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Backstage Experts

Why You Need To Be Vulnerable As An Actor

Why You Need To Be Vulnerable As An Actor

Share your crack.

No, not of the plumber’s variety.

The kind that’s created from our neural noise that tells us we’re messed up in some way. It comes from this flawed premise that we seem to collectively suffer from, telling us we’re unlovable and undeserving of love.

Our neural noise gets fed by this false premise then solidifies our “cracks” making us feel more and more separated and disconnected from other people.

But as musician, Leonard Cohen, says, “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.”

So actually cracks are essential. It is through them that the unique light that is specific to each of us gets expressed.

Your light that shines upon the world is different from anyone else’s. How you shine is the individual expression of who you are. Your light isn’t more special than someone else’s – we’re all plugged into the same electrical grid – but  it is unique to you. And it’s really only through your cracks that your light gets illuminated.

So to let your light shine you have to get into your cracks. They’re there for a reason.

And the breakthrough occurs when you start to face them.

Work with them. Embrace them. Ask them to show you what you need to see. You have to be gentle with them and be as kind with them as you are with the parts you like about yourself. But you don’t because you have so many judgments about the hidden parts of who you are. You consider them to be negative reflections of your character. You cast them further into the dark because you feel they’re “not good” or unwanted. You hate yourself for having them because they’re reflections of the dark parts you’d rather not admit you have.

The towering figures of light in our society don’t have them. Or do they? Might it be, actually, that because of them – their cracks being broken open – these people are able to illuminate others?

Like we all are.

We live in a culture that generates a great deal of guilt and shame around our shadow parts because we’re not taught that it’s all part of the same prism. “If you don’t have any shadows,” as Lady Gaga says, “you’re not in the light.” They’re essential and necessary. But because it seems as if no one else has them, we avoid them. Or we feel badly for having them. Or further perpetuate the false belief that because of them, we’re unlovable or undeserving. In many different ways.

In love. In career. In creativity. In expression. In abundance. In success. In fulfillment. In health.

That’s what the cracks do when we continue to keep them impenetrable to the light. They prevent us from embracing the variations of love that we deserve to experience in our lives.

But once we begin to break them open, something miraculous happens.


Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and Artistic Director of Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop (AMAW) in Los Angeles, where it was voted the Best Acting Studio in Los Angeles by Backstage in 2011 and 2012 (Best Scene Study and Best Cold Read). AMAW is also located in New York, London, Vancouver, and Australia.

Meindl's first feature film, “Birds of a Feather,” won the Spirit of the Festival Award at the 2012 Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, and he won Best Director at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles. He is a regular contributor to The Daily Love, Backstage, and various spirituality podcasts. He has been featured in ABC News, Daily Variety, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and the CW KTLA. He is also the author of the new best-selling book, “At Left Brain Turn Right,” which helps artists of all kinds unleash their creative genius within. Check out Meindl's free smartphone app on iTunes. 'Follow Meindl on Twitter @AnthonyMeindl.

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