Everyone knows that to get ahead in the acting world, you need to be skilled at acting, have a great attitude and be professional. But what makes you memorable? Why would you be remembered over everyone else, because MOST professional actors would have those qualities. Right?
The way to truly stand out among the sea of other actors is to be unapologetically you. To be authentic in a way that not many people dare. To speak your truth even when you feel like you are on your own. To really step into your place of power and show the world who you are.
There are a crazy amount of actors out there BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU!
But with all the social conditioning you've had since... Well, forever, how do you really know when you are being yourself? It's no wonder that so many people just don't know who they are. Think about when you were 5 years old and how impressionable you were. You followed those around you for guidance. Ask yourself honestly, are you still doing that to some degree?
Are the choices you've made truly yours or are they a result of the expectations of others that have been programmed into you? If there's something you want, do you really or is it that you think you should?
Your friends & family, your teachers and mentors, your colleagues and anyone you spend time with regularly, as well as the TV, newspapers, magazines and billboards. These have all had a powerful effect on who you are and how you think today. But how do you know if you are truly being authentic or have just been heavily influenced?
Here are some ways to gain clarity around who you truly are.
Journaling is a great way to help you make sense of all those jumbled up thoughts and chaos in your mind. You can free journal, where you literally just write down your thoughts or you can ask yourself questions.
What do I need to let go of to move forwards?
What are my values?
Who is important to me?
What do I love about myself?
Where do I want to be in 5 years time?
What makes me really feel alive?
This will clear your mind which will allow your true self to come to the surface more freely. If you are new to meditation, I would recommend downloading an app called Headspace which guides you through the whole process.
Spend time on your own.
This is vital in helping you to understand yourself. Regardless of how strong willed you are, if you are always surrounded by people, you will let yourself and your thoughts be influenced in some way.
Make time to just be.
Just enjoy being. With no distractions. A lot of people don't like doing this because it's when thoughts come into their head that they don't want to deal with or emotions come to the surface but you need to deal with these things to be able to find yourself and move forwards.
Once you figure out who you truly are:
Become energetically aligned with your goals- act through inspiration, not social conditioning.
Stay true to your values- if you lose touch with your values, you will lose touch with yourself. Ask yourself if your passions are in line and the things you do every day without thinking, are in line with your values. Be mindful of everything you think and the actions you take.
Don't allow others to control how you feel- most people will spend their day reacting without thinking to what is going on around them but are other people controlling how they feel? Wouldn't it make more sense to slow down, breathe, THINK and react in a way that supports your values and your true self?
Keep reinforcing your positive beliefs about yourself.
It's not easy to truly be yourself if you don't have a high opinion of yourself and we are conditioned NOT to feel good about ourselves. This conditioning is all around us. Congratulate yourself on your successes and make a commitment not to entertain any negative thoughts about yourself, but to turn them around into a positive. Don't underestimate the power of self talk.
Do the things that you were born to do.
You know the things you are truly passionate about? The ones that make you feel alive? The ones that get you excited and you don't want to stop? The ones that light a fire in you like nothing else? Those are the things you were born to do. The more you do them, the more your confidence will grow.
One last thing... When you do find who you really are, some people might not get you and that's OK. Some might even go out of their way to bring you down because you make them feel uncomfortable but it's not your job to make other people feel comfortable. The right people will stick around. It doesn't matter about anyone else because they never really knew you anyway. Then more 'right people' will be drawn to you.
You can carry on following the crowd, being vanilla and blending in with the sea of actors or you can make the choice now to unapologetically be YOU and show that spark you have inside yourself.
That is what will make you stand out.
That is what will make you memorable.
That is what will make you more likely to be cast in the roles that were made for YOU (and they are out there).
You weren't born to be ordinary... You were born to shine!
By Eirian Cohen
Founder Northern Star Acting