Regardless of your experience, you’re expected to carry yourself with composure and confidence. After all, who would hire someone they didn’t feel they could rely on, whether it be for an acting job, a voiceover, or any other profession for that matter?
No matter the industry, commerce is confidence. It’s imperative you instill confidence, often when you feel anything but. And while I’ve never been a fan of the “fake it till you make it” cliché. The fact is that, even from the very onset of your career, your job involves making those who hire you feel secure that they’ve made the right choice.
Here are 10 dependable ways to increase your confidence and make yourself a reliable talent:
1. Be prepared. Nothing undermines your confidence more than lack of preparation. As the saying goes, you make your own luck. And luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. Preparation means training. It means studying, researching the backstory, investing in yourself, and continually building your performance agility so that you’re ready at a moment’s notice.
2. Expose yourself to as many opportunities as possible. Audition for scores of projects, especially the sort of work you intend to land most. If you’re a voiceover artist, you want your demos to be included where there are lots and lots of voice talent. This is how you build experience—the ultimate confidence builder.
3. Be passionate! Concentrate on what you can agree with about the situation, the production, the script, the cast, the director, the scene, the take, the class, and the production. It may be work, but it beats digging a ditch.
4. Stay current. Most direction is based in current, pop culture references. And by today’s standards, with so much media, social and otherwise, that can be a tall order. Concentrate on what interests you most. This makes you more social, as well as easier to direct because you’ll understand the reference when offered.
5. Be authentic. There’s nothing more valuable than you being you. Attempting to second-guess what a casting director or producer might be thinking is a fruitless effort. The truth is they aren’t thinking about anything until you give them something interesting to think about. That’s literally your job as a talent. Bring your point of view and imagination into the session. You’re paid to have a pulse!
6. Be the person you’d want to work with most. Be the player you’d want most beside you in the trenches, not the person who creates unnecessary drama. Life’s tough enough. Keep the drama on stage, in the commercial or film, or on TV. Be a trusted colleague.
7. Focus your best efforts on the aspect of the industry you intend to work in most. Far too many get sidetracked from their initial goals. It’s easy to do in this business. Wherever you put your attention, that will be what you’re known for; it can become your legacy. If you concentrate on writing, you’ll be a writer. If you want to act and do voiceover, you have to act and do voiceover. Stay in your lane!
8. Learn from your mistakes. If you concentrate solely on what not to do, that’s inevitably what will transpire. If you’re transitioning out of a bad situation, ask yourself, “What should I have done differently?” The fact is you can’t help but learn from every situation you’re in, no matter what happens.
9. Risk! The only way to condition yourself to rely on your impulses is to use them. Therefore you must make a habit out of taking risks and surprising yourself. Make a habit of continually challenging your comfort zone; there’s nothing but discovery and creativity in it if you do. A steady diet of risk will result in greater trust of yourself in nearly any situation. This is why improvisation is so valuable.
10. Commit yourself to elevating the production. Dedicate yourself to the idea that this production will benefit from your presence, then set out to ensure that’s the case. Work very hard to make that so. No need to declare this commitment to anyone but yourself. It’s your promise to you: If you’re associated with this project, then you’re committed to do everything in your power to elevate the experience. Period. Before long, you will achieve a body of work you can be proud of from this simple, heartfelt commitment…to you.
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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.