You know sometimes I think that the difference between successful people and un-succesful people (depending on how you measure success of course) comes down to a few small things that can make ONE HUGE difference.
Today I’ll focus on – “Putting yourself out there”.
“Putting yourself out there” can be very scary, intimidating and generally induce pants wetting types of emotions. I know that whenever I update my showreel and have to ‘re-post’ it I get really anxious! ” I also seem to take at least half a year before I really put myself out there, well, before I put my own work out there. There’s a few different things between being an actor and being the creator of a whole new world. As an actor you play a part in bringing that world to life, but you don’t create the world, you simply live inside it. The writer on the other hand creates this new world, giving birth to a complicated new organism – as an actor you help that organism to live!
When I first heard someone say that actors aren’t creative artists but rather interpretative artists I was offended! I’ve always thought of myself as creative, how dare they!? But its true in many ways. The actor has to interpret the text – creatively, yes of course, but they do not create the text. Perhaps that is why it is often so difficult for me to put my written work out there. Its something I have created, it’s not someone else’s work that I have interpreted, to me it feels more personal if someone doesn’t enjoy my created work rather then if they didn’t enjoy my interpretation of a character. That being said I do feel rejected and disheartened when I am not selected for a role – but because I believe (most of the time anyway!) that I am talented I know that when I am not selected for a role it only means the director thought someone else fit the role better. That doesn’t make me a bad actor, it just meant the shoe fit someone else better.
Now in the process of casting my own webisode and being on the other side of the table has made me realise just how little control an actor has over wether or not they get the role. There really are just a million variables and gut feelings! The best you can do is prepare the best you can and be yourself, if the shoe fits it fits! If it doesn’t go try on another pair!
So if you are an actor, writer, director, visual artist or musician you have to learn to put yourself out there in spite of fear! You can let fear rule your life forever, never living to your fullest potential because you are afraid of the unknown, what people will think, if this big leap of faith will even pay off! But living in fear of the future is kinda silly because no-one knows what the future will bring! Really there are SO many possibilities that you haven’t even thought of.
Your present actions however can influence and change your future in ways that are unimaginable so why not try?
I have spent a lot of time living in fear of the great unknown, that magical ‘what if…’ followed by negative thoughts about the future and myself, and you know what that has produced? Anxiety, stress, hopelessness, depression and stagnation. When you are too afraid to even try just because you might not be ‘good enough’ or the work isn’t ‘perfect’ you never do anything because nothing will ever seem perfect or good enough when it comes to your art! (to me anyway). I always see the flaws and areas for improvement in whatever I do, but that helps me to let go of my work – as in give it to the world despite its imperfections and also to strive to always be better.
Negative thinking patterns inhibit you from even trying, they stop you from enjoying the success you could have and learning from the experience! Learning means growth and growth means becoming the best version of you! These things really are invaluable! You have to break free from your doubts and fear by DOING things despite being afraid you will fail or that it might not be amazing. I figure that perhaps my doubts and fears won’t ever subside one-hundred percent (because nothing is ever 100% or 0%! Nothing is ever completely dirty or completely clean -a good psychological reasoning tool you can use) – so if your fears won’t ever go away you just have to do stuff anyway! I have entered festivals and competitions and have been scared out of my freaking BRAAAIN! But that fear has actually driven me to do my best work, so in a sense that fear can be utilised to help make you better!
I guess we all need a bit of fear as a motivation in life, just don’t let it demotivate you! Use fear to propel yourself off that metaphorical cliff and learn to fly or fall super gracefully 😉
Of course all this is easier said then done, but seriously if I can do it, so can you! So give it a crack and really pursue your dreams. You never know what might happen.