Understanding your habits


Well the end of the week has come around rather too quickly, with my list of things to do becoming longer and longer….(I live in hope that one day it will become shorter & shorter….& in-fact, that one day it may not even exist!)….however some people offer their words of wisdom and suggest to me that I’m one of those people who thrives from being busy!…..that I agree with …….(sometimes)!

Working as an Actor is something that I simply adore with a huge amount of passion, however it’s an industry that is both competitive and precarious to say the least. So sitting back and relaxing doesn’t really go with the territory sadly…..hence my constant, sometimes exhausting busyness!!! So to have passion really is a necessity rater than a luxury! Learning lines, heading off to castings at the drop of a hat and having to juggle family life around what could be a possible booking can cause absolute chaos. It can also become rather overwhelming if you’re not careful, and I’ve seen many people give up, break down and lead a very frustrating life by continuing to pursue their dreams.

Many people get lucky and land that role that catapults them to fame……..others can be incredibly talented and never get a break……anything goes……..but the one thing that I constantly see in an actor are habits. Many of them are subconscious and are taking place daily or at least frequently in order to keep the actor on “the straight and narrow”. It’s a coping mechanism I feel…..learning to cope with what can be constant rejection and getting back up and trying again…and again….

So here’s a question……How many of you would feel rejection from a partner or friend and then go back into that relationship??? The answer is probably that many of us have ….or indeed still are…….but relationships don’t generally continue for years and years with rejections happening daily……At some point those relationships break down and eventually you move on……

In the world of acting, the rejections can be daily…….sometimes twice or thrice daily…..and can last a lifetime……this is the life of a jobbing actor!. It can cut you up…hurt you….bring you joy, frustration, and all manner of conflicting emotions….yet still we, as artists find a way of continuing in our path for the love of what we do.

That’s the nature of the beast… develop a thick skin…..the rejections becomes less personal…..and when you get that role…..yes you feel elated, however then it’s straight back to reality. You have to prove yourself…….again….and again……with every single job…..every single audition….AND it can happen more than once a day when things are busy!

It’s definitely not a walk in the park, or the glamorous life that it can appear when you’re being seen on screen in someones living room. The end result maybe something that is talked about….(and dont get me wrong, – the compliments are wonderful to hear)……..but the work that has gone on behind the scenes is generally rarely seen…..

This great quote from Aristotle really rings true for me….

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

For me this means everything……to perfect your art, and to know those lines like you are having a conversation, and to feel every single part of every single word is just basic stuff……Repeating it… making it a habit …….and changing something if you know that it doesn’t work plays a major part in the understanding of both your successes and failures. Being aware, and knowing what to do that makes you the best version of yourself is again……all basic stuff….

Once what you know what really works for you, (the actions/thoughts/strategies/methods of rehearsing etc that get you those important dream roles)……stick with it….know the dialogue be it in a script, or a work presentation….know it so well that it feels like a habit……so you dont even think about doing it……the rest then will all take place on another level..Your heart, soul and passion will then be both felt and shared in your performance.

Sometimes though it’s very hard to find this within ourselves…….over the years I have learnt what works for me…..and also what really doesn’t…..I know how to prepare, and generally feel like I know my most successful ways of rehearsing….however occasionally I can feel like I’m stuck in a rut, and something needs to change in order for me to move forward….

So below is a video about something that occurred me this week……and it was all down to the 7 day Black and white photo challenge…….have a watch… may work for you too! x





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