Last Sunday my wife Alison and I binged a season of Junior Bake Off on Netflix.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s the kids version of the very popular Great British Bake Off. Each week contestants bake cakes, breads, biscuits, battle for the title of Star Baker and do their best not get sent home by the judges.
Watching these kids compete, all of them 10 – 14 years old, I was struck by their honesty. When they won Star Baker, their faces lit up in a huge grin. Every time someone got sent home, that contestant burst into tears. They weren’t worried about embarrassing themselves or making their fellow contestants jealous. They didn’t have a filter. They were deeply disappointed when they got sent home and giddy when they won.
Going back and watching the adult version of the show, those who get sent home nod their heads and shake their fellow contestants’ hands. When the adults win a challenge, they also nod their heads and shake their fellow contestants’ hands. It makes for much less interesting television.
Jr Bake Off is a fantastic reminder for actors that we must let go of the conditioning that teaches us to minimize our impulses and push down our feelings. Actors must be like the kids on Junior Bake Off – open, unfiltered, and committed to play.
Want to reconnect with your impulse to play? Check out our upcoming acting classes!