"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." – E.E. Cummings
Confidence is a funny thing. Some people just have it. Others have put a lot of work into it. Some are searching for it. But one thing is true for all - confidence plays a huge part in our lives.
I've been working on my confidence for about a year now. I have put the effort into myself on a daily basis and have tried to not allow myself to think I am less than others because they are prettier - smarter - more successful - you name it, than me. I am by no means good at it yet, but changing my mindset to "would you talk to your best friend that way?" has helped me a lot in changing how I mentally think about myself.
No one can give you confidence. You have to create it for yourself. And trust me - it is so hard. (If anyone has a secret potion for it - let me know!) But for those of us who want to work on it, there are many benefits. I genuinely feel that confidence is the "key" for everything. Why?
Confidence makes you happier.
You are you, doing you, for you, and you don't care what others think of that. You know I am a big believer in "there's power in not giving a f*#k" and that comes from confidence.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right." - Henry Ford
What does confidence do to your career? If you are so nervous in an audition room - do you think they are going to give you the part? NO! Because who casting casts is a reflection on them... they can't have some flailing actor who was horribly nervous at the audition walk on set and be a potential a flight risk. They won't hire you if you don't have the confidence to believe you should be hired. Going back to that quote above "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right." YOU GUYS THIS IS HUGE. Your mindset is so crucial.
But if you walk into your audition cool as a cucumber, ready to work and take direction - casting is more likely to see you as someone who is ready to be on set. You know you can do the job so they know you can do the job.
How to build your confidence? Like I said - magic potion anyone?! Until we figure that out - confidence comes from self love which you all know I am a big fan of. Speak kindly to yourself. Take care of yourself. Take time to work on yourself and improve yourself. Take time for yourself. Figure out what makes you feel good about yourself and do more of that.
For me, building my confidence started with me turning inward. I tend to be a very outward driven person and put a lot of energy into relationships with others, interactions with other, how i am perceived by others - "oh, you're a working actress and I'm still working side jobs? You must be better than me." It is SO easy to slip into that mindset. BUT! Don't let yourself. You are not defined by your job, your career, your followers - you have so much more to offer than that. You are you and you are awesome. So celebrate that.
This is an ongoing journey for me and I might do another post on this as keep going but I wanted to put this out there - just because you are not where you want to be in your career right now, just because your dream has not come true, does not mean that it won't. Keep putting in the work. Keep pushing. And most of all: love yourself.
Living in a metropolis like NY or LA is hard. There is so much to worry about and things can slip through the cracks. Juggling your career, your side job, your social life, your instagram, your dating life while still having time to keep your apartment clean, workout and get 8 hours of sleep a night
1. Not taking time to read
Backstage. Deadline. The full script for your audition. Acting books. The background on acting teachers. The different projects that casting director you're reading for on Thursday has done. Different people who are booking's IMDb accounts. You need to read everything. As actors, your job is to research! So why are we so quick to let that part of our job go? Read the whole pilot you are auditioning for. Read the WHOLE script before you jump to your sides (should I do a post on preparing for auditions?) Research the filmmaker before putting yourself on tape - know their style, their tone. Trust me. That makes a big difference. Also - knowledge is power. (Duh). So give yourself some power.
2. Not mapping it out before you head out
In LA we all know traffic is THE WORST. So if you know that it usually takes you 40 minutes to get to that casting office in Santa Monica but low and behold there is a major accident blocking every single lane on the 405 (shocker, right) and traffic is backed up all the way to the valley so now it is going to take you over an hour to get there because you have to take side roads! When you have an audition or a callback that should be your focus for the day. You are an actor. That is you "going to work." So don't be late for work.
3. Not keeping your materials updated
Headshots are expensive, I know. But building a website isn't. You don't need to update your materials every 6 months, but if it has been 2 years since your last headshot shoot - it might be time to look into getting new pictures. Also - if you haven't looked through your actors access profile since 2008 - do it. Clean it up, trim the fat. Casting directors in LA don't care that you did a student commercial back in 2001. Any "resume padders" should come off - because they are exactly that and make you look less legit. Update your website, clean up your reel, stay current. That matters.
4. Not giving yourself enough time to prepare
I see this the worst with taped auditions. People don't take them as seriously as they do in-person auditions because they think the get a bajillion tapes so they don't need to read the script and they can just run their lines a few times before laying down the tape and their read will be great. No. That is not how that works. A taped audition is exactly like an in-person except you get to play a little bit of the casting director's role. You need to treat tapes with the same weight that you treat in-persons because at the end of the day you are doing exactly what you want: auditioning.
5. Speaking poorly about yourself
I don't know who to blame for this trend of self-deprecating humor, or it being funny to make yourself the butt of a joke, but let me tell you it is not good for your psyche. The way we speak about ourselves is how we tell the world we feel about ourselves. No, we don't need to be a narcissistic asshole, but you should be celebrating your accomplishments. You should be building yourself up. You shouldn't be around people that cause you to self-shrink (or people who put you down themselves). On that note.....
6. Not keeping relationships in their proper place
I think I am going to do a whole post on boundaries - with friends, family, agents, boss - so I will keep it brief here. What I said in a previous post about your "top 5" - about who you keep close to you - is so important. You've all seen the video about how "fake friends are ruining you," right? Well if you haven't here is an article explaining it (really worth the read). Part of growing up is learning where people fit in your life and setting up boundaries to make sure they stay there. Work a freelance job? You need to set up boundaries so your boss isn't asking you to edit a photo for them at 9pm on a Sunday night. Have a friend that you're not sure is actually happy for you? Pay attention to what information you are sharing with them - set up boundaries and don't give them more weight than they deserve. Boundaries protect your and your mental state and there is nothing more valuable.
Okay y'all, rant over. (But really I am going to do a post on boundaries because the digital world has made us ALLLLLLLL too accessible).
Until next time!
Three years ago today I got on a plane with two suitcases and a backpack (yep, on 9/11) and left the comfort of my home in Florida. Three years ago today I landed in Los Angeles.
Three years ago today I began living my dream.
This journey has been hands down the hardest thing I have ever done. But also the most rewarding.
So in honor of my 3rd anniversary, I wanted to share 30 things I have learned since moving to LA. Here we go:
I am really excited to see what the next year will hold - because in LA you just never know! How am I spending my anniversary? My fiancé made vegan pancakes, we are doing my favorite hike in Beachwood Canyon, I have a callback for an amazing project and then I'm getting drinks with some ladies who inspire the shit out of me.
Thank you guys for being on this wild ride with me!
Oh hey there
Thank you for stopping by. My name is Ansley and I am a creative being. With not much to show for it. Feel the same?! Welcome! For all of you artists out there who are just hanging in there - this is for you!