At Ease, Actors


An actor walks into a bar…

No, actually it goes like this…

An actor walks into an audition and shows me everything she’s got. It’s a performance of a lifetime. Full emotions and range are shown. Wow, this actor has really prepared and is on fire! The only glitch is that I, the audience, ain’t connecting to the character or words. The performance is possibly even self-indulgent. The actor is feeling everything, but I am feeling nothing. So, if I’m not moved, what’s the point?


Stop trying to prove your range in the audition room. (It leads to overacting.)


I know you want to show us what you’ve got inside of you and prove that you can win an Oscar. But, truthfully, most auditions don’t require that you spill your emotional guts. So, why are you trying to put those emotions into every single line?


Hook audiences by practicing variety in your emotional choices.  


To do this, you have to EASE UP.


Take an audience on a ride that feels unexpected and alive. Stop pushing or strangling the scene. Your control over the scene is stifling it. Let it breathe.


  1. Listen harder and let the scene guide you.  Simplify what you are “doing”.
  2. Discover these words as if they have never been spoken before.
  3. Play with the scene 5,436,121 times so that you see its endless possibilities.
  4. Try ideas that are opposite your first impressions.
  5. Trust that you are interesting and don’t need to act interesting.

A relaxed and focused actor puts the room at ease. An actor who feels the pressure to do the performance of a lifetime makes everyone feel it’s a life or death matter. If you were sitting on the other side of the table, how would you like to feel?

I love actors for all the heart you’ve got. Now, keep it to yourself a little more, and I will lean forward in my seat because I am intrigued.

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