I was determined to follow my acting dreams, I was destined to become the next Lupita Nyong'o or Cate Blanchett, no matter what. Excitedly, I paced around my tiny apartment, wondering what to do next, and it dawned on me, I needed to attend an acting class, stat! I googled the famous classes people buzzed incessantly about: Margie Haber, Lesly Khan, Diana Castle, I was pumped, these classes would teach me everything I needed to know 😀 Get the red carpet ready, shine the Oscar, cause here I come!
Dreamily, I clicked on the acting intensives, and to my horror price tags for the 4 week classes were upwards of $500. Yikes! To be fair, that is not a huge amount of money for all the possibilities in new acting breakthroughs, but my bank account wasn’t having it and it shut that idea down. Dejected, I sat in the corner of my room and wondered what I could do? What did I already have that could further my career?
It was time to get creative, I knew one of my challenges in acting was simply speaking in front of other humans.
That may sound simple and obvious, but if I felt someone's eyes on me, I devolved into total self- judgement mode, “OMG, why is she looking at me like that? Do I look weird, unnatural, is my voice too shrill? Does she secretly suspect that I’ll never make it in this town? Oh, why did I quit my consulting job, I was making good money, I hated it, but now my life IS OVER!!!!” From there, my thoughts and words would spiral sloppily into a stuttering, mumbling mess.
My solution was simple and very, very effective: Daily morning practice with other motivated actors over Skype (or Google Hangouts). Think of it as a fun workout. The beauty of this system was I didn’t have to drive across town to meet anyone, wasting hours in traffic. I set official Google Calendar appointments with the other actors, instead of leaving my improvement to the whim of my emotional state that day.
I became used to my own voice and face through the Skype camera. I was more in control of who I was portraying in my characters. My performance anxiety subsided because I practiced speaking in front of another human an additional five focused hours a week. I actually collaborated with three different acting partners, we googled, “dramatic sides for actors,” or “Scandal TV sides” and download current material. So, if your funds are low, but your ambition high, HERE IS A CHECKLIST TO GET STARTED.