HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
I just love a good quiz. I was a sucker for quizzes sponsored by Seventeen magazine when I was in high school. I also took multiple science-based personality tests for the various leadership positions I had.
What I didn't realize was how much they impacted my self-awareness. That increased self-awareness led to increased acting confidence. The right quizzes can be beneficial for us as actors to build our self-awareness and help us breakdown scripts in an authentic way.
I will caution you, however, that not every quiz out there is reputable or backed by science, so be careful. But if you're looking for how to get better at acting at home, keep reading.
In this post, I want to introduce you to a great reputable quiz called 16 Personalities. I’ll show you how to use your strengths and weaknesses to build your acting confidence and make strong acting choices in your scene work.
This quiz is very similar to Meyers Briggs if you’re familiar with that test. There's also an individual acting exercise included in this post showing you how to find the best acting tactics or acting strategies for your scene.
1. TAKE THE FREE TEST
First, open up the 16 Personalities webpage in a new tab to take your free test. Try not to leave any neutral answers.
2. FIND YOUR TYPE
You should immediately see your results once you finish. True to its name, there are 16 potential types. Comment on this post to share your results.
I'm an ENTJ, so I'll use that as our example to explain how to use your results specifically for acting.
3. CLICK STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
You'll see a breakdown on the left sidebar with nine areas of exploration. For now, we'll only focus on one. Click option two, Strengths and Weaknesses, for our exercise.
Once you finish this exercise, you can go back through the other eight options to explore acting choices if you're playing a parent, employee, friend, etc. since those breakdowns show you strengths and weaknesses in each of those areas.
For example, I'm not a parent, so I could look through option five Parenthood to see what I would be like as a parent if cast as a mom.
4. FIND MATCHING TACTICS OR STRATEGIES
Now you need to explore your strengths and weaknesses in terms of tactics or strategies, based on your training.
In order to find your strongest choices, you need to look at your strengths and weaknesses together.
These results show that a strength of mine is Self-Confidence and a weakness is Impatience. I know in reality I like results, and I like to get them quickly. I process and filter information at a rapid rate, so if someone else is still thinking about their answer, I've already moved on to the next thing instead of giving them time to process.
So how does this translate into tactics or strategies? Here are a few options based on the example above:
Potential ENTJ Tactics (action verbs):
5. WEAKNESSES CAN BE ACTING STRENGTHS
I mentioned in the example above that my personality type tends to leave people behind without giving them time to voice their two cents. Once my brain gets a satisfactory answer, it feels rushed to solve the next problem and forgets about the other people involved.
While our weaknesses can be negative in reality, they are dynamite on camera because they create conflict.
If we were having an actual conversation right now, and I became demanding and forceful, you would walk away thinking I was rude. However, if I acted that same way in a scene, the sparks would fly on camera!
This should simultaneously make you feel crazy and relieved as an actor. While we need to work on our weaknesses for the sake of others and our social well being, we can totally be ourselves and let those weaknesses loose on camera regardless of how bad or ugly they make us.
Your weaknesses can be strengths as an actor because you can use them in a scene to create conflict, and conflict is what drives our scenes. Conflict creates obstacles that hinder us from getting our objective.
WAYS ACTORS CAN USE PERSONALITY WEAKNESS
Let's look at a few examples that cover a broad spectrum of personality weaknesses. Remember, we're using these to create conflict in the scene. I'd love to hear your ideas about how actors can use these in the comments. Feel free to elaborate on what I'm saying.
Personality weaknesses and the conflict they create in a scene:
What other weaknesses can you think of that actors can use? Now let's translate these into strategies. You can use tactics as well, but for the sake of time, I'll use strategies since that's how I'm trained.
Acting strategies for these personality weaknesses:
Let's take this exercise further with objectives. Remember, an objective is active, so we can't get someone to stop doing something. We need them to do something.
Potential objectives for these same personality weaknesses:
Here's another hard but effective acting exercise for you to try: ask the people closest to you to tell you what they think your personality weaknesses are or what you need to work on as a person.
Yikes. It's going to be hard. However, it will make you a better actor. While it's worth working on those issues for the sake of your relationships, you should use the crap outta them in your scenes.
For example, if they say you interrupt them too much, make an effort to stop interrupting them, but interrupt the mess out of your scene partners and feel good about it!
If they say that you never seem to get excited about anything, then work on expressing your feelings to them more, but use that nonchalant attitude to drive your scene partners freaking crazy!
Alright, Actor Boss, let me know in the comments which personality weaknesses you're gonna start using and how they create conflict in your scenes.
Go take that quiz!
Comment if you want help finding the best tactics or strategies for your personality type in the comments.
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We've all been there, chatting with someone when the question inevitably presents itself:
"So what do you do?"
Your first impulse is to just say it:
"I'm an actor."
But then that weird feeling hits your stomach, heat starts running up your back, and tingles start moving down your spine.
"I work this part-time job during the day, and that part-time job at night. It pays the bills."
"Oh my full-time job is in corporate."
In this post, I'll show you how to confidently tell people you're an actor so you can stop feeling awkward when someone asks.
Then we'll dig into three specific confidence roadblocks and how to address those verbatim.
STATE A FACT, ASK A QUESTION
I use a formula for confidently stating I'm an actor.
You need to state a fact about your acting career as it currently stands, then ask the listener a question related to your career.
We'll go over specific examples in a minute.
But first, let's look at why this fact/question setup is so magical because I want you to use it every time someone asks you that question so you don't dread it.
When you state a fact about your career, it portrays that you are fully self-aware and not just a dreamer.
It will convey to the listener that you have a handle on the situation and don't need a career pep talk or life advice about getting a "real job."
When you ask the listener a question, it puts the ball back in their court and forces them to be invested in your career by helping you take the next step.
Let's look at three specific examples for clarity.
CONFIDENCE ROADBLOCK #1
Maybe you're just getting started, but you don't have any resume credits yet. That's ok!
Have you ever taken a class? Do you have a theatre degree?
If you've ever done any acting, paid or unpaid, then you've acted, and you're an actor.
(Your first step as an actor should be to find a reputable acting coach and start rehearsing in acting class anyway.)
So your response could be something such as:
"I'm new to the area so I'm just getting started. I have a theatre degree, but I need to find a good film acting coach in town. Do you know anyone?"
See what I did there?
I made a clarifying statement about my career, then asked them a question to see if they could help me with my next move.
This is also a great way to get personal clarity about your next step.
CONFIDENCE ROADBLOCK #2
Let's say you've been in acting class, but you don't yet have a talent agent.
If you've already found an acting coach then try:
"I have a great acting coach, but I'm looking for a reputable talent agent now. Would you happen to have any references?"
They just might! You won't know unless you ask.
I've also found that most people will start thinking really hard about whether or not they know anyone to see if they can help you.
CONFIDENCE ROADBLOCK #3
Some of you already have an acting coach, an agent, and legit resume credits to your name, but you don't have a vision for your career.
It's hard to get other people on board when you don't have a clue where you're going.
When you start confidently telling people you're an actor, my personal experience shows that this question is almost always coming next:
"So what do you want to do with acting?"
Be ready to answer this!
Again, you will convey that you've taken this seriously and thought about your career as opposed to just dreaming about it.
"I would like to play supporting roles in feature films."
I also know all the reasons why that's true for me right now.
That goal can change, but if you close your eyes right now, where would you ideally be in your career if you could just snap your fingers and be there?
That's your answer.
When you force your brain to create a goal, it starts finding ways to attain said goal and compels you to share it with others.
So write that down with pen and paper today. Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. Make a background for your computer or phone. Just put it somewhere you can see it.
Use this formula the next time someone asks you what you do for a living.
I challenge you to confidently say, "I'm an actor," for the next month every time someone asks you your job because the trick is to just start saying it.
I don't care if you have another job. Part of your answer needs to be, "...and I'm also an actor."
It. Will. Feel. Weird. It took me about a month of saying it to stop feeling weird.
But can I tell you something?
I don't even think twice about saying it now. It's so uneventful that I wish I would've started saying it sooner to get the weirdness over with. People think it's cool because I think it's cool.
Please feel free to comment below and share how you handle this question.
Do you want to know another reason you might not feel confident as an actor? Because you subconsciously know that you haven't built a foundation that can withstand career growth.
I want to invite you to learn more about your Actor Boss Workflow so that you can start building that foundation today for free.
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HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
I typically forget about my auditions once I submit them. They're out of my control at that point, so there's no use worrying about them. However, I still remember the one audition I feel like I truly bombed.
A major casting director requested me to audition for a feature film for a role that was opposite of two very well-known actors. I decided to get self-taping and coaching for this particular role, but I forgot to communicate that this wasn't a character--it was an actual person. The film was biographical.
Let's just say that instead of submitting a very grounded, realistic performance, I submitted a drunk trophy wife that was all over the place. I learned to always trust my gut and to communicate my research if paying for a self-taped session.
A haunting thought crept into my brain later: What if I had done something really embarrassing in a callback or on set in front of actors that I respected? I'm not saying it won't happen or that I can't learn from it, but we need to be prepared for how to deal with it.
Rejection sucks, but it's part of our lives as actors. Amid all of the confidence exercises for actors, there's one thing that helps me get over my nerves.
If you want to know how to be a confident actor, remember that everybody is human the next time you're nervous about an audition or if you ever get to read with a well-known actor!
I'm going to let you into my brain today to share all of the crazy things I think about to remind me of this truth that I hope will give you more confidence in auditions.
1. EVERYBODY POOPS
Yea, I said it. Toilets are the great equalizer of man. If you ever end up in the audition room with your celebrity crush, remember this--they get into that awkward butt wiping position, too. I hope...
2. EVERYBODY HAS NOSE HAIRS
That's right, even the hottest celebrities have nose hairs, and with the continual updates in HD cameras, SURELY they get a trim...
3. EVERYBODY FARTS
They might not talk about it, but they do.
4. EVERYBODY GETS BAD BREATH
Errrbody gets stanky mouth at some point, especially on set. Even those few magical unicorns that don't get stanky breath eat garlic at some point.
5. EVERYBODY PICKS THEIR BOOGERS
And rolls them into tiny tennis balls. What is it about driving a car that makes you want to pick your nose so badly?
So there are my five tips on how to be confident in acting auditions. Hopefully these reminders will help you avoid your audition rejection depression. Now get out there and show those auditions who's boss!
SNEAKY ACTOR CONFIDENCE KILLER
Okay, you're equipped with five reminders that everyone is human to use as confidence boosters. What's killing your confidence in the first place, though? Seriously answer what pops into your mind first, then read the next sentence.
I challenge you to consider that your insecurity is rooted in something sneaky you haven't thought about yet--your money. Yes! Your money money moola!
Most actors make the mistake of thinking they can't be financially healthy until they hit it big. What if I told you that getting financially healthy now can increase your chances of acting success?
5 Ways Financial Health Makes You a Confident Actor:
I want you to download my absolutely free guide Actor Boss Budget to get the plan that drastically changed my finances in just one year, plus tips on how to follow the plan specifically as an actor. Learn more about it here.
5 CONFIDENCE EXERCISES FOR ACTORS
Now that I've got you feeling better with a Power Ranger fart GIF, let's chat over a few practical confidence exercises you can use an an actor.
WEAR THAT OUTFIT
You have an outfit or pair of shoes that make you feel killer. You know you look good or feel good when you wear them. I have an amazing pair of Ariat cowgirl boots that always gets compliments. I will cry when their day comes. If it makes sense for me to wear them to an audition, I do! Who cares if you wear the same thing to most of your auditions?
This is a HUGE part of your actor's life that I bet you're missing. Essentially, you coach yourself using your name. Sounds crazy, right? It totally works. I have more details about it in a blog post here.
STRIKE A POWER POSE
This can work for guys or girls. Women are typically told to stand in the Wonder Woman pose with their hands on their hips. Men should look at photos of male models and imitate their poses until they find one they like. You'll feel it when it's the right one. Now strike that pose before you leave the house and again in the bathroom when you arrive at an audition or shoot.
You may also consider using this pose during your read if it makes sense. For example, standing with your hands on your hips is a great stance for staying "open" to your scene partner. I see so many actors on tv cross their arms during a scene, and I always scream, "Uncross your arms!" You're physically blocking yourself from emotionally receiving from your scene parter. You're literally "closing yourself off" from them, which is why we stand that way in life, but you can't do that when you're acting. It will emotionally kill the scene.
LISTEN TO THAT SONG
If you're not already using music to get yourself in the right mindset for an audition, start making your playlists today. You can always listen to a song that makes you feel confident, then listen to a song that evokes the emotions you want to surface. Just remember that a casting director may ask you to take the scene somewhere totally different, and that's okay! At least show up fully engaged in the choices you prepared so you have something strong to give.
Your lungs are the size they are for a reason. When you breathe like you normally do, you're probably not filling them to capacity. Those shallow breaths are only enough to keep your vital organs functioning properly, but when you fill your lungs to capacity, it sends that extra oxygen to your brain. That extra oxygen allows your brain to reason better. There's a great breakdown of this in the book Emotional Intelligence if you get the chance to read it.
So when you have racing, insecure thoughts, breathe to fill your lungs to capacity! Your brain will better rationalize your situation and thoughts. You'll also have better breath support for your scene.
Actor Boss Budget is the first step in your Actor Boss Workflow. It's time to start being the boss of your acting career instead of waiting on others to act on your behalf. Learn more about your Actor Boss Workflow here so you can start building a foundation for long-term career growth.
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Here's your quick tip blog post with a quick-and-easy confidence exercise for actors:
5 Reasons Actors Should Write Thank You Cards
Watch this video if you're not already expressing gratitude this way.
HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'll teach you how to become a screen actor even if you have no experience or if you want to transition from another performance genre. First, what is Actor Boss? Learn more here.