Challenging Your Comfort Zone

Fish Outta School

Far too many actors kill a perfectly wonderful opportunities to create and play by trying to second-guess the director or producer. It’s an odd conundrum, but this happens far too frequently to perfectly remarkable talent. Here’s a capable, creative talent shutting down completely at the very moment they need to act.

Question is–how do you think this piece should go? Now don’t tell us what you’re going to do—just DO IT (there’s a reason why it’s called acting). Don’t assume the copy (the script) is broken simply because you don’t get it yet. If you don’t get it yet, either read it out loud until you do or (here’s a novel idea) ASK! If there’s anything to get, I’m certain they’d be happy to tell you.

Go ahead and work through the first few cold reads in the lobby, bathroom, or greenroom, but whatever you do, play with it! Get it on its feet. Challenge your comfort zone! Don’t sit and wait for someone to come hold your hand and “lead” you. It’ll never happen. The truth is we get precious little direction. In fact, consistently over the years when asked whether they know what they are looking for, better than 90% of those likely to hire you as an actor claim, “I’ll know it when I see it.” Which means you better get busy and create something dynamic.

Quit worrying about whether you might “go too far”. I’d be willing to bet everything that’s not a threat. In fact, it’s far more likely you won’t go far enough!

Consider all the times you’ve landed the job. Think about it. You challenged your comfort zone. In fact you blasted passed it and surprised even yourself, right? Of course you did. THAT’S how you booked the job! You allowed yourself to create something exceptional. You took a risk and allowed yourself the indulgence of playing well past that narrow margin you’ve been attempting to shoehorn yourself into.

If you hope to accomplish anything in life, let alone in this industry, you owe it to yourself to open yourself up to the unknown. Take an 8,000 foot dive into a Dixie cup! You may just discover the water’s warm and you’re able to do the backstroke once you’re there. But first, you must take the leap of faith.

This doesn’t come about by playing it safe. The more you challenge your comfort zone, the more your confidence will grow. The more your confidence grows, the more you discover. The more you discover, the more valuable you become!

You’re capable of a limitless number of exceptional deliveries. Make it your mission at the onset of every audition and every session to discover just a few of them on the spot by means of play.

If you are interested, you are interesting. Funny how that works.

Copyright © 2015 by Kate McClanaghan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.