Two words that can accelerate your acting career
I´d love to share with you two specific words that I notice help quiet the critic in the mind of top performers.
I’ve observed actors who work with these two words, can tap into a greater sense of play and daring during important auditions, and care less for what others think.
Two words: Attachment & Commitment.
Dean Carey was the first person to articulate these to me in his book, The Acting Edge (warmly recommended!). It´s a phenomenon I have observed in top performers since beginning my coaching career, and I believe Dean´s way of putting it is the best I have found so far.
Attachments – what are they?
Attachments are “unconscious, unmet needs” as Dean Carey puts it. He explains how they will often create “controlling” or “protective” behaviours that contaminate our work.
Let´s look at a couple of examples. One type of attachment could be an unconscious need for approval. During a screen test, this could create people-pleasing behaviours that smother your ability to give a performance you´re proud of, as you try to “get it right”.
Another example, might be an unconscious need for love and belonging. How might this show up in a screen test? For some, you might find your mind wandering and worrying about what the casting director thinks of you, rather than being able to do the work you want.
Where do Attachments come from?
Attachments are usually developed from a past experience, often from childhood, where we have unresolved pain.
During the original event, strategies like people-pleasing were likely very wise strategies at the time! Thing is – the original event has passed, but the strategies remain, and they no longer serve the current moment. So when we there is potential for judgement or we perceive the pressure to be on, like in a casting situation, this can be enough to trigger an old wound and unconscious behaviour that contaminates your performance and sense of self-belief.
How do we take Attachments out of the drivers seat?
There are three steps I notice are very effective. First, become aware of it. Second, claim it. Lastly, shift your attention and energy to something called your “Commitments”.
Step 1: Awareness
If you notice behaviour showing up that you can´t shift, slow down to explore what attachments you might have in your life at the moment. If you feel stuck, a good chat with a friend, colleague, coach, mentor, or even therapist can also help clarify what´s blocking your acting space.
Step 2: Claim it, don´t judge it:
After you are aware of your own attachments, it´s essential to acknowledge your unmet needs by “claiming” them.
The biggest mistake most people make is to judge themselves for having attachments. In Buddhism they call this the “second arrow”. Judgement can keep you stuck reacting to the attachment. This is where you must practice compassion and humility with yourself too, as raw emotion may show up. To take charge and step out of reaction, you must claim your unmet needs.
Step 3: Focus on your Commitments
“One way that has profoundly helped me, is for me to place my energy and attention onto my commitments, rather than my attachments” – Dean Carey.
As an actor, your commitments might include:
– To create an audition you´re proud of.
– To focus on your audition as it´s own entity (not to think about getting the job)
– To support your fellow actors.
– To bring joy to your skills training. Listening, line-learning, eye-lines, voice, movement.
Focusing on commitments gives you a sense of progression. You build momentum and increase performance confidence. It allows you to put your time and energy into the relationships and work that matter to you.
My hope is that you´re inspired to explore what Attachments and Commitments mean to you in your own acting process. Approach yourself with a deeper compassion and humility. Create the performances you dream of, and build a career you love.
Thanks for reading this far! Hope to see you 6:30pm on 17th March 2017 at the Hub for the free seminar.
Angie Ford is a world-class performance coach. Her one-to-one client list includes World No.1 Athletes, Entrepreneurs of the Year, C-level Executives, Best Selling Comedians, Actors, Musicians, Bankers, and National Best Selling Real Estate Agents.
Angie´s interest in coaching was originally sparked from her own sporting background as a national gold medal swimmer. She is certified from the Coaches Training Institute, and has personally trained and travelled internationally with some of the world´s leading authorities on personal development.
She has mastered the art of bringing out in others what it takes to get their best performance both under pressure, and consistently over time. Her coaching methods have attracted audiences from the USA, UK, South Africa and Scandinavia. She has trained groups of 10 – 1000 people. Angie has been a teacher and trainer for over 15 years.
Angie is passionate about the process of self-belief, and how this naturally leads to action, genuine enjoyment and results. Angie respects what is takes to expand comfort zones, and treasures the opportunity to work with clients who are hungry for personal growth.
Her positive energy is infectious. Her ability to listen and support, whilst challenging clients to explore their own self-beliefs, make her a sought after coach and speaker.