This month, we’ve been looking at Anthony Meindl’s work. Anthony refers to his method as the “nonmethod” approach to acting and emphasizes that he doesn’t use substitutions, sense memory, repetition, or any other form of manipulation. This got me thinking about the importance of all these acting methods and if confidence is what we all need.
It is important to clarify that I do not refer to the Instagram confidence-boosting photos. I am referring to my confidence to take risks, trust my instincts, and not base myself on the opinions of others.
Each month I get to work with hundreds upon hundreds of actors. Acting and building confidence in your abilities naturally solves many of the problems actors face. Fear is the biggest reason we can’t act.
Acting training was once apprenticeship-based. The Spearbearer 2 role was their first. They would then move on to Hamlet. They would work hard. They learned many tricks and techniques, but the best training was on stage. Reflecting on my drama school experience, it is clear that I did not learn everything in class. However, the 8-10 plays I performed during three years of drama school allowed me to develop as an actor.
What do you need to do if acting is not your forte?
First in class
Travis, my best friend from drama school, was always the first to rise in class. He did it because he was afraid. To stop fear, you had to get up first. He was an actor at heart and would jump up whenever he saw the chance. The same mentality can be applied to all aspects of your acting career.
Acting classes are a great opportunity to take chances. Try out a new accent and make a play that no one has seen before. There will be mistakes. You will make mistakes. But confidence can only be gained by moving beyond the safe zone. As actors, there are certain things that we excel at. You won’t be able to grow as an artist if you remain in this space.
Develop your confidence.
Anthony Meindl was mentioned at the beginning of this article. Anthony is a strong advocate of self-improvement. Taking a class outside acting classes is worthwhile if you struggle with confidence. Talk at parties, meet new people, chat with your friends, and read your play to them. Anything that can help you overcome your fears.
Don’t let your expectations get in the way of your success.
Fear of being disliked or being bad is a common fear. The desire to be liked can lead to safer choices. If you try your best, this mentality can be destroyed. You should take risks, make mistakes, and see every experience as an opportunity to learn. This is particularly important in a classroom setting. This is where you can succeed magnificently! This trick helped me not to be so harsh on other actors. How you judge other actors is how you view yourself. When other actors perform well, you will feel less judged. You will be more critical of other actors than you are of yourself. This mental shift is simple, but it’s profound.
Many actors I know are introverts but can still be powerful when they take to the stage. They are creative, confident, and captivating. Amazingly, even though they cannot have a conversation with people at parties, they can still perform in front of thousands. They feel comfortable performing in such an environment. They have put in the effort and feel confident in this environment. Actors know this well. Don’t be afraid to get on camera and shake while on stage. It will make you feel more at ease if you get to know the surrounding environment.