I spent years trying to find and maintain what I had decided was the ideal emotional/physical state to be in, so that I could do my best acting work. I did all kinds of mantras, visualizations.
And yes, I even carried crystals. I practiced relaxation techniques, I was rolfed, cranial massaged, and screamed in a sweat lodge. I did all kinds of crazy shit. At times I was successful at manipulating myself into my ideal state.
Eventually, I found a way to suppress myself into a state of pseudo-relaxation. But after all that hard work, the sad truth was that none of that manipulation landed me jobs. For some reason I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to hire a suppressed actor. It wasn’t until
I gave up on all my self-manipulation tricks that I started making a steady living as an actor.
What about you?
Ever put a lot of attention into something to create that self improved version of yourself, only to discover that all people want is your truth?
Remember the recipe for truth
Feel your body, see what’s in front of you, take a deep breath and say “I’m Back!”
The beautiful news…
Your truth is always available to you. You don’t have to go searching the globe to find it.
Let us know how accessing and creating from your truth booked you the job.
Whatever the job. Or how it made your relationship easier.
It‘s so easy for all of us to forget that we already have everything we need.
Let’s make a movement of I’m Backers.
Start by telling us your reminder to us.
And don’t forget to retweet and click on the Facebook share.
The world needs you.
Earlier this year I joined an improv group, and on the first night me and two others were taken to one side, given ‘clues’ about our characters & relationships, then thrust onto a stage in front of fifty people to do a ten minute long scene based on these clues. Turned out it was a scene from Hedda Garbler but i didn’t knwo that til later. Anyway, I had absolutely no idea what i was doing, all i could do was work with what the other actors were giving me. it was extremely liberating and afterwards people thought my acting was strong. inside i thought ‘huh?! i spent the whole time utterly confused!’ but hey, if that’s what works i’m all in. The only state you can be in is one of ‘showing up and finding out’. the more you rehearse the more you find what works, so it’s kind of best not to ‘set’ your emotions from the start
Great story Sarah.
It’s so wild that we so often don’t know when our work is good or not while it’s happening.
Like you said, when you just play within the truth – that’s when the best work emerges.
The truth will set you free, bitches!
Great post, Josh.
.-= jean´s last blog ..The Truth Behind Why Hindsight Is 20/20 =-.
I have taken your class in LA and I loved it. I really had fun – something that I don’t often have in acting classes. I still don’t think I could put ‘finding my truth’ into action though. It’s one of those things that needs to be really articulated for a dummy like me. I’m sure I could pretend to find my truth, but I’d only be lying to myself, in the way someone might lie to themselves if they were practicing meditation and the instructor said afterwards ‘did you find enlightenment?’ and the student just says yes!’ reflexively because they feel like they should say that. People can convince themselves of anything. What is my truth? How do I know if I’ve found it in the middle of a scene? Of all the different acting theories I’ve been taught over the years, I’ve never been able to put any of them into into practice because I never know if I’m getting it right. Am I feeling the way it’s supposed to feel? Are you saying that telling yourself ‘I’m back’ means that you will focus on the other actor and suddenly be truthful? I’m like the one meditation student in the class with one eye open, going “I don’t feel anything”.
Sorry for all these questions, not sure if I’ve broken the rules of this little cult (kidding!!)
I go into great detail about this in my book.
But lemme take a shot at it here as well.
First off – when you say “I’m back” it’s because you’ve just followed your thoughts to some evaluation of how you’re doing ( and 99% of the time most people’s minds tell them they’re sucking), or your mind takes you into the past or fantasies about the future ( some peeps call that worrying).
So as soon as you’ve left – say “I’m back” and increase your breath, feel whatever sensation is in your body and take in what is actually in front of you.
Then let the lines you are saying be a description, in a sense, of what you feel.
When u say you don’t feel anything – I say impossible.
Simply feeling your butt on the floor, or what is happening in your shoulders is feeling something. There is always sensation available. It doesn’t need to be profound or intense. Maybe u just feel kinda chill – that’s your truth. Start creating from exactly where you are and the sensations will start shifting and shifting – let that be your guide track – not the crappy thoughts.
Practice feeling sensation in your body. There is a wealth of info available in there that most of us don’t listen to. The more you can connect with that info – plus really taking in what is around you, the quieter your mind will be and the creative channel opens up so you can do your best work.
Hope this is helpful.
I’ll be back in LA in Feb doing 5 Thursday night classes. Come experiment some more if it feels like a good fit for you.
Thanks for asking about this.
Julie Millett says
This all makes me so happy and juiced to read about – I can’t wait until my schedule syncs up to take one of your LA classes. (And I love your sports agent commercial that I just saw last night!) When does the book come out?
Julie (RHHVM alumna)
The next round of classes in LA starts in Feb.
And, the book will be done by the end of this year. I am doing a final polish on it now. I am very happy with it, finally.
Thanks so much for this great reminder! While the controlling part of me would fight this tooth and nail – the truth is the best auditions I have are always the ones where the reader starts before I am “ready” (ie – trying to control the scene). Where I just had to jump in (ready or not) and go with it. When something unexpected happened (like a shoulder strap slipping down) that surprised me. It is never the auditions where I felt like “wow, I really did exactly what I planned out the night before.”
.-= Emily´s last blog ..In the words of Steve Jobs – Your time is limited, do what you love =-.
Hillary Rubin says
loved going deeper at #rhhlive. you are a master. can’t wait till your next LA weekend, I must do it. much love, hillary
.-= Hillary Rubin´s last blog ..Can’t Make Your Mind Up? Try This… =-.
The Committed Impulse training at #rhhlive was powerful. It is very different to be doing it with the movements than just reading about it or listening to it. So glad I could experience it.
Josh, I finally had THE HUGE insight this morning. A memory surfaced from years ago of a discussion about singing, opera performance and “bringing the audience into YOUR world” as being the ultimate state of singing performance.
It was stated during that discussion that to spill over into tears during a performance was “selfish and unprofessional.” The idea was that we were there to serve the audience and to “break down” in the middle of a performance because we connected “too much” with our own emotions meant we were indulging ourselves, rather than doing the job of presenting an appropriate level of emotion for the audience.
WHAT????!!!!! No wonder I fell flat on my face Sunday morning of CI. The noose I’ve been swinging from for the last decade was that nonsense about selfish and unprofessional.
I’ve also heard it stated at numerous music conferences that the best performers are the folks who “bring the audience into THEIR” experience. The record company A&R guys love tossing that one around. Now I can toss it out.
Who knew my “ideal state” for singing for the past twenty years has been that of walking barefoot along a knife blade! Thanks for helping me finally find a sturdy place to stand.