In the business of acting, we usually talk about making an entrance. There’s a focus on how you enter rooms, start scenes, and begin working with people. Yet a very important factor in the unfolding of your life and career is how you exit.
Everything ends at some point, and how you act during that time will color and shape what you create next. For example, if you’ve decided you must leave your agent to go to another, you are exiting a relationship and an agreement with them, and how you act will affect what you experience next. The same goes for an audition—how you button up, not only the acting scene but also the actual moment between you and the casting director or producers, will greatly determine whether you book the role or not.
Why is that?
First of all, you leave a taste in their mouth—you leave an impression that determines what they will feel and think about you forever, no matter what came before it. An agent who’s been fired unkindly will probably always think and talk about you negatively. One that’s been treated with respect may even keep the door open, or spread good word. At an audition, it becomes less important how great your reading was if you rush your exit, fumble around, apologize, or walk into a closet (it happens!) That’s what they will remember. Some not so great readings can be overlooked when a powerful exit happens and the last thing everyone remembers is how happy they were to meet you.
Secondly, how you exit leaves a taste in your own mouth. It will determine how you feel about an audition, a performance, a relationship, an agreement, and most importantly yourself. By your actions, you have decided who you want to be as a person as you move forward, and that affects whether you feel good inside, which affects the future you create.
One way to use exits is to think of them as opportunities to start again in a better way. You get to decide how you want to engage the world, others, and yourself. You have the immediate gift to choose integrity above any fears, resentments, or judgments you may have. You have the opportunity to say "yes" to honesty, compassion, care, and honoring what feels "right" in your gut. You become whole and undivided in your thoughts and feelings about others and yourself. You get to be complete.
So, get clear about how you want to exit a room. Practice leaving meetings and auditions with the best, most grounded part of you leading the way, having made a positive difference for the people there. When you move on from a business or personal relationship, communicate with those you’re leaving behind. Express your gratitude for what they have done for you. Be kind. Let them respond without judgment or defense. Treat them as you would like to be treated no matter how they have treated you. It’s about how you act, not how others act, that you carry with you into your future.
Your new beginnings can be clean and powerful, uncluttered by what’s unfinished, and empowered by your knowing of who you have chosen to be and what you bring into the next chapter of your adventure.
Justina Vail, PCC CHt, is a life coach, master NLP practitioner, hypnotherapist, speaker, award-winning author, and award-winning actor. She is owner of Actors Life Coaching and author of the award-winning new book “How to be a Happy Actor in a Challenging Business: A Guide to Thriving Through it All."
Vail coaches actors all over the world via Skype and in person. For info about private coaching packages as well as Actors Life Coaching seminars and workshops visit www.actorslifecoaching.com.