I went to acting school when I was only nineteen years old, in a completely different country, and had to re-start my life over there. It was a great experience, first time alone, in a country with different language, different culture, no parents, nor anyone to solve my problems. Let’s say it was a crucial time to shape me into the woman I am today. I have come to discover who I really am because I had the time and permission to do so.
So here they are, the five things I learned in acting school that I will take with me for life: Ready? ACTION!
- Engage with people, and learn to listen.
When someone (the cashier at the grocery store for example) asks you “How are you?” Really take time to answer. We usually say, “I’m fine, and you?” And that’s it. Engage them in conversation. After one of my teachers told me that, I started doing this all the time. Eventually, everyone knew me at my local Grocery Store because I always engaged them in conversation. It’s so automatic now that sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Take time to really know people, it will make a difference and really LISTEN.
2. Fail, fail again, but fail better.
I believe is one of the most important things for me to remember. One of my teachers used to say that if we felt like we failed at the scene, we should do it again, but do it better. If you failed the scene again, you should keep going, because each try would only be better than the last, and we would always learn something. This is so important to use in our daily lives, when applying for a new job, working out, or trying something you are afraid of. Just take a chance, and keep fighting. Failure is just one step away from success.
3. Write about your experiences.
They always encouraged us to keep journals. We should write our experiences, write what we see, write about people we see in the street, write about anything, actually. When we write, we are doing a study of the Human psyche, and in acting, we need to understand humans. We need to know how different people feel, react, their objectives in life, etc… So, I’m really trying to work on writing more what I see.
4. Respect each other’s background.
In my class, we had people from all over the world, of different ages, cultures, colors, languages, and background. We had to share some pretty personal things in order to learn how to trust each other (which could only make a scene better) and to be vulnerable. I got to learn great stories, as well as sad ones from so many people, and that taught me we shouldn’t judge someone based on what we think we know. We don’t know each other’s past and struggle. We can only be supportive of one another.
5. Do not compare yourself with others.
This one is a biggie for me because I am terrible at it. We learned that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because everyone was different, with a different strength or talent. We could only compare ourselves with ourselves because that was the only way we would see our true growth. If you compare where you are to where others are, you will end up frustrated. But if you stop to realize how much you improved, you will feel the fire to keep improving. That is a must for anything in life: health, body image, personal projects, work etc. Do not compare yourself with others. Only you can be the true measure of your growth. You will always be enough because no one else can be a better you than you.
What did you think of my 5 lessons from acting school? Make sure to leave a comment!