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5 Amazing TED Talks For Actors

TED Talks are great ways to educate, motivate and inspire. The best part is you can listen to them at home while you wash the dishes or from your phone during your daily commute. Here are five TED Talks that are not only great in and of themselves but can also be applied to your acting career:

1. What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection: Jia Jiang

Rejection is part of any actor’s life. Even the best of the best still deal with rejection, and learning to cope is an ongoing and ever-evolving experience. That’s why Jia Jiang’s TED Talk about his 100-day rejection challenge is perfect for every actor.

In this entertaining and enlightening talk, Jiang discusses how to turn rejections into opportunities through a 100-day rejection challenge where he does everything from asking strangers for money to asking for burger refills. His experiences will leave you with a new and profound respect for what it means to be rejected and how to turn those rejections into opportunities for growth.

2. Keep Your Goals to Yourself: Derek Sivers

Actors are constantly creating new goals for themselves. Whether it’s getting a new agent, producing a play or adding new songs to your repertoire, there’s always new ways to push yourself. In this podcast, Derek Sivers talks about the importance of keeping your goals to yourself in order for them to actually become a reality.

3. My Journey from Marine to Actor: Adam Driver

Need some inspiration? In this heartfelt TED Talk, Adam Driver tells his story of going from flailing actor to joining the Marines to re-entering the acting world. He shares his difficult journey from soldier to civilian while describing the unique similarities between the theatre world and the military world. It’s through these experiences that he was led to begin his nonprofit, Arts in the Armed Forces, which brings theatre to the military.

4. Why Women Should Tell the Stories of Humanity: Jude Kelly

In this extremely well-articulated talk, theatre director Jude Kelly discusses the importance of women’s voices in storytelling and art. She rallies artists of all kinds to see the world in a more gender-neutral light. Regardless of whether you are an actor, director, set designer or even an accountant, you should hear this talk.

5. 8 Secrets to Success: Richard St. John

In this lightning-fast TED Talk, analyst Richard St. John teaches the eight most important things that lead to success. Is your acting career on the road to success? Is it all luck? Or is there something more to it than that? If you have three minutes, use this TED Talk to find out.

Want more actor-friendly talks? Check out “Talks for Theatre Geeks,” a nine-talk playlist assembled by TED.

Written by Lisa Kay Jennings

Lisa is a voice over actress and writer with her B.F.A in Acting from Wright State University. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and when she's not writing or performing she's usually drinking wine and dressing up her Shih Tzu in funny outfits.

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