As actors, we can often put the focus of our attention and energy on the end result, the performance. Of course, the performance does matter. But counterintuitively, if we want a great performance, that level of excellence is created by the process used to prepare for it.
Focusing on the performance, on the end result leads to problems. It means that preparation is not valued as it should, and therefore is not used to pave the way for actors to have phenomenal performances.
This leads us to experience some serious mental game challenges. The focus of attention on performance creates pressure, leading to high expectations, anxiety and low confidence. However, focusing our energy and attention on the preparation builds the foundations for an incredible performance.
The level of our preparation builds trust in ourselves. This means that when the time comes, we can trust the preparation that we have done and to some degree, let the performance take care of itself.
It takes courage. Process and preparation do not bring the immediate and satisfying rewards of performance. Instead, it begins to make the rewards of performance even greater and more satisfying.
Understanding where to focus your energy means betting on yourself. A performance is always a gamble, but those that prepare, are preparing to win.
When you prepare with Relentless Effort in the process, and then have faith in yourself, when you trust in that process yourself, you see the results of all that work in the performance.
And when you get to the performance, guess what? Stay focused on the process and do what you have prepared for.
Mark Westbrook is the Head Coach at Acting Coach Scotland