The Imposter Syndrome: An Actor’s Guide

Hello all I have returned!!! This week has been packed with classes, rehearsals and shows and I can successfully say I have completed my first semester of drama school! I am so proud of myself for making it through these past few weeks and am ready for some lie ins and relaxing.

I’ve been wanting to write about this issue for months now but I never has a word to describe the feeling. Then a few weeks ago and actor I knew posted a video about ‘The Imposter Syndrome’ and it all made sense. The imposter syndrome is when a person is successful but has doubts about their accomplishments/fears they will be exposed as a fraud. I’m sure most people may have experienced this at some point and wanted to talk about it and how it relates to theatre.

Through actor’s lives, we are told ‘getting into drama school is soooo hard and you’ll probably get rejected.’ This is what I was told hundreds of times, yet still decided to go for a few. After a few rejections, I thought it was over until my last who accepted me. My joy was so explosive I couldn’t speak, it wasn’t long however until I doubted it. ‘What if they made a mistake? It could be an admin error. Their acceptance rate must be so high to accept someone like me.’ This was so irritating, it felt like I was an imposter to the school, that I didn’t belong to this group of talented ex-National Theatre and Fringe performers.

(https://www.executiveforum.com/leaders-defeat-imposter-syndrome/)

The excuses continued even to the point of only recently. It got to the point where the tutors had to literally tell everyone ‘you belong here’ and have one of them tell me ‘we aren’t going to kick you out.’ It was so irrational yet so rational in my mind that it got in the way of the enjoyment of it. One famous person who suffered the imposter syndrome was Albert Einstein, a man internationally recognised for his intelligence and yet believed he was fraudulent.

I’m not trying to be ungrateful for my place, I love where I am, but if something good happens in your life then let it happen. Yes sometimes schools are hard to get into and grades hard to achieve, but people get in and people get the grades. Why can’t that one person one day be you?

Have a good Christmas break! (Apologies to those who don’t have them)

Gabby

Gonna miss this new tapestry I got, makes my room feel less blank.

Emotional Vulnerability: An Actor’s Guide

Hello, I’m an actor who is afraid of emotional vulnerability and I’m here to audition for your traumatising play! This is not an ideal way to start an audition, especially when their first question was ‘How are you?’.

As humans (particularly British ones) a stiff upper lip is sought so people don’t feel ‘awkward’. Emotion is so human, yet so unwanted. And yet yesterday I looked someone in the eyes so long that I cried. Holding eye contact for so long with a person I barely knew just opened something in me, like she could see into my being (even know I knew full well she couldn’t).

Part of me wanted to close off and shut my eyes, but Jesus it was intense. We are afraid to be open because people can hurt us, but if we let go of that we can find things about ourselves that we hid. I finally opened up and it felt good in all honesty. Stop closing yourself and your emotions overflow, like a release almost, as if whatever held me down let me go. So come at me emotions, I’m ready.

Really just an anecdote today, but hope it can assist somehow.

All my best,

Gabby