Most actors who start off in their career will most probably have an idea of what they’re good at. But the truth of the matter is, you’ll be surprised by how much we don’t know about ourselves.
Below is a list of five ways of which can help us discover our key strengths when it comes to acting. This can point us in the right direction, revealing what we should concentrate on most as actors:
- What sort of environment did you grow up in? You were born with a natural set of competencies and grew up in an environment that helped create your mental map. This assisted you in nurturing your skills, which eventually developed into interests and curiosities toward certain ideas. Don’t ignore these. Remind yourself what you grew up around and what you enjoyed doing as a youngster.
- What have you been doing for the last ten years? What hobbies or habits have you nurtured in the last decade? Write down what you did in the last several years that most appealed to your senses. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with work; it could be more to do with interests and likings. Are you good at cooking, skiing or some other activity that you didn’t immediately see as a relevant benefit?
- What feedback have you received? What do other people say about you? Is there a consistent pattern of compliments you have received from strangers throughout your life? You can only build on existing competence, so dig deeper to find out what you’re naturally good at. Avoid approaching relatives for the answers. Go further and ask those who don’t know you to get the honest, constructive feedback you need. It might be your smile, your sense of direction, the way you empathise with people, how well you listen, or how amazing you are at a certain sport. How can you build on this competence? What are the obvious signs of the things you are naturally good at? Reflect on your life so far.
- When you’re out with friends, what do you talk about effortlessly? Which topics do you discuss that make you feel alive and energised? Which subjects could you discuss for hours on end?
- What is your personality type? There are countless assessment systems on the internet that will allow you to assess your personality type. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (myersbriggs.org) will allow you to identify which of the sixteen distinctive personality types are the best match for you. The Clifton Strengths assessment (gallupstrengthscenter.com) will help you identify your talents so that you can develop them into great strengths. These are just a couple of the assessment systems that are well worth investigating.
We all tend to fall into the trap of believing we know what we’re good at, but sometimes this can be far from the truth. Allowing ourselves to answer the five questions above honestly and truthfully, and then following whichever assessment system we choose will open up our mind to greater possibilities in the acting world, some of which we may not even have realised were possible.
These questions will not only draw out our personality type and the skills we have acquired so far, but will also give us a better idea of what types of character(s) we could realistically portray in our endeavours as an actor.
So go ahead and explore yourself further and see what other gems of talent you manage to dig out.