How To Replenish Your Self-Confidence

14842038610_eacf3cbe20_hphoto credit: IdeaLuz Photography

By Marci Liroff

I received this note from one of my followers on Facebook, who lives in a major hub of film and television production in North Carolina. “I was wondering if you have ever written any articles about children losing interest in acting, or confidence being lost from lack of or no work. My daughter (on her request) has been signed with an agent for almost three years now. I have spent the time and money to take her to countless auditions, acting lessons, singing lessons, and even traveled a few hours away just to have video auditions taped by professionals, but she has not landed a single job in all of this time. I have even tried to submit her for countless ‘extra’ parts and have never been contacted for any of them as well. Now when she gets a request for an audition, she lacks the motivation and confidence to do so, saying, ‘What’s the point? I am never going to get it.’ ”

The pursuit of getting an acting job on camera or onstage is a tough road for most adult actors, and young actors must have thick skin—with their heads and hearts in the right places—to survive. The one thing most actors have (the good ones, anyway!) is that they’re in it for the love of the craft. They simply have to act; they have to perform—it’s their lifeblood.

In my article “When Is The Right Time For Your Child To Become An Actor”, I examined the notion of making sure your child wants to act for the right reasons. Whenever I meet child actors I always ask how and why they got into acting. The ones who repeatedly begged their parents over the years to take acting classes, are in plays at school, and truly enjoy being a storyteller are the ones who make it. Thankfully, they’re not at a point yet where they have to earn a living. Let’s not forget this is supposed to be fun—especially for kids.

I would submit to the concerned mom that perhaps the end is not the means in this situation. What is her child looking for in terms of being an actor? So far she hasn’t landed any roles, even background roles.

All actors need to recognize the fact that being an actor is not just when you’re in front of a camera or onstage—it’s the entire journey.

From immersing yourself in acting-dancing-voice classes to getting your headshots taken, the preparation is actually part of the job. Yes, I recognize that actually landing a job is the cherry on top of the sundae, but it can’t be the main goal. You’ve got to appreciate the rest of the experience in total and can’t feel defeated just because you didn’t get the role.

I suggest this child learn to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate her acting classes and use them as an opportunity to express herself as an artist. On a practical level, what about local stage productions? Is she involved in school plays? How about registering with all the local colleges and universities that have film programs? They are always producing short films and need actors—especially kids.

Most important, it’s perfectly acceptable for this child to take a step back and stop auditioning for a while until she regains her confidence and rediscovers her motivation to pursue acting. There are so many local places that need child volunteers: animal shelters, reading to young children at schools or libraries, collecting clothes around the neighborhood to donate to Goodwill or other suitable organizations—the list is endless. I’ve found that being of service is a great way to take the focus off of you and replenish your creativity.

What do you do when you feel defeated and your journey feels futile?

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.

Like this article? Help spread the word!
Click to Tweet: You’ve got to find balance in life and acting “How To Replenish Your Self-Confidence” via @MarciLiroff pls share
Click to Tweet: R you or your child frustrated with rejection? “How To Replenish Your Self-Confidence” via @MarciLiroff pls r/t



By Marci Liroff

Lately, I’m seeing a lot of your self-taped auditions, monologues, and self-produced content on public sites on the Internet. I’m all for empowering yourselves as artists by generating content, but please make sure it’s professionally made. We’re living in a time where you can easily create content and clips for your reel, but I’d truly rather see nothing than see badly crafted films and scenes. Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you should use it. Your projects have to look just as good as the footage I’m seeing on network and film projects. Think about it for a moment. If you’re sending me clips of your homemade short film and it looks like your uncle shot it, the sound and lighting is bad and the writing is horrible— how do you think that makes you look?

In my Audition Bootcamp class the other night one of my students told a story of how she had pitched a short film to the site Funny Or Die and they were very interested. She and her crew shot the short film and when all was said and done, she pulled the plug. It wasn’t funny enough. It didn’t meet her expectations. This is a young actor and writer who is just starting out and had the wherewithal to not post her film because she didn’t think it was good enough. How brave. How smart.

When I’m casting a project I get a lot of self-taped auditions sent to me in many different forms. They come to me through Cast It Talent, YouTube, Vimeo, HighTail (formerly YouSendIt), Actor’s Access, and links to the actor’s personal website. The Internet has made it very easy to self-tape your audition from a distant location, upload it to one of the many sites available and send it to me quickly. I love that I can view so many auditions from all over the world with ease.

But, please take heed. Your auditions for my project should not be available for public consumption. They should only be viewed by me and my filmmaking team, the network, and the studio. The material (the script and audition scenes) is not meant to be viewed by the public at this pre-production stage, or frankly, ever – UNLESS approved by everyone involved on the project. You’ve heard of spoilers right? If I’m casting a project that has a top-secret script it would be extremely detrimental to the project if there were auditions popping up all over the internet which would reveal the storyline. On my last project, the producer found 3 actors who had posted their auditions for our film on YouTube and berated me because I didn’t control this better.

If you’re going to post your auditions online at these various sites that aren’t secure (such as YouTube and Vimeo) please make sure they’re password protected. It’s a very simple and easy process and only the person who’s intended to see it will be able to access it.

I always say, “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube”.  Make sure you’re putting content out there that represents you in the best light. (literally and figuratively)!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this situation. Has this ever happened to you? It’s always good to share with the community. Leave a comment, share this blog with a friend!
Glad you’re here!




By Marci Liroff
Last week, after an excruciatingly painful day in Hollywood where my ass was kicked to the ground and stomped on – I realized I was stuck. Stuck in the morass that I had made for myself. “People are horrible!” kept running through my mind, along with various versions of “Woe is me…!
The doorbell rang and I peered out my window to see a man standing there with a leaf blower strapped to his back. “What does this guy want?”I came out to find a pleasant looking guy in gardener gear. He explained that one of my sprinklers was leaking below the ground. “It’s either a broken pipe or it’s the actual sprinkler.“ Aargh!” I said to myself. “Can nothing go right in my life?!” Then he said something amazing. “Well, I’d be happy to dig it out and see if I can fix it for you.” “Sure!” I said. Heproceeded to dig out the sprinkler about a foot down into the soggy earth. Turns out it was a cracked sprinkler unit. I was on my way to Home Depot (one of my favorite stores btw!) and I told him I’d take the broken sprinkler and replace it.  Then he said something more amazing. “I have one in my truck. I can connect it now and you can just give me the replacement next week when I come, or whenever.” I ran into the house to get some money for his trouble and work. When I came outside he was just finishing up. We tested it and the sprinkler worked great. Then something truly amazing happened. I offered him the money and he simply refused to take it. I kept offering, “C’mon, you really helped me and I SO appreciate what you did – I’d love to pay you for your time and your work.” He was firm. “No Miss – it was no problem.” What a nice guy. My current gardeners have not been so great lately. “Are you available to work here on Tuesdays?” I said, hopefully. Nope. He’s way across town on Tuesdays and booked up completely. We shook hands, introduced ourselves and I said I’d see him next week with a new sprinkler to replace the one he gave me. Jaime walked away, soaking wet and covered with mud.
I went back into my house and was walking around in circles kind of stunned. People don’t do nice things just for the heck of it. They just don’t. I was sure. I was positive. Then I realized I had created aself-fulfilling prophecy – the exact thing I always call out my coaching clients and students about. I work with so many actors who are positive they won’t get the job, they never get “these kinds of roles”, “I’m not good at comedy”, “I won’t be able to cry in this scene at the audition”…the list goes on and on. We all want to be right don’t we? If our inner voice tells us these things, we pretty much make sure it happens by the energy we put out and by our sheer will because, at the end of the day, we want to be right. See? I told you so! I told you I’d never be able to ______ – fill in the revolving door of excuses.  Our ego gets involved and wants to make us right and thus begins the never-ending cycle of the self-fulfilling prophecy. 
A positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion – declared as truth when it is actually false – may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.
An hour later the doorbell rang again. It was Fed Ex. Oooh, a package! I opened the package to find a gift from an actor student of mine. I taught a class last year and was particularly taken with this particular actor. Early 20’s, handsome, and he just totally “got it”. Meaning, he sat in class and nodded his head to whatever I was saying and I could tell that whatever I was saying was completely resonating with him. We worked on one scene throughout the three 3-night classes. He was spot-on in the first class, and just kept getting consistently stronger throughout the process. Several months later he reached out to me for a career consultation – being new in L.A. and to the business he was having problems with patience. He was really good, having successful auditions and getting great feedback but not getting jobs fast enough for his taste. “Why isn’t it happening for me already?!” We had a long talk about the acting journey and how it takes years to build a career. I checkedin on him several more times over the ensuing months and never heard back from him. What a slacker I thought. I gave him my very best – I had even taken the time to check-in with him several times and not even a response to my emails! Not professional!!
He finally contacted me a few weeks ago through an email to tell me that he was battling Stage 3 melanoma. Cancer. And, no medical insurance. He’s home with his family and going through surgeries and treatment and fighting the good fight with this wicked disease. He reached out to tell me that he thinks about me all the time and that some of his best work was done in my classes. Also, he’s a whiz at Photoshop so if there’s anything I need…he can help me out. Anything Ineed?! Incredible. OK, back to the package. He sent ME a gift. A few gifts actually. He explains:  “A deck of cards. The cards were from the first Casino I ever went to and won $500 from a BlackJack table…the best of luck to you! The Shakespeare book is part of a collection of notebooks I own. The cover picture is also printed on the pages and when they’re stacked up all 12 books form the Shakespeare picture. I put all of my audition sides in the book and write notes and flesh out the beats and stuff when I audition.And finally the magnificent picture of you!”(he had reproduced the photo of me from the ArcLight Cinema series of filmmakers posters and made a smaller poster for me).
So here I was after receiving some terribly disappointing news about my job, convinced that people are shit and horrible, and within one hour of that the Universe sent me not one but two incredible events to kick me in the ass and remind me that yes, some people are horrible, but most people are actually pretty great if you just open your eyes and your heart to see it. Stop focusing on all the crap, shift your mindset bit by bit and the good will come. Surround yourself with healthy, happy and loving people who have your back. Let me know if this works for you.
Now go out and do it! 
Do you have any questions for me? Feel free to ask them here!
Want more tips and general thoughts on life? Be sure to bookmark my blog and follow me here!
We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Glad you’re here!
« 1 2