Authenticity in your Life, Career, and Performance

authenticity mask

Do you ever feel as if you are not expressing authenticity like you’re wearing a mask?

Instead of being yourself, you’re playing a role to fit in, or to impress others.

As an actor performing a believable depiction of the characters you play is an extremely important and fundamental skill you must master.

Being your authentic self while you are acting is one of the best-proven methods to give a great performance that is enjoyable and believable. However, this is not an easy task to accomplish.

Saying ‘I’m authentic’ isn’t enough. You must practice it in your day to day life. Genuineness and originality must be ingrained in artists. It’s about living with integrity.

Below we have listed various methods for developing your authentic self which will help make your acting career more exciting, create opportunities, build relationships that will last, and make your life easier.

13 WAYS TO DEVELOP AUTHENTICITY FOR ACTORS

road with a street sign labeled authenticity

1. Be selective with your roles

By getting more intentional with the roles you audition for, you’ll be able to quickly determine which jobs you’ll be considering and which ones you’ll leave unanswered.

When you go after work you want to do, you’ll sound more authentic. No matter what mask an actor wears, their authenticity (or lack thereof) will seep through in their performance.

2. Connect with your character

Finding common ground with your character and their story helps create a more genuine performance that builds upon your past experiences, beliefs, and values.

Connecting with how your character feels and thinks is what creates authenticity.

3. Don’t try to be perfect

nobody is perfect

Acting and perfectionism don’t go together. By accepting yourself as you are, you realize that you do not need to be perfect in everything we do.

You know the saying: Follow your passion, let go, and Trust.

4. Recognize the gap

Identify the gap between who you are now, and the person you know you could be.

You can do this by writing a list of words that describe the qualities of the person you know you can be and by thinking about how closely these reflect how you are.

Set small goals, Choose one word from this list that you want to start working on and see it through.

5. Develop self-confidence

finger pointing with

Developing authenticity requires strength of character, especially when others are pressuring you to act in a way that you know is wrong. It is therefore important to keep developing your self-confidence.

Cultivating a strong sense of self and assertiveness will help you stand your ground and get through challenging situations you will face as an actor. You can refer to the guidelines below to help you work on your confidence.

  • Challenge bad thoughts about yourself.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Be sure to relax.
  • Set goals for yourself.
  • Take a different perspective, crucial for you as an actor.
  • Try new things.
  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
  • Accept yourself.

6. Love yourself and have compassion for others

love

Because it takes self-love for our authentic selves to emerge, nurturing more love and compassion within yourself and your life is helpful. Not only in your acting career but in your life in general.

One way to increase your self-love is to set some time aside to take numerous deep breaths each day. Another way is to do what you love. It can be meditation or writing your journal. Whatever it is spend time to treat yourself.

When you find yourself brimming with love, share it with your friends and family. It will help you increase the love within you even more.

7. Know that developing authenticity takes time

Knowing our true self is a process because we are constantly evolving as human beings.

It takes time to reflect deeply on oneself and go through our value and belief systems discarding the ineffective and replacing them with those that are authentic and enriching.

You might be surprised or shocked about what you discover hidden in your subconscious sometimes when you reflect upon yourself. Sometimes what we discover about ourselves is a bitter pill to swallow and may even disrupt our lives.

Whenever you come across beliefs or memories that were holding you back from being authentic, give your self time to adjust to this new self awareness and treat yourself with compassion and acceptance.

It will take some time, but with some effort, you’ll soon find more genuine alignment with your true self.

8. Don’t try to Please!

stop pleasing people

You are not there to please anyone but yourself. You are bound to fail if you try to please your Casting director, acting agent, director, or manager to get good feedback.

Don’t worry about what other people think. I’m sure you know this as an actor.

This will get in the way of you being your authentic self.

9. Manage your emotions

When you live authentically, you consider others’ needs and you do your best to treat them with respect. For example, in stressful situations, this means knowing how to control your emotions.

This shows that you have inner strength and respect for those around you, and it’s a skill worth developing since it will serve you well in all aspects of your life and career.

girl cuddling with lion showing strength

This can be done by :

Being aware

The best way to control your emotions is by identifying what triggers them and try to avoid those triggers as much as possible.

When we feel like our emotions are running away from us, take a break for 10-15 minutes and do something else before returning to the problem at hand.

Or another solution to this common problem is, Not doing or not thinking about the issue for 10 minutes, this will help you change your behaviour in the long-run.

In addition to the previous solutions, you can also practice “ BREATH AWARNESS”.

Discovering the ‘why’ of your emotion

What is causing this feeling inside you?

Emotions are a natural part of being human and everyone experiences them. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the source or root cause of what is causing that feeling, but there are a few ways to identify it.

One way is to take a step back from your emotions and examine what is going on in your life, your mind will always look for an answer.

In most cases, the feelings you are experiencing are just a byproduct of how you were thinking about the scenario in the first place.

You will also experience negative emotions when people disregard and disrespect your values.

Looking for a solution

By understanding what triggers your emotions, they can become less intense. You’ll make sense of the bad feelings and gain perspective on them.

Choosing how you want to react

This is the most difficult aspect. It is with continuous focus and self-discipline that one can start to develop this critical skill.

Since you have picked acting as your career. You’re good.

10. Allow yourself to be vulnerable

huge hammer about to smash an egg symbolizing fragility

I want to talk about how this issue isn’t about being sentimental.

It’s about not being in control and allowing yourself to go into a place that you might not be used to, one that is fragile and delicate.

This will bring authenticity in your life, career, and performance.

In acting, you have to surrender to the moment and allow yourself to be available in ways that go beyond your planning or exercising an agenda, or playing an idea.

Some exercises that will help

  • Try to answer honestly when people ask you the common “How are you?”,’’How was your day’’?.
  • In conversation, if someone unthinkingly or accidentally says a thing that hurts you or offends you, say so. Challenge it!
  • Speak truthfully about your challenges- only to people whom you trust to listen and be supportive. This way authenticity is present in your life.

11. Stay true to your values

folded newspaper with the word

Making sure there is no disconnect between your values and the values you epitomize at work is key. This is because when you perform acting roles, you must be deeply grounded in the TRUTH.

You should commit to showing authenticity in all areas of life regardless of internal or external factors that may come up.

Check-in with yourself, see if your decisions are in line with your values. If this is the case, you will be energized to take the right actions.

Next time you as an actor perform , Look for the truth, stripping back all the glamour and superficial elements and sometimes even your script work and focus on the honest deep-rooted story underneath.

12. Life imitates art, and art imitates life.

What is the primary resource for acting? Your Life is the primary resource for acting. Your experiences, emotion, thoughts, behaviors are what you incorporate when you perform.

Despite going through formal education there are some lessons that only life can teach us. Especially for actors much of the nuance of behaviors mannerisms and expressions that you use in your craft are deeply rooted in real life and real people.

If you don’t practice authenticity in your life, it can get in the way of you succeeding in this career.

13. Being True to your essence.

two tiny toy men removing a seed from the core of an apple showing inner core or essence

Understanding authentic selfhood as an “immediate expression of our essence’’ continues to influence how individuals conceive of their work identities.

You must be willing to do the necessary mental and emotional work to maintain the core identity as an expression of the genuine self.

Only then will you be able to appreciate your inner essence, live in harmony with it and be able to respect the spirit of others.

CONCLUSION

living an authentic life can help you find yourself and your true desires. You can never encounter this liberating experience when you are hiding your true self.

Most people don’t realize that they have memories that are painful or distressing. What’s even worse is sometimes the memories bury themselves without people consciously trying to do so.

It is unlikely that anyone in your life (including yourself) is being their true authentic self, which makes exposing it and using it to your advantage a true art form.

As an actor if you want to delve deeper into developing your genuine self, taking a professional Method Acting class will help.

From perfecting your Affective Memory recall, to other performance techniques, it will definitely help you to become an authentic actor.

Leave a comment with your opinion or any questions you may have below…