How to Be an Actor... Anxiety Free?
Not too long ago, I directed an interesting scene for an actor's demo reel (www.actorscreenershoot.com).
The actor (let's call her Samantha) was wanting to do a fight scene to show off her martial arts skills.
I had done a branding session with her where we discovered that a large part of her brand was someone who cares and supports others.
So we wrote out a simple script – the idea being that her and a friend would be preparing for a martial arts tournament.
The friend would get knocked down during a sparring match and start feeling really down on herself, like she'd never succeed. Samantha would then try to console the friend and encourage her to get back up and keep trying.
As the date for the shoot approached, I started to worry that the weather was not going to be good for an outdoor shoot, and we didn't have an indoor location big enough for what we were wanting to do.
Suddenly, I had a crazy idea.
What if I could find a cool martial arts dojo to shoot the scene in?
Normally, I'd stress out about this a ton – especially since we only had three days before the shoot was scheduled to take place.
This would be my thought process:
I'd then have anxiety the entire time leading up to the shoot.
Do you ever feel like that?
Does your mind suddenly start to spin out of control – especially if you have an important, potentially life-changing audition or meeting coming up?
Negative thoughts like those used to rule my life, especially when unexpected problems came up.
But not this time.
I took a moment, thought about the situation, and then reached out to a location scout I knew.
"Hey, how much would it cost to find a dojo to shoot a scene in?"
She emailed back saying she'd look into it.
A few hours later, I received a $250 bill from her, and she said she'd confirmed a dojo for the scene.
No!!! What the hell? I didn't want to confirm a place, I ONLY wanted to find out how much it would cost! That's WAY over budget!!!
But before I sent an angry email, I calmed myself down.
I then thought, Eh, what the heck. Let's just do this and make it the best shoot ever! And then I'll know of a dojo to use for future shoots!
I paid the $250 and we shot the scene.
so how was I able to control my anxiety and stress so well? Why did my anger evaporate so quickly?
Well, the answer is what I want to talk to you about today – something called The Tripod of Stability.
I learned about this from a mentor of mine named Ramit Sethi, a genius personal finance expert.
The Tripod of Stability refers to having stability in the three most important areas of your life – your finances, your emotions, and your health.
It's almost impossible to become successful in life without first being stable in those three areas (unless you're extremely lucky, which is very rare).
The reason I was so quickly able to get over that $250 surprise charge was because for the past year, I've been working hard to ensure my Tripod of Stability is strong.
I've been reading books on emotional control and psychology, I've been learning about personal finance and saving money when I can, and I've started going to the gym (I'm also trying to eat healthier - but not successful there yet!).
Just think about it – if I was not emotionally stable, I might freak out about that kind of thing. And if I was very sick, I'd have no energy or strength to handle it. And if I had no money saved up, I could be in trouble!
Once you've built a strong Tripod of Stability, you can go after your acting dreams as much as you want without feeling nearly the same level of anxiety and stress most actors deal with each day.
And guess what happens when your Tripod of Stability is strong?
You audition better. You make better first impressions. And your book more jobs than you ever have.
So now I want to ask you:
Which area of your Tripod of Stability do you feel needs the most work? Your finances? Your health? Or your emotions?
For me, I know I need to work on my health. If I don't change certain habits soon, I might have some serious problems that could impact my work a lot (and seriously hurt the other areas of my Tripod of Stability)
What about you? Please write a comment, I'm looking forward to hearing from you!