The power of feeling real and connected to your acting or other creative work.
In a magazine interview, director James Mangold and Liv Tyler had a stimulating conversation on many aspects of being a creative artist, on excellence in acting, and being vulnerable and authentic.
James Mangold: “There are some actors who, when they feel insecure in a scene, will just turn up the volume or the energy to try to electrocute themselves.
“You’ve probably been in scenes when you find yourself in a place where you don’t believe yourself. What do you do?”
Liv Tyler: “I just stop and go stand in a dark corner and breathe as deeply as I can into my stomach. [laughs] I know this is going to sound crazy, because I’m not religious at all, but sometimes I pray.
“I just say, Please help me. Guide me to feel what this person’s feeling, and help me to feel real, feel connected.”
The pressures to be authentic or what you want to be as an artist –
James Mangold: “I think the biggest struggle we all have sometimes – and I have to remind myself of it too – is to be what you are instead of what you want to be.
“I’m not talking about being an actor or a director or whatever, but rather about the pressure we put on ourselves to be the kind of movie director or kind of actor or rock singer that inspired us, because you’ll never quite be that person – you’re always you…
“The people who are really happy always seem to know exactly what they are.” [laughs]
Liv Tyler: “But nobody ever feels that way all the time. I’m always amazed when people.. right in front of you are completely open and vulnerable..
“I love seeing that. All my favorite people have that; there’s something so human about them.
“Diane Keaton has that. It’s so amazing to watch her because she’s so sweet and real, and there’s a vulnerability to her, but she’s also this amazing tough cookie and such a professional.”
James Mangold: “As a kid there was a lot of drama you had to witness and be part of… that may have enabled you to reach the other side that much sooner than most people.”
Liv Tyler: “It sounds so cheesy, but I feel like right now, for the first time in my life, I’m discovering who I am…
“And, yeah, I’m incredibly complicated and I’m filled with anxiety and all sorts of stuff, but it’s amazing because I’m able to hide it.
“For example, I have horrible stage fright, and people always say they can’t tell. I think for a lot of my life I’ve been able to process negative things in a positive way.
“I’ve been so blessed in my life in so many ways. I’ve had a lot of really traumatic or strange things happen to me, but I wake up every day and feel so grateful and lucky to be doing what I’m doing.”
From article in Interview magazine, April 2007, posted on Lovely Liv Tyler site: Liv Tyler – Rebel in reverse.
Finding your authentic creative voice
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She notes when you find your authentic creative voice, “nothing else matters.
“No doubts, no insecurities, no fears interfere with that voice.”
But she also writes about artists who are not fully in touch with their unique voice having a “persistent sense of feeling unhappy, discontented, or unfulfilled with how you manifest your creative or performing energy.”
See more in my article:
Some more related articles:
Creative People and Trauma – See quotes by and about Sarah Polley, Halle Berry, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonathan Safran Foer and many others.
Actors and Anxiety – Get Help For Your Stage Fright [on my Anxiety Relief Solutions site]