Everyone feels a little self-conscious from time to time. Even those outgoing funny motivational speakers you see up on stage doing all kinds of wacky things experience those awkward, uncomfortable moments when they feel like everyone's watching and judging. But it's when those feelings are more the rule than the exception that they can undermine the quality of your life and make you question everything you do or say. It's no way to live a happy, fulfilled life. And when I was working as an actor, going out on lots of auditions, I seemed to experience more than my share of that debilitating state of mind. Most particularly in the audition process.
No one on the planet feels more self-conscious than an actor walking in to a room of Broadway directors, producers and writers to do a musical audition. Everyone IS watching them, right? And judging. And frequently scowling. It's a hideous, horrific place to be honest, natural and sing from your heart. I was awful at it. Until, that is, I went to graduate acting school at the FSU-Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training and attended a class on musical auditioning.
It was taught by the brilliant and talented David Brunetti, a masterful song-writer, musician, teacher and vocal coach in Manhattan. He told us that from the moment we walk into the audtion room, we should…
BE THE WATCHER – NOT THE WATCHED
BE THE SEE-ER – NOT THE SEEN
He pointed out that when you are feeling self-conscious, it's because you have positioned the spotlight above your own head, pointing directly at YOU. You are thinking about…YOU. He suggested that you take that spotlight and refocus it on the OTHER people in the room. Look at each person, what they are wearing, who they seem to be. Try to figure out if they have children, have they had a tough day, what nationality they are, what relationships they have to each other. If you keep the spotlight on THEM – you will forget to think about yourself!
You can see that in one of those historically uncomfortable social situations where you know no one, you could use this idea to feel a whole lot more relaxed and at ease. And when you do start a conversation with someone, keep the focus on them. If they ask about you, answer – and then turn the conversation back to them. They will LOVE you for it! Everyone loves you when you seem to find THEM fascinating!
From your happy, singing motivational speaker Linda Larsen