Actors often come to me and say, "Jo, I’m totally confused! I've studied with this person, and that person, and that super star coach, and that celebrity acting teacher... but now when I'm approaching a role, I don’t know who to listen to. Which one is the right one?"
Have you experienced that? It’s like losing the connection to who you are, and you don’t hear your own voice in your head anymore, just a lot of noise from too many teachers and too many classes.
It's like being pulled in all different directions, and when you feel disconnected and stuck, acting starts to feel like an obligation.
So how do you reconnect with your instinct, your intuition and creativity?
Read on to learn how to not become overwhelmed and reconnect with yourself.
First, let me say that I'm not against the whole industry. ;) There are definitely acting classes out there that are inspiring and help you train your instrument. But, feeling disconnected is just an all-too-common complaint I hear from actors, and I think it's valuable to have a discussion around it.
Okay, here we go...
Traditional acting classes usually offer methods -- external tools, systems, ways to approach acting.
As most of you know, my perspective is that acting is the art of being alive. And if you're looking for the best example of that, look no further than children. They are so alive and free. All they do is act - from running around the playground to pretending with their toys to imagining new friends and worlds.
And they've never taken an acting class before. ;)
Even if they are professional child actors, they don't spend a lot of time with "methods". They immediately believe the circumstances on set and just jump right into it. There is nothing on the outside telling them how to act.
They're just alive from within. They are unconstricted, unformatted, unwired. Yet they are still very much in touch with their emotions, their impulses, and their instincts. (Jealous?) It's just living in the moment at all times... which is why kids are such great actors.
Back to those traditional acting classes...
And here is where we're going to be very frank...
If acting is the art of being alive, do you really think there is some external method, outside of yourself, that can teach you how to be alive?
You are alive. Maybe sometimes you are resistant to the experience, but that's just another part of being alive too. Being alive cannot be "taught" in a classroom.
Now, let’s talk about your part in all this… Why are you taking so many classes in the first place? If you’re like a lot of actors, it’s because you think that is something that needs to be fixed... That if you just hear the right wisdom, it will inspire you and correct whatever is broken within you and make you "good enough"...
But there is nothing missing. You don’t need to “fixed”.
Instead, you need to restore the connection you have with yourself. Muscle up your capacity to tap into who you are at all times, and whenever you need to, even under pressure.
When you have that alignment within you, you will be able to share it with your character.
But no one from the outside, with an external method, can teach you how you should be alive and bring life into your character.
There's no way anyone can make a one-size-fits-all system that works for all actors, every character, and every human being. (And it would be pretty boring if every performance was the same, yes?)
So, here is my recommendation to you, if you feel like you've taken too many acting classes... if you've tried a movement class and a singing class and a voice class... just stick with ONE THING. This path will give you the space to train your instrument instead of just working an external technique that doesn't belongs to someone else.
Find just one place where you can train yourself. Get to know and understand how life moves through you. How do you access it? How can you tap into the internal energy that will lead you to anger, sadness, joy?
Find just one place that allows you to dive into YOU.
And make sure it’s not a place that tells you “how to do it” because there is no right way to do it. There is no “method” to being alive.
If you haven't watched The Instinctive Actor webinar yet, check it out by clicking the image below. It will give you tools that you can use right away to train your instrument and reconnect with your instinct. Best of all, it’s totally free.
Once your whole instrument is open and available for your characters, you will be able to honor and celebrate being alive, so you can show up for your characters in exciting and unexpected ways.
Until next time!
Have you experienced the downside of taking too many classes? What did you think about Jo’s recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.
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Whenever you’re ready, here are TWO ways I can help you:
1. Join my free Facebook Group, THE INSTINCTIVE ACTORS’ SOCIETY,
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2. Get on the waitlist for my course, The Reset Journey From Resistance to Freedom,
and stop struggling to access your natural, authentic talent in the audition room or on set. You’ll learn how to reset your instrument to be 100% instinctive and free in just 33 days.
GET ON WAITLIST: tobeornottoact.com/waitlist