What my self-tape can teach you about resistance

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to a Cmail alert on Monday morning. Hooray!! 

Someone had requested a self-tape.

Opportunities always seem to come when you least expect them.

I was pleasantly surprised. It had been awhile since my last audition request. and I’ve been so busy prepping a launch for work that is running while I’m in 3 weeks of intensive training with SITI Company that I actually hadn’t submitted in a couple of weeks.

Well wouldn’t you know, that despite the best laid plans of getting my audition in early, I kept putting it off. 

I’ll do it tomorrow.

I just have one more thing I need to get done first.

It’s not going to take that long, I have plenty of time.

I have to find a reader.

That last one was really the kicker. 

When I’m in class, I have people who I’m constantly rehearsing with and we end up helping each other with self-tapes all the time. But having taken a break from class for a while, I wasn’t in the flow of asking for help and I can’t remember the last time someone asked me to help them tape an audition.

I love people but I can be a bit of a hermit at times. And when I haven’t talked to people in a really long time, I’m always afraid to ask for help! 

The narrative in my head can be my biggest source of resistance. 

What if I can’t find anyone?
What if no one is available to help me?
What if no one WANTS to help me?
Is it worth paying a reader for this audition?

The list goes on and on …

Friday morning, I reached out to some people and didn’t get any response. Then I powered through a long workday. 

When I stopped, I was so close to giving up on this one audition. 

It’s too late to find a reader.

But I asked my body: “do I want to do this audition / role”? And it said yes.

I had to remind myself …

The truth is that acting is collaborative and we all need people to do our best work. And while everyone has a different level of availability, that doesn’t mean people don’t want to help.

So I sucked it up and reached out to a few more people. 

My first thought was well all my East Coasters are either at work (anyone else a waiter) or out socializing but maybe a West Coast friend?

And that was my golden ticket. 

In a pinch, a friend I’ve known for years literally pulled off the highway to help me over Zoom. (People do want to help me!!)

I got my setup together and managed a couple of solid takes, plus got to spend some time (albeit brief) with a friend I hadn’t seen in a really long time.

My discomfort around asking for help was so worth it, just for the satisfaction of following through! 

And I had fun too!! (You can view my wacky outtake on Instagram HERE).

So what’s the point of this story?
  1. Resistance always shows up when you haven’t been doing something for a while, especially when it requires you to do something out of your comfort zone.

    In this instance, my resistance had little to do with the actual role and everything to do with the logistics of self-taping. (Sound familiar?)

  2. By moving through the discomfort and following through, you will be reminded of what the thing you desire is all about.

    I actually WANT auditions, so it makes zero sense to dread them. Also, I LOVE connecting with people, collaborating and getting to play and that is what acting is all about.
Is there something you’ve been resisting lately?

Here are 3 quick questions you can ask yourself to process your resistance and get back into action:

  1. What am I resisting?

    This is the literal task you have set before you. (In my case this was my self-tape.)

  2. How is my resistance showing up?

    This might be your internal monologue. This could also be physical things you are doing to distract yourself. (Making yourself busy with other tasks or binge watching anyone?)
  1. What about this experience feels uncomfortable or unsafe?

    In my case, I was most worried about finding a reader. And there was also at some level a question as to whether I could really play the role. (If someone invites you to audition, and they’ve seen your work – hello reels! – then they think you can and that is all that matters.)

Once you’ve answered these questions, shower yourself with love. 

In most cases, you actually are safe and you just need to remind yourself of this. 

I love to use my hands to squeeze myself all over while saying “I love you and I’ve got you.” (Shout out to Briana Borten who taught me this practice.) 

Now go do your thing!!

Was this process helpful for you? What techniques do you use to move through your resistance and discomfort?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

I love you and you’ve got this!
Natalie

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