Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Like Me...You Really Like Me!

This article (link below) struck me as one worthy of sharing, particularly with my actor friends, who spend their lives in the daily churn of seeing approval and re-approval.

Walk into any audition waiting room and you'll find the quest for validation taking on many shapes and sizes:  the 'always on' actor, the 'I am my resume' actor, the 'let's compare callbacks this week' actor, and so on.  If hawking a product in a :30 commercial doesn't suck your soul dry, then the waiting room will.

Spend enough honest time with an actor and eventually most will confess that their choice of profession was fueled, to some extent, by a need for attention.  We didn't get enough from their parents, we needed validation from their peers, or we were trying to impress a girl.  It may have blossomed into a sincere love for artistic expression, but in many, if not most, cases, it started with a "Hey, everyone, look at me!" mantra.

This, in and of itself is not really different than folks in other walks of life, but it's a much more public exhibition of the approval conundrum.  Most of my friends who are still professional actors have succeeded because, somewhere along the road, they let go of seeking approval and began to seek self-mastery:  mastery of their craft, of the text, of human expression, or just plain ol' capitalistic 'book the job' workmanship.   Whatever the case, the most grounded artists eventually evolve beyond the mere need for approval.

At some point, they stop standing on the table at the birthday party and juggling the beer mugs because they're too busy juggling their own lives.  Their attention gravitates from "look at me" to "look at you".  And that's where the real thriving begins.

Still, when you tune into the Golden Globes or the Emmys, you'll see that need for approval pour forth, even from the most well known celebrities.  But the ones who are most comfortable in their skin, the ones who are more grateful than needy, well, watch them.  They're going somewhere.  Or maybe they're already there.

here's the article, via Tiny Buddha:

How to Let Go of the Need for Approval to Start Thriving

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