Hi guys! This week, I wanna talk about those moments when you really want to work on and improve your acting, but when it comes time to take the first step, you get totally distracted and just don’t.
It sounds a little like this:
"I really wanna be able to cry on cue... Pfft, I don’t even know where to start or how to make that happen. Oh, look, the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Gotta do that first!"
"I experience so much pain when I'm in the audition room, I should really do something about that... Ooo, look, leftover chocolate cake from yesterday, let me just have a little piece instead..."
Do you see what I am getting at? (No, I don't have a window into your mind; it’s just human!)
You can radically change the outcome of these moments of distraction and ensure that YOU WILL PRODUCE RESULTS!
If you want to switch from good to great, from control to being instinctive, from acting from a place of pain and anxiety to one of ease and freedom, you need to have a system in place.
Anything that has ever happened, has happened because someone made a decision. And that's the type of system you need, one that will help you take a decision and turn it into results.
If you're already a member of The Instinctive Actors' Society, you have probably seen the Daily Prompts posted each weekday. If you haven't joined yet, click the image below to become a member now for free! This online community is a safe space for us to work together, discuss all things instinctive acting, hold each other accountable and offer each other support.
The Daily Prompts are exactly the kind of system that I’m talking about. They are a specific action a day, Monday through Friday, built to give you structure without being overwhelming and to actually yield change in your acting.
Here is what the week looks like:
Monday - Decide the result that you want.
Now, there is a BIG difference between wanting something and deciding something. For example, let's use "I want to work on my fear of being wrong." You can make that decision every day, and the situation may never change. "I'm going to work on X...", it could take forever.
When you decide / declare / throw your hat on the other side of the proverbial finish line, it means you're already holding yourself accountable to reach that result. You don't have to know just yet how you're getting over there, , you’re just gonna make it happen no matter what.
And make it date specific: "I have decided that one month from today I will have worked through my fear of being wrong." When you declare it, you're already starting the forward movement, so the next logical step is to take actions toward your decision.
You're putting yourself at the finish line already. When marathon runners compete, most of what pushes them to go through the resistance and pain and exhaustion they experience is that they can visualize themselves finishing. And that's what you want to do with any endeavor...
Including working on your instinct. By moving through all the painful stuff you feel when you act, you can be begin to feel more present, free and instinctive... and therefore GREAT AND UNDENIABLE.
Take whatever part you feel you need to work on first, and decide that you'll have that done and dusted by a certain date. And don't keep it to yourself! Post it in The Instinctive Actors' Society, so people can see it. You never know who you may inspire or what you could take away from someone else's decisions.
Tuesday - Start taking action.
Once you've decided what you're going to make happen, you need to take actions to make it happen. You have to do the work.
So to continue with our previous example, of the fear of being wrong, what are the actions I would need to take daily to get myself over the finish line? I recommend only taking only 1-3 actions a day, so you don't get overwhelmed (and have a nice excuse to not show up for yourself!).
Make sure they are clear and specific steps to close the gap between where you are today and where you have decided you will be in a month, and post those in the community too! If you're stuck, ask for advice from your fellow actors; you never know what great ideas you can come up with together.
Wednesday - Be accountable.
I promise you, from doing this for a very long time now, you will want to quit at some point. Whenever you challenge yourself, whenever you aim for something high, there will be inevitably be discomfort.
You will have to stretch yourself and do things outside of your comfort zone. It will trigger resistance in you, and you will want to cut and run from that uncomfortable feeling.
Totally normal, guys! But discomfort is also where we grow.
Make sure that when you want to quit, you have a system in place to pull you back in. It can be a buddy system, for example.
You can definitely find an accountability partner by posting in The Instinctive Actors' Society and by participating in the Daily Prompts through the comments. Or make your own little Mastermind group within the group and move through the milestones together!
Here are some other options...
Hire a coach or mentor.
Take the 33-Day actor's journey, From Resistance To Freedom, if you haven't already.
Watch the free Instinctive Actor webinar. It will provide some beginning exercises that will you can do daily in order to start purging your resistance and muscling up your instinct. You can sign up by clicking the image below.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that it will grab you by the hair when you want to flee. ;) And block off time in your schedule to do your actions, so you aren't distracted by other tasks that seem more urgent but take away from prioritizing what you want to work on.
Thursday - Maintain your momentum.
Have you ever wanted to do something, and you start thinking about doing it over and over again, without actually moving forward? It's like a hamster wheel... and it's a total energy suck!
So what I mean by momentum is that when you decide, when you take action, when you remain accountable, it actually creates energy. It becomes so much easier for you to show up and take action rather than to not do it.
And it takes LESS energy to actually do the thing than you'd waste just obsessing over doing it... Honestly! You've got to try it to believe it.
And you will start to realize other things are possible because now doors are opening to an energy that you didn't know you had.
Friday - Celebrate.
Woo-hoo! The best part, right? I want to make sure that you guys really take some time to acknowledge what you've produced at the end of each week. You made a decision, you did the work, you stayed on course, and you celebrate!
You should be proud of all your victories, big and small, for not giving up, for moving through your resistance, for the results that are happening... and the results WILL BE THERE.
It's a cycle that spirals upwards, unlike when you say you want to do stuff, but then you don't do it. By sharing your success in The Instinctive Actors' Society, you'll also see how other people are doing, and that will give you some juice too.
The community is there to support you, and it will push you, pull you and keep you in the game. Sign up by clicking the image below, if you're not already a member.
Full confession: I hate social media. (I know, I know...) So, these Daily Prompts are not just background noise. I designed them to help you lift that thick layer of resistance sitting on top of your shoulders, so you can be more present with the excitement of your performance than the pressure around you.
You need a little bit of a structure. I'm all about freedom, but for you to create the things you want in your career, your life and your development as an actor, you're going to need a little bit of structure.
Look at nature; it's extremely structured and totally free. It needs both to work perfectly. And you need the same thing to get into the flow.
And this system lives inside The Instinctive Actors' Society because when you find a community that speaks your language, that helps you move through the painful stuff that can come up when you act (plus, with free tools and resources available), that is when you begin to go from being good to being great.
OK, now go get some make some $*!t happen.
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,
exclusively for actors who are ready to go from good to great and become undeniable.
REQUEST TO JOIN: facebook.com/groups/instinctiveactorssociety
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