Do you want to stop procrastinating and get to live with confidence?
Do you want to learn how to set up your show and communicate effectively to your audience?
In this article, you’ll catch a glimpse of an interview I’ve had with David H. Lawrence XVII, where we talked about how to optimise your mindset and communication in order to increase your confidence in front of the camera.
David is an actor and has appeared on some of my favourite TV programmes including LOST and Heroes (where he played that creepy evil puppetmaster Eric Doyle). He also teaches voiceover and has created a best selling app for actors called Rehearsal Pro.
What You’ll Learn
[6:44] How Did David End Up On Heroes?
[14:06] How Did David Get Into Acting and Voiceover Work?
[17:36] How To Stop Procrastinating and Get Started...
[18:13] How Did David Get Into Live Video?
[26:18] What’s The Most Embarrassing Moment for David On Live Camera?
[42:55] Has David Got Any Other Camera Tips?
[50:19] What Apps Does David Recommend?
How Did David End Up On Heroes?
Listen at [13:04]
Working on heroes was life-changing for David who went to Los Angeles after around 35 years of doing radio.
He thought he would be cast in comedies but ended up landing the role of a creepy villain.
One of the things that almost scuppered David’s chances in television was his mindset:
"For years I knew that I would be the guy that would make good-looking actors look better, like the villain or the goofball."
It’s the same mindset that can get in the way when it comes to doing business or going live on camera.
"You think, well, why would anybody want to listen to me? It’s really easy to get wrapped up in your head about why you shouldn’t be doing something, and it’s one of the main things that keeps people from really stepping forward into their power and being able to do what they do on camera the way they would do things in real life."
Worrying about the way you look or sound on camera is a worry for so many people. But allowing yourself to be who you are is really important for creating an authentic and genuine presence on camera, and this allows you to connect with your audience.
How Did David Get Into Acting and Voiceover Work?
Listen at [27:48]
David certainly has a rich and resonant voice, and this has served him well in his teaching and voiceover work.
When David was young he would fall asleep with a radio under his pillow, and just fell in love with the whole notion of radio, and how it could be so effective in creating images in people's minds.
"I just look at myself as a pretty effective storyteller."
David ended up working in radio, which prepared him for a bigger stage and life on camera, and allowed him to hone the skills required.
How To Stop Procrastinating and Get Started...
Listen at [34:48]
One of the most important things to remember with live video (or anything really), is that you don’t need fancy things to get started. It’s easy to get sidetracked by perfectionism, and procrastinate instead of getting started.
Take live video for example, you don’t need a fancy microphone, or a backdrop. You just need some simple things to get started.
"People can go too far, they want to get all their pencils lined up properly and think they can’t do anything on camera unless they get a DSLR with a prime lens, or built-in lighting. And we let our fear of simply taking that first step stop us from taking that first step. And it's one of the biggest chasms that people have to cross."
You can really let perfection get in the way of getting things started.
How Did David Get Into Live Video?
Listen at [36:02]
David spoke at Social Media Marketing World for a few years in a row, which is where we met.
David was speaking about 'on-camera' things that actors do that people that do live video can do as well.
I think a lot of people are surprised when they realise that some of the technical things that actors do can easily be replicated on live video. @dhlawrencexviiClick To Tweet
"I think a lot of people are surprised when they realise that some of the technical things that actors do can easily be replicated on live video."
He honed his radio skills, and developed this before turning his hand to TV, and then teaching voiceover and live video.
What’s The Most Embarrassing Moment for David On Live Camera?
Listen at [52:12]
I love to find out what the most embarrassing moments on live TV, or video are for people, and what they’ve learned from those situations. I find that hardships usually help people evolve as performers.
"Early in my career I had a terrifically horrifying experience. I was on air, and there was an engineer crawling around underneath the console and they rendered my microphone off switch inoperable. I didn’t realise the mic was still on and said some curse words and everybody heard it."
So, what did he learn from it?
"You can’t change things once they’ve happened. And so it's really not worth the time and the trouble to worry about it. Just do better next time. Our jobs are a series of honing and refining and making things better, little by little."
You don’t become an expert overnight. You get there by a series of little steps and mistakes. And if you worry too much about little embarrassing moments, and worry about things not being perfect, then you’ll never get moving.
People love you for your amazing exuberance and your authentic self, they don’t care if you mess up. It shows our humanity.
Has David Got Any On-Camera Tips?
Listen at [25:26]
David is a font of knowledge, and he has loads of useful tips in terms of physicality and voice.
"With your voice, you don't need to push. What you need is a good microphone and a good placement of that microphone. You don't want to have to call out across the room to reach your microphone."
For me, getting my brain in the right focus is always something that I struggle with. Especially when I’m trying to look at comments, it makes me completely overwhelmed. David gave me some great advice:
When it comes to live shows, give yourself permission to not look at the camera when you’re looking at comments. A lot of people over connect with their audience by trying to connect with them. @dhlawrencexviiClick To Tweet
"Give yourself permission to not look at the camera when you are looking at comments. A lot of people over connect with their audience by trying to connect with them."
Whatever you do, it’s important to be authentic. Just be yourself.
What Apps Does David Recommend?
Listen at [40:14]
David used to have to learn his lines really quickly for last-minute auditions and wished there was an app for that. So he created one. And it’s the best selling app for actors to learn their lines, memorise their scenes and explore their characters. It’s called Rehearsal Pro.
David later developed Audio Cupcake, which is a beautifully simple way to master your audiobook narration and podcasts.
And, these are just apps that he wanted to use and would use if he weren’t selling them to the public.
This Episode's Sponsors
This episode is sponsored by Agorapulse and Launch Your Live
Watch Episode 106
Who is David H. Lawrence XVII?
David H. Lawrence XVII has appeared on LOST, How I Met Your Mother, The Mentalist, CSI and is best known as the creepy evil puppetmaster Eric Doyle on NBC's Heroes. Lawrence teaches voice over at VOHeroes.com, and he created the best-selling app for actors, Rehearsal® Pro.