Key Daily Exercise for Actors: Morning Pages

Key Daily Exercise for Actors_Morning Pages
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The path of an actor is often strewn with both triumphs and challenges, feeling like an inherent aspect of the profession. If you’ve been in the field, you’re likely familiar with the ups and downs that come with it—a few victories here and a slew of setbacks there. It’s all part of the journey. 

The real secret to making strides in this unpredictable industry lies in how you navigate these highs and lows. This piece introduces a straightforward daily practice you can start as soon as tomorrow to aid in maneuvering through these experiences with grace.

Morning Pages stem from Julia Cameron’s influential work, The Artist’s Way. This daily ritual serves as a bridge to your inner creative spirit, silencing the inner critics that may hinder your progress in your acting endeavors. Given the frequent encounters with uncertainty and rejection actors face, fostering a mindset geared towards resilience and positive self-talk is crucial.

If The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron isn’t already on your reading list, I highly recommend adding it. The practice I’m about to share is one of the many gems found in this essential guide for aspiring artists. Integrating such practices into your acting routine can be transformative.

Tackling the Inner Critic

Post-drama school, it quickly became apparent that endurance plays a significant role in an actor’s career. Often, the greatest obstacle to persistence is oneself. That inner voice that criticises:

“You’re not skilled/charming/intelligent/witty enough to make it as an actor. Why bother?”

And each unsuccessful audition only amplifies this voice:

“Not even a callback? Sally got one, and she’s a newbie. What’s your excuse?”

While we’re genuinely happy for Sally, this doesn’t bode well for us. Quieting this persistent critic is challenging but necessary.

The Censor vs. The Artist Brain

Julia Cameron refers to this discouraging voice as ‘The Censor’, situated in our brain’s analytical hemisphere. Its primary function is problem-solving, often suggesting we avoid activities that lead to discomfort. However, for those passionate about acting, cessation isn’t an option, making The Censor more of a hindrance.

In contrast, ‘The Artist Brain’ is our creative and imaginative side. It’s the part of us that sees the world with wonder and possibility. Unfortunately, this aspect of our cognition tends to get suppressed over time.

Morning Pages to the Rescue

You can’t eliminate The Censor, but you can diminish its impact through Morning Pages. This practice involves writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts first thing in the morning. 

This could include frustrations, joys, mundane thoughts, or anything that comes to mind. The aim is to exhaust The Censor early in the day, allowing The Artist Brain to flourish.

Why It’s Beneficial

Julia Cameron’s inspiration for Morning Pages came during a challenging period in her life. This practice not only provided her with a creative outlet but also paved the way for new ideas and projects. Over two decades later, it remains a cornerstone of her creative routine.

Morning Pages won’t necessarily lead to a breakthrough every day. Still, they offer a reliable method to reconnect with your creativity, understand yourself better, and uncover solutions you hadn’t considered before.

Morning Pages to the Rescue

Conclusion

In essence, give Morning Pages a try. Approach them with an open mind, especially if you’re skeptical. Consistency is key—don’t omit or rush them. While immediate results may not be evident, trust in the gradual positive shifts. They might just work wonders for you.

I hope you find this guide useful. Catch you later!

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