NLP for Actors
by Timothy O'Hara, posted 2 June 2015
“The breaks come when Luck allows you to put your indisputably talented self in the right place, at the right time and in front of the right person. And to give yourself a better chance of achieving this you need contacts” – Hugh Bonneville....I don't disagree with this, but, as with improv, I tend to agree, and ADD.
Surely talent and contacts are enough?
Regardless of your talent and your contacts, if you only have the ability to nail your performance some of the time, then your career is likely to be a bit hit and miss.
We all have off days, bad hair days, scratchy throat days, bad mood days etc., but the panel, or the audience don't want to know. Don't care even. If it's the first time you've met them and you give an 'off' performance, they may not call you back. I know a high ranking casting director in the West End who has a blacklist - she very rarely calls people more than once.
I work with performers a lot, and these are some things I regularly hear:
“I was the last auditionee of the day - didn't stand a chance”
“I heard the guy before me smash it, I just went in and crumbled”
“They kept me waiting for 2 hours – I was in a complete state when I went in”
“I know the casting director hates me - what's the point”
“I only ever get the jobs I don't really want”
“I hit all the notes at home, but in the audition they wouldn’t come out”
“I learned the whole speech really well but the words just went”
SO what can we do about it?
Well you have regular coaching for your voice, or your acting, but what about your mind?
In NLP we believe that if you can do something once, you can model it - you can work out what it is you do, and do it EVERY time.
Further we have techniques to back this model up. In the same way that whatever time of the day or night it is, if your favourite tune is played, you can feel on top of the world - you can programme helpful feelings to happen when you step into any audition room.
As a director and writer I have been on the other (easier) side of the casting desk for many an audition, good and bad. This has helped me to realise the importance of different perspectives. We work a lot on this in NLP - putting yourself in the shoes of the casting director, in that room, at that time and finding out what they want to see and hear, and then making yourself responsible for giving it to them. This kind of knowledge is power. And in an industry this competitive, you need all the help you can get!
So an adaptation on Hugh’s wise words - 'The breaks come when Luck allows you to put your indisputably talented self in the right place, at the right time and in front of the right person. And to give yourself a better chance of achieving this you need contacts...AND an ability to SMASH IT EVERY TIME!’