How do you know something is true? How much do you actually fact check every little thing? You don’t have to answer that, because I already know, and I’m with you – ain’t nobody got time for that.
Can you imagine if we had to do our due diligence for every single thing we’re told. We’re just trying to live our lives and be happy, right? We’re just trying to watch that new series that everyone’s talking about, fall in love, pay the rent, lose that 10 lbs. Some of us don’t even have the capacity to “google it”. It’s just easier and much more convenient to go ahead and buy into it.
“Ok, well I heard it from so and so and they seem legit.”
Or maybe you heard it twice, so now you know it’s true. Makes us sound like we know what we’re talking about.
“I heard it on the news.”…”Well, I heard the exact opposite of that on this other news channel. ”
And don’t even get me started with the health and nutrition industry.
How does this play out in our work?
“That casting director doesn’t watch all the tapes. They don’t like me. They only hire their favorites, or their friends. They’re evil and they just want to waste my time.”
Write down all of your beliefs. Everything you’ve heard your actor friends say about the industry, the business, that casting director, your agent. Your elaborate, original, and might I add, highly dramatic narratives. Shocker. Write it all down.
And, don’t stop there. What about all the things you believe about yourself? The good, the bad, the ugly. Write it all down.
Now, let me ask you this. How do you know these beliefs are true? Do you have honest proof? Go down the list and make an actual, factual account. Maybe for one of them, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that you probably don’t have solid, tangible proof for most of them, if not all. Now, check in with yourself to see if you’re justifying these beliefs, and gently ask yourself if this belief is indeed a fact or is it the meaning you have given the fact.
Example: “This casting office doesn’t call me in because I’m overweight.”
What are the facts?
The casting office doesn’t call you in.
You are overweight.
But do you have proof that the casting office doesn’t call you in because you are overweight? Do you have cold, hard evidence?
You see, I’m not here to tell you that what you believe is not true. Because whatever you believe is your truth. When you believe something, you buy it, and now you own it. You live that belief, and it becomes your reality. Your reality will constantly support that belief and continue to provide evidence to maintain that truth.
Have you ever thought about this? When we hear something negative about ourselves, how come we’re so quick to just buy into it, but when we hear something good, and someone pays us a compliment, how come that’s so hard to believe?
Some of these things that we believe about ourselves are really messed up.
Here’s a story. One time I felt like I was perfect for this role, and I slayed my audition, but I didn’t book the job. So, I decided that the only reason I didn’t get this role was because I was too fat. If I was just thinner (Ok, and maybe younger and prettier) but mainly thinner, I would have booked that role. Well, a year passes by and the film comes out and I see that the actor who got the role was bigger than me…and I was crushed. Instead of being happy that my weight was not the reason that I didn’t get the role, I was crushed. I was devastated. My truth had been broken, and I was pissed off. Why?
Why is it that I had that belief that I knew was not serving me, in that moment, in my performance, or my career, and yet, I still held onto that belief? I did not know it to be true. I did not fact check it. And, turns out, I then had proof that I was totally wrong! And that led me to the question of, “Why? Why did I choose to believe it in the first place?”
What was it about that belief that made me want to buy into it? Because we CHOOSE our beliefs. So, look at your list and ask yourself right now, “Why do I choose to believe this?”
Let’s do an exercise. You can close your eyes if you like, unless you’re reading this – or driving.
Take one belief. You got it? Great. Let’s make your belief a thing; a tangible product. Put this belief in a pretty package, and put it on the shelf at your favorite store. You got it? Now pick that belief up, and ask yourself, “Why should I buy this? How will this help me, serve me, be of use to me?”
Really think about this. Do you need it? Why do you want it? Now, no matter the answer, even if you don’t have one, I want you to put it in your cart. Cool? Now let’s stroll down the aisle and let’s go check out. You greet the cashier and she sees your box and just when you assume she’s judging you for your purchase, she says “Oh, wow. I have this one too.” A satisfying sense of relief washes over you. That is, until she scans the box, and you look up at the screen and the total reads “$9000.00! You jump back and say, “How much is this thought going to cost me?!” and the cashier responds, “Well, yah, you think this is my hobby?!”
Now, I’m sure we’d all like to think that box would be left at the counter, but because this is based on a true story, I want you to stay with me here. You know what to do. Whip out that card, and swipe it on through. Charge it to the game. And don’t for a second act like you’re paying in cash, because let’s be honest. You can’t afford it. Nobody can.
Sounds crazy, right? But good people, smart people, sane people do it every day.
So, let me ask you something. How much are you willing to pay for your limiting beliefs? The ones you can’t afford? The ones you’ll spend the rest of your life paying for? The ones that were broken when you bought them, and that are out to break you?!
So, let me ask you again. Why do you choose to believe these things? You’re not a crazy person. So, why?
Is it possible, just possible, that you’re letting yourself off the hook?
Is believing that things are completely out of your control easier than working harder, getting better, and taking the actions you know you have to take to become the undeniable artist that you know you are meant to be? And believe me, I’m well aware of how little control we have as actors in the decision making process. I’d have to be blind and deaf to not know we’re at the bottom of the food chain, baby. At the mercy of a million gatekeepers. One yes, a dozen more to go.
So, what do we have control over? Our auditions. That’s right. In fact, we’ll never have more authority over our performances than we do in our auditions. On set, we’re just another moving part coming together to serve the higher vision. But, here – in this box. We press record and it’s our choices, our point of view, our vision.
If you choose to focus on anything beyond your performance, you are giving your power, time, and energy away to that which you cannot control. Are you willing to pay the price?