On Confidence in Acting

Once upon a time was a Dutch soap star, who was extremely attractive in a Megan Fox kind of way. Her acting skills were never talked about, since most of what the girl was known for was the rich people she dated. This was a reason for many to dislike her. And after she married a very wealthy pro soccer player that dislike turned into hate. I never participated in this, since I don’t do the hate-a-girl-because-she’s-prettier-than-you thing. I actually really like Megan Fox. And I also like to believe this girl married out of true love.

Then, after years of the now very wealthy girl just doing presenting gigs, news broke that CAA a.k.a. one of the biggest agencies in Los Angeles, approached her to sign her. I was slightly puzzled by this, as she was not famous anywhere else but Holland and wasn’t that serious about acting, but then I guess the world is different for Megan Fox like hotties. My doubt was shared with media outlets however, some going as far as to call CAA and finding out they did not know about her. This somehow made me feel better. After all, the world couldn’t be that unfair, could it? Just giving wonderful acting chances to people who aren’t that passionate about it. Well, the story goes on…

Recently news broke that said hottie got her first Hollywood part as the girlfriend of a famous Hollywood actor in a movie by a very famous director. I was a little bit astounded. And displeased. Someone I had never met had gotten a part in a Hollywood movie, which is something that happens every day, so I really shouldn’t have been upset but I was. I just couldn’t believe that someone who isn’t even passionate about acting could get that lucky. That money could get you that far. But then I stopped those thoughts and remembered what a friend of mine always says: “It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.”

Because really, the world isn’t going to be more fair because of my displease, and the girl isn’t going to be more passionate or less lucky because of it. The only one bothered is me. And regardless of her talent (I have never seen her acting so I can’t judge) the girl does seem to be very confident. So maybe I could learn from that.

Everyone knows an acting career is not solely reliant on talent. It takes hard work, luck, professionalism and personality. And a degree of Megan Fox resemblance helps too. It also takes confidence. Lots of it. Confidence takes an actor through auditions, makes sure he comes across cool and professional, and gives an actor the hope and resilience to persevere. But, perhaps most important, it is at the base of acting skills.

In acting, you always have to go for every emotion 100% and that takes confidence, and courage. Because even 1% doubt will make you self aware, just 1% hesitation will make everything look silly and insincere. It’s like when jokes don’t come across because they aren’t told with full conviction. A lack of confidence will also affect your risk taking and experimenting in acting, and make you indecisive regarding acting choices. And, as with any form of artistic expression, these three things are  pivotal to create good work.

I myself lack this confidence sometimes. Especially when surrounded by people I look up to on set. And as you can imagine, this stands in my way. In acting but also in just being me. I would consider myself a pretty bubbly and enthusiastic person, but when I get insecure that all fades and I become a weird, quiet person, instead of a slightly quirky energy ball.

So maybe soap star girl does have some qualities that make her deserving. But regardless, I learned a lesson from her. So now I don’t have to waste my energy on being bothered by someone that I don’t even know. How about you? Have you ever had similar irritations? Did you ever run into confidence issues?

——————————
Like this blog? Please show some love by sharing it on Facebook or Twitter! And don’t forget to sign up for free e-mail updates by clicking on the I Want to Follow button on the upper right!

17 thoughts on “On Confidence in Acting

  1. Hi Shanice,

    I know who you’re talking about (I’m Dutch) and I must say that I felt the same when I heard the news. I think it takes a lot of good personality to react the way you did just now. I am certainly not able to respond to this as well as you, but I think it’s also a bit of a jealousy thing with me.

    I’ve been wanting to post a reaction on your blog for some time now, but I didn’t for reasons that don’t really make sense. Like you I have that big dream of making it someday in acting.. My mind always wins the fight against my heart though. So that’s why I’m studying right now for my BA history in Amsterdam. I think what you’re doing is really brave, just pursuing your dream like that. (I know almost everybody here says that, but still I wanted to get it out haha). I kind of makes me envy you in a way, but I find it also gives hope to just keep pursuing your dreams. I hope I’m not boring you with my story here. I just wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration and I really think you can make it. Waar een wil is, is een weg. That’s what my mom always says to me. I wish you the best of luck! And I hope you can return to LA very soon.

    Sincerely,

    Shanice (yes that is my real name:P)

    • Hi Shanice! I’m very glad you left a reaction, it’s always really nice to know who the people are that are reading my posts. And if anyone is reading it all, so please sharing your thoughts :)

      I also studied for my BA in Amsterdam, but found enough time to focus on acting while doing so. Maybe you can start that way as well and then, after graduation, see if you have the heart for it to pursue the dream?

      • Hi:D thanks for the response! I would love it if I could focus on acting whilst studying for my BA. But I don’t have the slightest idea as to how to do that. Should I take acting classes, if yes, where should I do that? What’s your story, what was your approach? Maybe u could write about that in your next post? I would really love to get some tips! I hope that I’m not coming on to strong, don’t feel pressured into answering or dedicating an entire post. But if you could find the time I (and I think others too) would really love that:)

  2. Once again you have given an accurate picture of the madness that is this business. I have no idea who this particular person is as I am not Dutch but this story is oh so familiar. Recently read an interview about a “new fresh talent” who had starred in movie filmed in Dublin starring such names as Sean Penn. This girl never acted before but had I suppose in fairness gone to study in NYC for 3 years – still arrived home and immediately in Hollywood movie and apparently is going to set the world alight – so I’m reading this and thinking that name is slightly familiar…the fact that the girl is the daughter of a very very famous singer (U2) of course has nothing to do with her winning role over numerous other young actress’s. On a personal level I have witnessed this first hand, auditioning for primarily theatre roles along with the daughters of well known (nationally) actors. One one occasion one girl was studying accounting, her dad a well known actor was actually part of the casting panel, she left her class came to audition and guess what. Of course you can not say anything publicly – small industry and what ever little chance you have of competing would be gone. I hate when people say it is sour grapes – no it is not. For instance I would never be auditioning for the same roles as the pop stars daughter so she is never going to be competing with me. I have no problem losing out based on skills, not right for part, someone better but purely on the basis of not being daughter, son, cousin or neighbours cat sitter…. I suppose you could say we are naive to think that it was or ever will be any other way but that still does not make it anymore frustrating.

    G

  3. In order to quote House, people get what they get, and that has nothing to do with what they deserve. You think if there was such a thing as balance and fairness and equality inherent to the fabric of reality millions of people would starve to death/die of disease/do child labor? The company or studio that’s hired this hottie knows that people will go watch the movie if there’s a pretty face on it. Never mind if she’s Meryl Streep or not. To them it isn’t art, it’s a business, and if some actual emotional truth comes forth, oh well. Boys wanna see this pretty gurl and empathize, cause then maybe they can get a good looking girlfriend. Girls wanna see this hottie and compare, flame and otherwise stay up to date on events. I for one admire and burn for theatrical truth more than is healthy for a balanced human being, but even I’m not so deluded as to think money doesn’t drive the machine. Sure it’s a business about showing real emotion and telling heartwarming stories, but it is a business. Famous/pretty girl makes money, money means security for people involved, 1+1=2.

    Of course it does suck that honest and skilled actors doesn’t get the parts they deserve, it truly does. But come on? You think God or fate or Karma or Buddha is more busy trying to keep that in balance than the amount of people dying of aids? Oh well, sorry for the splash of cold water, it is in the nature of the internet that for every good reply, there’s 3 bad ones.

    I like your blog, and you, and I think (and hope) you make it far without becoming as cynical as some (takes a good look at myself) :P.

    Remember though, when motivation falters, my trick is just to resort to craft, and hone my skill. In truth, it all comes down to that I like doing it, not the amount of people I get to be watched by. These kind of opportunities, if given to me, would just be about the character, the action, objective and true line. Same as any high-school play would. The money, attention and supposed fame is honestly a distraction, if that. Nothing more.

    Anyways, I’ve rambled enough. Good luck you! :D:D

  4. Ah mevrouwtje Yolanthe. Ik ben ook niet van het iemand haten omdat diegene knap is. Ik snap dat niet eens. Kan je niet gewoon iemands schoonheid aanschouwen en er ook van genieten en dat positief gebruiken voor jezelf? Ik vind het wel leuk voor haar though. Of ze er nou passievol over is of niet, als ze maar geniet van wat ze doet. En als anderen daar maar van genieten. C’est la vie!

  5. “The only one bothered is me.” Yes! this is something I try to remind myself of all the time whenever I hear about somebody who isn’t in it because they’re passionate but seem to be handed things so easily…. Not to say it’s easy, though.

  6. All I can say is – I hear ya! What helped me was to read stories like Tina Fey’s or Amy Adams’s that it took them over 10 years to make it. And that this number is actually the usual number it takes to make it. One has to reach that 10 000 hours. The point is – they made it after all. When I see people like this, I also wonder where the hell is the fairness of this, but then when I realise that these people are never seen as those who deserve it, I’d rather earn getting up there. But the frustrating thing is that I just wanna act! Not waste my time in hellish survival jobs that are killing me and making me bitter. Let’s make a hit show on youtube. :D

  7. I really like your blog! I too want to try my luck in Hollywood….but the visa. What a bummer! Anyhow I was wondering about your next step: what are you going to do?

  8. Keep up the good work! – There is a great interview with Megan Fox in British OK Magazine for April, how she is now changing her roles to appeal to a wider audience and tired of playing ‘the pretty girl’. You have to be varied.

  9. Hello Love,
    I am really enjoying your blog! My favourite post so far is this one. May I reblog it to my blog feed at http://www.emma-mills.co.uk ?

    Being confident is such an important attribute to take with you through your journey as a performer. I myself have worked in the industry and have first hand experience of how tough it can be on your self concept.

    With the girls I work with now, we focus on exploring and developing confidence in the models/actresses own uniqueness. The confidence that regardless of what anyone else is doing or saying, regardless of what you are getting booked for: you have a unique and special talent and it is your duty to enjoy and display that, and share it with others.

    Alternately, something i like to draw attention to, when working with clients is the eastern philosophy of non-dualism.

    Play with the idea:
    That if everything is connected, and we are all ‘one’, as such. The observation that we are all separate is an illusion. Then, when you attend your next casting you might like to remember that there is no you, there is no other actress. there is simply the ‘act of audition’ hapening. When this is in mind, you can focus your attention on the creating the best act of ‘audition’. Not because, the result of which will be a reflection of the quality of your own personal character; but becuase that is, afterall what you are there to do.

    What do you find helps you to be at your most confident. What do you find youself doing differently, after having given a great, confident performance?
    and in your experience- what are the greatest perceived barriers to performance ?

    Lastly: i often find that the best performers i know, have a very jovial, childlike sense of humour. They dont judge, or take life to seriously- and they look like they are having a whale of a time.You cannot compete for success, only create it.
    Be yourself, If you dont, who will? Well probably someone else. But why leave it up to someone else to play the role you were actually born to play :)

    Warmest wishes
    Keep up the fab blogging
    Emma Mills

Leave a Reply