought was the right choice.
Have you ever felt that way?
As far as I am concerned, I can definitely relate.
The actors’ suffering is the reason I started to get passionate about coaching in the first place!
So when I met Boogie, I was so glad to start working with her because she was definitely having a very unfulfilled but very busy acting life. And that made no sense for me or her.
And, in my 20 years of coaching, I have actually rarely met actors who don’t suffer to a certain extent.
So, let’s break down that myth of the suffering artist, shall we?
I say it loud: ACTORS & ARTISTS DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER.
Whew, hope that was loud enough! ;)
Actors are only suffering because as kids they were wired to please.
So when they approach a role as an adult, they can’t ever trust their unique and instinctive take on it as their default is to look for what “is right” in order to please/be accepted/be good enough/be validated.
And “doing it right” NEVER gives you access to the life/instinct/impulses/flow/bliss/zone that you could actually tap into and that will give you SO MUCH MORE PLEASURE & SO MUCH MORE IMPACT ON YOUR AUDIENCE. IT SIMPLY WILL NOT.
So the work I started to do with Boogie was that we would take the material she was working on and make sure to NOT USE ANY OF THE TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO ACTING she had been using so far.
Out went the script analysis, out went the substitution, out went the sense memory, out went the “10 Steps to Nail Any Scene” and all the rest.
Boogie was extremely scared at first, because that meant she had to throw away her safety net, but I was very excited cuz that meant instead of a method to work with, we would have a real, grandiose human being: an ALIVE BOOGIE.
Then I gave Boogie some daily workouts so that she would start tackling her blocks (fear, resistance, emotional blocks, preconceived ideas about the character), in addition to us approaching the script from where she was at rather than where she thought it needed to go.
If you want to experience workouts like these for yourself,
grab a copy of this interview I did on the podcast The Actor's Resource podcast with Alice Kwong, about how to work through your blocks in order
to be connected and present.
So back to Boogie:
Since she was constantly working as an actress, we were quick to see the big transformation this non-traditional approach made in her experience performing.
Before she knew it, Boogie was easily able to approach the material from where she was at with no struggle, completely embracing and honoring what the material triggered in her.
She was in the zone, authentic.
A fulfilled artist. Not a suffering one.
What questions do you have around the myth of the “struggling artist”? What blocks do you need to work through? Leave me a comment on my Facebook Page.
Thanks for connecting, and I’ll see you next week for some more Boogie coaching stories! ;-)
PS. If you want to begin enjoying your work more as an actor too, do not forget to check out this podcast --> “Have you ever felt creatively ‘blocked’?” where I suggest how you can go about this process yourself.