It’s time to talk about the V word. (again!)
No doubt you’ve been there — working on a scene that leaves you feeling a bit like…you haven’t totally “gone there”? And deep down (if you really listen or dare to ask in the first place) you know it’s because the material exposes are part of you that may not feel so hot.
I’m right there with you. Hey—it can feel like sh*t! Or it may feel like nothing– just like a big wall of nada.
But, of course…It’s everything.
My teacher Larry Moss always talked about acting as being private in public which is really perfect.
A great way to practice vulnerability and help get you more comfortable being seen when those juicy, exciting roles come around is by practicing imperfection in safe moments in your daily life. Think of it as exposure therapy to being exposed. Start building your comfort level by being vulnerable around safe people in your life, not just with how you look, but with how you speak, act, and express yourself. Consciously allow yourself to be seen, and you’ll start seeing the effects show up in your work.
If you want to dig even deeper (and since I’m writing this, I think you should!), set aside some time to reflect on why it’s so scary to show yourself, flaws and all. We’re all taught to cover ourselves up at different points in our lives, and if you can pinpoint those moments, you can begin the work of unlearning your perfectionism. And I promise both your work and your life will benefit.
Are you ready to be seen?
CLASS CLIP TRANSCRIPTION
Where in other areas can you practice imperfection? Can you practice being seen? You know, we’ve talked about this, but with the safe people in your life, what would happen if you didn’t have to look a certain way or be a certain way? And flirting with it in small ways. Because it does make a difference and it does translate to your work. The less you can care about—and it’s not just how you look, but it’s how we are perceived. It’s tangling up your value as a human with your value as an actor. And you’re going to have to be able to break that mirror and let all that ugliness hang out and come out and be seen.
And I think, sometimes, going back in your life and seeing if you can identify some moments, some early moments, when you very first decided it wasn’t safe to be seen. When you very first decided, nope, I’m going to pack it all up, I’m not going to put myself out there. And you may have an early moment with a parent, with a teacher, with another kid. See what comes up and then do some writing about it. Do some purge writing, like ugly nasty writing. There’s something very real about those experiences that were really hurtful, and so going back and to actually let it out and write and write and do some free writing and then burn it. Those moments…those moments are very defining, so let’s go back and just…