Naomie Christensen: An Actor's Attitude

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Actor's Attitude

What is "the right attitude?" The right attitude is somewhere between conceit and sensitivity. People often wonder if they have the right personality to succeed in acting. It is self-belief balanced with internal and external criticism.

When a person is conceited they have an unrealistic assessment of their value and skills. Taking insight, education and criticism for granted is a big mistake. People have to learn skills in order to succeed. There is also a proving ground where talent is put to the test. This means performing for people, not just telling others that you are wonderful.

Sensitive people also have difficulty. Acting involves a lot of rejection. After getting one job, you have to get another job. Eventually, it is over and time to move on again. This means more auditions and auditions mean more rejection. Perhaps you weren't right for the part or someone with more experience was chosen. Go into another line of work if you can't accept and learn from criticism.

An actor has to be humble in order to accept criticism and criticize themselves. Criticism is how a person is able to improve and develop a plan to make those improvements. Sensitive people exaggerate and internalize everything. Conceited people turn this input into motivation to practice, work on appearance, attend a workshop or alter their game plan.

Not every area of humanities is right for every person. Maybe the plan was to become a famous actress; however, jobs seem limited and not going in the fantasized direction. Be humble and realize training wasn't wasted. Work in theatre to gain experience, shoot for a career in supporting-roles or become a director's personal assistance. Exploring technical aspects of filmmaking improves auditioning skills. This is additional training that pays and might be a necessary for reaching goals. It takes humility to understand that things don't work out all the time, but conceit to decide that if you push hard enough there will be progress.

Everyone fantasizes about having the lead role. However, this is not always a realistic goal. Even if it is a realistic goal it takes a long time to get there. If you have no experience, get jobs as a day-player or extra. Go to a workshop to improve skills. After completing an acting workshop, audition for bigger roles. Someone with no experience is not going to land a leading-role with a major production company. However, don't be insecure and spend everything on training only to give-up when there other jobs are available.

Admitting that you are a "no one" may be the hardest thing any actor or actress has to do in their career. However, they have to do it in order to start figuring out how to become someone. It takes a lot of personal insight and acceptance of criticism to understand who you are in relation to everyone else competing for the same role.

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