I'M NOT RIGHT FOR THIS (Read time 0:47) There's a very candid interview with Oscar nominated actor Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Revolutionary Road, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys II, etc.) in the current issue of Malibu Magazine.   I just wanted to share one excerpt with you that addresses the notion that as a crazy genius, scared-stiff artist, you are not alone: "I always show up at the beginning of a Boardwalk Empire shoot, thinking I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm scared, I don't want to be here, I'm not right for this—all the terror we all experience. But then I sit in the makeup chair, and they do my hair, and I stare in the mirror I think, "maybe I can pull this off." I look at the script and think, "well, it isn't really that many lines, if they give me a few tries, they can find enough good versions to cut it together. I think I’ll be fine." Then he courageously steps in front of the camera, fear and all, and just does the work!
J Michael Dolan

I'M NOT RIGHT FOR THIS (Read time 0:47)

There's a very candid interview with Oscar nominated actor Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Revolutionary Road, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys II, etc.) in the current issue of Malibu Magazine.   I just wanted to share one excerpt with you that addresses the notion that as a crazy genius, scared-stiff artist, you are not alone:

"I always show up at the beginning of a Boardwalk Empire shoot, thinking I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm scared, I don't want to be here, I'm not right for this—all the terror we all experience. But then I sit in the makeup chair, and they do my hair, and I stare in the mirror I think, "maybe I can pull this off." I look at the script and think, "well, it isn't really that many lines, if they give me a few tries, they can find enough good versions to cut it together. I think I’ll be fine."

Then he courageously steps in front of the camera, fear and all, and just does the work!


COMMENTS


Posted By rachel
Past the clouds..
Hi Michael:-) Phew, in a different setting, today I had to push back crazy nerves, ignore emotions, and as Eddie Murphy says in Bowfinger "Keep it together, keep it together..keepittogether " Mind over emotions, for sure, pushing past, fear, pain, anger...to finish the job well. And then...I felt kindof ..good! Have a great day:-)


Posted By mark
not feeling confident
i guess we all feel this way and have to just do it. if we don't we won't know what we're capable of. I deal with that when I do voice over work. Much success to all artists


Posted By Doug
Every time
While I rarely comment, I always read. Your missives bring me closer to myself by revealing my worst fears and doubts, helping me overcome them. Thank you JM for you prescient work.


Posted By Rich PULIN
"I'm Not Right For This"
Why does this one seem to be directed to actors, even though the subject of stagefright is common throughout the creative arts? Maybe because I broke in at the top of the 1960 music industry (The Tommy Dorsey Band) that subsequent auditions were not very scary At some point you will get over it! Mind over matter will prevail! As one becomes more competent with their craft, the butterflies disappear! Contrary to what many believe, I feel having these 'jitters' over a prolonged period can adversely influence ones performance! When I did session work in Holland, I noticed some of the better string players having a shot of cognac before a take! Food (or drink) for thought!


Posted By Atma
Who am I to think....
Thank you once again Sir! This is right on time as usual. I've managed to somehow achieve a decent level of success in this industry, in a relatively short period of time. But, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think "who am I to think..." think that there is an audience waiting for me to deliver what's bouncing around in my head..... I am always surprised and forever grateful.


Posted By Jeffrey Cohen
Who Needs Calm?
Nervousness is the friend of the creative person. Calmness is her/his bane. No one wants to witness a relaxed performance. There's a difference between "fight or flight" nervousness (the debilitating kind), and "race horse" nervousness that supplies the needed adrenalin rush that pushes us to perform our best or even higher.


Posted By Stephen
Me too!
Iím a basket case backstage, until I walk out in front of the audience, then I feel right at home.


Posted By Gina
So true
That was me this past week. I shot a Sears commercial. And even though I had worked with the same director before, and even though I memorized my lines ad nauseam, and even though Iíve done this a thousand times, Iím always shaking just before I step in front of the camera. Once the director says ďactionĒ the fear disappears and I just do the work.

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