Mark Westbrook's Actor's Guide to Overcoming Mental Interference

Even the best actors can struggle to convert audition opportunities in acting jobs. The 12 Obstacles, An Actor's Guide to Overcoming Mental Interference in Exceptional Performance, reveals how all of us are challenged by the mental interference of performing under pressure, because audition success requires more than just good acting and a bit of luck. 

Author, acting coach and performance psychology expert Mark Westbrook reveals the 12 most common obstacles that stand in the way of our best acting performances under pressure. Mark offers powerful tools for overcoming these obstacles, freeing your natural ability from the restraints of the Inner Critic. 

Mark Westbrook is one of the most outspoken acting coaches in the UK, his blog is regularly read by over 30,000 people. His clients include Oscar and BAFTA winners. He is the author of Truth in Action, a Manual of Common Sense for Actors. Every day Mark helps actors overcome their mental obstacles on their way to a more truthful and captivating performance.

Marks says: "We are masters of self-sabotage. t's my mission to help you overcome the mental obstacles that block the route to exceptional performance. In my eBOOK The 12 Obstacles, I'll introduce you to the 12 mental obstacles that you'll have to overcome to give every performance your best.  Then, I'll give suggestions about how to overcome them. And you can download it for free. So what's stopping you?"


Theatre performance and Performance Art with Marina Abramovic

One of the most important living artist, Marina Abramovic has been pushing boundaries and pioneering new form of performance art for over 40 years. In a recent interview for The Calvert Journal, she talks about her Method and the transformational power of performance art. 

If the Serbian artist did not invent performance art, she started experimenting with it in the late 1960w and has done more than anyone else to put performance on the art map by endlessly promoting the media over the last 40 years.

The Abramovic Method distills the artist's knowledge about performance. Particularly prevalent in theatre, she sees the very notion of 'method" as purely Slavic, in the tradition of theatre directors Stanislavsky, Grotowski or Kantor. Her method includes series of cleansing practices, carried out in three basic physical positions (lying down, sitting and standing), designed to slow down the activity of the audience and put us in the right mood to fully experience long-duration performance.

In her own words "Long-durational performance is very hard on the performer but the transformation he or she undergoes changes the public and their view on life itself. For a performance you have to be in the present. But during the performance your mind can go to different spaces, times, think about something else. If you have to count every second, how much time have you got for your mind to go somewhere else between one second and another? It requires huge willpower to be in the present constantly. By doing that you change your brain pattern. By changing your brain pattern, you change your intake of oxygen and you can create a completely different state of mind, which can actually affect your life."

Actors Need To Tour ‘To Keep Theatre Alive’

It is important that actors of all abilities, whether they have just graduated from a London acting school or are well established in their field, travel around the country with their production company to keep the popularity of theatre alive.

This is the opinion of Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, who said touring is vital to the industry.

“You don’t see younger stars touring the UK any more. It simply doesn’t happen. This is a problem for regional theatre and for drama audiences,” he stated.

The writer noted that the lack of willingness from actors to commit to travelling around the country is causing a huge problem, as touring will “ensure that the theatre industry continues to develop current and future audiences across the country”.

One travelling production that is sure to be a hit with theatre enthusiasts all over the UK is No Man’s Land, featuring Hollywood stars Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart.

The play was originally performed in 1975 and returns to the Wyndham’s Theatre in London after 41 years. It will run at the West End playhouse for 14 weeks from September 8th after going around the country beforehand.

Audiences in Sheffield will be the first to see the production when it opens on August 3rd at the Lyceum Theatre. After this, it will go to Newcastle, Brighton and Cardiff.

With such famous stars on its bill, you might forgive No Man’s Land for not touring the country, as it could easily pull in the crowds by staying in the West End alone.

However, Mr Smith notes McKellen and Stewart are such veteran actors that their generation will be used to touring with theatre shows, as this was the norm with theatre shows in years gone by.

3 TV Series To Watch This Year

There can be no denying that television has vastly improved over the last couple of years. These days, it’s no big surprise to see huge Hollywood stars appear in TV series and even TV ads where once they wouldn’t have even deigned to have appeared on the small screen. If you’re taking acting courses in London and want to be inspired this year, here are three of the best series to catch on a TV screen near you soon.

Lucky Man

It seems that superheroes just won’t quit at the moment. We’re looking forward to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming to the cinema this March, but to tide us over we’ll be watching Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky, the story of a detective who finds a magic bracelet that brings him good luck. He’ll have a fight on his hands thanks to the villain who wants to claim it for his own, however.

The Crown

If you loved a bit of Downton Abbey and have been missing it dreadfully, then you’ll need to check out The Crown, a historical drama that follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s out on Netflix so you’ll be able to watch it at your leisure. We’re sure it’ll inspire you all when you come to your next acting class!


This dramedy tells the tale of a hapless family working behind the scenes on a rock tour, the handiwork of one Cameron Crowe. It stars the likes of Luke Wilson and is produced by J J Abrams, so we think this one will prove to be a winner. Catch it on Showtime this summer.