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Step 4 of 7 Acting Tips: Self Confidence by Aleator

Some people have it, some don’t. How to get it, and ways not to lose it:

I’m no psychiatrist, and I certainly can’t explain the underlying roots of self-esteem, but I can provide you with some lessons that have gotten me this far.

1. Focus on the objective, not the outcome. People are often very self critical of themselves and worry when it is unnecessary. I’ll compare acting to life in general; if you spend all your time worrying or thinking about the future, then you’re wasting your present; in acting if you spend too much time thinking or worrying about what people will think of you then your performance will suffer. The key here is focus; your objective here is to give the best performance you can, first for yourself, then for others, not the other way around.

2. Learn from your mistakes! Its painful and difficult, but that’s life and it can be just as fun and easy as well. I’ve gotten stage fright, we all do sometimes. It’s horrible, it hurts, and you never want that sinking feeling in your stomach again, but we learn from pain. If you ever burnt your hand in a fire or on the stove as a child, then I’m sure you’ve never intentionally done it again. The same goes for acting. You make a mistake. You suffer the immediate embarrassment. Then you move on and avoid repeating those past mistakes as quickly as would you pull your hands from scalding water.

3. I won’t give you a real third or forth bullet point for the sake or your time and my own. I probably couldn’t fully explain confidence if I gave you a thousand bullet points, but my final two cents on it are: never back down and never give up, what I mean is that if your desire to act and give a great performance is greater than you fear of failure then you’re on the right track. If not, get comfortable and get interested– if you are only comfortable acting alone then do so until you can do it in front of someone, then do it in front of a group, then do it in front of a crowd, build yourself up step by step. When it comes to interest, you simply have to be motivated. You can’t persuade yourself to be a better actor the same way you couldn’t persuade a car without fuel to start; it just doesn’t happen. If you lack motivation to dedicate yourself, then it will be a real struggle, if not an impossible feat.