Actors Who Watch Themselves Act
There is an insidious self-sabotage trait I see taking place with actors. Many talented folks don’t even know they’re doing it. What’s worse, is that when they are informed about this habitual activity, frustration abounds as it becomes seemingly impossible to fix. Help your acting become fresh, spontaneous, and full of possibilities. What am I talking about? I’m talking about your third eye. Why do you watch yourself act is the question? In this episode of Casting Actors Cast, we are going to explain what it really is and how to fix it!
A) Define the third eye: When we watch ourselves while we are acting. A subconscious barometer to constantly evaluate our work.
B) How does this happen? Usually, smart actors who have spent a lot of time studying and training in a classroom/evaluation setting from teachers of academia. Actors are conditioned over time to critique themselves.
C) What or the indications of the third eye? An actor who can accurately access in detail what they did while they are acting.
D) Why is this bad? Simply put, when energy is spent in watching, energy is lost from the character and moments you are playing. It prevents the actor from fully investing themselves into the character or situation. It is also a safety mechanism. Too much investment equals too much cost (energy, commitment, making mistakes-self-preservation)
E) When is this most destructive? Usually when we are nervous (audition, on set). Early in our training. Sometimes it becomes part of the actor’s process, AKA “Presentational”. Showing how the character behaves rather than the character’s actual behavior.
F) Who is most vulnerable? Actors who over analyze and overwork their process. Called, overthinking, it is often found in actors who don’t trust their innate talent and abilities.
G) How do we correct this?
a. Remember it is a process to lessen its impact and not something easily removed.
b. Be in the moment. Invest in the environment, situation and other actor(s)
c. Decide not to conclude the work with a “good/bad” assessment.
With, what I call, immersion acting, complete and total focus, concentration, and commitment will slowly, remove the analytical actor into becoming the aware one.