How Do Actors Deal With The Stress of Their Job?


How Do Actors Deal With The Stress of Their Job?


The State of Stress


Stress is a state, an emotion which is often brought on by how we perceive the task we have set ourselves or the task others have set for us. As a life coach I work with celebrities and professionals to help them reduce their personal stress levels.

Through this I have modelled successful professionals to understand how they handle their stress levels and researched those who get stressed easily to appreciate why their stress levels are higher than others? And found a major difference between how these two types internally perceive their life.

Why is one person motivated while the other, given the same task feels stressed?

As an example; two actors with the same amount of lines to learn for the same play, will have different stress levels for this same task. One will worry that they won’t remember their lines, until the opening night. While the other will mainly feel calm throughout.


Little Chunks


When we have to complete any task, we will internally break this task down into manageable chunks; “if I complete A, B and C I will achieve my goal”. Each time we complete a chunk we feel more motivated as we near to our goal.

The stressed professional does something much different. With their task, they break it down into hundreds of unmanageable chunks, so many that the task now seems frightening, creating the state of stress.

Say the actor is tasked with learning a set of lines. The stressed free actor will say “OK I need to first read the script, practice the lines alone, practice with a colleague, and finally act the play out” 5 easy steps.

What happens when you’re stressed is this “damn I can’t do this, first I need to find a quite room, I will find one, but then I will be interrupted, so I will have to find a new room. Once I find a new room I realise I have left the script in the first room. Because I’m stressed I will have to get a glass of water, but all the glasses are in the dish washer, now I have to find another vessel to drink from. Now I’m ready to learn my lines, but I need to get the accent right, so I repeat the first line over and over again. Before I know it, it’s getting late and I’ve only learnt one line. So tomorrow I will have to start again. …nooooo I will never do this!!”

It is highly motivational to chunk things up into manageable pieces. If you chunk things down into too many pieces your mountain of chunks will seem too big and overwhelming. You will spend too much time thinking about the hundred chunks rather than getting the task started.


The Motivational Chunk


When given a task, break it down into manageable chunks, often 5 is a good number. Breaking down task in this way, creates the impression that task is possible to complete. If you only have one chunk “learn a script” the task can seem to large, maybe even in possible.

Several chunks, will allow you to concentrate on a section of the task before moving on. When you feel your tasks are manageable, you feel highly motivated reducing your stress levels.


Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions  and Public Speaking Events

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Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions  and Public Speaking Events

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