The very idea of “making it happen” (acting) can sometimes feel like you have a circus going on in your head.
There’s a ringleader shouting “Roll up, roll up ladies and gentleman for this spectacle called your life”. There a clown bumbling around making people laugh cause they don’t know what the hell is really going on and it’s easier just to create the constant banter and play funny guy. There are the tightrope walkers. (drum roll) Boy are they treading on thin wire!. Their delicate little toes are walking on a thinly veiled cloak of fake confidence and bravado.
There’s the trapeze artist trying desperately to cling onto the hope that occasionally flies over in their direction to grab a hold of, and save them from falling. There is even the enormous juggling act duo who are juggling so many balls it’s just a matter of time before one of them drops.
Yep. The circus in your head is screaming how the hell do you do it all!
Are you sure you want to be an actor? It’s gonna be years of waiting tables, working as a secretary, missing out on expensive Michelin star restaurant dinners, and a whole world of Primark shopping.
Ladies and gentleman, you gotta get a grip on that circus in your head. You need to find a way to soften the voice in your head. Use your armory to storm against anything that deters you from remaining positive. Try these tricks:
- Create a dream collage
- Read The Artist’s Way – blog here and book here.
- Meditate daily – Jim Carry does it daily, other A-listers swear by it. Find your truth in your own personal quiet.
- Exercise more – Why not buy a bike and ride to auditions like this gal does (Rebel without a bike). Here’s more on what I think about riding about London as another example. Seriously it’s incredible!
- Plant a flower and watch it grow – gosh it’s the easiest fix on the planet
- Eat a little better
- Stop worrying. You live in a first world country. You eat amazing food. You wake up every day on a soft bed. You don’t need to walk 10 miles to get fresh water. What is the problem!
At the end of the day, clown makeup off, wishful thinking about your next lead role in Game of Thrones aside, who would give up being an actor for anything!
I wouldn’t! Behind every successful actor are about 100 actors dying to have their role, about 10 congratulating them wholeheartedly for getting out, about 5 who are just plain jaded that person got it, and about 2 that could have done it too, if not better.
If you can’t do anything else, then what it really comes down to is that you just have to commit to the truth that is acting. That means you have to say to your inner clown “I know this is what I want to do and there’s nothing I want more in the world so I’ll just make this work”. Quiet the voices but know that sometimes those voices and the dancing acts are necessary. Acting is not a profession that calls for you to turn up to an office and work from 9am to 5pm allowing for one hour for lunch at 1pm. If you wanna do acting, you will be part of a permanent circus act.
And perhaps that is what it is really about. Have you ever thought that the circus is part of the act, part of your act. It’s just a case of working out how to make that circus act flow gently from first to second Act, rather than be a permanent off beat amatuer production. You take out the clowns, the juggling act, the trapeze artists and the bossy lion tamer, and what are you left with?
Just soften the voices a little so you can manage the circus in your head in a way that is truly positive, rather than negative or even just self-deprecating. You may not stop the circus completely but you can surely make sure they’re all standing to attention and putting on one hell of a show when the time is right!
And as Jim Carey said in a recent commencement speech “As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass”. Yes, that’s my circus motto, that’s going to remain my truth!