Improve Your Focus and Skyrocket Your Acting Success

Of late I was speaking with a colleague about acting. She’s not really into acting as much as I am and she mentioned to me that she rationalized that acting was just playing make believe. I told her that she is halfway right but that it’s incorrect to think that there is only a diminutive amount of elbow grease that goes into being a good actor. I told her imitation requires a amazing amount of focus and you have to be able to extend your body, mind and emotions in a way that goes farther than of what average everyday people experience . Acting is a pursuit and like any other profession and those who catch on to the fundamentals while allowing their own uniqueness to radiate through rise to the top. They get picked for the best roles, they work with the best actors, and they make damn good money.

As a result of my conversation with my friend I decided to do a little exploration to learn more about the abilities that go into being a good actor. What I established is telling and if you’re in the acting business or in involved in some other form of performing arts you’ll want to pay close attention. In this piece I talk about focus and how to use your focus to outmatch your competition.

How well do you focus? Are you easily distracted by things around you or can you easily focus intently on whatever is in front of you? Focus is such an important part of acting success and achievement in general. There are many things on the performance stage and in the actor’s setting that can become distractions. Your ability to focus your mind, emotions and physical movements will directly influence the quality of your performance. Staying focused on the task at hand can sometime be easier said than done. Below are some powerful techniques that you can use to enhance your focus.

“No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”

~Joan Rivers

Focus happens when you take all the steam and emotion that is running through your body and psyche and you contain it until the exact time to set it free in a certain direction and towards a certain action. You may be wondering how you can hold back your mind, body and emotions. How you can gain a quantity of personal control that lets you direct your energy to whatever task you see fit and how do you learn to use the perfect degree of force to get the job done. To gain any level of control you need to have a practice.

For physical control it helps to have a consistent exercise schedule. There are many benefits to exercising and one is gaining a broader mindfulness of bodies limits. Also exercising helps you to go beyond those confines and the result is more resilience physically, emotional and mentally. When you feel more comfortable in your body you cast out rigidity and increase your self-confidence which ultimately helps you feel more relaxed on stage and in general.

For mental control meditation does the task. Meditation is sometimes difficult to develop as a practice if you’ve never tried it before although if you try it you will see significant changes in your mental clarity and focus. Meditation helps break out all the noise and activity that’s going on around you. Every day whether you are in school, on stage, or at work you have to be able to focus on the task at hand. It’s so easy to get distracted by things in your background but in order to perform at peak levels you have to maintain a high degree of focus. When you relax your thoughts it trains your mind to deal effectively with outside distractions so you can stay centered on what’s most valuable in the moment.

Lastly, your emotions are well served by meditation also. Moreover, as you assemble up a strong meditative practice you benefit massively because your emotional responses to uncomfortable situations begin to settle. This is beneficial because it prevents you from overreacting. It also helps prevent you from over acting. When your emotions settle down you gain greater awareness in the environment around and you {{{lose the need to react to certain events that happen in your environment.

Acting is a craft that requires self-control. The good thing is that self-control can be developed. Through physical exercise you can better command your body. This helps you go beyond physical limits and rigidity helping you to increase your flexibility on stage and in life. Furthermore, you can administer the weaknesses in your mind and emotions by taking up a meditative practice. You don’t necessarily have to meditate in a quiet place sitting in the lotus position but it helps. You can also assume some kind of meditative activity like gardening, painting, or cooking and it will help you to calm your mind and emotions. The aptitude to focus is one of the keys to becoming successful in the acting industry. Start exercising frequently and get yourself a meditative practice and recognize how it enhances your acting career and your life.

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