This week I have an acting exercise for anyone who wishes to participate. An acting exercise (le sigh)?! Is this gonna be hard work? I think not baby puppy…this is a load of fun.
First things first. What is a dream collage? As was described in You Must Act by the late and very wise Bob Fraser (new book is called An Actor Works), a dream collage (also known as a vision board, treasure mapping and story-boarding) is the creation of a mood board or collage, made through a process of cutting out pictures, words, and sentences from magazines, books and papers, that represents what you are wanting.
The remarkable thing about these magic little pictures is they invoke a response or reaction in you that propels you forward. It’s just like art. You’re affected. How can you not be? You have just created an artistic piece that captures the essence of what you want right now, that thing that you want to create for yourself in your immediate future. It has been suggested that through the process of putting together this story-board you are allowing your mind to tap into really thinking about the things you want. I like to think that it works in the same manner as The Secret suggests. The laws of attraction. Bringing to yourself what you most want through positive and deliberate thoughts about that very thing.
It is about making dream collages and how powerful they are in the creation and manifestation of our goals, be that related to acting, money, family, or even love. Basically anything that your heart wants.
I took an emotional acting hit the other day. It was disappointing to say the least. And after I licked my wounds, rather than getting down about what had gone wrong, I set about finding a way to get closer to my acting goals. I took my dream collage from my bedroom and spent some time updating it. Armed with glue, magazines (Stylist has some great pictures and words, as does the weekly Time Out magazine), some newspapers and my existing canvas, I took to work updating my dream collage to represent what I want right now. It looks a treat. And this time I even used much more personal and specific pictures. I took it to a whole new level. It felt incredible. And I love it!
My latest canvas artwork (A small section of it is displayed above….it was difficult to photograph and it’s very personal so I didn’t want to share the whole thing) includes what I want right now. For example I adore the actress Berenice Marlohe from Skyfall. Her character was sassy, sexy and charismatic, and I’ve always wanted to be in a Bond movie (happy to play a role like that any day!) so I want to visualise that reality. Another image I used was one of my favourite television actors in London. And words included “Hollywood hasn’t changed me a bit” and “Breakout Star”. I included “Amour by Michael Haneke” from my Cannes Film Festival ticket – both an award winning and brilliant film, and a film festival where I would love to act in a film that is In Competition.
What happens next? You simply ensure you place it in a location where it is easily viewable to you on a frequent basis. And you want that place to be a lovely place for you (good feng shui). I wouldn’t put mine behind the restroom door for example. Mine is in my bedroom in a place where is the first and last thing I see when I wake up and go to sleep. And if you are going to see it that often, you want to adore what you had created!
Anyone who has ever done this can tell you how therapeutic it is…and they may even tell you it works, even if we can’t prove how. I actually landed my first TV role in Australia some years ago just a few months after I had created my first ever dream collage. So now I am a true believer.
Ever made one? Think they work? Feel free to share your B.A.B.E. thoughts below!
Some great examples: Link
5 thoughts on “Dream a little dream of me”
I like the theory of this, but the problem for me would be that I would never be hired to play any of my dream roles. I can plaster Superman, Angel etc all over it and it would be aspirational to look at, but the truth would remain that I'll never ever play those roles.
How would this affect what pictures you make the collage out of?
That is a very good point which I didn't elaborate on in the above blog. That question being: What do you do when you know the characters you want probably aren't right for your casting?
Well if you aren't likely to be the leading man in a hot Spiderman or Superman role then you have to consider what leading man roles would work for you. Without knowing what you look like (and working on the assumption that you might be a male if you're talking about Superman), a great example is Steve Buscemi (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000114). Steve Buscemi was never going to get asked to be Superman or James Bond. And yet he appears in so many movies roles that were wicked before he landed the lead role in one of the biggest television shows of this decade, Boardwalk Empire.
The truth is we do have to be realistic about our goals when creating a vision board (because we will more often then not be type cast until we "make it"), but we also have to be totally unrealistic as well. Just because you maybe won't get cast as Bond, doesn't mean you won't play an equally wonderful lead role in another fantastic 10 million dollar movie one day. Or better yet, get to play Javier Bardem and be the bad guy in that very movie. I think he stole the show in Skyfall. Find a way that you can still create the roles you want, or the movies you'd like to be in, that also move in the direction of what you will get 'cast as'.
Does this help? I would love your thoughts. And also, you are very welcome to show me your end product after you've made it if you fancy sharing. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the great thoughts on this blog! It was a good point that you made.
Thanks for the reply Angela. Have put my @ name at the top, finally figured out how to be non-anonymous!
I am very realistic about casting types in terms of my working life, as every actor has to be quickly if they want to work at all. However, in terms of the vision board, the question is still there. Say I usually get cast as Mark Zuckerberg type characters, would the idea to fill the board up with the world's best nerds (most likely work-wise but not particularly exciting) or characters that are aspirational to me but will never be part of my working life?
I think, as a very clever friend of mine suggested, you have to forge the line between admiration and aspiration….find the truthful character you can play and plaster that everywhere, and find the characters you hope one day to play and plaster them everywhere else.
And thank you (again) for sharing. It's fascinating to have your insights on this topic.
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