How to show up for yourself as an artist: Be Vulnerable

Vulnerable:

adjective

1.capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon

2.open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.

When presented with these definitions, why would anyone want to WILLINGLY be vulnerable. These definitions, brought to you by dictionary.com, have such overwhelmingly negative connotations, of course we would shun this negative descriptor.

As artists, we can take these definitions to heart work from this negative place. Maybe these definitions are what root actors to the idea that we all must suffer for our art or that we all must be starving in order to pursue our dreams.

Can you tell I don’t prescribe to those ideas?

How about we try this definition on for size:

“Vulnerability.. [is] uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.

This comes from Dr. Brene Brown from her book “Daring Greatly”, and it is a much more meaningful definition for us as artists in the Motivated Movers community. Brene also wagers that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity”.

This blog is part one of a multi- month series on “How to start showing up for yourself as an artist”.  Why,you may ask? Because YOU are your biggest advocate. No one knows what you are capable of, except you.  In your finest and darkest hour, YOU must be the one who is in control of the situation. That means that YOU must show up for yourself everyday, just as you would show up for your best friend, brother or sister, husband, boyfriend, mom or dad in their hour of need.

I truly believe that the first step to “showing up” is to admit and surrender yourself to vulnerability. It is scary, but as Brene says: Vulnerability is the source of authenticity.

Authenticity is definitely a BUZZ word here at Motivated Movers.  We believe that authenticity is kind of.. well to put it lightly: what it is all about.  Being your authentic and true self in movement is our highest aim.

As an actor, we believe (as do many guest artists who grace audition rooms across New York City and beyond) that being your authentic self in the audition room is really your best asset.  

So how does one be vulnerable,exactly? Here are 3 ways to challenge yourself to be more vulnerable in the month of October:

  1. Dance like no one is watching aka EMBRACE MOVEMENT: OK, I really mean this! Put on your favorite tune ("My Shot" from Hamilton completely works for this OR we always love “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars) and have a dance party! Strip away the judgement and just feel the beat and enjoy. The more you do this, the less scary movement will be!
  2. Connect without fear or consequence: This can be a very hard task because making a connection can be terrifying. All those “what will they think of me?” gremlins come furiously out and immediately you begin to think of “what would happen if” scenarios. Can you make eye contact with someone in the audition room? Can you go see a play or art exhibit with a friend and discuss without worry of judgement? Allow yourself to have an experience and revel in the joy of the experience, no matter the outcome.  This,my friends, is vulnerability at its’ most simple form.

  3. Unplug: Can you experience the world without your cell phone? The easiest way to pull the band-aid off here and just do, is on the train or on your morning commute. Don’t listen to music, just be in the world. Be an observer.  You might learn a lot about humans and about yourself in the process.

Vulnerability is about being aware of your feelings and honoring them, bad or good.  Vulnerability is NOT about placing judgement on those feelings and certainly not equating them with an action.  The 4th part of the above challenge is to treat the other 3 as a sort of science experiment.  Don’t make an assumptions or judgements until you’ve had some time to observe and see how it went.  We are all going to have triumphs and we are all going to fail. In our pursuit of art, we must fully feel both of these emotions in order to REALLY be our authentic self as an artist.
 

We can’t wait to hear your stories of vulnerability in our community! Share below or on our community Facebook page!