Think of how good it will feel to have a concrete way of getting out of your head! For myself and my students, this has been a real game-changer for how we prepare for our scenes and show up for our auditions and performances on-set. You may get stuck in your head in the future, but at least now you have a way out of your head.
If you are having anxiety before an audition, all of your energy is getting stuck in your chest and throat—and even your head. All you need to do to fix this is ground your feet on the floor and place a hand on your sacral chakra, as well as your heart. Now, breathe into the hand on your heart and exhale that breath into the hand on your sacral chakra. Do that maybe three to five times and see what that does to you. If you are getting stuck in your head, place the hand that was on your heart on to your forehead and breathe into that hand and exhale into sacral chakra. Doing a Chakra Warm Up before you perform your scene allows you to ground yourself in your body; all that energy that would usually get you stuck in your head all of a sudden drops down into your body, and all of that brainpower gets used in the same way that a concert violinist channels their energy. How much flow goes into this note? Does it hold a lot of weight and gravitas, or is it light and airy? You get to decide how to craft your symphony!
When actors ask me how long it takes to learn this craft, I usually say anywhere from six months to five years, because you are truly learning how to use your body like a real instrument—a feat that takes dedication, practice, and hard work. The payoff is immense and will be a game-changer for your career.
Your decision-making regarding energy-shaping may be tentative at first; that is to be expected, as you are essentially learning how to walk! However, you will get the hang of it soon enough and be able to make instinctive, intuitive choices that will allow you to experiment—and experimentation is such an integral part of the process! It is how you take risks and how you improve. If we stick with the status quo, we will get status quo results.
The next time you attack a monologue or a scene, you will now have a framework and a process that will allow you to fully embody your characters in an organic, truthful way.
Directors love working with physical actors because the results are so apparent in their work: the nuance is clear, and the depth of your truthful embodiment will be greatly appreciated! You will become proficient at this if (and only if) you put in the time and work. You need to put it into practice in a physical way to ensure that your energy-shaping is effective for an audience!
Your audition process will become so much more enjoyable with this framework, as it will allow your confidence, talent, and charisma to shine—and then you get to really play! The stakes will be just as high as before, but with this newfound confidence you have acquired (simply because you have a game plan to create repeatable brilliance that you can count on every time), your experience will be incredible. This confidence will also be super attractive to casting directors, who will find themselves being drawn to your performance without knowing exactly why. This is normal for this kind of work; energy cannot be seen, but it sure can be felt!
Many of my students have noticed a drastic increase in their booking ratio since implementing this approach, and that is because they have a secret weapon to use that no one else is using—and it shows! This work naturally makes you stand out: your essence is being transmitted in a physical, concrete way that others can tangibly feel. This work also allows you to stay focused since it demands so much of your own energy to even attempt. It is naturally built into the process, as with martial arts: you can’t show up one day and phone it in; you must be on your game at all times to be effective.
Want in on my secret weapon for getting out of your head? Enjoy a taste of my signature Chakra Warm Up and sample the energy for yourself!
~Murisa Harba (Artistic Director of ABOUT THE WORK)