Pushing Too Much On My Performance

Who am I acting to?
15 Feb 2013
A Seemingly Dodgy Casting
20 Feb 2013

Today, my director on an impromptu walk to the eating area, gave me sound advice, revealing what I’d been dreading that I’d been putting out there. That I really need to find my confidence. He said it in a very good-natured way, not criticising at all, just pointing out a fact. That I’m pushing my performance.

And, he says, I’m doing it for one simple reason: I don’t have the self-confidence to just relax into it.

While doing screen work, directors have at various times told me to relax, to enjoy the performance, or to have more fun with it. What they’ve all been saying in different words was “stop pushing”. Stop trying to act, just act.

It’s still weird to me that I can just act in audition situations and when I’m on stage. When, I suppose, there’s no perceived stakes at risk. If I get cast great, if not, well, we just keep on going. On stage, I haven’t been in a big enough show that’s received mass media attention.

Now, within a year, I’ve had significant roles on three big shows. The stakes are being raised. And, yes, I want that. I want to soar with my performance career. It’s just the my internal ideas and feelings about myself is not yet on par with the reality of my career. It’s still playing catch-up.

I remember stating my worst fear during an acting workshop as “I fear not being good enough”. And I still do. I fear it so much that, even tho I’ve invited such amazing opportunities for my career into my life, I am terrified that I will not do my roles justice. I have the job but I am anxious that I will get fired. I am so scared that I will fail that I feel I’ve still got to prove myself. And wind up pushing my performance instead of relaxing into it.

I’m glad to know that I’m still doing that. I’m also glad to know that, despite this, I’m still pulling off my role.

I’ve also decided that I speak about this way too much on my blog. 🙂
Performance anxiety is a reality for me. I am still working on building my confidence. Talking about it isn’t the way to solve it. My aim is to constantly and consistently do what I can to increase my sense of self, and just keep on giving my best. So, here we go. Wish me luck.