The Actor in the Mirror

Hi Bonnie,

Love The Actors Voice. Just a quick note to say I totally hear you when it comes to the “pick your brain” scenario. In addition to doing VO work, I teach acting and voice at a university theatre department in Virginia. I am constantly on the lookout for the symptoms of needy actor syndrome. In every writing assignment, scene assignment, conversation about the voice and the Voice, I try constantly to turn questions back around to the students, so that they stop the contortions of, “What does she want me to do?” “How can I please her?” and start being able to say, “I want to do [blank]!” and then work toward mastering whatever [blank] is. I want them to claim what is theirs, not copy what is mine.

So, for what it’s worth, the next time there’s a five-minute period in which a needy actor does not call you and instead looks in the mirror at the one person who ultimately cares the most about whether or not they get a job, then gets to work doing the research and follow-up, I’m hoping that was one of my alums.

Have a great day,
Andi Arndt (a Nancy Wolfson grad)

Right on, Andi! What a fabulous spin on it! Thank you for sharing that with me so I can use that as a “yes, and” in my toolbox. It’s easy to forget that there are many, many, many more self-reliant, focused and focusing, research-loving, taking-it-seriously actors out there than we may ever hear from, above the chatter of the louder “help me, help me, help me” types out there.

Thank you for helping to steer folks in the right direction. Including me!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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