Archives for March 2016

The Voices Within


By Marci Liroff

Do you think these thoughts and utter these phrases to describe yourself and others?

“I’m a hungry actor,” “He’s a starving artist”.  Do you describe those that hire you as “The gatekeepers” or “Those on the other side of the desk”?

Watch your mouth. Watch your thoughts. Watch the loop that goes on in your head tearing you down.

Words matter! Change your dialogue. Banish these terms from your lips and your brain. These thoughts are all pervasive. When you speak them aloud you give them life and energy. I have actor friends who refer to themselves in public and to their family as a “starving artist” while trying to maintain a supposedly tongue-in-cheek attitude. Even if they’re slightly joking, it plants a seed in people’s minds that artists have to starve and struggle for their work. The words and phrases tend to romanticize the life of an artist; that there has to be pain and lack of comfort to attain true art.

In my article “This Will Change Your Life” I asked you to reframe the way you’ve been thinking about meetings and auditions. I wrote about thinking of the whole auditioning process as a collaboration between filmmakers.

I also suggested that you’ve got to stop this deadly “me against them” loop that’s going on in your head. Delete the word “gate­keepers” and anything else that you think is standing in your way. Replace it with this mantra: “I am a filmmaker! I am a collaborator!”

Another self-sabotage move is the idea of luck. What is luck? Some have it and some don’t. Really? If luck exists, why do I even need to get up in the morning? My luck will take care of everything. No need to even insert myself into the equation because it’s out of my hands. I call bullshit on this with a big cherry on top.

I don’t believe in luck. Some say luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. This quote, attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca, reminds us that we make our own luck.

As I always preach, perception is about 90% of the game. As an artist and performer, with so many things out of your control, the one thing you do have control of is your perception and how you will let things plant firmly in your brain, or whether you’re going to let go of them. Are you going to stick with the voice in your head that says, “I never get comedy jobs”? Or are you going to change your “luck” and start viewing your opportunity in a different light? Take ownership of this opportunity and get yourself into some sitcom and improv classes. Turn your bad “luck” on its ear.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman did a ten-year study on the topic of luck. In interviews with the study’s volunteers, he realized that unlucky people are typically more anxious and tend to be more hyper focused on the specifics of a situation. Lucky people, on the other hand, are more laid-back and open to whatever opportunities present themselves.

His research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make smart (lucky) decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

When you take control of what you say and think I guarantee a change.
The Universe is listening.

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Make sure to check out my new online course “How To Audition For Film and Television: Audition Bootcamp”. You can view it on your laptop or your mobile device and your subscription gives you lifetime viewing privileges for this course. I’ll be adding lectures throughout the year.

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