Let me first tell you that so far today, I have been cast in a TV pilot being filmed in Chicago, two new streams of income appeared in my life and an audition that I didn't submit for came in from a major theatre company. What do you think I am focusing on? I'm focusing on the audition that I just went to and how I feel that I "messed up" or "bombed it."
It's such a tempting road to go down. The road of Beating Yourself Up. It's familiar. Well worn. I know all the twists and turns. But you know what is scarier for me? To actually take care of myself. To walk towards the positive things going on in my life. To care for myself. That's the road of the unknown. That's the Higher Road for me. Sometimes I would just rather go around complaining about everything and play the victim and just go hide from all of the world. That is no longer an option for me. As painful as loving myself can be, it's the best option. It's the one that will land me more roles. It's the option that will give me a chance. Here are my top 5 ways to love myself after an audition:
1. Call someone on MY TEAM
Who is on your team? YOUR TEAM? You know the people you can go to and just say all the crazy things in your head. People who you can trust. That won't judge. In fact, they usually will relate. It took me some time to find these people. To develop relationships and to just trust that they are exactly the people I need.
So after.... wait! ... Before an audition I call someone on my team. I tell them,
"I am going into an audition and that I am committing to experience shame when i come out of it. And that I want to leave all the shame and voices in my head outside the audition room. The shame and judgments and voices will be waiting patiently here when I return. And I will call you when I finish with the audition." This way I have contained the experience. I am not alone in my journey. And what happens is I get to show up more free and loose - because I am showing up as my authentic self.
2. Write Affirmations
The constant babble that goes in my head after an audition is this: You are not good enough. You are too dramatic. You are not good looking enough. You are TOO good looking. You need more scene studies. I am a better film actor (for stage auditions). I am a better stage actor (for film auditions). You were frozen. You voice wasn't deep enough. You had too much emotion. Not enough emotion...the list goes on and on and can continue way into the night.
So I write affirmations. I write positive things about who I am. A lot of times they are borrowed or from others compliments people have graced me with. Other times they are real general. And I just take out a notebook and write one page of affirmations. Maybe one day the affirmations will replace the babble - at least that is my goal.
Here are some you can use after an audition:
I am exactly where I need to be today
I love this journey and love being on this journey
This role or something even better
3. Detach from the Outcome
There are so many variables that go into casting: Hair color, the look, friendships the actor and director may have, the casting director is sick... all of these things are completely out of my control. The success is that I showed up. I showed up as me. And either that is what they want or it isn't. All I can do is show up as a professional and be me. The rest is out of my hands.
What helps me is knowing that with every NO I am that much closer to my next YES!!!
4. Go have FUN
After an supposed "bombing" of an audition - usually I go to the place of Do More. I need to read more plays. I need to memorize something else. Work harder. Do More. Then I go into my cave and just sulk the rest of the day/night.
But I think the best way to take care of myself after an audition is go have fun. Go hang out with people who aren't in the industry. Go to a BBQ. Go create fun somewhere. I think this is part of detaching as well. Go live in the joy. It's just an audition. It doesn't define my worth. There are an abundance of auditions on their way to me. Now go eat Ice Cream.
5. Focus on the Positive Evidence in Your Life
For you I'll give you a little peak into what has been the most powerful tool that I have been using.
At night, I write down all the evidence that my vision as an actor is actually happening. I write down the phone calls, the emails, the submissions, the table reads, the auditions, the compliments. Everyday something is going on in my life and I have the evidence. And the great thing is that everyday more and more evidence continues to show up.
Go ahead: Try it for 30 days. Write only the positive evidence that your acting career is moving forward. And then leave your proof in the comment selections or on my Facebook page.
I LOVE WHO YOU ARE. I LOVE WATCHING YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE GIVING YOURSELF THIS GIFT OF BEING HERE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF EVERYTHING YOU WANT. THANK YOU FOR SHARING WITH ME YOUR LIFE. YOUR COURAGE TO SHOW UP AS YOU IS SO INSPIRING!!!!!
Lately, as it has been so cold, I haven't been able to run outside like I usually do when the weather is nicer. So I have been getting up and putting on TED talks. Something that I can have playing in the background while I get ready. My thinking being that "it's getting in there." Whether I actually process it consciously or unconsciously - my brain is receiving the input and using the information. So why not start my day with healthy doses of life. I am including three links to videos that I have been listening to.
I am also including a picture of my Vision Board. What is a Vision Board? I will let you define/research that one for yourself. But I see it as my compass. It's where I want to go. It allows me to dream big. As I pull these fantastic images all together I get this feeling of happiness. Of Hope! Of surprise! Where is my life going! I am so excited to see where we are heading!
I take some magazines that I bought. Usually movie related issues. Throw in some Dwell or a science magazine. Then I spend an hour cutting our images and words. Things that make me happy. People I want to be. Clothes that look fantastic. Anything that will bring joy when I look at.
One day after creating the below Vision Board - my life basically got flipped upside down. I was yanked out of my comfort zones. The universe rearranging my life to start aligning with my vision board.
Please surround yourself with reminders of your greatness! Because you ARE!!
I can't say enough about this talk by Brene Brown. It's a game changer. And as actors we want to look at how we are operating. Both on stage and even most importantly off stage. Having the courage to show up to auditions. Having the courage to make those phone calls. Having the courage to fail. Having the courage to love and be hurt. This is what truly makes us great. The more opportunities we can have to make ourselves vulnerable - the stronger we will become as actors.
And I am simply restating what she talks about:
The old myth has to be shattered that Vulnerability is weakness. Because the truth is Vulnerability is strength.
Our Body Language!
As actors we think we are in control of our bodies and how we present ourselves to the world when we are on stage or in front of the camera. But what about the audition room? What are we telling our bodies before we go in? And I am not talking about the posturing that happens out there. Amy Cuddy talks about job interviews - and isn't that what an audition is - so if we apply her findings to our actor lives - what will be discover? I don't know about you - but I want to walk in feeling confident. i want to bring my full self. Am I doing that? What is something so simple that I only need to do it for 2 minutes before I show up? (Fake it til you Make it!!)
Tracey Letts gives an incredible talk on creativity. This has really helped me in my approach to writing and just being creative. I started to look at what I was surrounding myself with. How was i checking out? I began to let myself daydream more and more. Letting ideas in. And not judging them. Somewhat revolutionary for me.
Tracey Lett's Talk during Chicago Idea Week
I will leave you with this:
I love you. I love that you have the courage to be you. I love what you are doing right now with your life. You are exactly where you need to be in this very moment. You are on your path and it is so beautiful to watch from this point of view. i won't stop loving you. You can't make me. I love you unconditionally. I believe in you. I believe in your potential. But most of all: I love you!
Are you a Self-Loved Actor? Some insights on taking care of the actor and the person....