5 Lies You Tell Yourself as a Performer

opinion Sep 25, 2022
5 Lies You Tell Yourself as a Performer | PYR LDN

If you are a new theatre graduate or struggling to book jobs, the chances are you are getting in your head. You are probably telling yourself one of the countless nonsense lies that we surround ourselves in when working in the performing arts industry.

At PYR LDN we talk a lot about asking yourself important questions such as:

  • What do I want?

  • What makes me happy?

  • Which styles work best for me?

  • Does my repertoire make me feel confident in an audition room?

All the above questions are about you! Stop trying to please everybody else and put yourself first. Below are 5 lies we’ve heard too many times, and I would put money on the fact you have probably told yourself at least one.

1. I have to have been on a WestEnd show to audition for a WestEnd show.

It’s the age old question: which came first the chicken or the egg? Sure, having a job on the WestEnd on your resumé looks great but it’s not the only thing the casting panel are looking for.

There is much more to landing a job on the WestEnd than past experience. You need to take the time to perfect the elements you can control, such as your headshots and audition reel. Make sure you get organised with an acting agent and turn up for as many open auditions as you can.

2. I have to be able to belt high to get a recall.

You do not need to sing powerfully on high notes to book a job. There will always be demand for a variety of skillsets and types of singers. It is time to embrace your abilities and value your worth.

If you were to take a look back over histories greatest singers, you would find a lot more in the middle registers than outside. Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Elvis Presley to name a few.

In an interview with The Cut, Dua Lipa talked about how she was told she didn’t have the vocals for a career in music, with one teacher telling her singing wasn’t for her as she couldn’t hit high notes. Imagine if Dua had let doubt creep in? I for one hope she waves her 2 Grammy’s and a Brit award in that teachers face at every opportunity.

3. I have to look skinny or really toned to be liked or looked at.

I know too well about feeling the pressure to look a certain way, if you want to know more on this topic I wrote a blog about my body.

Your body is not up for debate, you are exactly who you are meant to be.

Media may portray certain body images more positively, but the world is changing in a powerful way and we are seeing increased diversity in the performing arts industry. In fact, further diversity is not only needed but is now in demand.

You only need to think back to the 2021 series of Strictly Come Dancing for some excellent examples of strong women embracing their figures and quite frankly, smashing it. From Tilly Ramsey overcoming the ‘chubby’ comments directed towards her, to Judi Love twerking until the crowd went wild. Did you ever once think either of these beautiful women should not be performing on stage? I thought not.

4. I have to have a ‘blue tick’ to be successful.

Social media is great, it allows you to stay connected with loved ones and friends as well as having the option to reach new audiences and network yourself.

But social media is also the worst can really mess with your mental health. It can be a really negative space where you compare yourself to others and feel the pressure to post the best content.

The amount of followers you have or a blue tick do not define your worth. You are a real person, with talent in abundance. When you are on that stage auditioning, all eyes are on you. The casting panel are focusing on you, they are not checking your Instagram account.

5. I have to be able to sing, dance and act every single style to have continuous work.

This one certainly isn't true and perfecting your niche is best. It is time to identify your strengths and work on not only improving those, but how to highlight them when you are auditioning.

Once you have pin-pointed your skillset you can tailor your audition reel to spotlight these and apply for jobs which match your expertise.

If any of these lies ring true for you then we are here to help. At PYR LDN we offer workshops, courses and 1:1 mentoring to support you with not only your skillset but your mindset too.

Join our community, we can assist you with learning new techniques, offer audition support and building your confidence.



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