[March 19, 2014]More confidence, less stress,
discovering inner resources, improving relationships —
there are thousands of self-help books to help us accomplish these,
but do they work?
"Self-help strategies can work, as far as they go, but they don't
address a key component that affects everything from how we feel
about ourselves to how successfully we interact with others," says
award-winning film director, producer and writer Dr. Richard R.
"That key component is the fact that we're all actors —
at work, school, home, even alone in front of the bathroom mirror.
We're always playing the character of 'Me,' but we also have to play
other characters. The better we are at it, the happier and more
successful we'll be."
But just like anyone who steps before an audience, sometimes
we're paralyzed by stage fright, says Reichel, author of the new
book, "Everybody is an Actor," a guide to achieving success in the
film industry and in life.
"Stage fright undermines concentration and we lose our character
objective," he says. "Why do so many people cower in light of their
dreams? Why do they procrastinate on getting their degree? Why do
they tremble at the thought of approaching Mr. or Ms. Right? It's
because of stage fright."
To overcome it, Reichel offers these tips from the Psychophantic
System he developed to mold both life and film actors:
with a "mind walk" and "confocal contemplation."
stress is associated with a variety of chronic illnesses. In
addition to regular exercise and sleep nourishment, consider a
"mind walk," or a pleasant thought that stops the stress and
replaces it with something positive. In the same vein, practice
"confocal contemplation" by allowing your mind to wander into a
cloudlet of peace and relaxing your body. Then, while thoughts
are peacefully drifting, flex your feet, ankles, calves, shins,
knees, buttocks and hips —
and release. Feel the weight of your entire body while your mind
remains free, and repeat the exercise.
Practice projecting your emotions.
How many times have you daydreamed about how you will express
yourself when a particular situation arises? In the same way, we
need to rehearse how we project our emotions in social
situations. Try practicing emotional expression in front of a
trusted friend or loved one. If someone has made you happy and
joyous, rehearse how to show them in the moment. Showing love
and laughter can strengthen bonds, and learning how to express
anger, sorrow and fear in appropriate ways will improve your
ability to communicate and foster understanding.
Win your audience by emphasizing character strengths.
one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. In
order to get what you want in life, you simply need to do what
you're good at. Your audience may be an employer, co-workers,
family or a potential date. Can you make them laugh, understand
or otherwise feel deeply what you're expressing? Appealing to
their emotional responses can go far. Keep in mind the hearts
and minds of your audience, including the setting and what they
must be experiencing during the "performance." Be aware of your
vocal projection and body language. You will be remembered for
your performance, which will lead you to better roles and, in
the case of daily living, better relationships.
Dr. Richard R. Reichel has a long and varied experience in the
film and TV industries, from actor and director to casting and
cameraman. He holds multiple degrees, including one in film
production and a doctorate in counseling psychology. Reichel, the
author of "Everybody is
an Actor," was the first to produce a TV program about Asian
cultures in America and the first to present a TV show about all
aspects of organic living. He is credited with persuading film star
Jackie Chan to come to the U.S. to make movies. Reichel created an
innovative and comprehensive acting system that immerses
participants in the culture of film production while helping them
actually become the character with impressive time efficiency. His
system is also excellent for those who would like to have superior
confidence and be more dynamic and assertive at work, social
situations, school or even at home.