When do you believe what someone tells you?
On a daily basis I hear stories about the negative things people say to my acting students. Things like, “You can’t act,” “You’re not ready to be seen,” “You’re too fat,” “You’re over the top,” “There’s no place for you,” “Your photos look like high school pictures,” “You’re too old,” “You’re too gay,” “You’re too tall.” I seriously could go on and on.
This type of feedback damages a sensitive actor’s soul and stays within them for years and sometimes a lifetime. So much of the philosophy of booking any job is connected to your self-esteem. When “committee members” have taken up residence in your mind, how are you ever going to move forward to being the best you can be?
The goal is to be at the top of your game, but if you’ve given power to those off-handed remarks, how are you going to move forward in your life to achieve success?
The thing that bothers me the most is that I don’t mind constructive criticism, as long as it’s constructive. Let’s locate the problem folks, and then give a solution.
Oftentimes, people like to spew harmful statements out of their mouths without understanding how their ugly opinions affect a vulnerable artist who empathically takes it in, thus coloring their very existence. This is not helpful to a sensitive artist, it’s detrimental. Each spurted out comment creates a lever that puts a cap on an artist’s true talent. I say, “From whence it came!” Ugly people say ugly things. You don’t need to take it on and own it. Who are you listening to? What are their qualifications? What have they accomplished, really? What gives them the power over you and your destiny?
When I was in my early 20’s, a casting director told my manager, “Amy Lyndon will never be a lead in a network show. She’s not pretty enough.” Well, I carried that negativity with me for years and I subconsciously believed it. If I had looked at it with the perspective of, “From whence it came,” I would have laughed. But, I was a young artist with a huge dream of becoming someone great. What that uninformed person said chipped away at me for years. In the back of my head I always wondered if he was right. I wish I was strong enough then to tell him to go stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, but I didn’t – because I couldn’t. He was a casting director. He had the power.
Well, no one has power over you and your career – except you! You have the power to say, “No! I don’t believe you. What you just said was wrong, damaging and inaccurate. You can have your own opinion, but really what have you ever accomplished to qualify your comment?”
Please don’t forget who you are and only listen to those whom you truly care about and who truly care about your well-being. The power is from within you. You know what you need to do to be the best.
So get out there and pull up your big girl/boy panties and know that success is the best revenge.
Amy Lyndon is the Founder and CEO of The Lyndon Technique that has helped thousands of actors get into the top 1% of the industry. With over 20 years of experience and clients in the USA and abroad, Amy provides proven insights found nowhere else. She also has a members only Acting Business and Booking site: www.TLTaccess.com