Read an excerpt below from Scott Lairson’s book, God I Wanna Be An Actor, available in our online store at xpmedia.com.
Price: $6.00 USD
It may comfort you to know that you’re not the only one who needs to find their self-confidence. In fact, some of the most famous and respected actors have had stage fright so badly they threw up before every performance.
What do we know about self-confidence? According to most definitions it’s “freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities to succeed.” Self-confidence is usually specific to particular tasks but some people seem to display it in a variety of ways.
Confident actors have a deep faith in their careers. I’ve observed over years of casting that the best actors know their capabilities. They know they will be able to do what they desire and propose to do (within reason), regardless of obstacles. They even remain confident when they run into “nots” in their career—when some of their goals are not met—like not booking a job, not getting as many auditions as they would like, or not obtaining representation by an agent. Those with self-confidence continue to be positive and believe in themselves. The actors who make the most lasting impression during audition are those who are confident in their ability and well prepared.
Hebrews 10:35 says, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward …” When you have confidence in your ability as an actor, you know you’ve prepared yourself fully and you’ve done your best, how could you NOT believe in yourself? Don’t listen to the “voice of doubt” that would tell you, “You’re not a good actor” or “You’re never going to make it in this business and fulfill the desire GOD has place in your heart.” Choose instead to tune into the voice that says, “If you can see it, you can have it!” “If you can believe you can … YOU CAN!”
Because self-confidence is a requirement for an acting career, consider this next statement carefully: if you’re afraid of rejection and it destroys your self-confidence as an actor, then the entertainment business may not be for you. However, there are ways to build self-confidence in this business:
1. IDENTIFY the things that make you feel unworthy, ashamed, or inferior — identify it, give it a name, and write it down. (Name it and you can defeat it.) A lack of confidence in yourself could be a feeling that you’re being judged and can’t live up to expectations.
2. RECOGNIZE and name your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Once you’re in this business, give yourself permission to take pride in your auditions and your jobs. Give yourself credit for your successes!
3. DECREE and declare that you are “the head and not the tail!” Do not allow yourself to be victimized by stinkin’ thinkin’. Find something you enjoy doing and express yourself. Everyone is born with talents and strengths and you can develop and excel in yours. When you’re following your passion, it will have a positive effect on you— you’ll feel unique and accomplished, which will help build your self-confidence.
4. BE THANKFUL for all God has accomplished in you and in your career. Be positive and accept compliments with confidence—simply say, “Thank you.”
5. FAKE IT! As we say in Hollywood,“Fake it ’till you make it!” Acting confident can actually make you believe and accept it as true. Pretend that you’re a completely self-assured person. Go through the motions and see how you feel! Wow, your first important acting job!
Acting is both an art and a science. The science is obtaining a skill-set by training, studying, and learning the mechanics of acting. The artistic part is taking what you learn, believing in your abilities, and then putting it all together with a part of yourself into a character, using your own interpretation and emotions to form and develop the part.
The famous actor, Johnny Depp, explained it like this, “With any part an actor plays there is a certain amount of themselves in it; there has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting, it’s lying.” The ultimate foundation for self-confidence is knowing that acting is where you are supposed to be “for such a time as this.”
The art form of acting is when an actor brings truth to an imaginary character while backing it up with self-confidence.