No matter what medium we are playing in, no matter what we do: act, write, direct, produce, sing… each depends on our ability to communicate effectively with great belief in what we have to give. But the actor can’t gain confidence by demanding others to praise or approve of them. The actor gains confidence by demonstrating to themselves that they are worthy of it.
Confidence is something you can’t “get,” but it is something you can build.
False confidence is copping an attitude that you are superior to others. This attitude is not pro-survival for the actor because you really need to be moldable to do your job. In acting, strength is realized by being flexible and open to any criticism and notes. Great acting requires welcoming feedback and trusting the collaborative process between you and the director. If you feel you must protect yourself, your focus will be in your ego, and you will be gauging how safe you are, instead of freely trusting the process. You may even discover you are in your head, “watching yourself” as you act, and not living into the give-and-take between you and your fellow actors to deliver that great performance you so desire.
You see, often the things actors do to protect themselves are the very things that get in the way of greatness. Sometimes actors may fall apart, needing others to reassure them. Or the actor may even get angry and be difficult to work with because they are afraid of being bad. Even when their choice may be weak, and there is a better choice suggested, actors can be so afraid to step outside their comfort zone, that they may sabotage something good for something “safe.”
When we are focused on our own inadequacies we aren’t being present to the opportunities being offered. There is always potential within us to discover an unrealized new strength. In every production, in every opportunity, something unknown, something extraordinary, lives within us that yearns to be ignited, if we would just step out of our own way.
Acting is a constant exercise in uncovering what lives within you, the good and the bad, and to fearlessly expose what most people would rather hide.
To be a great actor, you must be willing to step into the unknown, with honesty.
Trust is the most important quality an artist must possess. Actors must enjoy the process. They must focus on the love of the work rather than on what others may think while they are executing it. Actors can’t fear criticism while creating. Living in the fear shuts you down.
There is a false belief that you need confidence to be great. But it’s not really true. The truth is, you just need to trust yourself and “do it,” with or without confidence. The amazing thing is, it isn’t confidence that gets in your way, it’s actually fear. And if you can work through the fear and transform it into positive energy, you will be out there “doing it.”
Your confidence comes from the execution of doing the work, over and over again. That’s how people build their confidence in class, through completing scenes and learning how to get better at script and character analysis. Confidence comes from making strong choices and learning how to effectively execute those choices. If you know your craft, no one can deny your skill and that, my friends, exhibits great self-belief that you have something grand to contribute, simply because you really, really actually do.
When you have proven to yourself by executing your work in front of your peers; that you have your acting tools within your grasp, there is a calm inside.
Confidence is being competent… knowing that when your time comes, you will be able to deliver because you practiced when it didn’t count. You can only gain confidence from working on yourself and showing up to the work. There is nothing without it. Though it’s nice to have others treat you with respect, there is nothing like earning it because you did a good job. That’s the real deal. That is confidence.
Kids Act LA is the most specialized acting institution in California. We are leading in acting, as well as in personal growth. We specialize in children.
Call us 949 273 8804 for a free presentation, a free evaluation and you will be able to schedule your child for an exercise in personal growth, at absolutely no cost. If you are willing to spend two hours with us, we will empower your child, and change their lives forever.
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