What if there was something you could do more often that would radically – and perceptibly – change how you’re perceived and alter the impression you leave on others?
What if, as an actor, it was something that you didn’t even have to worry about “doing” because it sort of does itself once we become available to the moment and it significantly changes how people might perceive your work?
It’s called consciousness.
And it’s already a part of our basic hardwiring as people.
Our job to make it work more for us is to become a little bit more aware when we simply aren’t aware.
As we move from mindlessness to mindfulness, our creative work and state of being changes.
Harvard Psychologist, Ellen Langer says that as we become more mindful, we leave a “consciousness footprint.”
The implications for actors is staggering. As we become more available in the work – through presence and engaging emotionally in the moment – then we leave an imprint without us even realizing it. This shows up in our auditions, on set, in class, on a film set.
The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to do anything. Meaning, there’s something about you that’s unique and different from someone else. That means you don’t have to try and put something on, or show us how clever you think you are, or try to impress us, or try and make something happen.
Science proves that if we can show up and become fully present we naturally leave our mark. But this is also hard to do because of the innumerable ways we distract ourselves out of the moment and go into our heads. So the work – like life itself – becomes about doing things more mindfully. More fully. Being here now. When we do, we are leaving a trace of our presence with the people with whom we interact.
But why don’t we trust that? Because we go out for 100 auditions and we don’t get feedback or we don’t get a callback and we begin to feel like something isn’t working. Or we’re not any good. Or we’re missing something. Or we’re flawed in some way. But what if it weren’t any of those things? What if it were simply numbers and with those intangibles, (even when our essence is fully engaged and we’re fully there) it just might not be what they’re looking for. That doesn’t mean we’re doing something wrong. It just means we were not right for the role.
You can’t keep changing yourself to fit the idea of what you think people want. In life or in our acting.
Like anything in life, we’re attracted to people who naturally are themselves.
An audition room is just the micro for that same life truth. People are going to be attracted to you by you being you. And when you bring all of yourself to the work in a mindful way, you will be remembered.
Even if that means you don’t get the job each time.
But getting the job each time isn’t why we act. Acting comes down to understanding that you’re not auditioning for a role you’re auditioning for your career. And that takes time.
And it boils down to trusting that if we’ve done our work and made strong choices and don’t doubt our instincts and go in the audition room and let the work come from those places of who we are – there’s something firing inside each of us that’s interesting and beautiful and human and real.
That then becomes an incredible footprint we can each leave behind.