I’m not a therapist, but I do know that we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to hindering our success, not just as actors, but in other forms of work and relationships as well. The basis is typically a lack of deservability based, most likely, on past dysfunctional relationships.
In the film business, there will be plenty of naysayers – you don’t need to take on that role for yourself. It is unrealistic to think that you will never have doubts – and you should not put that expectation on yourself. What you do need to do is gather the tools you need to alleviate those doubts. Here are a few tips:
- Body image. If your body image makes you uncomfortable, there are two options: change what you don’t like or accept yourself as you are. I am personally not a fan of cosmetic surgery, but that’s only my humble opinion. If you have a prominent nose, and that keeps you from being fully available emotionally, then you may want to consider having it corrected. I would rather see you embrace and own what makes you be you because there is no one else out there like you – what a cool thing that is! If you feel that you are overweight or underweight, either accept what you perceive as being flaws, or go to the gym or change your diet. Whatever is the right decision for you is personal, but what you have to break out of is using your negative perceptions of yourself as an excuse. Having an endless negative loop run through your brain is bound to become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don’t change your negative tone to a positive one.
- Lack of support. It will become clear very quickly who will support you in your acting endeavors and who won’t. This is a bit tricky because you can only control how you feel and not how others feel. If people close to you, whether it is family or friends, feel that you are wasting your time or are delusional in trying to have an acting career, you can only try to discuss the issue for so long before it becomes a sore point, if not confrontational. So you can either ignore the lack of confidence they have in you, continue to push the issue, take a “wait and see” approach, or quit acting. Instead of focusing on negative people, focus on the people who are supportive. Surround yourself with a like-minded entourage. Many actors find great support from the acting community – classes, a theatre group, etc.
Regardless of whether you have support from outside sources, the only support that truly counts is yours. When I refer to “getting rid of the demons”, I’m talking about your personal demons. Take an honest inventory of the demons that could affect you being an actor, whether it is body image and lack of support, as discussed above, or fear of showing vulnerability or showing emotion, fear of rejection, fear of playing a role that is foreign to you: autism, racism, homophobia. If you decide to be an actor, you have to embrace the role. The more it is not who YOU are, the more the true actor will welcome the challenge.
Are you ready to do this?
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Last modified: August 13, 2017