Acting Tips: How To Overcome Fear in 2020

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Fear gets such a bad press these days, everybody hates fear...why?

It's just a load of electrons and neurons buzzing about!

How to overcome fear of...(Fill in your personal Favourite fear)....

Ok, so imagine you walk into your house late one stormy night when suddenly the lights goes out. You are plunged into total darkness. A storm.

During the flash of lightning that shatters the darkness, out of the side of your eye you catch a glint of a serrated blade as a bearded masked man with no face steps out of the shadows.

Not much fun to be had there, right?

Put the exact same situation into a haunted house ride or a scary horror movie, and people will pay loadsa money to get the shite and onions scared the bejaaysus out of them. Weird. So.. Why is that? Let's find out how to overcome fear...Whether you have the fear of publick speaking or suffer from performance anxiety..or suffered as I did from stage fright....

What happens inside your brain?

Your limbic system. The emotional based circuitry of the brain that grew and evolved in mammals and includes the amygdala and the hippocampus. Your limbic system houses the regions of the brain that are connected to the hypothalamus, which controls your body’s stress response.

So when you see the masked invader, your hypothalamus instructs your body to increase your breathing and heighten your heart rate, expand your pupils, and make your palms go really wet and sweaty.

BUT...

When you feel excitement, the hypothalamus triggers the exact same physiological reaction. Nuts, right?

There is so little physiological difference between fear and excitement. So if you’re scared, but nothing bad happens to you - the masked man turns out to be your mate johnny hiding from you on your birthday and the knife is spreading jam onto a scone - then it’s easy to change your fear into excitement, or even think that you've been excited all along.

We don’t like scary masked people in our houses because we never invited them in and never saw it coming, and we might end up dead.

BUT...

We looovveee haunted houses because we want to go into them, we choose to go in to them, and we know in the end we’ll be ok.

Where do our fears come from and how to get rid of them..

All fears are learned. No one is born with fears.

Fears can be unlearned by practice until it goes away.

The most common fears that we all experience include the fear of failure, the fear of poverty, and the fear of "the loss of money."

These fears cause people to avoid risk and to reject good things when presented  to them. People can be so afraid of failure that they take hardly any risks or take chances at all.

Other fears interfere with our lives as actors and human beings

  • People can fear the loss of love or
  • People fear the loss of acting work (unemployment blues?)
  • Loss of financial security. Very common amongst us.
  • Actors can fear embarrassment or even ridicule. Bad reviews. Negative press.
  • Loads of actors fear rejection and criticism of any kind.
  • Some people fear the loss of respect or approval of others. (directors, agents, stars, CD's)

Fear Halts You Taking Action

I'm scared therefore... “I can’t!”

This fear is experienced in the body, starting in the pit of your stomach.

When people are really afraid, their mouth and throat go dry, their heart starts pounding loudly. Sometimes they breathe shallowly and their stomach churns over and over.

Fear Shuts Our Brain Down

Whenever someone is in the grip of fear you can feel like a deer trapped in the headlights of a moving car. Again. Stops all action. Freeze mode. This kind of fear often shuts down the brain and causes us to revert to “fight-or-flight” mode.

Begin to Visualise Yourself As Totally Unafraid

By imagining yourself performing with confidence in an area where you are fearful, like auditions, self taping sessions or meeting and interviews, your visual image will eventually be accepted by your unconscious mind as new instructions for outcome of your performance.

Your self-image, the way you see yourself and think about yourself, is eventually changed by feeding your mind these positive new mental pictures of yourself performing at your best. Here's a free training for you to do just that.

Imagine Acting “As If”

By using the “act as if” method - a method super easy for actors, right? You walk, talk, and carry yourself exactly as you would if you were completely unafraid in a particular situation. In other words confidently. You send the message to your mind over and over that you are confident and powerful and pretty soon your brain catches up with the image and this becomes your new normal.

You start to stand up straight, smile easily, breathe softly, move quickly and confidently, and in every respect act as if you already had the courage that you desire. That is your birthright. Is it not?

Best Fear Breakthrough Techniques

When I started this website I hated the idea of doing live videos. I was scared. I now have done so many I have no fear at all. Did the first few suck? YES!!!

Just do a google..ugh..painful:-)

The things is when you overload your mind with more experiences of doing BAD videos there always comes a point when you think now that was GOOD...get the idea.

Do more of what you fear. Challenge yourself. Do it more. Your Fear will evaporate.

 Confront Your Fears Instantly

Your ability to confront, deal with, and take action despite your fears is the key to happiness and success as an actor and as a human being..

One of the best ways you can practice is to identify a situation in your life you are afraid of and decide right now to deal with that situation. Instantly.

Not one more minute. Decide to confront the situation  and put that old fear behind you. Into the past. Now.

Move Toward The Fear

When you identify a fear and discipline yourself to move toward it, it grows smaller and more manageable. As i mentioned in the video.

Your confidence grows.  Your fear loses control over you.

In contrast, when you back off from a fear-inducing situation, your fear grows larger and larger. Inside your mind. Reverse it. fast.

Deal With The Fear Directly

As Shakespeare said, “Take arms against a sea of troubles, and in so doing, end them.”

When you face any fear-inducing situation in your life, your self-esteem goes up, your self-respect goes up, and your sense of pride grows and confidence blooms.

You eventually reach the point in life where you are not afraid of anything.

If you are overwhelmed by fear and need a little extra help - come over here


Overcoming Fear With Actor Josh Pais


If you are feeling FEAR right now try these:

1. Take A Break - Step Away

The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically calm down.

Go for a walk, have a cup of tea or a bath. Do something...else.

2. Breathe

If you start to get a faster heartbeat or sweating palms, and that panicky feeling, the best thing is not to resist it, the best thing to do is feel the panicky feeling and allow it to be there...and then allow it to move.

Place the palm of your hand on your tummy/belly and breathe slowly and deeply.

  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as you can, without forcing it, at all...gently...how do you drive a Bentley? Gently.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth - exhale all that stress - actually make some noise...or say the phrase...Hhhhhaaaaahhhh...
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it good to count from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this works easily for you.
  • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Confront your fears

Avoiding fears makes them worse. Whatever your fear, if you face it, it will start to fade. Fall of a horse on Monday... on Tuesday...get back on the horse.

4. Examine the evidence

Challenge fearful thoughts.

For example, if you're scared of getting trapped in a basement or a lift and suffocating, ask yourself if you have ever heard of this happening to anyone.

What you would say to a friend or a loved one who had a similar fear. Say THAT to yourself. And take more care of YOU from now on. Get the idea.

5. Don't try to be perfect

Life is messy. It's OK. Isn't it?

6. Imagine a happy place

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm.

Walking on a beautiful beach, or snuggled up in bed with the dog next to you, or a happy memory from childhood.

Let the positive feelings soothe you until you feel more relaxed.

Here's some free training

7. Talk it away.

Sharing fears takes away a lot of their power.

8. Go back to basics

A good night's sleep.

A good meal

A walk outside in nature.

A swim in the sea.

The gym. Yoga...

9. Treat yourself

When you have made that call to your cranky old agent you've been dreading,  reinforce the good news by treating yourself to... whatever little gift makes you happy.

10. When you get through the fear...Integrate your NEW feeling.

Close your eyes and allow yourself to accept this new truth about yourself.

 


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