7. You have to funk your way out of the funk

It’s that time of year. Christmas is looming ahead and all those scribbles and promises of achieving those acting goals aren’t nearly as crossed out as we’d like them to be. And we are having a down day. Not just like any other down day, but sadly, one of the big ones. We are at our other job (that we certainly don’t do just to pass time) and we are dreamily thinking about that next big job, that next opportunity, that next agent call.  And all at once our head starts to torment us with comments. See if any of these sound familiar:

“You must be kidding, you aren’t hot enough (or skinny enough) to play Nikita.”

“I’m never going to make enough money out of this industry as an actor.”
“I’m too short. Why wasn’t I born two inches taller”
“Awe man, they’ll hate my accent”
“I’m just not enough…”

Yeah there we have it. The fateful five. Which come in a variety of evil variations and mood swings. And please note I didn’t even come up with these bad boys on my own. I asked around and had fellow actors offer their worst negative thoughts.

It is sad isn’t it. To know we shouldn’t think this way but and yet be absolutely helpless at defeating the evil head voices from acting hell which conspire to destroy our confidence and inner glory!!

Tempted as I am to suggest you should just wait until it blows over, this little cowgirl knows that’s not actually the best way to turn that frown upside down.

Last year while back in Australia I had one of these days. I met up with one of my best girlfriends and we talked about my troubles. We had both studied Psychology at the same uni so, really, if anyone should know about this sort of thing it was she. And in a flood of tears and desperation I looked at her and said “but what do I do?” to which she replied, “You have to funk your way out of the funk.” It was perfect, eloquent and timeless.

I actually did that. I decided at that precise moment as I started to giggle, that I had to make myself happy. No one else would help and the only person allowing the defeatist attitude to reign supreme was me. It was my inability to address and action the things that were getting me down that was really the issue. And as each new problem built up on top of the last it made it seem as if I could never fix any of them.

But how does this relate to us as actors?

You have to ask yourself what is actually making you sad and if you can do anything about the outcome. Consider what has happened over the last day that has spun your centre out of whack and made you feel unbalanced. Did the bus driver ignore you and drive off or were you just late for the bus. Did you not get that role you desperately wanted, or is it that you really didn’t do the prep you should have. Are you feeling you aren’t nailing your auditions and getting the roles because they don’t appreciate your talent or is it that you haven’t taken the time to get new headshots or practice your craft regularly.

If push comes to shove and we are honest with ourselves often our own sense of failure to-date with acting is derived from something we aren’t doing. And this in turn leads us to have a down day. When we put in the hard yards it all falls info place. Auditions seem like a walk in the park and we don’t cringe every time we send our up-to-date headshot out. 

And we need to do it all in bite sized pieces.  As easy as it all sounds, if I have to eat a 12 inch cake and do it one piece at a time over 3 days it seems much easier than it would if a full cake was presented on my plate and had to be devoured in minutes…though I am sure some of my readers will tell me they could do it!  Learn to put aside 30 minutes EVERY day to focus on one component of your craft.  This could be:
  • Reading a script
  • Looking for a new photographer for new headshots
  • Doing an acting session with a friend
  • Taping yourself on tape doing the new monologue you’re working on
  • Updating your online CVs
  • Emailing a director you met at last week’s networking event.
Little by little in bite sized chunks, we get through that big fat acting cake.  And then next time we have a down day, which we inevitably will, those days won’t seem as bad or as formidable.

So get out there and funk your way out of the funk. You’re a babe.

One thought on “7. You have to funk your way out of the funk

  1. janecreates says:

    This is wonderful stuff and it applies to all creatives, you have agift for making others feel not only better about their art, but about themselves! All that and you're talented and easy on the eye too – BABE!!!! x

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