Annie Maynard

Annie Maynard

Annie Maynard profile

Resilience

Ugh, sounds so boring. What an ernest, up herself actor. Jeez. I would like it to be known that I wanted to choose other magical words as my topic – imagination, playfulness, empathy, doodle-jokes … but with Robin Williams falling into the abyss so soon after Philip Seymour Hoffman, I return again to “resilience”. When I graduated I got so sick of jaded and negative advice givers – so I really hope this doesn’t come across that way … God knows I have no idea what I’m doing, but I do want to keep trying to figure it out for some time and I want to do it with you all around me!

These musings are not intended to trivialise mental illness, addiction and depression. Do what you need to do to be healthy, get as much help as you can and make time to really listen to each other when you ask: are you ok? We have lost too many great artists to this faceless assassin, and my thoughts are certainly not weapons against her, but merely an attempt to understand the context for her stealth sometimes.

Let’s put talent aside. There’s a certain static mindset that comes with the word “talent.” A growth mindset embraces the rewards of working for the gifts you have, and I think it is much more useful. Especially in regards to hopefulness, because I feel that when I just wait for the magic to come out of me I get all superstitious and insecure. Hopefulness is such a sanctuary, and one that too many creative souls have battles with. Understandably. Perhaps when you feel you have some control over the way hopefulness is generated in your life, you can keep being talented for longer? I dunno. Obviously not always. But in this context I am talking about hopefulness being the ability to come back again and again while remaining vulnerable and strong.

Our industry is competitive and personal. Talent doesn’t always triumph, but when you feel resilient you can keep putting yourself on the line. You can more easily celebrate the successes of your clan, you can accept rejection more palatably, you can maybe define yourself outside of your role as purely an artist.

Sometimes things really sting in our industry. Imagine if you could open the paper and see a photo of your accountant under the headline “Ms Fletcher Underwhelms in Awkward Attempt to Impress with Spreadsheet”. By nature we are thin skinned and empathic, and yet our work is consumed by strangers and occasionally spat out in some public vomatorium. The ability to recover from these brutalities is so crucial for us.

And so there’s your life. What is it that makes you happy? We are lucky because we have to be so vigilant with our happiness. We can’t rely on the security of a full time job to distract us from our wait for Godot. We have to keep agile. What is it now that makes me fulfilled? Is it traveling? Is it studying? Is it writing? Painting? Parenting? Lots of actors put off life because they are on hold for the validation of their work. It is hard not being able to do what makes your heart sing on a daily basis, but having a rich life constantly feeds your work anyway. The word happy sounds glib, I would define it by a balance of Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose which continues to self motivate us (stolen from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=channel). However, there is nothing like that feeling of flow we have when we are immersed in our art. Even if that “art” is dressing up like a ninny and doing fart jokes apparently!

Look after each other. It’s often only after a tragedy that we feel the kinship of our community so keenly, and yet we are always together. Sometimes you will be up and sometimes you will be down and most of your mates will have this flux in their career too. Let’s try to make mental wellness part of our community.

A few years ago I was feeling really hopeless about my acting opportunities. I found this speech, and I read it every day and it made me feel like less of a victim. Plus, he is WAY more eloquent than me! http://karifairy.tumblr.com/post/8472830336

And who can resist Meryl Streep

Congratulations on joining the tribe, may we all enjoy playing in this sandpit together, I’ll see you at the dress up box!

KREW BOYLAN

KREW BOYLAN

Krew Boylan profile

“ENOUGH”

One word

– ENOUGGGGHHHHH –

Enough of not knowing and questioning that you are in fact, enough.

Out of the advice I could share, this is my number one. This stumble of confidence and thought process has been a constant, in my organ of soft nervous tissue contained in my skull, for years. I am hear to tell each and every one of you precious precious delicate artists, or who ever this speaks to, if you haven’t already, it’s time to grow out of it. . Give it up. Kick it out. I’d like to offer you the license of, ”ENOUUGGHHH” today.

It is the delicate balance of staying open, creative, vulnerable and sensitive for the craft, which is the antithesis of handling, auditions, rejection and being persistent with the business side of the industry.

It has taken me a long time to truly know that my constant questioning, “am I funny enough, serious enough, sexy enough, detailed enough” is ok for the craft of my work, as in the work on a scene or a character, the questioning and the curiosity of it. However it’s not ok and it’s time to zip it in regards to ME or YOU!

What you have to bring to the character/audition/scene, is and will always be ENOUGH. No one can do this part the way you will and that is your private and personal brilliance. It’s all you have. It’s all you will ever know, so make sure you put in the homework and then get out of the way of yourself with the questioning and let it go.

Confidence is a little sneaky sneaky character. She can shimmy up on you and latch on for a solid hot forty-eight hours and then dump you over night, leaving you bereft and broken. Grab her by the nether regions daily and take control of her. Tell her where to sit and what to say. Keep her in a downward dog pose or something, (to keep the ego in a healthy and humorous state) until she is your compatriot.

Enough from me now. Go forth and be brilliant.

Love
Krew

P.s The industry is small. If you’re in it for long enough, I’ll know you soon. Until then!