When the camera paralyzes you…


I had a dream this week that has left me pondering the deep subconscious fears that many actors are facing, especially in on-camera auditions.


My dream was actually ridiculous.

I dreamed that I had to perform Sandy in GREASE!  Aside from not being an actor, I can’t sing at all (the worst pitch you’ve ever heard) so this was particularly terrifying for me. But, in my dream, I felt I had to do it for some reason – like I couldn’t let the cast down.  And, I remember being particularly terrified that I’d forget lines.

Then it was suddenly opening night.  And I woke up!  Thank god I didn’t have to do the performance in my dream.


This dream was filled with an immense sense of pressure about the performance.  Anyone relate?


It’s that pit-in-the-stomach nervous feeling that ties one up in knots. 

Or, it’s the numb survival mode that kicks in. 

And maybe, it’s the self-berating dialogue you’re having with an inner critic. 


Any of these reactions can paralyze and deactivate your passion for acting… and kill off your whole audition.


Often, when we want something bad, we freeze up.

The camera, in particular, does a funny thing and can freeze one up like no other medium. My theory for why it happens so much is because most of you are starting acting on camera later in life. I mean, everyone started out playing a bunny rabbit or a tree in a school play, right?  So, understandably, most of you feel at home on a live stage.


Now, you are an actor with big goals and looking to expand your career on camera.


Even more for camera than live theater, it’s crucial to work towards creating a peaceful flow around your work as an actor so that you can thrive.


You have to relax on camera so that it can handle your close ups.


So create ease.  Create play.  Create movement.

Let’s make your tensions disappear.


And as always, here are some tips to keep you going til I see you in class!

  • Forget the bad auditions, call them “growth opportunities”
  • Arrive early to your audition so you have time to detox from your concerns
  • Spiff up your headshots and websites so you feel well represented and dare I say proud of your materials
  • Dress like a million bucks, feel good on the outside and it’ll affect the inside (seriously, even if you have to buy and return an outfit!)
  • Smile on your way into the audition room, and out of the room. A smile a day keeps the blues away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *