How To Deal With Your Emotions As An Actor In A Healthy Way?
How do you avoid the emotional rollercoaster of being an actor? Although it can be tough to keep yourself balanced and to handle the emotions that go into being creative on a day-to-day basis, especially if you’re an actor and actress. Undoubtedly this profession requires a lot of nurturing and a lot of support. Understanding the inner life of being an actor helps you to deal with emotions and gives you more confidence in every area of your life. And the best part is, you’ll learn all these things with Andrea Osvart on this Podcast Episode of God and Gigs.
Andrea Osvart is an international multi-award-winning actress with over 50 acting credits. She starred opposite movie stars like Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Heath Ledger, Clive Owen, and JK Simmons. She has been in the business for over 25 years and has produced feature films given and sold to Netflix at HBO. She wants to help the artist overcome insecurities, fears, depression, post shows, and projects. She will open the doors to things you might not have thought about in your artistic life. So without further delay, let’s begin the show.
Paul: Let people know who you are and what you do in like a summary
Andrea: Thank you. So I’ve been in the acting industry for about 25 years, and I started in Hungary, where I was born, a small country in central Europe, next to Austria. And I had a big dream. It was not a realistic dream to become an actress and make a living out of it. But I pursued my dream, and I left Hungary. I went to Italy for 10 years, where my acting career took off. And then, I went to live in LA Hollywood for three years. I also worked there, but eventually, I returned to Europe and now live in Budapest again. And still acting, but also helping performers to make the right decisions during their careers because these 25 years in this entertainment industry were a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs and a lot of experience.
Paul: I saw that you have a couple of other things that you did before you found yourselves acting. I saw something about dancing and modeling. What led you to act, and what might you have learned in those other areas of creative life before you fell in love with acting?
Andrea: Yes. Dancing used to be one of my dreams, which I was not able to pursue because I grew up in this small Hungarian village. There was no dance school, and I made it up for myself as an adult. Although just two years ago, I participated in the “Hungarian Dancing with the Stars” TV show and had a chance to dance there for the first time, which I enjoyed. I started as a model as a teenager and worked for about eight years, but then I got bored. Yes, it’s an industry founded very much on the looks and exterior. After a while, I found it superficial. When I was growing as a person inside, I felt I could add much more to a product than just my body and my face. I wanted to express myself, contribute, and be creative. Therefore, modeling led me to do some TV commercials, and I enrolled in an acting school. Afterward, I started to get small roles, bigger roles, and then leading roles.
Paul: How nervous were you? How scary is it to say I want to be an actor? How did you feel while jumping into this incredible, very competitive industry?
Andrea: I was very determined when I was 16 years old, and I couldn’t take “no” for an answer. I saw an ad in a magazine that they were looking for models. And I sent my picture without my mom knowing about it. Then the phone rang, and my mother took the phone. A nice lady was on the line, and they asked me for a casting. And that’s how my mom learned about it. Eventually, I convinced her–that she didn’t have to be afraid of anything and should trust me because I knew what I was doing. I was so determined that I didn’t feel fear at that time. But when I went for the casting, it was quite an awful experience in terms of humiliation. Because all the girls had to line up in bathing suits next to each other. And I found that the few girls were suddenly sent home because they were not tall enough for the business. So that was a little bit humiliating, but I still kept my face that I had a purpose with all this. I want to get where I want to be, and this tool will get me there.
Paul: So how did you survive that rollercoaster in the first 10-15 years when you started to find your footing as an actor?
Andrea: I always think outside of the box. Hence I made a step very different from the rest of the actors in Hungary. I moved abroad. So getting out of my comfort zone was helping me with my career. I didn’t want to return home, ashamed that I had failed. So that gave me another extra fuel of determination to make it abroad. I spoke Italian when I left, and then I went to live there. I felt I needed to pay rent. So I had to become the best at that audition. I didn’t have my family and friends there, so I could only hold onto my dream and career. And that’s very useful advice for somebody born to do this profession.
Paul: That’s great advice. What was when you said, wait a minute, may this work? Maybe this is something I can do because this amazing moment happened in my career.
Andrea: I remember, in 2007, I went to LA to attend acting workshops every August for a month. And I remember I attended one of the greatest acting schools there, and one day the teacher told me– “What are you doing here between these four walls? You should be out there like going to castings and have an agent because they’re so talented.” And for a European actress, Coming from Hungary, a communist country, going to LA and being told that I was talented was a great achievement. Thanks to that teacher who made me believe in choosing this profession. She knew what she was talking about, so I trusted her opinion. It’s different if my mom tells me You’re talented or if my neighbor tells me you’re talented. But it’s another thing when an acting teacher from a renowned acting school in Los Angeles tells you the same. And that was a big moment for me of realization, not doubting myself anymore. I remember that moment a lot, and then I started to believe that I could do this job as a full-time professional.
What is the most essential thing you should know before getting into an acting career?
Andrea: So first of all, we artists, especially actors, are always in the shoes of being someone else and in character. Usually, the first and the most important lesson is about who you are. What is your purpose with your acting career, and why? What and Why: these two questions give all your answers. I realized a lot of people don’t have clarity about why they want to act and why they want to become actors. They have different, very superficial goals. But my job as a coach is to make them understand that booking a role is not a real goal because is it what that role means to you and what you need as a soul? What feeling that role gives you? Is your real drive? Ask yourself. You would better be clear about that because if you are, then it’s not so easy to derail you from your path. Everybody wants to choose acting just for fame. And if you don’t have that “Why” in your life, you will probably burn out of these things soon. If you choose acting just for fame and money, you would easily get disappointed, frustrated, and depressed because many people are takers; they want to take from the industry. They want fame, money, success, and stardom. But I’ve seen that it doesn’t work that way. The universe is not helping these individuals; instead, it helps those who want to give. So that’s why you have to be clear about what you want because if you want to take it, it probably won’t work. But if your genuine purpose is to give, then you won’t be able to live without it because it’s in your nature that you want to give, and it has to come out, and the universe needs that.
How to deal with highs and lows after a performance or a movie?
Paul: The shoot is over, and I’ve achieved my goal. Now what? As you can’t keep living in the past.
Andrea: This phenomenon also has a name that I have discovered lately. It’s called the Post-Show Blues. It’s scientifically proven that you are in the same boat if you’re part of a group. You are fighting for the same goal. You are creating something together, and suddenly it’s over; it’s finished. So that’s a grief process we all must go through in between jobs. And we never know how long it will take. Sometimes, we have problems in our lives, and we are escaping from that, which simply means we are escaping from reality. For example, to live on a film set and forget all about my problems is a perfect example of living in our fantasies. But when the movie finishes, you must take that flight back home and face your problems again because they’re still there. They didn’t go away. And you have to become that person again. It’s difficult to be and live in a certain way for an extended period of time and then go back and put your old shoes back on and try to fit in again. As a result, after some time, insecurity arises. Like, where am I? Where do I belong? Do I still belong here? I missed out on a lot of things. So there are a lot of turmoils in an actor’s or artist’s psyche.
Paul: So what would you tell people? Like how do you get through the post-show blues?
Andrea: So I allow myself to rest after a project for one or two weeks; that’s what I’ve learned. It is on the path of your dream and was part of it. The project that was born has finished now. Hence, allow that time to pass. So that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
How do you keep that identity safe, even after getting into the emotional rollercoaster?
Andrea: Sometimes it happens to me as well that I’m losing it, but I pull myself together just by writing a blog post, which can take me a day of thinking and emerging into a subject. It gets me realigned with myself and who I am, even without the others around me, even without being reflected in these mirrors that are around us without feedback, without collapse, without applause, without being seen and heard. Writing is one of the great tools for me that helps me become centered and grounded again in myself.
Overall you have to trust the process. I can’t say everything’s going to be alright. Because there are going to be ups and downs, difficult moments, and there will be crying and disappointment. But trust the process because it’s part of it. All the rejections, all the disappointments. Everything is part of the journey, and a journey is never like this straight going upwards. It’s like a heartbeat, with ups and downs, just like a Rhythm. Without the downs, you would never be able to enjoy the ups. So yes, when I’m down and when I experience some down times. I know it’s part of a process and completely normal. Whether you’re beginning or already in the profession if you want to get more impactful strategies that will help in your acting journey, visit andreaosvart. coach and book a call. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.