Anxiety is one of the most common struggles adults these days are faced with and actors aren’t exempt. Anxiety in actors is often dubbed as stage fright. It’s totally common but with the right education, training and practice, your audience will never know that anxiety is even an issue for you. At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, it's an acting block we deal with and see all the time. Luckily, through classes and coaching, it's a block that can be overcome.
Don’t want to wait for the class? Here are some tips to get you started:
You’re totally normal.
Expect, and accept, that you will feel anxious, especially at first. That's OK. If you allow yourself to work with the anxiety, not against it, you'll be able to calm down and proceed. If you resist the anxiety, you'll make more trouble for yourself.
All eyes aren’t on you.
The audience isn't here simply for you. They are here to see a performance that has nothing to do with you. Today, you happen to be part of the performance.
Feel emotion? Show it!
Take the emotions and passion you feel for your subject or artistic expression and channel it into your performance. Don't try to "hold it down". If you try to suppress it, it will work against you. Express it!
Make eye contact and connect.
Establish contact with the audience through eye contact and talking directly to them. Ask them questions to get them involved in your talk (i.e., How many of you here have ever had this experience...?) While your natural instinct will probably be to avoid the audience as much as possible, just like the reviewer cited above, you will actually feel less anxiety once you get the audience involved with you.
Breathe from your diaphragm.
In order to speak calmly, you need to breathe from your diaphragm as it allows more oxygen to come to the brain and for the blood to circulate more slowly, resulting in a naturally more calm state. This isn't a natural skill and will need to be developed with practice. If you're a trained vocalist, this will come more naturally to you. But with everyone else, it's an important skill to master.
Where you focus is where your energy will go. So focus on the scene, the win, the art and the fun of it all. Focus on your breath, focus on your lines and fall into the performance. Remember, that The New York Acting School for Film and Television is ready to get you through it and on your way to success. Anxiety isn’t an end all, it’s an invitation to get better than ever.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Simple Tips for Dealing With Acting Anxiety for the Actor that’s Ready to Win!
About Me: Mark West, head of the Acting School for Film and TV, also teaches "Acting For Film and Television" at The New School in New York City. Add my Google profile to your circles.
Posted by Mark West at 3:41 PM
Labels: acting anxiety, acting challenges, Acting Classes, acting classes in New York City, acting coach, acting in new york city, acting struggles