Mario Campanaro

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When Acting No Longer Becomes Complicated…

Transcript of Video

“I think one of the biggest obstacles actors face…

Is this idea that they are not enough…

That who they are…

Are the core level…

Is not enough…

To bring to the material that at hand…

And so that is when acting no longer becomes fun…

That’s when acting becomes complicated…

That’s when acting becomes really heavy…

And stiff…

And there’s like this paralysis in the space…

Because they are trying to fit themselves into this idea approach…

Of what they think is suppose to be revealed…

In regards to the circumstances…

And what’s missing…

Is we’re looking for you to reveal yourself in those circumstances…

We’re looking for you to bring the accumulation of your life experiences…

And put them in these circumstances…

And see what happens…

And it’s when we get away from the idea…

And the blueprint…

Of how we think things are suppose to go…

And what we are suppose to be

That we start to experience this exhalation in the work…

We start to experience this freedom in the work…

We start to experience fun in the work…

Because we then allow ourselves to ride the rollercoaster of the scene…

Because we are not shackled by ideas…

We’re running free…

By using ourself as the instrument…

And seeing where it goes…

In those circumstances…

And when we allow ourselves to really own who we are…

Acting no longer becomes complicated…

It makes sense…

Things make sense…

It becomes easy…

It becomes fun…

It becomes free…

So I think the more we escape…

From the idea of what we think we are supposed to be…

And own who we are…

The more our work becomes this alive thing…

That we get to witness…

And it’s beautiful…

Because we see this human being…

Having a real experience…

In a public way…

It’s kinda cool!”

 

 


Imperfection Is Pretty F#(%ing Interesting….

Transcript Of Video:

“I think one of the most crucial things any actor can do…

It’s probably one of the most important things an actor can do…

Is really come to terms…

And endow their own humanity…

And what I mean by that is…

Giving themselves a break to understand that they are not perfect…

And they don’t have to be perfect…

That they are allowed to not have it together all the time…

That they are allowed to be messy sometimes…

That they are allowed to not look like they are on the cover of Vogue…

Or GQ…

That is OK for them to have uncomfortable feelings sometimes…

That it’s OK for them to fumble…

Or fall down…

Or even fail sometimes…

I think we get so brainwashed by…

Especially social media…

That we are supposed to be a certain way…

We are supposed to look a certain way…

We are supposed to be so perfect…

We are supposed to be literally Face Tuned…

And Life Tuned…

To God know what…

That it actually affects us as artists…

Because it basically says that:

‘We need to live in our artificiality to do the work that we are supposed to be doing.’…

And the truth of the matter is…

The real work is going to be coming from our authenticity…

And our authenticity is that…

We are perfectly imperfect

And we are imperfectly perfect

By being who we are…

And I think that when we do that as actors…

We really start to give ourselves permission…

To really be

And own

Who we are…

And there is a sense of Self that we bring to the work…

That actually brings our work alive more than we could have ever imagined…

This is why I always encourage everyone I am working with…

To just go to a coffee shop…

Go to a grocery store…

Go to a restaurant…

And just look at people…

Look at their interactions

Look at the way they relate to other people…

Look at the way they relate to themselves when they are by themselves…

Nobody has it ‘together’…

And nobody is ‘perfect’…

We all have ‘quirks’…

But that makes us beautiful

That is what makes us human

That is what makes us interesting to watch…

That is what makes stories interesting…

It’s that…

We are all observing king of this dynamic…

That brings us all together…

In our imperfections…

And brings us together…

By knowing, like…

‘Oh! Man! You don’t have it together?…

I don’t have it together…

Your story is interesting…

How do you try to get it together?…

Because this is my story…

And this is how I try to get it together.”.


The Magic Of The Word “No”…

Transcript Of Video:

“That word ‘No’ shows itself as rejection…

Or a myriad of other things that asks us as artists to question our self-esteem…

And our worth…

In regards to what we are doing…

And us as instruments…

And the quality of our work…

And I think it is important because that word ‘No‘ becomes an amazing exercise in mirror work…

Because that word asks us to look at if we allow ourselves to crumble in the face of that word ‘No‘…

Or if we are able to persevere when we are confronted with that word ‘No‘…

That word ‘No‘ can really touch upon and trigger these things within us that we don’t know are there…

That unconsciously take us to a place that literally brings us down…

And so when we look at that we are able to say:

‘Ok, this is what the external world is telling me…

But you know what?…

What’s in my heart is more important…

And the belief I have in myself is stronger than what that external world is telling me right now.’

So it actually allows us to strengthen our will…

It allows us to strengthen our perseverance…

It allows us to strengthen our belief in ourself…

And that inner knowing to say:

‘Yes, I should be doing what I’m doing…

And that I believe in what I am doing…

And that I am going to continue to do what I am doing…

Despite all this rejection.’

Because honestly, the rejection has nothing to do with you…

What it really says, in my opinion, is that:

‘This puzzle piece doesn’t fit your puzzle piece at this time…

But there is a puzzle piece out there…

That does fit your puzzle piece.’

So you keep going…

Until you find that puzzle piece…

And something clicks…

And then you know…

You know what?

‘It was worth me going on this journey…

And I’m going to continue to do it…

And I’m going to continue to find all those puzzle pieces…

That put this grand picture of my life together.’

That’s where that word ‘No‘ becomes magic!”


VoyageLA: LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

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Click Here To Read The Full VoyageLA Feature!
It was wonderful to be able to sit down and get up close and personal about my journey and that of MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass in an interview for
VoyageLA’s Feature Article:

LA’s Most Inspiring Stories!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mario Campanaro.

Mario, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I guess it all started as a child. I had never really felt like I fit in anywhere. I always felt different somehow from those in my area except for a select few that were also known around town as the “oddballs.”

So naturally, we found each other. But as a young child, I did not really have the tools to understand what that was all about. So I instinctually retreated a lot and found solace in building a creative world in which I found some freedom, solitude, and belonging to whatever it was that I was exploring at the time. That world often existed in my parents’ basement in which I would create elaborate worlds, build sets out of large pieces of construction paper, cardboard, and odds and ends I would find throughout the house. I would sing my heart out down there and write scripts which often dealt with some kind of “strife.”
When I think about it now, I have to chuckle a bit. I mean, what did I know about suffering at the age of eight? But there was something within me that yearned to understand why others experienced suffering and how to find one’s freedom from suffering. I remember the first script I wrote at that age was called “The Beast and The Servant”. It was about these two extremely different beings that went through all these “trials and tribulations” to try to reconcile their differences only to find out at the end of the 15-page script, that it was a little boy looking in the mirror the whole time.
Around that time, I ended up finding out that my best friend had been cast as one of the two child roles in a professional production of South Pacific. Though I have always known what a play was and did little plays in my basement, I had never seen a professional production. I guess you can say that I knew theater existed, but I had no idea what theater actually was or was capable of creating. Long story short, he ended up getting house seats one evening, and his mom took me to see it. I actually get tears in my eyes thinking about it now because that night forever changed my life. The second I sat in that beautiful theater, the lights went to black, the orchestra started, and the stage lights illuminated and I, for the first time, felt like I was home.
It was like all those “things” that I was doing in my basement and trying to make sense of finally made sense. The creative part and the understanding about people part. From that moment on, I never looked back. It was like a laser focus love affair with the theater, acting, and art. From there, I started to immerse myself in everything I could about acting and the theater. I became obsessed with Broadway. And I begged my parents to allow me to start auditioning. And I auditioned for everything I possibly could. Ironically enough, I ended up booking a role at the same theater my friend worked at about a year later, and the rest was history.
As a child actor, I got away with a lot of bad habits in my work. So it was clear that in order to have a long-standing career, I needed to know what I was doing. Once high school was over, I started to audition for professional actor training programs at some of the most prestigious conservatories in the country. I finally chose to go to North Carolina School of The Arts for three reasons. First, the program was impeccable and consisted of an international legendary faculty that was wholeheartedly committed to teaching the craft of acting. Second, it was in the middle of nowhere so there would be absolutely no distractions. There was literally no choice but to focus on the work and that is why everyone who attended this conservatory was there. It was all about the work.
And third, they only accepted a small ensemble each year giving us all individual attention and amazing opportunities during our training and there after. Following my training, my school offered a consortium, and I ended up in NYC and signed with my theatrical, commercial, and modeling reps. From there, I was fortunate to have had the opportunities to work in noted productions on and off Broadway, on television and film, as well as doing numerous campaigns and commercials. Then one fine evening, I finished the curtain call for a show that I was in at the time and headed to meet up with some friends for a nightcap. It was then that my life changed again.
One of them worked in the admin department of a pretty well-known studio in the city and asked me if I ever thought of teaching acting. We discussed my process, approach, and how I personally worked. Next thing I knew, I was offered a job teaching acting. Looking back now, though I was confident in what I was doing for myself as an actor at 23, I probably had no right to teach at that age. I was still trying to implement what I learned in my training and continue to refine my craft and make it my own without it being some formula or heady equation. I was still learning to allow my craft to bring me fully alive to the truth within the work. With that said, I accepted anyway and started teaching when I was not doing the show. The rest is history. I fell in love all over again.
I began working with actors of all ages and from all over the globe teaching craft while also implementing some of my intuitive abilities to help those experiencing obstacles in their life and work connect and transmute the components contributing to those circumstances.
Eighteen years later, I continue to increasingly become more and more passionate about teaching and focus my teaching approach so that actors know that there is not THE way to get there! But there is A way. And that way is the way that resonates and stimulates with the actor’s instrument to do honest, exciting, sophisticated, and unpredictable work in relation to the circumstances at hand. This is a craft that never fails the actor. It always has the actor’s back. It supports the actor in his or her knowing so he or she can experience that sweet spot of freedom within the unknown of the moment.
In my opinion, that is the craft the actor wants to cultivate. That is the craft an actor wants in his or her toolbox. That is the craft that keeps the actor in love with the glorious art form of acting. After two amazing decades in NYC, I moved to Los Angeles where I created Mario Campanaro For The Actor and MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass and continue to teach, coach, and guide actors from all over the globe.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
You know, it’s really interesting. I am looking at this question, and I have no idea where to begin to answer it. It actually brings up a lot of feelings for me as I contemplate all the things that I have had to endure to get to where I am at this moment in time. Sometimes we forget all that we have been through because we are taught just to forge ahead. But sometimes, it is really important to remember not so much to wear all those things as a badge of honor, but to remind oneself in the midst of tough times that you do have what it takes to get through it all so you can keep moving forward. And I would not have changed any of it for the world. It made me who I am. It all made me extremely strong as well as extremely sensitive.
All those obstacles, all those hard and treacherous times have actually been the stepping stones to where I am today. They have formulated the way I teach and the way work with all my actors/artists/students/clients. Those circumstances have blessed me with the compassion, insight, wisdom, and understanding of the human condition in a way that I would not be able to had I not been through those tough times. So I guess the answer to the question is a definitive no. It has definitely not been a smooth road. Does anything worthwhile ever come easy? We all go through seasons in our life that come with some pretty difficult trials and tribulations. It is something that connects all of us. I mean aren’t we all trying to improve our lives moment to moment to experience peace, love, happiness, joy, success, etc. I know I am.
And I also know every story ever written is about a human being trying to overcome obstacles to achieve those things. For me, the rough road was not so much coming from the professional side of things. I was pretty fortunate in that regard. I worked hard, made myself accountable, and things paid off. But it was more personal. And as an artist, you are your instrument, so it was stuff that had to be dealt with eventually. As I described, at a young age I really struggled with who I was. Looking back now, it is strange that I would be asking those questions of myself at such a young age. But I did. It was in the cards I guess. It was a necessary part of my path. And it was hard because I felt so alien to the rest of the world. I felt like I did not fit or belong to anything or anywhere until I found the theater.
I also had certain gifts that I did not understand which made things even more difficult because I really did not have a mentor at that time that helped me understand what those gifts were or how to harness them to as not completely deplete myself. I also was aware that I was gay at a very young age, so it really messed with my self-esteem and caused a lot of unwarranted self-hatred, guilt, and shame. I was not aware of many others “like me” at a young age. I wasn’t sure I really understood what it was. So I always thought there was something very wrong with me until I woke the hell up one day at the age of 16 with the help of a really special director I was working with. She cared about me. She saw me. She really believed in me. She saw this internal conflict waging war within me. She helped me get through some really tough times. She introduced me to other artists who I could trust and was finally able to come out to and be myself. It was like taking a first breath. I will never forget that kind of love and support. I will always have so much gratitude in my heart.
But all that hell of guilt, shame, and self-hatred allowed me to understand its opposite and also to understand others. To see it in others. And to be a source of support for those going through any circumstance that may make one feel those lower energies.
The icing on the cake was in my early thirties, I ended up developing this mystery chronic illness in which I almost lost my life. It caused me to taste every single symptom one could imagine. Physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. I used everything that I had within me and went all over the globe to find answers, a way to conquer this “thing” that was trying to take me out. Sometimes I did some pretty crazy treatments, but I deeply wanted to stay here. I had too much to do on this earth and wanted to make a difference.
I lost A LOT of things along the way because of it. But I also gained that much more. It helped me understand life more. It helped me appreciate life more. It helped me understand others so much more. I not only witnessed and experienced my own suffering but was in the company of so many others suffering inexplicably. It opened me. It opened my heart. It helped me taste many aspects of life that many of us try to push away or pretend as if they don’t exist. And it’s crazy because the whole time I have been on the healing journey, I never stopped working. It was my work that fueled me to fight harder and try to win the battle. And everything that I have learned along this journey, however difficult, has been the key components to my work and having the ability to bring out the very best in all the artists I work with. It just gave me a more profound vocabulary of the human condition which is invaluable when it comes to the world of acting.
Please tell us about Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass.
MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass is a really special class that has been created to specifically to serve the actor and his or her needs when it comes to learning the craft of acting in a tangible, exciting, usable, stimulating, trustworthy, and very human way. The class is about exercising the actor’s instrument. It is about going to the gym, artistically speaking. It is not a class about having the pressure to perform for an audience, or about necessarily getting the job or being perfect. It is there for the actor, as a safe space to get messy, to get specific, to struggle when he or she needs to struggle within the work, to celebrate diving into obstacles/blocks equally as celebrating breakthroughs/successes, and most importantly to CULTIVATE CRAFT!
It is about exploring and telling all the stories about the human condition in all its grit and glory. It is about doing the work without judgment so the actor can continue to learn, grow and expand as an artist. I know I said it earlier, but I really believe it is worth repeating. I truly believe, and I have seen its magic in the work with those I work with, that “There is not THE way to get there! But there is A way. And that way is the way that resonates and stimulates with the actor’s instrument to do honest, exciting, sophisticated, and unpredictable work in relation to the circumstances at hand. It is about learning and being able to use a craft that never fails the actor. It always has the actor’s back. It supports the actor in the knowing and therefore in his or her freedom within the unknown of the moment. That is the craft an actor wants and needs to cultivate. That is the craft the actor wants to continue to work with! That is the craft that will sustain the actor throughout his or her entire career.”
Each class has been structured with a select group of committed actors working at a congruent skill level. I think it is really important to make sure that all those in each ensemble are working at somewhat of a congruent skill level to keep the momentum of that specific class moving forward in a challenging yet supportive environment. I also believe it to be of the utmost importance that the group of actors come together to form an ensemble in which everyone feels safe to explore the full spectrum of the human condition. Many who are already part of the MC² ensemble have studied with me in class and/or privately either in NYC or LA and know that the class requires a high level of quality, commitment, accountability, respect, and of course professionalism when it comes to the work.
My number one goal at MC² is to teach and support the actor in cultivating a craft that works very specifically for him or her. The class is structured with a conservatory like feel in which each class’ ensemble comes together weekly to wholeheartedly exercise, stretch, and strengthen his or her instrument and craft in order to explore the full range of the human condition that the actor’s work demands. For each class, I pair each actor for scenes and then each group is held responsible for choosing material that excites and challenges their instrument to work on in class. Each group is required to do the necessary work on each scene, i.e. text analysis, making strong choices, and all the necessary steps an actor must implement to bring the text alive.
Actors then rehearse their scene with their partner(s) sometime(s) in the week before getting up into the space. It is not required for scenes to necessarily be completely off-book (though it naturally happens) but each actor should be familiar enough with the text to be off the page as to allow for the necessary connection with their partner, to go after needs, and the ability to respond instinctually. It is an amazing class environment full of inspiration, celebration, and appreciation for actors and the craft of acting.
Mario Campanaro For The Actor, on the other hand, has been created to give actors the option to work one on one with me. Whether it be for an audition, film, television, or theatrical production, each session is individually crafted to serve the actor in cultivating his or her craft and to profoundly resonate with the material at hand in order to live instinctually, honestly, and authentically moment to moment.
The full services for the private sessions include:
▫️In-Person Off Cam Coaching Session
▫️In-Person On Cam Coaching Session
▫️One On One Audition Prep Coaching Session
▫️Individual Craft Cultivation Coaching Session
▫️On Set Coaching Session
▫️Remote Skype Coaching Session
▫️Voice Over Coaching and Recording Session
▫️Remote Artist’s Life Coaching Session
▫️Remote Life Coaching Session
▫️Remote Spiritual Life Coaching Session
★ On- Camera lighting and equipment are available for all self-tape auditions.
★ Skype coaching is available and very convenient for out of state clients and for last minute auditions!
★ All Artist Life Coaching sessions are done remotely by phone.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I do not even need to hesitate when I answer this…It would definitely be the first time I stepped foot in that theater and knew I was home.
Contact Info:

The Approach…

Transcript Of Video:

“My approach of working with actors…

I don’t believe that there is THE way to get there in the work.

I believe that there is A way…

And that way is really about what resonates and stimulates the actor to do…

And continue to do…

Unpredictable, exciting, truthful, authentic, honest work in relation to the written material or the circumstances that are at hand.

I think when we start to hone in on just one way…

It does us a disservice as actors because…

It really locks us into thinking that if ‘this way’ doesn’t work…

Then we are not good at what we do.

And that’s not true.

I think it is with any kind of art form…

We find what works for us…

And what we can rely on…

And what has our back…

And we continue to use that…

And cultivate that…

To create a toolbox…

And a support system…

For an art form that we love.

And that’s really what my objective…

And my spine of this entire studio is about.

It’s there to serve the actor individually.

And to continue to allow the actor to expand…

And grow…

And exercise…

And challenge their instrument to explore the entire color wheel of the human condition…

In a really safe and challenging environment.

I think that’s what makes us unique…

Because it does take all these approaches…

And gives the actor an opportunity to exercise…

And experiment with those approaches…

To see what really resonates and works for him or her…

And I think its a really inspiring environment to do that…

Because you see how different we all are…

With a common goal of revealing the truth…

Of this ‘pretend’ world…

And really about bringing this ‘pretend’ world alive…

With this ultimate truth…

That we call ‘acting’.”

 


Why Acting Is Not For The Faint Of Heart…

Transcript Of Video:

“No…

I don’t think acting is about pretending…

I think acting is about just the opposite of that…

I think acting asks of us…

To look at the human condition…

In a way that does not allow for a pretty little filter…

To be put upon what life really holds.

Life really holds a series of struggles…

A series of trials and tribulations…

And for many people…

A lot of suffering.

And I think as an actor we have to really look at that with a magnifying glass…

And then find that within us…

In order to reveal it.

And that’s not for the faint of heart…

That takes a lot of will…

That takes a lot of strength…

That takes a lot of courage…

And that takes a lot of self-introspection…

In order to find that within oneself…

And then have the strength…

And the bravery…

To actually reveal that…

Without filter…

In all its messiness…

In all its grit and glory…

And the beauty of that…

Is that when you have this type of art form…

It gives the possibility…

That someone witnessing that art form…

Will…

Or can be…

Changed.

That transformation can happen for another…

Individually…

And collectively.

To be able to have someone witness your experience…

Can actually validate your experience…

In that it allows you to know that…

You’re not alone going on this journey we call ‘Life’…

And the beauty of acting…

Is that’s what we’re doing all the time…

We’re telling stories of human beings…

Going through struggles…

Going through strife…

And then saying…

‘Hey Listen…

This is what WE go through…

And you’re not alone!’

And then the hope of that is…

Somehow by witnessing that from an audience approach/perspective…

Some kind of healing will happen…

Or at least an awakening…

So acting…

Not only becomes this amazing beautiful art form…

But it also becomes this amazing beautiful service…

To humanity…

And mankind as a whole.”

 

 


Making $#!+ Happen!

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If you are not willing to do the work…

Guess what?

There is someone out there who most certainly is.

As harsh as that may seem, it is absolutely true!

And as artists, this is true x 1000%.

In an industry where there are countless artists pursuing creative paths, you better believe that you have to fully show up to the plate if you expect to break in and break through.

It is the difference between an idea and a dream.

It is the difference between a hobby and a career.

An idea and a hobby are great but there is no personal risk factor if it does not happen.

In other words, your insides are not going to be tied up in knots and you are not going to lose sleep if it does not happen for you.

It is very c’est la vie.

When we get into dreams and a career, it matters.

You better believe it matters!

You want it.

You yearn for it.

You eat, drink and sleep it.

And if it is not happening, it most likely hurts.

It can even break your heart in its absence!

It means something to you in ways that make no sense other than your soul simply craves it.

But having dreams can only take you as far as you are willing to put in the work to make those dreams materialize.

Otherwise, they are just sitting there playing around in some imaginative part of your brain pressing upon that button that makes you hope and wish for that special something that it is going to magically make those dreams actualize before your very eyes.

But it does not work that way!

The common denominator with those fulfilling their dreams is that they work their asses off to make it happen.

When I think of all my students and clients out there that are having great successes, I can tell you first hand how much work and sacrifice they have put into the work they so profoundly love.

And once they are actually doing the work they love, they are working their asses off to make sure that the quality of work they are putting out there is congruent with all the work they did to actually make it all happen.

You have to do the work to make it happen!

And let’s be honest…

There are no days off if nothing is happening.

Even if it is one small thing everyday towards your goals…

Do it!

Do not wait until tomorrow!

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Many small things add up miraculously to become huge breakthroughs.

Sometimes this means making healthy and productive sacrifices along the way to make your dreams happen.

But no one is going to do the work for you.

These are your dreams and you have to be accountable for putting in all the necessary components…

And that includes the work.

If you want to experience a reality that allows you to do what you always dreamt of doing, you have to make it not just a dream.

You need to get yourself together and start getting in there and getting your hands dirty making the path to the destination.

First, you need the passion.

That passion is the thing that drives you forward no matter how many obstacles appear along the way.

And the majority of the time, there will be obstacles.

But it is that passion that keeps your eye on the prize and reminds you of the intention of what you are going after.

And that passion is necessary because it reiterates that whatever you are going after is alive and burning beautifully in your soul.

It is that passion that allows you to meet those obstacles eye to eye, learning from them, and then using them towards your goal.

Next, you need a fire in your belly that excites you and uses your creative resources to actually start creating.

That very fire gets things out of your head and into tangible reality.

It is that fire that allows you to experiment, to fall down, to make mistakes, and to learn what is useful and what is not along the path to making it all happen.

Then there is inspiration.

You need to be inspired to keep those creative juices flowing in your Spirit to want to continue to artistically explore and implement action towards your goals.

And if you are lacking inspiration…

Go seek it out!

Open your eyes…

And your ears…

And your heart!

Walk outside and just witness the splendor in everything around you.

There is a story in everything.

And this includes things you may have thought are just meaningless objects.

Allow Life to feed your soul so you can feed your creative path.

And then there is the discipline.

You need some kind of personal discipline to hold youself accountable for not allowing the momentum of what you are going after to slip through the cracks.

That discipline is a practice, just like any other practice, that keeps you productive and moving forward.

It keeps you learning.

It keeps you growing.

It keeps you trying.

It keeps your experimenting.

It keeps you expanding.

It keeps you active.

And it keeps you productive.

Finally, and most importantly, the work has to be fun.

The second you allow the fun to dissolve…

The second the enjoyment goes out the window…

It is no longer a dream…

It becomes a burden.

And that burden dampens the passion…

It smothers the fire…

It turns out the lights on inspiration.

And it turns productive discipline into a boring and unwilling obligation.

And then all is lost.

Keep it fun and remind yourself of why you chose your creative path to begin with.

So with all that said…

What are you waiting for?

Hold yourself accountable for the realization of your dreams.

Be the one that goes to work for you because you want it and you know it is possible.

Be the CEO of your own Life and continue to grow, learn, expand and evolve.

And if you are becoming aware that any of the above components are missing, you gotta change things up so you can make $#!+ happen!

You have to be your own grand manifester.

By the nature of who we are as artists, we are already creative beings which means we already have that manifestation gene within us.

We have to utilize it if we expect$#!+ to happen.

Be the one that makes it happen for you and then experience the bliss of our dreams as your reality!


Making $#!+ Happen!

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If you are not willing to do the work…

Guess what?

There is someone out there who most certainly is.

As harsh as that may seem, it is absolutely true!

And as artists, this is true x 1000%.

In an industry where there are countless artists pursuing creative paths, you better believe that you have to fully show up to the plate if you expect to break in and break through.

It is the difference between an idea and a dream.

It is the difference between a hobby and a career.

An idea and a hobby are great but there is no personal risk factor if it does not happen.

In other words, your insides are not going to be tied up in knots and you are not going to lose sleep if it does not happen for you.

It is very c’est la vie.

When we get into dreams and a career, it matters.

You better believe it matters!

You want it.

You yearn for it.

You eat, drink and sleep it.

And if it is not happening, it most likely hurts.

It can even break your heart in its absence!

It means something to you in ways that make no sense other than your soul simply craves it.

But having dreams can only take you as far as you are willing to put in the work to make those dreams materialize.

Otherwise, they are just sitting there playing around in some imaginative part of your brain pressing upon that button that makes you hope and wish for that special something that it is going to magically make those dreams actualize before your very eyes.

But it does not work that way!

The common denominator with those fulfilling their dreams is that they work their asses off to make it happen.

When I think of all my students and clients out there that are having great successes, I can tell you first hand how much work and sacrifice they have put into the work they so profoundly love.

And once they are actually doing the work they love, they are working their asses off to make sure that the quality of work they are putting out there is congruent with all the work they did to actually make it all happen.

You have to do the work to make it happen!

And let’s be honest…

There are no days off if nothing is happening.

Even if it is one small thing everyday towards your goals…

Do it!

Do not wait until tomorrow!

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Many small things add up miraculously to become huge breakthroughs.

Sometimes this means making healthy and productive sacrifices along the way to make your dreams happen.

But no one is going to do the work for you.

These are your dreams and you have to be accountable for putting in all the necessary components…

And that includes the work.

If you want to experience a reality that allows you to do what you always dreamt of doing, you have to make it not just a dream.

You need to get yourself together and start getting in there and getting your hands dirty making the path to the destination.

First, you need the passion.

That passion is the thing that drives you forward no matter how many obstacles appear along the way.

And the majority of the time, there will be obstacles.

But it is that passion that keeps your eye on the prize and reminds you of the intention of what you are going after.

And that passion is necessary because it reiterates that whatever you are going after is alive and burning beautifully in your soul.

It is that passion that allows you to meet those obstacles eye to eye, learning from them, and then using them towards your goal.

Next, you need a fire in your belly that excites you and uses your creative resources to actually start creating.

That very fire gets things out of your head and into tangible reality.

It is that fire that allows you to experiment, to fall down, to make mistakes, and to learn what is useful and what is not along the path to making it all happen.

Then there is inspiration.

You need to be inspired to keep those creative juices flowing in your Spirit to want to continue to artistically explore and implement action towards your goals.

And if you are lacking inspiration…

Go seek it out!

Open your eyes…

And your ears…

And your heart!

Walk outside and just witness the splendor in everything around you.

There is a story in everything.

And this includes things you may have thought are just meaningless objects.

Allow Life to feed your soul so you can feed your creative path.

And then there is the discipline.

You need some kind of personal discipline to hold youself accountable for not allowing the momentum of what you are going after to slip through the cracks.

That discipline is a practice, just like any other practice, that keeps you productive and moving forward.

It keeps you learning.

It keeps you growing.

It keeps you trying.

It keeps your experimenting.

It keeps you expanding.

It keeps you active.

And it keeps you productive.

Finally, and most importantly, the work has to be fun.

The second you allow the fun to dissolve…

The second the enjoyment goes out the window…

It is no longer a dream…

It becomes a burden.

And that burden dampens the passion…

It smothers the fire…

It turns out the lights on inspiration.

And it turns productive discipline into a boring and unwilling obligation.

And then all is lost.

Keep it fun and remind yourself of why you chose your creative path to begin with.

So with all that said…

What are you waiting for?

Hold yourself accountable for the realization of your dreams.

Be the one that goes to work for you because you want it and you know it is possible.

Be the CEO of your own Life and continue to grow, learn, expand and evolve.

And if you are becoming aware that any of the above components are missing, you gotta change things up so you can make $#!+ happen!

You have to be your own grand manifester.

By the nature of who we are as artists, we are already creative beings which means we already have that manifestation gene within us.

We have to utilize it if we expect$#!+ to happen.

Be the one that makes it happen for you and then experience the bliss of our dreams as your reality!


Your Fight Song

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There is a question that comes up time and time again.

“Why do we talk and explore so much about suffering in the work?”

It is a great question and one that deserves an explanation that makes sense and can actually be applied to our process.

To not answer this question does the actor, the artist, the human being a great disservice.

And in my opinion, not addressing this question misleads the actor or any artist as to what he or she needs to do and viscerally understand in order to bring a profound level of truth to the work…

And actually, understand what the journey is all about.

To go a step further, it is a useful question for any human being to explore if there is a willingness.

This kind of questioning is not for the faint of heart as it asks us to look at people, places and experiences that cause discomfort.

This kind of questioning awakens us from our potential sleepwalking and allows us to have an awareness/higher consciousness of the human experience.

You see, we can want share and reveal peace and love through our work…

But you must understand that that objective is a result of the work.

That is an admirable and beautiful way of approaching any kind of art form.

But the truth of the matter is the real work is about understanding human beings striving and overcoming countless obstacles (at every moment actually)  in order to experience peace and love.

In my 41 years of being on this Earth, I have yet to meet a single human being that has not experienced suffering in one way or another.

And I have yet to come into contact with any human being that is not trying to improve his or her present situation or reality in one way or another.

It is one thing that we all have in common, besides biologically what we are made of, that cannot be contested.

And it sure as hell is the one thing that drives every single story that has ever been written.

Humans GO THROUGH A LOT…

And to deny that is to deny the truth of the human condition.

Even monks who meditate and are at “peace” are at “peace” because they work on it through meditation constantly with the attempt for the peace to not be disturbed so they can maintain their peace.

From the moment we are born we are brought into a series of sufferings and wants.

Think about it…

We go from the comfort of our mom’s womb where everything is done for us and we travel out of a birth canal into the complete uncertainty and unknown of Life.

Now, I do not remember for sure, but I can assume that that journey is not like a fun little slide at the kiddie park.

The closest thing I can imagine it being like is white water rafting down some pretty active body of water.

We come out of that safe space with our peace disturbed and now wanting…

Wanting air…

Wanting warmth…

Wanting to shield from this new thing called brightness…

Wanting food…

And at that moment I can imagine we probably want to go back to where we just came from.

But here we are…

And we cry as an action to somehow someway get some help…

To make things better.

Why do I use this as an example in class all the time?

Because it is a straightforward example that we are born into trials and tribulations and it will be part of our human journey until we go onto the next unknown.

(and we can only hope that that next journey will be at the very least, a bit easier)

We innately know from birth that we need to do some kind of action to achieve and experience some kind of improvement.

As you read this now, I am sure something comes to mind.

And if something does not, consider where that something may be resting or even hiding in your consciousness as the actual action to improve your present circumstances.

Some may make choices or take actions that are “healthy” to improve their circumstances.

And some may end up choosing other options that are considered “unhealthy” in an attempt to improve their circumstances.

But in both cases, any given human’s main objective to is somehow someway “make things better” through what they have and what they know up to that point in his or her life.

To improve their reality.

Some have had slight moments of hardship.

And then there are others that have experienced profound and often unmentionable trials and tribulations. ​

But we all do our best to overcome.

We all have our fight song that we discover through our experiences that take us moment to moment to try to transform our reality so we can indeed experience peace and love.

Even if it is just a little bit at a time.

So take the time to understand a character’s fight song that gets them through their journey.

And take the time, if you have yet to do so, to discover or become aware of your own fight song that gets you through your own difficult times.

What motivates you to keep going?

What encourages you to keep going?

What brings you solace so you can keep going?

What is your slogan to remind you to keep going?

What helps you when nothing else seems to, to keep going?

If you understand this in your Life, you will understand this in the work and it will not seem like some equation that puts you in your head.

It will drop you into your gut and free you beyond belief in the work.

Because it connects you to your own and to other’s humanity


Let Go Of Holding On

 

Boat and anchor, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India

One of the most complex issues we tend to face as artists is the whole notion of finding a way to get out of our way.

Time and time again, it seems like this topic of conversation comes up when addressing the myriad of obstacles that, without fail, inhibit the desired freedom we desperately crave in our work and our lives.

In my eighteen years of teaching and coaching, I have found that this question always seems to be common ground:

“What do I do so I can break free?!”

The best piece of advice I can ever give is to let go of holding onto what you have thought or still think things are suppose to be or how they are suppose to go.

I know when we face questions such as this, it is most likely being stirred up because a specific moment in time is being experienced as complicated, difficult, stifling, and/or even painful.

It is especially during these times that we want to clench onto what feels familiar by believing it serves as some sort of “life preserver” preventing us from drowning in the unknown.

But sometimes it is our holding onto the familiar that is actually the very thing that is keeping us in the circumstances from which we are trying to break free.

So I propose these question back in response to the original question:

“Did you ever ask yourself what is keeping you from letting go of how or what you think things are suppose to be or look like?

Why is it so difficult to just let go?

What if you just let go?

What if you face and embrace the unknown?

What if beyond that wall of your everyday rigid belief system and structure lives the key to your freedom, to your healing, and to that creative bliss you yearn for as an artist?

And as a human being?

What if the unknown is not the enemy you may be defining it as?

What if it is the “hallelujah” you have been seeking?”

You see, all those “things”…

All those “experiences”…

All those “thoughts”…

All those “relationships”…

That we are very often holding onto with such strict definitions, blueprints and expectations…

That we may think are the rock that is keeping us sound and safe and stable…

May also be the very things that may be holding us down and back from our greatest potential.

It is like an anchor holding a ship in its harbor…

Yes, that anchor serves it’s purpose…

But when the ship is ready to move on to its next destination, that anchor needs to go so the ship can go to where it supposed to be.

Sometimes we have to just let go…

And I know it is difficult…

I know it is scary…

But we have to trust that the unknown has the answer for us…

We have to trust that if we move on…

What is meant to come to us will come…

And trust that it is in our best and highest purpose.

And trust that it is for our good.

And to get there, we have to be willing to do the work.

We have to be willing to face what is not serving us and LET IT GO to make room for what does.

And we have to have the strength, perseverance, willingness, self trust and self love to do this kind of work on our own.

Of course others may be of service but the truth is, it is ALL YOU.

It can ONLY happen from and through you.

So do yourself the favor and break free from any and all “anchors” that are not good to you, for you, and about you.

Then climb over that tall wall no matter how difficult it may be.

Use your blood, sweat, and tears to find your freedom and finally meet your true Self, your realized Self, and your actualized dreams on the other side.

Once you get there, I guarantee you will wonder why you held onto all the other stuff as long as you had.

 


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