Confidence in the Face of Insecurity

Stefanie Townsend

Confidence.

It’s something that every actor needs to have. The confidence that they have what it takes, the confidence that they know their lines and can move the audience (or auditioners), the confidence that they are the answer the directors are looking for.

Yet insecurity plagues us all. I doubt there is a single actor out there who isn’t insecure, even the most well-known, prolific ones.

It seems to be a catch-22 at times. You want to hold your head up high, calm your anxieties, and walk into the room feeling like you’re on top of the world. But as you sit outside the audition room waiting for your turn, it’s hard to focus. It’s hard to not compare yourself to the other actors and begin to worry.

No matter how nervous we feel, no matter how much we compare ourselves against the others, no matter how insecure we may be, we must prevail.

We must have confidence, even in the face of insecurity.

Audition nerves are completely normal. No matter how many auditions you have gone to, or how comfortable you get with them, the process is still frightening. But we can’t let nerves overtake us.

We cannot let insecurity eat us. We as actors must learn how to believe in ourselves, no matter what life throws at us.

We must be persistent. We must be strong. We must find something within ourselves that convinces us to continue, to believe that this dream is achievable rather than another lovely, hopeless fantasy.

To do that, we must learn how to approach our work, and begin to love the approach. We must find techniques that work for us and learn to love them and let them be a part of us. We must find the roles and monologues that bring us joy and help us fight for what we want.

We need to learn to fight for what we love. Fight for the theatre family, fight to have a place in this profession, fight to pursue our dreams.

The desire to fight, the desire to have a place in this profession is what fuels our fire and fuels our confidence.

We have to love the process. We have to believe in ourselves.

When we believe we belong, we will have the confidence. We will be the director’s answer to their question.

The insecurity won’t vanish. Neither will audition nerves. It’s a normal reaction to a high stakes situation.

But those who tell us that confidence is key have a point. Confidence doesn’t fill you with fear. Confidence doesn’t weigh you down. Confidence doesn’t let you hide or forget your lines. Confidence is what helps an actor succeed. Insecurity doesn’t. And learning to not listen to that insecure little voice can help open more doors than you could ever have imagined.