Monday, May 16, 2011

Coaching for Actors

Today I had a complimentary half hour coaching session with a fellow actor turned life coach.  I didn't have high expectations going into it, actually I didn't have any expectations since I've never done anything like this.  But it turned out to be a really enlightening experience.

One of the first things I realized is the importance of having a mentor in this industry.  I give out a lot of advice to those starting out and making their way up.  Yet I have no one that I can talk to about what to expect when the bookings start coming regularly and things start rolling in your career - someone that has been there and can tell you what's normal for this stage.  She was just that and I didn't realize how much I was missing out on.  Action Item #1 - Make more friends who can act as mentors.

We discussed my performance anxiety, of course.  She recognized that it only happens when I view the stakes are being high.  Which is very true.  It's a confidence issue.  She also let me know that it's totally normal, almost every actor has been through it before and she herself experienced it while working on a TV series for three years.  We discussed things that I can do next time around, a toolkit to get back in control and overcome the issue.  Action Item #2 - Make up a preparation checklist for big auditions.  Include breathing exercises, positive affirmations and recall a sense memory of a star moment. 

Next, we talked about my "Close, but no cigar" phenomenon, you know, all of the right of first refusals with it going to the other person.  She let me know it's not unusual at all and is actually a REALLY good thing.  It's a normal phase of progression in your acting career.  It's the difference between hoping for something to happen and knowing that it's going to.  Action Item #3 - Keep on, keeping on.  Oh wait, I already have that one under control. 

Best free half hour of advice I've ever gotten.  If you'd like one too, you can contact Justina Vail Evans at  She's awesome! 

(un)discovered alison


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