Danny Winn-An Acting Master Class A-Z, The C’s
- Written by Danny Winn
So many of you wonderful Thespian’s who follow me may have noticed by now that my teachings are a bit more unorthodox than others. I am not nor have I ever been a fitting of the norm type of person in any of my endeavors. I do not plan to start now so bear with me. #winkwink
The career you have chosen is one that not many can or will strive to approach and persevere. It is one of its own originality and so are you to have discovered this dream. It is of my belief that there is no cookie cutter teaching method that blankets all especially in today’s acting world. I feel the well-known teachings of the past need to give way to something more current, and multi-dimensional. The acting profession has morphed so much since the early days and so must its teachings.
In the many choices of the “C” column that we could cover I have decided to go with Confidence. Obviously, this is a must in this field, and I have found that many actor’s including myself at times may have self-doubt, and insecurity. That may even be why some of us become actors. Without going into psychology, let us learn what we all can do to boost our confidence. In the words that Tom Sizemore once said to me “An actor needs all the confidence they can get”. A funny story that I will speak of because he was public about this. Tom and I were messaging one time and he was going to receive some hair transplants. He actually videotaped the process, and it is still likely to be on YouTube somewhere. Anyhooo…. I had asked him why he felt the need. Was it for role placement of other concerns? That is when he replied in those words. I thought wow! Here is this amazing well-established actor and he too can have a lack of confidence. It just goes to show that actors are people too…lol.
Building confidence may come in many forms in this business. Of course, the obvious that you actors may think of pertain to the craft. Your study, and the practice, the honing of your skills to raise your confidence level. Yes, of course this is always advised and needed. Let us take a look at building more on you and your day to day. What you can do to raise the confidence in you and the depths of your soul. Your physical and mental wellbeing. I feel that with this, the rest falls into place much more readily in the confidence department. Look more into yourself your diet, your daily activities, even your relationships. If any of these are out of balance and have issues, they will certainly affect your confidence. You may not even realize it. You will find that if you tap into that happy place and balance with all the afore mentioned that it will certainly raise your confidence in front of the camera. On and off set you will have more of a pep in your step and a yearning with excitement of what is to come. In turn it will help with your study, memorization and confidence to make those strong character choices that will enable you to stand out. Whew, there were a bunch of C’s in that sentence…lol Strong choices lead to the action! As Tommy also says, “It is all in the Action”. Timid actors make weak choices and will not likely break the U5 department. Confident actors who make those bold choices will stand out and break that U5 character zone. Keep in mind that saying, “there are no small parts”. True but bits are bits, and I am not a bit person.
Now it will obviously be different for each person, but here is what works for me. A starting point in anything I do, and my life is sound mind and body. When I stick with that, all comes together including the confidence. My life is not one of routine, but I do try to keep some personal routine. I enjoy an early rise to shake hands with the sun. I feel that to greet the sunrise gives you the feeling of a new day which leads to new beginnings. It is the first day of the rest of your life and it will be amazing! Aside from the morning duties of feeding my dog’s, horse, etc. I like to begin with breathing exercises as I stretch my body. Develop a stretching routine that suits you. Be sure that it reaches every point of your body and being. Legs, arms, torso and so on. Make it a nice peaceful moment and not something rushed. Do this everyday and it will have amazing affects to you that you will begin to see within the first week. Be sure not to force it but rather breathe through it. As you do this keep your mind focused on the bliss and what the outcome is that this is for. I feel that it is also wise to perform daily exercise. Again, do what suits you and something that you can easily fit in to a daily routine. This can be done in the morning or anytime during the day. Free weights, walking, yoga. Do whatever feels good to you and is comfortable. It is all about your comfort level and positivity.
I think that we all can admit that what you consume affects you significantly. A regular consumption of alcohol or smoking is probably not the best thing for you in this endeavor. Keep your libations to a minimum. Try to eat healthy and clean. Eat off a plate and not the floor….ba ha ha ha. Ok, lame joke…. onward and upward please! Preferably you will want to make as much as you can from scratch instead of buying something processed. The curing sodium that is in processed fast-food/canned goods, and so on, is so detrimental to your well-being. If taken in a straight form it would almost or likely kill you. In the slow doses you consume it can lead to some lethargy and depression. All the time you are unknowing to this effect. With a clean diet, you are not limited to what you may eat. Feel free to have meat, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruits. Whatever you desire. Just try your best to not buy it premade. For instance, tomato sauce. Buying it off the shelf is no good as it is full of this sodium. Buy some Roma tomatoes. Easily blend them and add some seasoning and herbs. Bring to a boil to a simmer and viola. You now have fresh, clean sauce. Many easy recipes can be found for clean diet preparation on the internet. Prepare meals like this as much as possible. After two weeks buy a hamburger and fries from a burger joint and see how your body reacts. Clean it up that diet my wonderful actors. Positive in is positive out in affect. Positivity leads to happiness and that leads to confidence.
Ah relationships! Happy wife, happy life and vise versa. If you are in a relationship that is not so happy then you need to make some changes. No, I am not talking divorce. In this entertainment field you must have a supportive and understanding spouse and or family. This is very necessary if you are to become a full-time working actor or even a part time actor. The time it takes on and off set to master your talent is considerable. Have discussions with your spouse and family about your dreams. Invite them to support you and perhaps even assist you in fun ways. They can read and perform scenes with you and help with your auditions. I am sure they would be happy to understand and be part of your dream rather than left out and wondering what the heck you are doing. Always remember as well that in a relationship you have two choices. You can always be right and alone, or you can compromise and be happily married. Jeez…now if only we could get politicians to do this. #SMH #LOL
Now I could go on and on, but I think you can get my drift. Anything we can do to induce a more conducive and balanced life will contribute to your confidence. This is an aspect that I feel is very overlooked. Yes, you will want to always strive to train in all aspects of the acting profession. Yes, you will always want to keep a bit of vanity. Always work to look your best for whatever your brand is as an actor. Remember, vanity is not conceit. It is always wanting to look your best. Continue with all those aspects, but please to try what I have taught you here. You have nothing to lose and only to gain. It is a Win Winn situation…ha ha! A little play on my last name. maybe I am too confident!......NOT!!
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