It might sound completely ridiculous and OBVIOUS, but probably the most important part of my work (acting)-(and most important part of being alive) is to breathe.
It might sound silly, but the majority of people (especially Westerners) actually hold their breath. I'm not kidding.. I used to do it all the time without even realising it.
This made me exhausted, consitpated and trapped in my ego brain constantly re-living moments in time, making a lot of negative expeirences up and continuously getting stressed about the future.
When I was going through drama school, I was trapped in my egoic brain and my negative thoughts controlled me. I dwelled on being 'good enough', 'thin enough', 'likeable enough' etc.
This took me out of the moment when I was rehearsing and I would place heaps of pressure on myself thinking "I'm the worst actor in the world!! what am I DOING with my life!?"
So I'd "solve" everything with a glass (bottle) of vino or a couple of strong gins.
I ended up in hospital TWICE during drama school!!
The first time I was passing blood (and a lot of it)- this was caused by a very bad ulcer in my stomach that was bleeding. (I was 23 at the time!)
The second time I almost died from kidney failure- I was so exhausted, un rested and stressed. (I was 25 at the time)!!
Well, that's just silly- dont you think?
Fast foward a few years and I'm centered, happy and even though at times my life is chaos, I'm relatively stress free and positive.
I've learned to honour and love myself & forgive myself for the agony I put myself through in the past.
A huge part of my healing was through Meditation- a concept that I never had any time for and apparently couldn't do because I would think too much. Hmmm
Meditation and tapping trustingly into your truer, deeper self- is the single most powerful thing you can do as a soul.
It creates an inner space of calm, peace and love and it brings you into alignment with your gut feeling, your inner compass and your life purpose.
Actors, this helps you to 'drop in' and follow your intincs as you work.
You don't need to meditate with your eyes closed. You can connect to your inner self through excercizing (especially yoga), sitting in nature, watching a fire or candle or listening to soulful music.
I practice meditation every morning for 30 mins.
If this is to big a feat for you, breathing deep for a few minutes or in the shower will do the ticket.
Before I go on stage or if I'm waiting around on set for a while, to connect in and reserve & replenish my enegy levels, I'll close my eyes, breathe deep and connect.
If you feel self conscious doing this, chuck your ipod in your ears- even if you dont want music- this will make others around you feel more comfortable and unjudgmental- because listening to music is 'normal'.