“It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.”
– Jane Fonda (receiver of the 42nd AFI Lifetime Achievement Award)
I previously wrote about
how important it is to ground yourself into your body in order to do good work. So I’d like to share with you a little trick I’ve picked up that has really helped me open my channels up as an actor.
One of those things is yoga.
Yoga, more specifically the meditation portion of yoga, has helped me recognize how it feels to be in that place of openness that is vital to any actor. Luckily, there are other ways you can also achieve this without having to contort your body into weird, foreign positions- in a room heated to 40 degrees if you are a fan of the HOT variety like I am.
Simply give yourself 5 or 10 or how ever many minutes you need to close your eyes and centre yourself into your body. It’s something everyone of all races, ages and religious beliefs (or non-religious beliefs) can do, and if this is something you already do, then good for you! Go make yourself a tea and plop yourself down for a good ol’ session.
As for the rest of ya…
There’s no need to get cheesy about it. There are no prayers, chants or ohms necessary. All you need is a comfortable space to sit, wherever that may be (I personally prefer to do this on the floor) and get into a comfortable position. I like to sit cross legged. Easy enough, right?
Slowly try to clear your mind but it’s okay if you can’t in the beginning or if you’re having a particularly hectic day. Eventually you will be able to. Draw all attention to your breathing. Take your time as you breathe in deeply, feeling your lungs expand and your body fill up with all this energizing oxygen goodness. Then exhale, and with that let all of your troubles, doubts and judgements follow.
Don’t think, don’t judge, just do! I’m doing you a favour, trust me.
Clear yourself of all the negativity in your life. Always be aware of your body, how you’re positioned, how you feel (not how you think you should feel). Try to sense all of the life and positive energy that is surrounding you, just waiting to be tapped into and drawn from. Bring it in and feel this newfound energy course through your body. Continue to breathe in and out consciously.
Eventually the point is to reach a place of peace and heightened awareness, away from your troubles. A place where ego doesn’t exist. Remember to always stay conscious, you’re not supposed to be falling asleep here.
Keep doing this until you feel you’ve like you’ve gotten what you needed out of it or until you’re so bored (that’s okay too) that you can’t possibly sit a second longer. Open your eyes and feel your body float back down to its core and firmly plant itself onto the ground. Sometimes this is even better than a cup of coffee after a long night (BEEN there).
It’s also remarkable how rejuvenated and open you feel afterwards, even if it felt like the whole time you were so in your head. Chances are, you were probably less in your head than you think. It might take a couple of tries, but when done right, you’ll be ready to do some of your best work from this place. Your body is open, grounded, your mind clear and empty of worries and self-sabatoging thoughts, all you have left is to simply be. You are your own blank canvas. Recognize this place. Remember how it feels. You’ll find yourself returning to it easily without having to sit and meditate for 10 minutes, which is handy when you’re on set and meditating in the middle of the room might garner some looks.
Even if you feel this doesn’t quite help ground your work, it’s certainly a good way (and what I do) to recharge the batteries and relieve some stress in your personal life- and when your instrument is tuned up, so is your work.
And hey, if you enjoy this practice and feel comfortable with it, go ahead and throw in some candles and meditation music. HAVE AT IT. Whatever it takes to make you feel awesome afterward.
Hope this helps in some small way.
Love & Light,
The Aspiring Actress.
I wanted to start The Actress Chronicles out by crediting the blog that inspired its creation: The Working Actress. I’m assuming that many of you in the blog-reading AND acting world have probably heard of or read this blog.
It follows an anonymous actress living in Los Angeles, 5 or so years into her career. In it she gives us tidbits of what it’s like living life as a working actress, the inner lookings into the world of hustle, agents, managers, auditions gone bad, gifting suites and sometimes rubbing shoulders with some very fancy people.
I first read her blog about a year ago and felt an instant connection. She spoke like me, thought like me, had insecurities and neurotic moments like I did. It made me feel less crazy and less alone. Like I wasn’t the only one going through these things and thank god there was someone out there who got it and put it all out there on a public forum! It was so refreshing. And even though her career was lightyears ahead of mine, I could relate and I was glad to know that someone out there understood my highs and lows when it came to my craft, insecurities, ecstatic moments, disappointments and so on, so forth.
Our dear Working Actress has since found fame and success, understandably isn’t quite active on the blogging scene anymore but I’m thankful that her blog still exists for me to go back to whenever I’m feeling in need of an understanding ‘friend’ in the industry.
It has also propelled me to begin this blog, where I hope in the future at least one or two of you out there can look at this the same way. Somewhere to go when you’re feeling bored, lonely, frustrated, in need of inspiration.
That being said, any similarities between this blog and hers are purely coincidental. I’ve been blogging since middle school (can’t you just feel the teenage angst???) up until now under various domains and names so this is very genuinely my style of blogging and writing.
Anyways, without further ado, for those of you who have not heard of
The Working Actress, I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I did and do!
The Aspiring Actress.