Actors often exude presence – that is their job. Are they more confident? Not always. They are more comfortable. They are trained to see others and to let themselves be seen. They become comfortable with their voices being heard, their bodies in space, and sharing their feelings. Actors rehearse and practice seeing others – observing and really seeing them, not only on the surface, but more deeply, more expansively, more holistically.
Many factors are connected to and influence our presence.
In actor training, there are four foundational elements that create a base of presence. We call them the Pillars of Presence.
- Permission – allow yourself to be seen
- Claim Personality – decide how to be seen
- See People – see others
- Receive – others seeing you
Over the next few weeks we will explore the Pillars of Presence and provide you with some actionable steps as you embrace the power of your own individual presence.
Pillar of Presence 1:
Allow Yourself to Be Seen
In order to have presence, you have to be seen. In our society, we are often taught that looking at others is rude. Question: how are others going to see us unless they look, and when they look, we are present? We must resist our early training around politeness and allow ourselves to be seen. We need to drop the shield and be available, visible, and see-able, not in an arrogant manner, but by simply switching an internal button. Then you are seen. When seen, you have a presence that can be felt.
Think of the people in your life that are comfortable with being seen. They create an energy that is easy for us to be around. Why? Because they are vulnerably allowing others to see them being themselves while also allowing others to be themselves.
So HOW can we begin to work on this?
Consciously let people see you — it’s a mind adjustment. Know that a smile is often a mask. So, allow your breath to ground you. Exhale and let the breath back in. Keep your body open — notice and honor the fact that your arms and hands may try to cover you up to keep you safe. Give yourself permission. Let yourself be seen – simply seen.