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Episode 280: Vulnerability & the Actor

core work Apr 17, 2024


Today, I'm going to talk about something that I've been feeling recently—vulnerability.

Yeah. Vulnerability. Just feeling a little tender. 

Now, the thing I always think about with vulnerability is vulnerability and emotional availability is two of the greatest assets that actors can have. 

All I have to say about that is that can also be like your cross to bear, as it were when dealing with the industry. 

Because as an actor, as an artist, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. 

But how I like to approach the business is the business. When I go in there, I do my work, my good work.

What I want to do is focus on that and not focus on the business. 

So that's what Acting Business Boot Camp is all about. It's about getting you to focus on the right things at the right time. 

But today, we're going to talk a little bit more about vulnerability. I'm going to use my dear friend Melody Beattie.

The Language of Letting Go 

She says, “I've learned that the more vulnerable I allow myself to be, the more in control of myself I really am.”

Now, I don't really like to think about it as in control. In a lot of my work and in my more chiropractor for the mind work, and think about that, chiropractor for the mind, really adjusting yourself so that you understand how you tick. I talk about emotional self-sufficiency, and it's not that I want to control myself.

It's that I want to know that I can manage and handle myself emotionally no matter what situation comes up, including losing my voice and feeling sick and feeling unwell. 


Melody goes on to say, “Many of us feel that we can only show our strong, confident side. We believe the face we have to show to the world should always be one of politeness, perfection, calm, strength, and control.”

But let's take a moment and let's take a step back and think about how incredibly unrealistic that is. 

I received some disappointing news the other day. And I just said to myself, Okay, it's disappointing. It's all right for you to feel sad. It's all right for you not to feel a hundred percent on, especially when I am someone who is on so much.

It's okay for me to show a little weakness. It's okay for me to be vulnerable. 

And it's okay, or I should say, it's more than okay, for me to take care of myself when I'm feeling that tenderness. 

One of my favorite phrases is go as slowly as you need to in order to take care of yourself.

And when you're feeling vulnerable, or you're feeling tender. 

Go as slowly as you need to in order to take care of that vulnerability and that tenderness in that day. 

This too shall pass. You won't always feel so vulnerable. You won't always feel so tender. My voice will not always sound like this. In fact, in a few podcasts, I hope it'll sound better.

She goes on to say, “While it is certainly good and often appropriate to be in calm controlling and strong moods, there is also another side of all of us, that part of us that feels needy, that becomes frightened, that has doubts and gets angry.”

Because, hello, guess what? You're human. That part of us needs care.

That part of us needs love. That part of us needs reassurance that things will be okay. 

And again reminding ourselves, go as slowly as you need to in order to take care of yourself. 

Expressing these needs makes us vulnerable, yes, and less than perfect, yes. But this side needs acceptance too. 

There's a wonderful phrase that says, don't go to the hardware store for lemons.

When I am feeling vulnerable, needy, or frightened, there may be people who are more appropriate for me to go to than not.

And the number one thing I want to do for self-care—make your ears grow bigger as I say this—is not to go to that person who is the hardware store for lemons.

Because they are not going to be able to give me that comfort, that love, that reassurance that I crave right now. 

It may be better for me to leave it out. When in doubt with people like this, just leave it out. Get off the phone, get off the text message, nurture yourself, and reach out to someone else who will be a little more caring.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable will help us build lasting relationships. Sharing our vulnerabilities helps us feel close to people and helps others to feel close to us.

It helps us grow in self-love and self-acceptance.

It helps us become healing agents. And it allows us to become whole and accessible to others. 

Just today I finished one of my weekly adjustment classes. And a few people were just vulnerable enough to share. What the response was from everyone else was, Thank you for sharing. You made me feel like I was not alone. 

The Weekly Adjustment Group