Lawrence O'Connor, 26 January 2014

[email protected]

The report is in the following sections:

What is Authenticity?

Things that we have found that are helpful for developing it.

Things that we have found are challenging to developing it.


References from the session.

Participant details.

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is about us being open and available, moment-to-moment, to experience

and embrace our individual and common humanity. That means accepting and

embracing everything that is human without judgement or shame(farting was given as

an example).

We can follow the script that we have been living-to or we can choose to do otherwise.

My feelings tell me truthfully whether I or others are authentic or inauthentic.

We may not always be fully authentic but we can be mindful of when we are not and

do something about it.

We are all capable of bringing ourselves into authenticity, we may do this naturally but

we often need a practise and training to help us.

It is our relationship to ourselves, to everyone, to our work.

Things that we felt can help develop our sense/experience of authenticity:

Consciousness and mindfulness of our authenticity is the key!! We may feel

inauthentic but our awareness of it gives the opportunity to take the action required to

bring ourselves into authenticity.

* Know that it is okay to be ‘not good’ at what you do. One quote was the

recommendation from a trainer to ‘be bad, slowly, for a very long time’.

* Clown training (Gaullier) helped to develop courage to be vulnerable and to let go of

needing to be ‘good’.

* See ourselves as only the vessel through which our work is passing through.

* Finding ways to market ourselves authentically.

* Learn how to ‘take of the armour’ when you want/need to.

* NOT doing things only to please the director, producer, audience or others.

* Know that you can change/ignore labels whenever you want.

* Of any work (as audience or maker) or of any training ask:

“Is this helping me understand myself more deeply?”

Regular/daily training/practise to experience more authenticity in our work and

life and more connection to ourselves and others:

* Principles of Meisner Technique

- Helps find the common humanity and connection between the universal and the


* We discussed how our ‘life’ and our ‘work’ are the same thing but that it can be

helpful to decide that ‘I am not my artistic practise’.

* I am enough.

* When looking at fear of failure, ask if the consequences we are imagining are true.

* I am still valuable if I am inauthentic. There is no shame in it. I can be aware of it and

do something about it.

* Tools and techniques for clearing the obstacles to being as authentic as possible. (

this needs to be continual and is unending).


We need the support of our tribe/our community.

Things that we had experienced as being challenging to being authentic:

* The ‘damage’ of some drama school training that reinforces ideas of the need to

satisfy the ‘business’.

* A perceived pressure to be a ‘product’.

* a sense of conflict between the person and the business.

* Engaging with ‘the industry/the business’.

- the bracket that we are put into as artists

- we can be persona-typed e.g. by age or gender

- we are often considered as a single type.

* as a business strategy, this mono-typing is screwed. It doesn't best serve the artist

nor the business.

* Maintaining authenticity during a long long run.

* Comparing ourselves with others or ideas of how we ‘should be’ are not helpful in

developing authenticity.

* The tendency to be assigned/adopt label versus the need to feel free to change can

feel like it is not possible to survive in the industry as an individual, free to be

something other than a label.




I can be authentic in any circumstance, even in panto(!).

The session was an inspiring example of its topic: I discovered that there is a network

of us exploring what it is to be authentic in our lives and work. Very encouraged that

we found each other at #DandD9!

Questions not answered in the session:

* How do we market ourselves authentically?

* Kant: is it possible to have authenticity as an end in itself, rather than just a means,

in a society based on capitalism?

* Do we need to earn our living elsewhere so that money is not a factor in our work?

* Do we need to like our own work? Isn't it up to the value our audiences assign to it?

Not all views were necessarily held by all participants of the session.

Convened by:

Lawrence O'Connor (

[email protected]

M: 07947 236 435

I am involved in running training courses to work on living and working authentically for

which we are running a taster day on 16th February at Makebelieve Arts, London and

all are invited!

(DandD Reporter we have removed the list of e-mail addresses so that people don't

get spammed by the internet! You can contact the author of this report through the site

for more info)

Participants' references from the session:

Training for actors and creatives.

- New speech - social theatre project.

Joanna - ‘come for a walk and a chat on Brighton beach’

Kate Maravan - Meisner Training

David White on our unique space/journey.

Paul Oertel

Elizabeth Gilbert on dealing with pressure/expectation, exposing the cult of the

‘tortured artist’.

Brene Brown on vulnerability.

Martha Graham on how authenticity is our natural state.

Not all views were necessarily held by all participants of the session.

There are images of the mindmaps that were used to document the session which will

be uploaded at a later date (the network is very slow at the venue).


Training, technique, practises, meisner, authenticity, vulnerability, training

Comments: 1

Lawrence O'Connor, 17 March 2014

Click here for photos of our mindmaps from the session