Actors and artists are brilliant at making up stories.

In fact, you’re so good at it that it could be killing your career. “But wait,” you say. “Aren’t we supposed to use our imagination and bring stories to life?”

Yes. Of course you are supposed to do that ON STAGE! But not in your life. #keepstoriesonthestage

Here’s a great example of making up a story in your life. You go into an audition room. You give a really great audition and you feel great. Then you get the ever-dreaded “Thank you,” from behind the table, and all of the sudden the great work you just thought you did doesn’t mean a thing anymore because why? We actors have made up the universal story that when they say “Thank You” it really means “No Thank You.” Am I right?

And of course, once you hear “Thank you” in the audition room, your brain begins to give you evidence of when that has happened before. It will remember dozens of auditions where they said thank you and you didn’t get the job only to prove your “‘Thank you’ really means ‘no thank you’ theory.”

But the only reason your brain tells you that is because it MUST MAKE UP SOMETHING so it can file it somewhere in its “database” under “what Thank you means.”

WE, THE ACTORS, ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE COLLECTIVELY AGREED that “Thank you” really means “No, thank you.” We have made an agreement with each other that this is true, and sometimes we even add more meaning to it too that including things like, “I suck at auditions,” “The role was already cast,” and my personal favorite, “It doesn’t matter he’s just an intern.”

Well, here’s the #truth.

“Thank You” means “Thank You.” Period. Any other ‘meaning’ you give it is your own. #thankyou

And it doesn’t stop at “Thank you.” You are making up all kinds of stories that are well, NOT TRUE and here are six of most common stories that actors make up that are truly killing your acting career! How many of these have you heard yourself saying?

1. “That casting director just doesn’t like me.” #nottrue

2. “I suck at auditions” #nottrue

3. “I didn’t really want to be in that show anyway.” #nottrue

4. “They can’t tell anything in only 8 bars” #nottrue

5. “That person behind the desk is probably just an intern.” #nottrue #gatekeeper

6. “I heard the role was already cast.” #nottrue #sometimesitis

Which stories have you been making up? Comment below.

Leslie Becker is an award-winning actress, writer and creator of The Organized Actor®. She is passionate about inspiring, entertaining and educating others and adding value to their lives as artists and people. Join her tribe for more tips for workin’ your acting career and your life.

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