Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Professional Actor - How to Use Your Self-Awareness to Get Ahead in the Business

As an actor you must understand the power of being self-aware in order to convince casting directors you are not only talented enough, but have a great head on your shoulders.
There is a fine line between being self-aware and self-absorbed, and I will try my hardest to define each so you may lean more toward awareness and less toward being self-absorbed.
What is Self-Awareness in the Scope of an Actor?
Being self-aware as an actor means having a solid understanding of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your talent, which is easier said than done. We as actors like to think we can accomplish any acting goal - that any character is within our reach. Unfortunately, this is not true.
We all have a strong point when it comes to the type of characters we may portray, and in order to get ahead in this business you must hold a solid understanding of these characters.
Along with talent self-awareness, you must also have physical self-awareness. This refers to understanding how your body moves, what your ticks are and how you can adjust your bodily movement for a character.
When you're at an audition, casting directors will adore you if you showcase an acute awareness for your body and how it moves. Even if you're not moving in excess, your very stance can inform a casting director of your talent and ability/agility.
Avoiding the Self-Absorption Trap
It is far too easy for an actor to become self-absorbed within his own world. If you think about it, you'll be surprised all actors aren't self-absorbed. As an actor you must be extremely aware of your body and your abilities. You are continually having people judge you, and praise you when you do well. You are bombarded by materialistic phrases and judgments from your peers.
In order to avoid the self-absorption trap, and to keep your name in a good light when it comes to casting directors, producers and directors, you must understand that this awareness is vital for the success of your career, but the awareness must STOP when you are not performing. When you're off-script or just having a conversation with a casting director, be yourself. Relax and have fun. An actor that can laugh and make jokes about himself is a casting director's best friend.
Remember: if you take yourself too seriously, no one will take you seriously.

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