Data over drama: using acting feedback to your advantage
I have a mindset tweak for you. It’s a tweak about acting feedback.
This tweak is for you if: you’re consistently putting yourself out there with live auditions and challenging classes and self-tapes and you feel like you “should” have a career by now but you just haven’t had that big YES you’re hoping for yet. Maybe you even feel like an acting failure.
I know how frustrating it can feel to plug away inside your career and feel like you’re not getting any big payoffs. And the “no”s can feel like a slap in the face. They can feel so personal. Acting feedback from a coach or director you trust can feel deeply personal. It feels like a criticism of you as a human.
What if you play with a little tweak and look at the acting feedback and roles you didn’t book as data points instead of as personal comments? The good news about consistently putting yourself out there is you have a steady stream of data points. And all that information is so helpful. “Data over drama” like my mentor Dallas Travers taught me. All that acting feedback is just free information for you to use to get better. Plus, as you’ll see in this clip, the other huge mindset shift becomes; “failing” gets you closer to your win.
Check out this conversation from class where we talk about the importance of being in the arena! I think you might find this clip very helpful.
(And for more help dealing with rejection and how it can eat away at you, check out this post on that little voice in your head.)
CLASS CLIP TRANSCRIPTION
Sarah: I really…I know you know this, like, intellectually. But sometimes it’s hard to know things all the way inside. That you, being in the arena, and willing to show up and get feedback at a point when you feel like, “I should have a career by now, blah blah blah,” and to get a note and to have it mean like, ugh.
But how great that you can continue to get the information that you can do something with? Rather than just being like, fuck this, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, or I don’t knwo why I’m not getting in, or I don’t know why…like to start to gather information, get data. And you have the data over the drama.
Student: Right. Yeah.
Sarah: And with that, also keeping in mind, is the data that’s coming in consistent? Does that data that’s coming in start to fall in line with, okay I’ve heard that, I’ve heard that from me, I’ve heard that from other people. Does some of the feedback that I’m getting make sense? And then let me get to work on that.
Student: I feel like feedback is always just all over the place. That’s why I’m so exasperated, you know?
Sarah: So then I think at that point it becomes, where do I go? Who do I trust? I’m gonna hang out there. And everything else is like, I can listen and take in if a note resonates. I can take it in and be like, okay, I can see what I can do about that. But in terms of—well, before we get into that, the win of that would be, I agree, I mean what I hear as a win, is you showing up to do it. Just being in the arena. It’s really easy to be critical of people when you’re sitting on the outside watching what everybody is doing.
But when you’re in there, the only way you can win is to fail.