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Resistance: Risky Business…

In this Masterclass interview, we discuss how very often our resistance to our own growth is one of the biggest things standing in the way of our own forward momentum. We discuss what our training as artists is all about. Very often we can easily get caught up in the idea of having to “perform“, having to “be perfect or right“, having to be “on“,  or even having to prove “something” to our fellow ensemble members and/or the teacher. That is the exact opposite of what should be happening. The participation in any acting studio or ensemble should really focus on committed like-minded professionally-oriented actors coming together and wholeheartedly holding space to explore, discover, learn, grow, expand, share, support and cultivate the craft of acting. There should be the focus of committed like-minded professionally-oriented actors coming to work, to really do the work knowing each and everyone is there respectfully for the work. And more often than not, it is there where committed like-minded professionally-oriented actors come to find their tribe, their artistic home, their creative family, their ensemble. But that environment should not be used to contemplate our worth. We have to know we are worthy. That environment should not be used to ruminate about the respect we deserve. We have to know we are deserving of respect. That environment should not be used to ponder if we should be seen and heard. We have to know we have the right to be seen and heard.Part of being an artist in any learning environment is in the knowledge of what we are there to do and why. That does not mean we will not be challenged. Because we will. We will all the time. In fact, that is why we there. Challenges allow for growth as long as our resistance does not hold us back from our very own growth. But we cannot get that famously sought out “breakthrough” until there is an honest awareness and a profound understanding of what it is we are actually trying to overcome and learn. We have to be honest with ourselves and remain open to learning and growing.  Otherwise, we just remain on a merry-go-round of unuseful resistance and continue to have an un-evolved cyclical stagnant experience. Not ideal for an artist. We have to dive deep within ourselves and the work to discover all the treasures. And sometimes the true learning may have to come from the unlearning of what was once learned. One of the biggest obstacles we may have to face as actors is developing a tough enough skin to remain open and available to the work as the work challenges us in a myriad of ways. Very often the work is going to hold a mirror up to us and sometimes it is not going to be pleasant to face things that are stifling us or holding us back. But as actors, we have to be willing to stand up and face the music. There is no room for escapism in our kind of work. As actors, as artists, we have to be OK with allowing our instrument to experience discomfort as we grow. We cannot resist or shy away from it for it is that very discomfort that is the exact ingredient to our growth and to fulfilling the most complex realities of the most complicated circumstances. Our discomfort is pregnant with the substance needed to be utilized in our work. We have to be courageous enough to actually step out of the “safety blanket” of the ego, and into the reality of all that delicious discomfort as the artistic warriors that we are. It is through our instrument that we become the vessel to living the most complex, complicated and even inexplicable essence of the human condition in a very public way. But that kind of necessary bravery has to be consistently and safely worked on without consciously trying to run away from it. We have to confront it in the moment and work through it in the moment. It does not just magically happen when we step onto the stage. Working through it, void of resistance is how real learning begins. We have to stay the course. We cannot let what we were not able to overcome or achieve yesterday hold us back from what we may be able to overcome and achieve today. The fact that we continue to stretch our limits and openly reveal ourselves is a true testament to our inner strength, creativity, and light as artists. Do not take for granted the fearlessness that this art-form demands. As I always say in all of my classes, it is not for the faint of heart. The artist’s way is to persevere.
I hope you enjoy this interview.
With love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

TAG ▫️SHARE ▫️COMMENT ⚪️For more information on Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass, please contact our administrative department at assistant.MC2@gmail.com or visit us at www.mariocampanaro.com


THE ACTOR’S MIRROR: THE INVALUABLE PRACTICE OF EVERYDAY SELF-OBSERVATION…

In this Masterclass interview, we discuss the importance of self-observation and how it pertains to the work of the actor. By allowing ourself to be the subject of study and examination, we get the incredible first-hand opportunity to see that everything we do physically, psychologically, and emotionally has something behind it. We always have a destination. There is always a motivation. There is always an intention. There is always something wanting to be achieved. There is always a why. There is always how. There is always something to overcome. And there is always a response to something as it pertains to wants or needs and relationship to people/places/things. As I always say in all my classes, whatever you know in life based on where you are and the circumstances you find yourself in, the character will also know based on where he or she is and the circumstances he or she finds him or herself in. So what a great opportunity to be able to break down that aspect of the craft and explore it moment to moment in your own personal life so it becomes second nature in the break-down of the work itself. You will always know:  Where you are coming from, how you got there, and why you were there. You will always know where you are right now, what you want now that you are there, and what you are going to do in an attempt to get what you want. And you will always know where you are going (even if you are lost, you still have the knowledge of where you want to end up), why you are going there, and what you want once you get there. And last but not least, it goes without saying that this exploration really tunes us into our own Self. It brings to light all those aspects of life that we struggle. Triggers will show up. Responses to relationships and situations will begin to have “reason” (whatever they may be has a cause) for what they are and why.  And you will also begin to see that many of the obstacles you face in your work actually mirror the same obstacles you discover and face in your everyday life. Why wouldn’t they? We are revealing life and who we are is the very instrument to do just that. The more we practice self-observation, the more we allow ourself to face aspects of who we are and what may be stifling us, blocking us and even closing us off and why. Where there is awareness, there is a limitless opportunity for growth and expansion. It brings us into a more intimate relationship with who we are and therefore allows us to be more intimately connected and present in our work.
I hope you enjoy this lecture.
With love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

TAG ▫️SHARE ▫️COMMENT ⚪️For more information on Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass, please contact our administrative department at assistant.MC2@gmail.com or visit us at www.mariocampanaro.com


A Mission Statement For The Actor…

With all the recent tragic events happening in our world, we had quite an emotionally charged week at the studio. All these horrific events beg to question what does it all mean? Why does it all happen? When will it change? Will it ever get better? Does it get better? When will we learn? When will we wake up? What am I doing? What can I do? Does it even matter? Well, it does matter. And you matter. And it will get better. It does get better. I hope this lecture serves as a reminder to know that you matter. I hope it serves to inspire you to know that your work matters. As actors, as artists, as co-creators, we all have a calling and even a mission, that is capable of shifting some of the darkest realities and consciousness that humanity still has to face with the objective of creating a better today and tomorrow…provided that we take on that role responsibly and with commitment, accountability, respect, compassion, awareness, insight, and pure intent. Never forget that you, your voice, your instrument, your actions, and your work are infinitely more powerful than you have been led to believe. Never underestimate that your individual creative power has the potential to uplift and even heal those who you may never even know in this lifetime. But like a pebble being gently tossed into a vast pond, that ripple effect with reach all those whom it is meant to reach.
Stay the course.
Stay an integral part of the process.
Stay intent.
Stay awake.
Stay in that creative transformative light.
You can move mountains…
I know you can…
And we will…
I hope you enjoy this lecture.
With love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

▫️ TAG ▫️SHARE ▫️COMMENT ⚪️For more information on Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass, please contact our administrative department at assistant.MC2@gmail.com or visit us at www.MarioCampanaro.com


Life Or Death: The Human Spirit’s Fight For Survival…

In this Masterclass lecture, we open class with a very raw discussion about what it means when it comes to “life or death” stakes in the work. Our very talented and brave ensemble is working on a play that demands each member to viscerally understand and endow what it means to fight for one’s survival in the name of life and love without it being diluted by “ideas” of what that fight really entails. On a personal note, and to be quite frank, this was not an easy week for me to teach. In fact, I felt quite exposed. I felt quite vulnerable. I even felt quite isolated in my experience. And because of those feelings, I knew this was exactly what my heart was asking me to reveal in the lecture. So I needed to face all that and use it as the fire to my own breakthrough as well as in service of the work. Ya gotta practice what you preach, right? Otherwise, ya got no right to ask the equivalent of others. It is not the “easy” that makes us artists. It is not the “easy” that makes the difference. It is our complexity. It is that stuff that we feel we may need to hide. It is all those things that make us feel broken. It is that deep, messy and sometimes even shattered truth within all of us that is called for in the creative process. It is all that stuff that has the ability to open hearts and transform things for the better. It is all that stuff that brings us closer and closer to the ultimate truth. In preparation for this class, I had to do a lot of soul-searching to be able to reveal what I really wanted to teach on this very human and dark subject. I also wanted to be able to teach this part of the work with the utmost integrity and respect that it deserves. In my own life, I have had to fight tooth and nail in order to stay alive from a very complicated illness that has tried to take me out on multiple occasions. And for the most part, I have had to do that alone. When all known treatments have failed me, I had to take it into my own hands to find the answers to this crazy chronic illness that we still just do not have enough research for or answers to. And to this day, I still fight with all I have to make sure that I survive. So having tasted this notion of what it means to really survive based on my own circumstances, I wanted to substitute that experience to be able to share some kind of insight in a way that it can relate somehow someway to the extreme and horrific circumstances of the piece we are working on. We hear the words “high stakes” so often in our work but rarely do we take accountability to truly define what that means in relation to the circumstances and life of the character. We tend to go to the “idea” place of what that means…and even the emotionality of those circumstances…without realizing that in such high stakes, those ideas and all that emotionality may very well be the thing that gets in the way of the character’s survival itself. We have to understand that in those circumstances where it is “life or death“, there is something primitive that kicks in with laser focus to be sure that we survive. Sometimes all that emotion is a luxury that we just do not have in such extreme circumstances. It does not mean that all that emotion and feeling is not present. Because it is. And it is there deep down. And it is complex. And it is painful. And it is scary. But do we have the time and place to reveal it? To feel it? To go through it? Or do we need to refocus that energy, conserve it, and use it as the substance, the gasoline, the useful energy for survival? You see, there is something else that takes precedence. And that is that fight or flight instinct within all of us. It is that something instinctual within that works overtime to constantly figure out what can be done to survive life-threatening circumstances even if it means taking what may be considered outlandish risks just so one can stay alive. And we, as actors, have to find a way to understand and justify such actions without judgment so we can truly live them in our work. And we have to be sure that we are not playing all that emotionality thinking that it will somehow someway gain the compassion, love or sympathy from the audience. That is not the story. That is not our job. That is not what the character has to do to stay alive. If we do that, we lose the very action necessary to fight for survival. We need to stay the course, using all that emotion and feeling as the driving motivation to the do what we have to do in the scene, based on and in line with the text, to try to get what we want based on the circumstances and elements that we are in, the relationships that surround us, the obstacles standing in the way of those needs, and all the actions (spoken or unspoken) that we are willing to risk to accomplish what we are setting out to do with the intention to survive “life or death” stakes. And so we, as actors, begin this brave journey exploring and revealing the human spirit’s fight for survival in the name of life and love. And we honor the lives and stories of those who have suffered such atrocities throughout history. And we shine the light on such darkness that is still happening today with the hope, even if as a small part, of ending such suffering.
I hope you enjoy this lecture.
Much love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

▫️ TAG ▫️SHARE ▫️COMMENT ⚪️For more information on Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass, please contact our administrative department at assistant.MC2@gmail.com or visit us at www.MarioCampanaro.com


The Heart Of The Creative Warrior…

In this Masterclass lecture, we have a “heart to heart” discussion about what it means to bring our heart to our work. Despite what many may think, the actor’s work is not just about going up on stage or screen to resight lines that a writer has written. There is no art in that. There is only the skill of memorization. We, of course, have the foundational tools that we will always use to bring us intimately into the world of the text. But after that necessary work is accomplished, the actor is called to live his, her or their most private essence in a very public way as it pertains to the given circumstances at hand. You see, the text is this incredible skeleton just waiting to breathe. And the actor is that brave soul that comes along to breathe the life into that skeleton. And that asks of the actor to share a piece of his, her or their heart, mind, body and spirit with the world of the text. And by the nature of what we do and the circumstances we are asked to reveal, we are inevitably going to be confronted with specific aspects of who we are that we may have closed off for one reason or another to those specific or similar circumstances. It is no secret that all those blocks and obstacles that we may experience in our everyday life are in some way somehow going to show up on our work. Why? Because we are asked to LIVE in our work. And the only way we can live in our work is by using our own instrument married with the accumulation of our own life experiences, observation, research and of course the power of imagination. You are the instrument to that life. You and your heart are the battery to that life. And in order to really do that kind of profound work, one has to go through some kind of emotional warfare at times to thoroughly endow the journey that a writer has written to give any given character the respect and life that that character is due. In other words, there needs to be some kind of internal exploration to gain some kind of visceral understanding and personal connection to what you are being asked to live and reveal so the truth can be brought to life in the work. And sometimes this requires facing our own personal obstacles. And sometimes this requires us having to face our own pain. And sometimes this requires healing. And sometimes this means having to safely work on unresolved parts of yourself and your heart outside of the work. The more you work on these unresolved parts of yourself in a safe and appropriateenvironment the more it allows you to experience your true wholeness so you then can bring more to your work. Now please do not get me wrong and let me be VERY clear! I do not think acting or acting class should EVER be used as or in place of therapy (even though I am sure in some ways it may very well be therapeutic for some). But I do think our work asks of us to constantly be working on who we are. I do think our work asks us to look at and heal our wounds. I do think our work asks us to have a courageous awareness of what has been shut down or what has been shut off. I do think our work asks of us what can be used and what most definitely should not be used in our work so we can make informed choices that allow us to safely and sanely bring potent life to our work. It is up to the actor to have that awareness of what he, she or they need to do to safely work on his, her or their own instrument (Self). And this will obviously be a life long job as life will always be hitting us with curveballs that need to be healed. The more you do that Self-work, the more you will be able to bring to your work. But nonetheless, it needsto be done. You have to always be working on yourself and taking care of yourself. At the end of the day, our instrument is that beautifully complex life force that is going to mobilize a character that only exists on the written page. And the actor is that creative warrior that volunteers to do just that!
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
Much love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

▫️ TAG ▫️SHARE ▫️COMMENT ⚪️For more information on Mario Campanaro For The Actor & MC²=Mario Campanaro’s Masterclass, please contact our administrative department at assistant.MC2@gmail.com or visit us at www.MarioCampanaro.com


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