The greatest gift of all
I always wanted to be Wonder Woman growing up. It’s no secret. All of my mates are aware that I own the costume, and some of my friends have even let me dress as Wonder Woman for parties when it didn’t even fit the ‘dress up theme’ (thanks Sarah!).
And I like to think that, like Wonder Woman, each of us have a special power. A unique gift of sorts, that we can bring out at parties, or use with friends, or that helps us to smash our auditions, or bookings, or writing, or whatever our unique super power works for. And here’s the thing. Super powers are awesome. Maybe you can learn lines really fast and that enables you to spend more time on creating your character choices and less time on phaffing about getting your piece wordperfect. Perhaps you’re an Olympic level horse rider and can do jumps with a horse. Hats off, if you have that down as your super power, then that’s pretty cool! Or perhaps you have a killer smile that means when you bring out those big pearly whites, people will do anything you ask. I’ve got a friend like that. Damn that smile of hers, and her charming ways. I would paint her kitchen walls if she asked me while smiling that perfect Colgate toothy smile.
So super powers are all pretty grand.
But what if I told you, that the greatest gift of all isn’t your unique super power. What if I told you your unique super power is YOU.
Most people will roll their eyes at this point, and some of you might even click off.
You’re still here?
Great. You get it.
See here’s the thing. I know so many actors who are spending a lot of time trying to be like everyone else, and not enough time investing in working out why they are unique. This industry doesn’t need another 1000 barbie dolls with strawberry blonde hair and the perfect squint. This industry needs you.
Just look at Netflix nowadays and you’ll see I am right. Millions of new actors are popping up all over the place who we had never seen before, thanks to the sheer volume of television series available on Netflix (and Amazon to be fair). And one thing I’ve noticed more and more often is that you don’t have to be a known actor to become a star on Netflix. And you don’t have to be model good looking or instafamous either.
LOTS and lots of actor are unique, quirky even, and they’re making huge waves in the industry.
Cast your eyes on the incredible series, The Rain, a recent Danish television series currently available on Netflix. Flick on over to Dark, another series that features so many interesting and varied German faces (yes there are lots of known actors from Germany in this show as well), and that I would even go so far as to say is a better, more sophisticated version of Stranger Things. Need I go on to talk about Lovesick, The Letdown, or Fleabag.
The point is, you could be any one of those actors if you capitalise on being you. If you give up this crazy desire to try and find a way to be like everyone else. Yeah yeah, I know you do it sometimes. I just know you do. I know you do it, because I know I’ve done it. We are lemmings. We want to be like others. We are programmed to follow other beings who we resonate with and we actually actively live our lives trying to find our people. But it’s important not to do this with our acting selves. Find your people, find your community and find your team, but don’t be the same as them.
If you are brave enough to go for it, then here is what do you need to do next?
- Sit down with a pen and paper and write down 10 things about yourself that make you fabulous and unique – they can be visual things, characteristics, skills or special talents.
- Out of that list, which three are the most unusual or interesting? Circle them.
- What could you do with those three things, acting-wise? Would they suit a film idea, a short, a television series, a play, or a voiceover?
- Who can you enroll to help you write it?
- Who can you ask to read over your ideas? Or to brainstorm with you about your three unique traits/skills?
If you can get that far, yes all the way down to point number 5, I promise you, you are already on your way to a new level of awesome. By doing this exercise you will hopefully start something that will make you want to create your own work.
Right now no one wants to see the same thing over and over again. Right now people want to see authentic, real, fun, new, interesting, challenging content. And right now, the best way to create that is to make it yourself. Your greatest gift is that you are you. You don’t share your exact genetic makeup with a single other soul on the planet. So no one else, not even an identical twin, can be you.
It is actually baffling to think about that point, and then think about all the humans who want to get plastic surgery and upgrades, and puff ups, and reductions, and suctions, all to be a different version of lil old them.
They don’t need to. You don’t need to.
If the universe won’t hire you as that unique specimen that you are, then I say who gives a tiny toss. Go out and create the work and then they can come to you instead!
The greatest love….of all….it’s happening to me….I’ve found the greatest….love of all…inside of me.
Oh Whitney knows!
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