When asked what they would say to their younger self…
“Focus more on learning than on succeeding. Instead of pretending you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand and ask a question.” – Michelle Obama
“…laugh at the things that scare you, things that intimidate you, things that hurt you. When you’re humiliated, when you’re rejected, you have to be able to take these bad experiences you have and turn them into a great dinner party joke.” – Taylor Swift
As actors, you are exploring and playing with human behavior and the human psyche. But what about yourself? In the “put your air mask on before putting it on others” airplane mentality, if makes sense to take care–and learn–about yourself first. That’s one reason why we love doing the exercise of ‘Talking to your younger self.” To take a moment and ask…
What you would tell your younger self about XYZ?
Is it how to handle rejection? Is it about pumping them up about something they (you) might be scared about?
We speak differently to ourselves when we put them (us) as a child. We give ourselves compassion and grace, as well as energy and encouragement. It’s funny to think that we don’t do that already, and why? We preach positivity and this an exercise you can do at any time to get out of whatever negative funk–however small, however big–and get to positivity to move forward. It’s quite effective and a such a nice little motivational boost you can keep in your back pocket!
You are exploring the human psyche with every audition, every scene you work on in class, every character you develop. PLUS, if you are having a difficult time connecting to a character, try this exercise. You’ll find compassion and understanding for them that you may not have realized before.
As an actor, you have tools.
Your body, your mind, strategies, tips and exercises that you learn from class. Use this as one. You are arming yourself with these tools to make sure you are your best self and the best actor you can be.
Take a moment and explore this. Work it for auditions and class scene work, and work it for yourself. Remember, that in order to be a better actor, you’ve got to learn yourself first. Talk to your younger self and see what comes up!