• By: Keith Whittier

Fake It Til You Make It: Perfecting Life’s Performances

Self-help books are sold on the promise that they can fill the gaps between who we are and who we want to be. Who are we really though, but actors?  If “all the world is a stage,” as Shakespeare famously wrote, then stage fright can be a real problem. This is why Dr. Richard R. Reichel is here to offer guidance in his book Everybody is an Actor.

“That key component [in this book] is the fact that we’re all actors — at work, school, home, even alone in front of the bathroom mirror.”

In addition to earning a doctorate in counselling psychology, Dr. Reichel has had a long and varied career in the film and TV industry.  He attests that the methods in Everybody is an Actor address what is often missing from other self-help books:

“Self-help strategies can work, as far as they go, but they don’t address a key component that affects everything from how we feel about ourselves to how successfully we interact with others.”

Nerves can often get in the way of our best performances, causing us to overthink and freeze up. This stress inhibits us from achieving our best, as Dr. Reichel explains:

“Stage fright undermines concentration and we lose our character objective,” he says. “Why do so many people cower in light of their dreams? Why do they procrastinate on getting their degree? Why do they tremble at the thought of approaching Mr. or Ms. Right? It’s because of stage fright.”

Dr. Reichel introduces his Psychophantic System in Everybody is an Actor, to help both film actors with their performances and everyone else cope with daily life. To combat stage fright, he offers tips such as taking a “mind walk” – thinking positively and focusing on that thought in times of stress. He also suggests the practice of projecting emotions in a social situation, by aiming to express an emotional reaction in the moment. Lastly, Dr. Reichel advises focusing on what you’re good at, and being aware of your vocal projection and body language.

While it is important to be true to yourself, it’s also worthwhile to acknowledge all the roles we play in our lives.

“We’re always playing the character of ‘Me,’ but we also have to play other characters,” added Dr. Reichel. “The better we are at it, the happier and more successful we’ll be.”

Everybody is an Actor is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1fRX2aQ