The inability, or unwillingness, to examine oneself and what one has done, is the sign of a deep sense of personal worthlessness. Truthful reflection is impossible because if what one finds is not to one’s liking, then an existential catastrophe may ensue. In acting, this entails the actor who never compares what he was trying to do with what he actually did. So long as there are no disasters in the work, then this actor will continue to bumble along, keeping himself in blissful ignorance. And even if there is a disaster, he will put it down to a “bad experience” and move on, rather than reflecting on why the disaster happened and making the necessary improvements to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This actor is as an ostrich, with their head firmly buried in the sand.
Of course, this intentionally ignorant approach means that the actor’s growth will be stunted and they’ll expect their colleagues to pick up the slack. Further, this actor never truly enjoys their work because the fear is always lurking, the fear of coming face-to-face with oneself.
Great actors however, can get as anxious about their own incompetence as anyone else, but they understand that examining their work is essential to their development, especially if they want it to rise above the level of mediocrity. They possess the tools to conduct a rational analysis of what it is they are doing and employ these tools uncompromisingly. They cultivate a love of personal truth because they understand that it’s at the very core of what they do. They are not frightened to stare into their own soul to see what they might find.