Professional Actor Training – the Importance of Self-Assessment

by on December 2nd, 2010
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Stanislavski, one of the most influential acting coaches, stated, “Young actor, fear your admirers!” Wow, this is a far cry from today’s society of fame and fortune. Sadly, the majority of actors begin in the business not for the actual art of acting, but for the possibility of becoming famous – or admired. One of the most important things to remember as an actor of any medium is self-assessment and humbleness.

Self-assessment is the aspect of acting very few actors are willing to understand and follow-through with. The reason for this, too many actors crave flattery and praise amongst friends, family and the general public. While it is a pleasant sensation to be told you’re good at what you do, this should not be the reason why you’re acting…and if it is, you need to reconsider your career choice.

As an actor, you are an artist, and as an artist you should never discuss your process of creating a character or delving into a scene with those who are not your colleagues or mentors. The reason behind this is because these people cannot provide you with the feedback and understanding as a professional in this field can, and ultimately, it will not help you grow as an artist.

Outside of speaking with your mentors and colleagues about your performance and process, you must become well-versed in self-assessment. The reason for this: you cannot trust those around you will give you truly honest feedback – or be able to give you this feedback constantly.

As an actor you must make honest appraisals of your work ability. You cannot rely on an acting coach, director or producer to give you praise or approval for your choices or character discoveries. You must become self-reliant, to serve as your own truthful critic. This is even more true for actors in film and television.

After you leave the classroom, you must be able to support and stimulate your own growth and development as an artist. Although, you may be extremely talented and receive praise for your abilities, you must always look objectively at your creations, reviewing your character choices and continually seeking out weak spots within your acting.

Inner reward through self-assessment is far better than any amount of applause and outside praise.

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