How to Develop Confidence as a Voice Actor

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Photo Source: Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

When you decide to embark on a life in entertainment and performance, whether it be acting, singing, dancing, writing, directing, or anything else that might place you in the public eye, it can be downright scary. You don’t know if you have what it takes. You start comparing yourself to everyone else who has already done what you’re attempting to do and you start to doubt if you can do this or if you should even be trying.

But know you want to do it so you say you’ll try. You tell yourself that even if you fail, you’ll be proud because at least you tried. But then the lack of guarantees and definite accomplishments creeps in and that fear you were so confident ignoring before is rearing its ugly head. 

Before you know it, you’ve stalled in the face of that fear. Which in turn leads to you judging yourself for allowing it to stop you from pursuing your dream. And that judgment is a self-confidence killer of the highest degree, leaving you even more paralyzed than before. It’s a vicious cycle, one that everyone—not just performers—are all too familiar with. 

READ: Figure Out the ‘Where’ Before the ‘How’

But what if there was something you could do to reverse the cycle—or avoid it all together? Something that would, over time, guarantee that you’d develop confidence within yourself? 

In my experience, I’ve found the following two-part approach to be highly effective at developing and maintaining the self-confidence necessary for making a go of your dream.

The first part of the process is mediation and simply deciding to take time every day to connect with yourself. Just that act alone will lead to a heightened sense of confidence as you become aware that you’re practicing self-care, an essential part of self-confidence. 

There’s no need to get fancy with this: just sit quietly for a few minutes. Acknowledge the thoughts that might run through your head but don’t try to change them—simply be aware and move on. 

The second part of the process is a practice called automatic writing, a time to put pen to paper and allow thoughts to flow. Something truly fascinating happens when you write with no goal in mind: your walls come down and you’re less guarded. Let those scary thoughts that popped up during meditation do so again and respond in writing. You’ll be surprised by how much things change when you acknowledge and move past. 

I’ve been engaging in the process for 30 years and in that time,  I’ve experienced what felt like failures, disappointments, losses, and deaths. There were days I didn’t want to get out bed, days when I felt there was no hope of me succeeding or doing anything remotely significant like those I admire.

When these feelings hit, I’d employ the process discussed above. Some days it worked and I was in a better place immediately. Other times, it took much longer and required I work harder but I still reached a place where my mood and frame of mind brightened, allowing me to accomplish more. 

Yes, it’s challenging trying to go after your dreams when that fear and negative self-talk creeps in. And this process will take time and practice, but it’s worth it, I promise. When you start to feel your sense of self-belief swell, you’ll feel like you can take on the world. And that mindset will show through in everything you do and with everyone you meet. 

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Roger Burnley
Roger Burnley has been a vocal coach for more than 25 years. Burnley created the online singing training program, “Singing Made Simple,” which has been used by thousands of singers all over the world and has enabled them to develop into amazing vocalists.
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