On Saturday I started the Self-tape Challenge and already I’m learning so much. While watching yourself can be a cringe-worthy experience, I think it’ll be useful to learn how to move past that and be able to judge the performance itself in order to improve. So I can look for distracting habits in the way I move and speak that would take the viewer’s attention away from my performance.
When I watched my tape last night, I noticed how different my acting is in English. I come from a culture that doesn’t instill high self-esteem into their children from an early age as I experienced in the hostfamilies I worked for as an au pair over in the USA and the UK *. So my self-esteem is something I have been working on and that still requires some work. And that experience living abroad **, absorbing a different culture and mentality has helped me in that tremendously.
Which is why I now find it so much easier to perform in English. I have more confidence, I’m much more comfortable with hearing myself speak, I have less bad speech habits, too. My personality changes a little as well. Also, I find it so much easier to work with the material and find emotional connection. I struggle with that a little when I act in Czech, even though I started out acting in my native language, most of my training is in English. Could that be the reason? Why is English such a great language to perform in?
Let me know in the comments below if you are experiencing something like that too, I’d love to hear about that!
*Disclaimer: I wouldn’t dare to judge whole country’s way of upbringing children by a few hostfamilies I lived with, I do realize all families are different and especially in countries like the USA or the UK, where it’s a melting pot of various cultures, there bound to be some differences. However I did notice that people are just more confident in general in these two countries. Just my personal observation and opinion.
**Have you ever thought about going abroad as an au pair, but have a lot of questions about the programme? I answered a lot of questions I get often asked when I mention my au pair experience in this two part article for LifeOnTheMove.net – Au Pair Programme: USA&UK part one & part two. Also I did an interview for AYoungerTheatre.com about how working as an au pair helped my acting career. Hope you find that helpful!