I often have a difficult time having confidence when it comes to acting and auditioning. In class, on the stage, in front of a camera, I often think: I’m not supposed to be here. After watching this TED talk, it made me cry, but in a good way. Just watch it.
The 4 Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz
Agreement number 4. Always Do Your Best –
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Agreement number 3. Don’t Make Assumptions –
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Agreement number 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally –
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Agreement number 1: Be impeccable with your word –
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Above I got from my friend’s Tumblr: 7 Days Theory. They are a menswear digital publication with the occasional inspiring quote/post/idea (it’s pretty cool actually). I reblogged their 4 agreements post on my tumblr for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that they were giving away some cool t-shirts and to qualify to win, you had to reblog one of their 10 posts. Why I chose this particular post to reblog was because it got me to reflect which ultimately led me to write today because really, what would I write about if I wasn’t reflecting?
-Sigh- lately I’ve lost my mojo 😦 nothing really excites me in regards to my career. I’m going through a lull for sure. Haven’t really been getting any auditions, and with the one I got a couple of weeks ago, I totally violated all 4 agreements above. Let’s explain how.
It was a commercial audition for a big chain company. If I were to book it, it would have been a great help in my financial situation. However I didn’t get it. Why? It was a call for an all-Asian cast. Two boys and two girls. In the waiting room, we were paired up with each other and were given paper copies of the storyboard concept. When I read through it, I immediately violated agreement number 2 and 3. I took it personally and assumed the company was racist. Basically the concept started out with a group of Asians (2 boys and 1 girl) studying outside on a grassy place. They are bored and unmotivated. Then, a friend (Asian girl) comes with a tray full of drinks (the featured product). Everyone grabs one and takes a sip and all of a sudden everything is transformed into ORIGAMI. Girl sees origami cranes fly by, boy #1 sees origami flowers bloom, boy #2 has an origami frog jump into his hand etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. Now if this was to run in Asia, fine, I get it. But it was to run in the US. By violating agreement #2, it prevented me from doing my best, consequently violating agreement #4. I didn’t do my best. In the audition room, the director is directing me to see all these origami creatures with wonderment and awe, and I couldn’t help but start off my look with bewilderment and embarrassment. Not only that, all my training with improv went out the window, I forgot to be specific, I forgot to work with the other people in my group, I violated agreement #1. Instead of speaking with integrity, I didn’t speak at all and provided no insight, no suggestion on how to help the group’s performance because I was trying to hide my annoyance with the whole ordeal.
Here’s the thing: I deserved not getting it. In hindsight, looking at the other people that I was paired up with, they took the audition enthusiastically, really contributing ideas and making the performance specific and their own. If it wasn’t for them, I would’ve looked like a complete ass, but they included me and were really smart about it. They’re all Asian and didn’t take it personally and didn’t assume anything. They not only did what they were told, but really brought themselves to the table. So, even though I failed miserably in this situation, I can always shove it off as a learning experience.
However, I must say though, this company was a big company. They didn’t need a commercial to convince people to buy their products. The commercial was just to let people know of their new products that they had to offer. And yes, there are basis to stereotypes, but with a company as well known as this, instead of encouraging and perpetuating such stereotypes, they not only had the capacity to reach over a million people nationwide, they could’ve changed the stereotype. They could’ve changed the mentality of millions of people. They could’ve broken the stereotype. But they didn’t. And that leaves me disillusioned.
It brings me back to when I was in college. I majored in mass communications and I remember after learning all the manipulation and framing of content to control viewers, I was left not only disillusioned, but angry. It totally discouraged me from striving to find a career in communications because I didn’t want to be a part of that. But my friend said, “don’t be so absolute about it. Don’t just blow it off. Get in it, own it, and then change it!” He took a very active stance to the issue whereas I took a defeatist attitude.
So bringing it back to this whole thing, in order to change something, I gotta get in it first! And to get in it, I cannot be acting like this … at all. So, as I write this, I am also yelling at myself: shut up Thi! Stop your bitching and just do it.