What is “IT” Factor in Actors

What is “IT” Factor in Actors?

What is “IT” Factor in Actors?

They’ve got it.

They’re successful.

They have that “je ne sais quoi.”

The room changes when they walk in.

I can’t take my eyes off of them.

We’ve heard or even said these phrases about talented actors before… but no one quite pinpoints exactly what that feeling is.

Well I’m here to tell you— It’s Energy.

Now I don’t mean energy so much as in bouncing off the walls, 3 coffees deep type of energy. I mean internal vibrational energy made up of two primary things… CONFIDENCE and POSITIVITY.

The energy of someone who walks into an audition with training, experience and a positive self-affirming outlook is measurably different than someone who walks in with the energy of desperation for a booking. That desperation has usually eroded confidence, EVEN if the person is well trained and talented. Both desperation and lack of confidence are also indicators of a negative and self-destroying outlook– and this energy will lose you the job before you even open your mouth.

Casting Directors are experts in matching the energy of the actor, to the energy of the opportunity. They have spent thousands of hours assessing the “fit” of a person for a role and a project and they weigh everything from the ability to handle the character with craft and ease to the ability to work seamlessly with the on-set production team. These questions have always transcended look and resume to include the ENERGY of the performer.

So you need to FEEL like the right choice so you can give off the RIGHT energy in order to book the job.

Well how do you do that?

Here’s a few tips:

1. FULLY PREPARE. Do ALL of your actor homework. Get as off-book as humanly possible. Know your backstory, intentions and immerse yourself in WHO this character is.

2. BRING YOURSELF TO THE WORK. They want YOUR take, not a second hand version of what you think someone ELSE would do/ Find a way to personalize the work and bring your own sense of uniqueness to it.

3. MEDITATE that day. Get yourself in the zone. Clear your mind and center yourself so you can stay crystal clear and focused

4. VISUALIZE your success. Have fun imagining what a great audition looks and FEELS like. Rehearse the FEELINGS. This does WONDERS for your energy

5.DON’T RUSH. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and plenty of time to perform.

6. STAY POSITIVE. Keep holding onto the joy that brought you here in the first place and stay committed to thinking positive thoughts about yourself and your abilities!

Need help training while you do the important work of building up your IT factor energy? Check out our many classes and events at to help build your confidence and skill level in this competitive field.

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The Importance of Self-Talk | Butterfly emerging from a chrysalis

The Importance of Self-Talk

Let’s talk about your self-talk.

This has come up a bunch of times recently.

Isn’t it amazing that things you would never DARE to say to another person you are saying to yourself?

There is a DIFFERENCE between helping yourself learn/grow/improve and tearing yourself apart.  Let’s take an audition for example.  Say you get in there and you botch your 16 bars.  Maybe you didn’t warm up enough.  Perhaps went out the night before and shouldn’t have.  Maybe you chose a poor cut.  Perhaps you didn’t do your actor homework on what the character actually wants in that moment.

Well– you have two choices.

A. You can beat yourself up for hours or even days until your faith in yourself is black and blue and you feel miserable and unworthy of success


B.  You can take some notes on how to adjust for next time, congratulate yourself on the aggressive learning you just did and MAKE THE CHANGES and get back on the horse.  Babies don’t beat themselves up learning how to walk.  Why beat yourself up when learning how to soar in one of the most complicated career paths on the planet?


It’s not making our world better and it is certainly not making you better.  LOVE yourself through the process, don’t be a jerk to your own brain and heart– you deserve a better learning environment– and YOU are in control of that.

So whatever smack you are talking about yourself… DROP IT.  NO MORE  “I’m not ready,” “I’m not good enough,” “So and so is better,” “I’ll never,” “I can’t,” “It’s too hard,” “The chances are slim,” — you are so much better than those lame comments.

You ARE growing.
YOU’RE worthy of it.
YOU’LL learn it.
You CAN book it.
YOU’RE doing it.
If anyone can, YOU CAN too.
You are CREATING your chances.
You are BUILDING your dreams.

So take your lunch money back from your inner bully.

Go get from your life what’s yours.



[Photo Kindly by Suzanne D. Williams]

What’s a Win List and Why You Should Make One Today

Most actors I know are really tough on themselves and while striving to grow and improve is really important in this field, the way you think about yourself is also important.  Whether you realize it or not- your thoughts about yourself follow you EVERYWHERE as a part of your energy and a part of YOU– and if you are thinking ugly things about yourself– well, you might as well be that Peanuts Character, Pig Pen, with the cloud of dirt circling your every move- making it pretty hard for anyone to see the real you.

During those times when you aren’t booking like a Boss, you might struggle with feeling unsuccessful.  That is when your WIN LIST needs a min in the spotlight.  WIN LISTS are helpful when you need to appreciate ALL the steps you are taking to build a great career- not just the bookings.

A WIN LIST is a short list of things you accomplished (in a day, in a week or in a month) that you should take a step back and give yourself a little credit for.  Some examples of what could go on your win list could be:
1) You learned a new side/monologue
2) You updated your website
3) You finished a draft of your web series episode
4) You applied to a better survival job
5) You saved money to go towards your new headshots
or even You got an audition appointment.

This is a great task for a Friday afternoon when you need to take stock of what you did to propel yourself forward, feel good about yourself, and stay motivated to keep building your dream career.

Monday you’ll grind.  But today is Friday– so celebrate. (Champagne optional)

Colleen Kahl