I know that some of you will have been to a retreat with me here in Wales. Some of you I will have worked with in a city but haven’t been able to make it to a retreat just yet. Some of you I haven't seen in AGES, and some of you I haven’t even met yet. As an actor, you may already know how important it is to keep on top of your craft. What I really mean by that is to keep on top of you. That’s the beauty of coming to Wales to do a retreat: this space, as much as it’s about your craft, it’s also about YOU. How you’re caring for yourself, how you’re listening to yourself. It’s about building your confidence, it’s about reminding you of yourself and it’s about coming home to yourself. If you can do that as an actor… if you can keep trusting yourself if you can show up if you can know when to say yes and when to give something your all and how to give your all without destroying yourself… Then you’re on the right path.
Actors have to keep stretching themselves
That’s what we need to be doing as actors. You can’t just do a bit of training and say, ‘oh I’m done,’ because you’re different now. Even from a month ago, six months ago, you’re different. It is your job to keep on learning about yourself, discovering yourself, and doing things differently. It is essential that you keep stretching yourself. As you do all that, your voice will change, and your body will change and your casting bracket will change. By learning to know yourself, you will know how to work with your instrument: your Self. You will learn how to tune it, care for it, listen to it, and how to dance with it. And I promise you, you are going to be so much happier for it. I know so many actors that are just lost. Not trusting themselves. Wondering why they keep burning out. Wondering why they’re not getting any jobs. Wondering why things aren’t how they want or wish them to be. The answer? It’s always with us. We know what the answer is… if we’re listening to ourselves.
Making it as an actor - it's more than trust
Someone recently said to me, ‘I’m gonna trust that my time will come.’ And I said, you can't just trust. You have to work hard. The reality is that ‘making it’, whatever that means, does take trust. But it also takes work, bravery and audacity. So, this is your reminder to work at it. It’s a reminder to keep listening to yourself and do things that help you listen to yourself. It might not be with me, it might be with someone else. The key is to keep listening to yourself. Keep jumping into experiences that involve coming home to yourself, so you can be in this world easily and safely and kindly. I'd love for some of those experiences to be with me. To be in this world together. Those with you who have trained with me - come to an actor’s stretch. There’s one here in Wales this weekend and one in December, just for a weekend. Or, get to another trusted class with somebody who cares for you and holds a really safe space. Maybe that’s yoga or meditation-mindfulness or scene study or even a cooking class! Make sure that you’re somewhere that helps you relearn and rediscover who you are and helps you question the stories that you hold about yourself that might be holding you back. After all, being an actor is all about being human, isn’t it? Find out when I’m hosting an actor training class or retreat and keep breathing. Steph x