Last month I had the opportunity to work on a heartfelt story and beautifully shot film. In one of my scenes, my character is captured crying in a hospital bathroom. She is finally allowing her emotions to pour through her polished facade. Emotional scenes, like any, require preparation and knowledge of thyself. As we grow and evolve in our craft we must note what we need to “get there”. Our work is to consistently hone and develop our technique so that when it is time to deliver, the emotions are there.
I arrived to set on our second shoot day, relaxed and ready to shoot that days scenes as outlined in the call sheet. The bathroom scene was not scheduled for that day. Then the 2nd AD, relayed that they would need me on set in 30 minutes for *drum roll* yes, of course...the bathroom scene.
What?! Ok, I got this. One, from my experiences both in front of and behind the camera, I know plans are always changing on a film set. Two, I knew my character arc forwards and backwards. Three, I know what I need as an actor to get into the right “head space” for that scene.
We shot the scene. I’m proud of my work.
Well, let me be real. I hope I did a great job. I hope the director is happy with what I did. Like any artist I can be my own worst critic. The irony is for that scene, I had just overheard my daughter tell her dying father that she felt like she wasn’t good enough her whole life.
How I can relate to that feeling regarding many areas of my life, including being an actor.
This industry is not for the slight of heart, which brings up my next point regarding community.
Alone is a lie. Many of us are all feeling and experiencing similar doubts, self-limiting behaviors, failures, etc.
Identify and appreciate the fellow artists who lend an ear, who lift you up, who help you endure, who cheer your wins and offer advice when you are struggling or are misguided.
LET GO of those who tear you down, who make you feel less than or not good enough. Wish them growth and success in their art. Then walk away and bust out a happy dance as you move forward in your art and your life.
Letting go and not engaging with negative people is an actionable step towards creating forward motion as a person and also in your acting career.
In a nutshell, know your scenes forwards and backwards, inside and out. The more you are ready to roll with the punches on a film set, the more you can relax into your craft. The more you focus on actionable steps for forward motion and growth as a person and in your craft, the more joyous this ride shall be.
Wishing you a marvelous week, month and year.