BIGGEST MISTAKE I MADE AT DRAMA SCHOOL
I radically reduced my reading habit.
I've always been grateful about knowledge, deep conversations and ✨books.✨ (accidentally wrote boobs and that is also true).
Early on during my training I was told by a teacher that I was 'TOO MUCH IN MY HEAD.' Has that ever happened to you? This basically means that instead of playing, being in your body and trusting your gut and going with the first thing that pops into your consciousness (kind of like being a kid at play or being ultimately free), you stop and process the director's instruction logically. You try to think your way through a command rather than simply going for it. This stumps your creativity, it blocks your inspiration from the divine/magical oneness or divine consciousness (whatever you wanna call the source of inspiration for artists).
In life, thinking through things before you say, act or do something is a pretty smart thing to do. However, when acting, you've got to be free, in tune with the imaginary world being created. 💥This is very different to the HOMEWORK or RESEARCH part of the preparation. So when you're preparing for a role, do devour any and all information you can about that person/the world they inhabit, the way they speak, the fashion of the time, etc. But as soon as you're live like on set or in an audition room or on stage or in rehearsals, you gotta be ready to let go of all the information and TRUST that your work will show up and dazzle the audience.
👌👌💞💞And that is one fo the BIGGEST GIVEAWAYS between amateur and professional actors. When you're starting out, you wanna hold on to all your info, you wanna go up to the director or drama teacher and say 'look at all the work I've done in preparation!' NO ONE GIVES A HOOT about your preparation. Your preparation is VITAL and it is YOUR responsibility. No one will do it for you, like you need to ingest the info yourself. I mean, you could hire someone to compile the best research but then you still have to do the work of reading the info yourself.
SOOOOO... back to the story:
At drama school, I naively looked around and saw that many of my successful peers seemed to be very coordinated, good at singing, moving about, insane comedic timing as well as very social beings. So I made this crazy resolution that in order to get out of my head I SHOULD STOP READING! Did I consult anyone? NO (I did feel very lonely in a strange land in the UK, but still ASKING and VALIDATING an idea so radical as that would've been GOOD). Was it a smart idea? NO.
So I did. I stopped almost all reading of books. I went without them. For the first time in my life. I thought I needed to change who I was at my core (lover of books and knowledge) in order to become a better actor.
💥I suggest that you try every single method you are given at drama school because you don't know what method will make sense to you and aid you in the development of your craft. But if an exercise will either hurt you or your colleagues/actor friends, then don't do it. Your personal safety and your friends' safety ALWAYS COMES FIRST. And this is key for later on when you're on set. You will see that everyone on set has a job they need to do and you must know yourself and keep yourself in your best shape physically and mentally and emotionally to deliver your best job.💥
What was the result? I didn't show up in the best way I can. But the most important thing is that now I'm back on track, trained and forever training, and forever learning. Because the only failure is quitting. A mistake is a lesson, and a really good one most of the time, because you then become a better actor.
As Niels Bohr eloquently stated;
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Go and make me and yourself proud, break all legs, you got this! Let's smash it in the industry.
27th Dec. 2020