A couple of years ago I performed in a short film called The Line by Jerome Velinksy. Fittingly, it was about a one-liner audition. The film captured the ridiculousness of the scenario: everyone repeating that one line over and over again, the anxiety building, the breathing becoming more shallow.
As an actor, I personally enter into a state of panic in this sort of scenario. I start to remember the past – the way this sort of situation has previously played out – and I become frozen in my own life-story script (if that makes sense to you). I find myself waiting for the audition to be over instead of embracing the opportunity as I’m there. Escape is my gut response.
This film is completely unrelated to Matthew Schmidt, but I wanted to use it as an opportunity to introduce him.
Matthew is an Isha system facilitator. I will be hosting a workshop with him on May 15th on being confidently creative.
We spoke for 2 hours over Skype on Monday. This is an excerpt from our conversation
Chatting with Matthew Schmidt about Stress, Anxiety, and Auditioning – A Conversation
The whole way you perceive your reality is enmeshed in your value system, hidden beliefs, hidden ideas and memories. And the more space you can create around that the more freedom you have for yourself. Part of the practice of the Isha system, is learning how to remove the stress that supports your mind.
Usually the mind is seeking to control when we’re feeling something or experiencing something that we don’t want to feel – that’s a very common thing. The mind starts to create these distractions so that we can distance ourselves from the experience.
A common experience for actors, is waiting for an audition – an excruciating experience for a lot of people. How would you apply some of the Isha system principles to that scenario?
In that case, I would use one of two things. In this practice we use something called facets – which are expressions of consciousness. If you were in your full glory as a conscious being, this is the vibration you’d live in.
The idea behind the first facet is that you’re going to allow yourself the opportunity to become enmeshed with the perfection of what is, and appreciate what is. This ‘isness’ includes the excruciating experience of being stuck in an audition room. The magic of this practice, is that the more you embrace something, the more that thing embraces you, and the lighter it gets.
We think we’re experiencing our emotions or anxieties, but all we’re doing is labelling them. You might be sitting in the waiting room thinking ‘that’s anxiety… get me away from my body and let me think about something else.’ Instead, what if you said yes to the experience, and sank into it? That’s sort of a big switch.
Before starting this practice I was so anxious. Everything made me anxious. Using a publish washroom made me anxious. It was extreme.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Fear is just a vibration that happens in the body. It feels trembly, and although it’s literally nothing… it’s the thing we’re most scared of. I mean, it’s not even really there.
So when we return to the example of the audition waiting room… surrender to it. The facets give the mind something gentle to focus on. You can start to use the mind to praise the moment, and this praise elevates your relationship to it. You can stop resisting, and you start to put yourself in the momentum of the now.
I think many of us are afraid of the moment.
Because in the moment there are 10,000 thoughts that I never wanted to think about, about myself. In the moment is my whole life story – the rejections that I never fully embraced, the relationships that I never fully (or appropriately) terminated with myself in order to move on. All of that energy surfaces in anxiety situations. So when you go into the waiting room, this vomitous feeling rises to the surface.
But by being with this feeling, you can dissolve it.
Matthew Schmidt discovered the Isha System in 2010 at a time when his anxiety and self-doubt were driving him nuts.
After a desperate plea to the universe for some sort of intervention, he stumbled upon Isha Judd’s book Why Walk When You Can Fly at a bookstore in Vancouver’s West End. That discovery changed his life forever. Shortly after beginning to practice with the facets described in the book, Matt had his first experience of what Isha calls love-consciousness. In that moment, Matt began a commitment to expanding his consciousness and to sharing this experience of connectedness with all those he encounters.
In 2013, Matt completed a seven month healing and training program in Isha Educating for Peace’s Uruguayan retreat centre. He now hosts private and public seminars in Vancouver, as well as weekly support meetings for practitioners of the system. He uses every experience, however big or small, as a chance to grow, and he wishes the same for every human being on the planet. Through the use of the Isha System, Matt has found a sense of completion he could never have imagined before and an appreciation for the profound love that lives within his heart. He wishes the same for you.
Find Your Confidently Creative Self – Friday, May 15th 6-9pm
How do you exude confidence? Where does confidence even come from? Many of the creatives interviewed for the Creative Life interview series have talked about how important confidence is in success. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? I’m incredibly excited to announce this very exciting workshop with Matthew Schmidt. Learn more about this 3 hour intensive workshop by clicking here.
Take advantage of our early bird pricing until Thursday, May 7th and get $15 off.
Latest posts by Christine Bissonnette (see all)
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- Creativity is our common language – it is how we communicate what we are afraid to say as ourselves - September 10, 2015
- “I left something important at home during week 1 at the National Voice Intensive” – entry by Christine Bissonnette - May 22, 2015