2018 is the year of your Power. A shift in the collective consciousness regarding the old power dynamics in our industry has occurred. The patriarchal power brokers of an antiquated industrial model are being brought to their knees by brave voices demanding change. We’re not going back. And this is the perfect time for you, an actor with so much to add to our industry, to commit to owning your power and bringing the totality of your power to bear… on stage, on set, in the audition room, and in your life.
Every day in our industry a complicated set of Power Dynamics play out. Actors often audition for the people with the power- the money and the creative control- so when you walk into an audition room, you don’t think you have the power. And that’s where you’re wrong.
Actors rarely know their power. They think that their power comes from status, celebrity, money, etc. It doesn’t. Your job is to be an amazing actor, to support and even elevate the script to a level of deep humanity by bringing the totality of your unique human experience to each moment. And what you don’t often realize is that the decision makers- those people on the other side of the camera in the audition room or watching your self-tape on their phone- are in deep, deep need. Yes, they’re the ones making the decisions but they are totally incapable of bringing their vision to life on their own. They need you. Desperately. They need you to elevate their script and help them fulfill their vision so they can keep their job on this project and be granted permission to create again. And often they need it on a deadline, and if they don’t get it, their production can’t move forward. Often times they’re terrified (even if they don’t show it), sleep-deprived, and trying to keep a thousand plates spinning. Then you walk in the room. They just need you to be a talented actor. If you’re able to do that, you have all the power in that moment. They have a need and you have the ability to fulfill the need they can’t fulfill without you.
That’s all that matters. Fame, riches, and high-end representation are often perceived as indicators of talent. But it’s not always the case that the rich, famous, well-agented actor is the most talented or the actor who can deliver that talent at will. So forget all that stuff. That stuff is a potential indicator of value. But it’s not the value itself. You’re a talented actor. They’re in desperate need of a talented actor. So, you have power. And don’t let anyone tell you different.
That said, having power is different than feeling powerful. You can logically understand the power dynamic. But it’s another thing to hang on to your power while sitting in a waiting room with 13 pages of dense dialogue swimming around your head, about to read for a fancy showrunner who can give you a career.
The most freeing thing an actor can know is that Power is a practice. Feeling like you deserve to be in a big audition room is the product of practice. If you practice your art on a level that rivals the training of an Olympic athlete, you minimize the feelings of powerlessness. You want to be in those high-pressure, high-stakes rooms. So lift whatever weights you need to lift in order to ensure that when called upon, you can deliver that amount of material with ease and clarity, bringing the fullness of your unique emotional life. The power is in the doing. And yes, doubt and nerves will creep up in high-pressure situations. But from a foundation of consistent, dogged exploration of the work, your talent will fight through.
Whatever holds you back needs to go. Whatever sneaky ways in which your mind prevents you from doing the work must be stopped. You must do the work. Always. Take every opportunity to act. Create those opportunities for yourself. Power comes from doing the work. Anything else is false power and it will dissipate.
If you’re talented and can offer that talent boldly and with ease, you have as much power as anyone else in that audition room. When you walk in with talent, the power dynamics turn upside down. They need you. They need your talent, your hard work, and your emotional investment. All you have to do is be a great actor in that room. And that comes from an artistic practice, from doing the work you love. Want power? Act.
Power Classes at The BGB Studio are happening. Practice the power of your talent. Sign up for January 2018 now!