How Actors Can Deal With Nerves + More From the Backstage Community Forums

How Actors Can Deal With Nerves + More From the Backstage Community Forums

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You already know Backstage is the go-to for any and all information pertaining to your craft. But now, you have the chance to get in on the action with the Backstage Community Forum. Here, you can engage with others in your industry, as well as teachers, experts, and, yep, even agents and casting directors. Below are some of this week’s most interesting new topics; drop a reply or post a new thread. Either way, fire up that keyboard and get involved right here!

“I don't get many auditions and when I do I usually get this wave of anxiety/nervousness that completely demolishes my focus and attention in the room. This happens both in class and in auditions, but especially at auditions. It's not crippling to the point where it's very obvious, but it most definitely throws my focus off. Like the most basic of stuff, if the first line is mine I'll just blurt it out... no previous thought, nothing and then I'll just rush to the finish line... and my only "character" thought involves thinking how horrible this is going and how I'm just wasting everyone’s time.

“I tend to be an idealist but as of late I am starting to see the reality that if I can't convey what I'd like to convey with the character then there is no way that I can get proper notes or feedback. Sure one can say that if you botch the audition due to whatever factors, well then that's that, and any feedback is valid, to which I would agree. But still it makes me wonder. This happens in class too which is why more often than not I stop attending class since I just end up getting the same notes.

“Most actors are nervous to a degree, it comes with the territory, but my question is have any of you dealt with this problem and overcome it? You always hear about big time actors being very shy, for example Johnny Depp, but I've never heard him talk much about it besides giving it a brief mention in conversation.

“For example, I used to get nervous when I first learned to drive stick shift, and then I got accustomed to it and with the experience of doing it daily I eventually overcame it and I no longer feel nervous, I actually feel very in control. I assume a similar trajectory would take place in acting, with the exception that I naturally tend to be shy and keep to myself in life which gives this current status more permanence. It's strange, and sometimes I wonder, if all my life I've been kinda quiet then what makes me think that I am somehow going to abruptly overcome it in acting. But still I persist.

“I know this is a random post but I find that it helps to put things in writing and maybe someone else has some run through a similar experience. Anyhow, thanks for reading.” —JayGatsby

Usage for network web spot:
“I did a nonunion holiday spot 2 seasons ago, and they contacted me, wanting to re-air on one of the Network tv's streaming sports site.

“Not having a commercial agent right now, I'm curious if comes up, what might be reasonable to ask for, in terms of usage for the 2 or so months.” —lastlooks422

Have you had good/bad experiences doing student films?
“For the past few months, I've gone out on 6 or 7 auditions for student films. While I understand these kids are students, they are learning, but my experience is they are just extremely disorganized, scripts are rife with misspellings and grammatical errors, and there is a bit of an attitude with these kids nowadays (perhaps it has to do with the political environment on university and college campuses now, I don't know.) Am I just having rare bad experiences here or is this normal? It doesn't seem to me that you are even going to get usable footage for a reel out of any of it, so why are actors encouraged to do them?” —BHKid

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Casey Mink
Casey Mink is the staff writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is definitely somewhere watching it.
See full bio and articles here!