I sometimes hear actors in my classes brag about the strength of their commitment, while simultaneously telling me they didn’t have enough time to work on their scene for the week. Given that there are 168 hours between classes to find the time to devote to a scene, it’s clear that if they’re committed to something, it’s not acting.
You cannot bring any less than all you have to every moment of your professional (and personal) life if you are to succeed. The discipline and focus that comes from commitment is often the difference between actors who make it, and those that don’t. Creativity without discipline is simply a mess, a goal without commitment is just talk, for commitment is the engine that fuels the dream.
So let’s look at three things that need your full commitment and see if we can increase that winning energy:
How you live is how you work. You’re not just an actor when you’re acting or auditioning; you are an actor in every moment of your life. Great actors know this and they use their lives as creative laboratories, fully present for everything life throws their way, awake to every exchange. Everything that happens to or around them is an opportunity to learn. They take in all of life with an artistic awareness that enriches and empowers their work.
They also live their lives mindfully. They know what they need to be at their best, and live their lives accordingly. They know when to rest, when to work, when to explore internally and externally, they know what gets their creative juices flowing, and what calms and steadies their minds.
They are actors 24/7 and all of their lives show up in their work.
To be a successful working actor is to constantly be looking for ways to improve. It is to mine deeper into yourself, to be in intimate contact with your inner life in order to transform any set of words into a detailed, fascinating performance. It is to finally learn what it means to break down a scene and discover what the text has to offer. It is to commit to never being less than a vibrant, three-dimensional human being. It is to commit to jump, to risk.
You can only risk effectively if you have a foundation that provides safety. Do you have a way of working that provides you with that net, or do you pull back for fear of breaking your neck? Commit to finding out and strengthening your work so you have the skills and confidence to truly shine and finally to soar. Remember: good enough, isn’t.
To commit to being a strong, compelling presence in the room is to believe that you and your work are worth being seen. If your work is an interesting, connected representation of you, why not stand tall and deliver it with a powerful confidence?
From the moment you walk in until the moment you leave, it’s your job to be in control of the session. If you are working at your highest level, you’ll know that you belong. Actors who belong take the time they need and leave that room in much better shape than they found it in.
If you have committed to your work and to yourself, you won’t push or over-do because you won’t need to. Let everyone else do too much and try too hard—your power lies in your preparation. Your work is done and now you just need to relax, connect, and give it away.
You are the actor who is fascinating by just being, and that makes you the actor they’ve been waiting all day to meet. Now is your chance.
Commit to yourself, your work, and to others with everything you have. It’s time.
Fully committed? Check out our commercial audition listings!
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.