You’re an actor.
You want to be liked. You want to be special, chosen, influential.
You want to make people feel something.
That’s what actors do: transfer feelings.
[box options]We numb ourselves with food, entertainment, and sometimes even other people. We want to feel again.[/box]
If you create, your art takes on a character and that character is a vehicle to carry your thoughts, ideals, and feelings to whomever engages with your creation. Yep, you’re an actor.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via Compfight
Acting is a working life. That’s a good thing.
Successful actors never stop working. They’re always doing two things:
- Enjoying the moment.
- Looking for what’s next.
A bit of a paradox to enjoy the now and also look forward, isn’t it? Point is: they work and they love the work.
There’s a healthy fear you’ll hear the most experienced actor convey even while they’re working…
Will this be my last job?
The smart actor realizes he’s a small fish in a big pond and in order to not be swallowed whole, he’s got to work.
Work smarter. Work hard.
You’re an actor too.
Actors are often a needy bunch.
I can say it because I’m an actor and I fully admit it–I’m needy.
That’s not all bad. Of course, if we didn’t have needs, we wouldn’t be human.
Yet, often these needs are not just basic needs but overwhelming desires to be picked–to be chosen. Much like the two team captains picking team members on the elementary school playground, nobody want to not be picked.
[box options]Pick me! Pick me! I’m special too! Look what I can do. I can do this. I can also do this. And aren’t I something amazing![/box]
When the work is overlooked and the ‘pick me’ syndrome takes hold, the work suffers and grows stale and substandard.
The ‘pick-me’ syndrome manifests itself in many ways. If you’ve ever obsessed about your website traffic, how many likes/pins/shares/G+s you’ve gotten, you’ve experiened the ‘pick me’ feeling an actor feels at every audition.
But let’s be candid: we want to be picked right? If we don’t have an audience (even if it’s small) we don’t experience the joy of sharing our work.
So yes, there’s a healthy side to the ‘pick me’ tempered with genuine respect for the audience. The viewer. The customer. The reader.
By focusing on them, the ‘pick me’ syndrome diminishes.
But what happens if if doesn’t diminish. What happens if ‘pick me’ overrides the work and overrides respect for your audience/viewer/customer/reader?
It’s not pretty…
When the needy desire to be picked isn’t focused on others, the desire translates into another feeling.
You’ve smelled desperation…
It’s commission breath from a slimy salesperson.
You’ve seen desperation…
It’s a child rolling around on the floor in the toy shop, begging her parents for the new Barbie.
I was going to trudge through all five senses, but that seemed a bit, well, desperate.
[box options]Desperation is survival mode creativity.[/box]
Desperation is a co-dependent leech, stealing life from the most valuable thing you have to offer: your work.
Though you may have never trod to boards of a stage or stood behind a camera reciting memorized text, you most likely empathize with plight of the actor. The wanting to be wanted.
Yet, by focusing on the work and focusing on the people, our work will be picked and it won’t carry needy desperation. And that will bring about a change.
That’s why we do the work right?