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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!”

 

 


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’.”

 


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


Warning! Acting Actually Requires You Knowing What You’re Doing!

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Last week I got a call from an actress that was referred to me by a long time student and private client.

I could tell the moment we started speaking that this is one of those actors that really really has respect for this art form.

I could hear in her voice she has that burning hunger that I personally love to witness that keeps the actor going deeper and deeper into the work.

It is quite clear that along with her remarkable talent, she has amazing instincts and intuition that have carried her very far in her career.

She has had a lot of success on a number of tv shows and is now being given the rare opportunity to bring her gifts to the stage in a city that is not very forgiving when it comes to standards.

She has signed all the contracts and in a few months she will play a very complicated and layered role in a new two and a half hour drama minus a much needed fifteen-minute intermission.

And yes, she has to do eight shows a week.

There will be no “Action!”

There will be no “Cut!”

And you guessed it…

There will be no editing to pick and choose the very best takes to bring the perfect performance together!

There will just be her, the ensemble, the set, the props, the lighting, the sound, the arc as laid out by the text that she will have to live without stopping two and a half hours a show, eight shows a week, and about two thousand people in the audience who paid about $150-$300 sitting there to watch her do it.

In short, there is nowhere to hide and no one/no thing to hide behind.

There is no stopping and starting over.

It is happening right now and the stakes are as high as they can possibly be!

That’s the beautiful danger of theater Life!

It is the actor’s true home requiring and even testing our technical accountability to make it through such a deliciously challenging process.

So you can imagine the panic in her voice as she shared:

“I just don’t know what I am doing! I can’t get there on my own! I take class. I have literally taken class all over the place. I mean I get these notes and sometimes I have no idea what they mean. And then within a lot of the class setups, I am scared to actually ask what these notes mean because I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. But shouldn’t they make sense if they are being given to an actor? Shouldn’t I know what I am doing by now? And then I feel like it is up to luck if things go well in the space or not. Sometimes I am in it and sometimes I am not. And even when my work goes well, I have no idea how I got there. Yeah, I guess it is luck. I always seem to have a breakthrough when I get these random adjustments, but then I have no idea how I can use what just happened from the adjustment without being handed the adjustment to get the breakthrough. So I leave feeling great about the breakthrough I just had from the adjustment but I always seem to have to wait for the adjustment just so I can have the breakthrough. I am literally addicted to adjustments!… to get the breakthrough to discover some kind of opening in which, at this point, I am not even sure has anything to do with the life of the actual text. It’s like I am always being directed rather than learning what the hell I am doing! And I want to know what the hell I am doing! I feel so damn stuck! And I am actually also a little angry that I am still in this position for this long. And worse, I feel absolutely lost! And so I am actually scared to do what I love doing! How the hell am I suppose to do this eight shows a week! What did I say ‘yes’ to? I am terrified!!!”

Before we hung up, we set up a meeting, and then I asked if it would be ok if I dedicated my next blog to this subject and share her story anonymously as I know all too well she is not alone in this predicament.

She agreed as long as I promised to help her “find her way out of the predicament”.

We laughed and I was honored to be brought onto her team.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated conversation.

I am disheartened as I am introduced to more and more actors revealing to me how distraught they are by not getting this “thing” that they seem to knowingly or unknowingly be looking for.

Despite reading numerous acting books, scrutinizing award-winning performances, participating in numerous workshops, and jumping from this studio to the next, there still seems to be something missing that is leaving the actor with a very large question mark about this “thing” they so inexplicably love.

So what’s missing?

Well…

I can tell you, without hesitation, what is missing.

Craft!

No matter what day and age we are in, though “styles” may have changed throughout the ages, the basis of all acting has not:

PLain and simple:

Life, circumstances, relationships, needs within those circumstances and relationships, obstacles to overcome in order to improve circumstances and relationships, and doing all we can that is in line with the text to achieve those needs with the hope of living in one way or another some kind of  peaceful, happy, successful, loving life as indicated by the givens of the text.
Basically what you would know in life, so would the character!

Because all that makes the unknown of the moment possible.

Without it, you are telling your own story and swimming in your own pool of who knows what.

We need tools that will help us physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually do the work.

Just as a ballet dancer needs to know all the technicalities to do a thousand faute turns, the actor also needs to have a set of tools supporting him or her to do the work.

If you want to live in the chaos of the unknown or moment, you have to be aware of what is known to do just that!

And of course, the perfect test of action is can you, the actor, do a play that is two and a half hours, eight shows a week, and still have a consistent, alive, uninhibited, organic and visceral performance as well as the vocal and physical stamina to do your job and tell the story truthfully using the full spectrum your instrument?

And let’s be honest, this is not just reserved for the theater.

Any actor that has the talent, sophistication, know-how, and ability to be dependable and accountable is an actor that has a long life in this business whether it be stage or screen.

I always say at nauseum to my students and clients:

“An actor that is always working…
is an actor that has always done the work!”

So here is my short answer to this unfortunate dilemma.

How do you live moment to moment in relation to the circumstances of the text?

Craft!

How do you live in the unknown of the moment?

Craft!

How do you use your listening in relationship to filter wants and needs that drive your character’s story forward?

Craft!

How do you emotionally live the arc of your character?

Craft!

How do you get to where the text indicates?

Craft!

How do you have a clear relationship with others including your environment and objects that still tell the story?

Craft!

How do you discover the physical or vocal attributes of your character?

Craft!

How do you make sense of your lines so they are not something you are just saying but they have an intention to improve your character’s circumstances moment to moment?

Craft!

How do you organically give birth to the lines you are saying?

Craft!

How do you viscerally understand what is happening between the lines?

Craft!

How do you completely bring your character to life using the accumulation of your life experiences as the instrument to the world of your character?

Craft!

How do you live in the chaos of the life of unknown?

Craft!

How do you do a two and a half hour show eight shows a week?

By being supported by craft!

If you are seeking answers to these issues and are still saying to yourself:

“I still do not know what the F*$# I am doing!”

It is time for you to take a stand and speak up for yourself because you deserve what you are seeking not only as an actor, but as an artist!

And quite frankly, as a consumer!

There is always something invauable to learn from everyone, but you have to be sure you are learning and can use what you are learning for your career as actor to be active and alive and truthful in the work in relationship to the story!

The fact of the matter is you have the right and obligation as an actor, as an artist, to have a set of tools, a craft, that will always have your back supporting you in any and all of your creative endeavors.

And there is not the way to get there!

But there is a way.

And that way is the way that resonates and stimulates with your instrument to do honest, truthful, exciting, sophisticated, and unpredictable work in relation to the circumstances at hand and that always allows for the quality of your work to be consistent and not dependent on luck!

It supports you in your knowing and therefore in your freedom within the unknown of the moment.

That is the craft that you want to cultivate.

That is the craft you want to continue to work with!

This is a craft that never fails you.

It always has your back.

That is the craft that you can always put to the test, refine, mix and match, while always knowing that you are supported and can find your way!

That is the craft that allows you to throw caution to the wind, dissolve fear, and fall back in love with the process of acting once again!


About The Craft…With Master Teachers Mario Campanaro & Jeffrey Glickman

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About The Craft…

A Free One Hour Virtual Class

With Master Teachers Mario Campanaro & Jeffrey Glickman

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Master Teacher and friend, Jeffrey Glickman, (owner of the Actors Gym Studio, New York City and The Actors Studio, Stockholm), and had an amazing in-depth conversation about the incredible craft of acting.

We had an awesome time discussing:

-Our indivdual approaches to the work!

-How we work!

-Who has influenced the way we work!

-What has influenced the way we work!

-The importance of class!

-The objective of class!

-Why craft is so important!

-Why it is so crucial for a craft to be cultivated that works specifically for an individual actor!

-The many obstacles actors may face in their work and career!

-What we have found that has assisted actors in dissolving those obstacles that keep him or her from their greatest potential!

-What we have found that has supported the actor to keep growing, opening, and expanding in their work!

-All those confusing questions about ‘feelings and emotions’!

-What brings each moment of the work alive!

-How to bring each moment of the work alive!

-Life!

-And many more topics that have come up during our almost four decades of combined teaching actors across the globe!

You won’t want to miss this free one hour virtual class! ​

*This special event has been dedicated to all the amazing actors out there who love this art form and continue to fearlessly pursue their dreams!


The Adjustment vs. The Craft

Transcript Of Video:

“That adjustment is there for you to have an experience in a moment that can open you to the truth of the circumstances…

But when you leave you have to question…

Did that adjustment give you what you needed to understand how you can repeat that in some unpredictable way the next time you are addressing the material?…

The adjustment is not the craft…

The adjustment is the exploration of the moment…

You still have to develop something that works for you that resonates and stimulates with your instrument to continue to do truthful, profound, unpredictable, exciting work…

And there is not THE way to get there…

There is A way to get there…

And that is the way that works FOR YOU…

So you need to start honing in on specific areas of craft that really DO something to your instrument so you can apply that to your work in the real world…

And we need to explore that in this room…

We need to explore that so you can continue to grow…

So you can continue to exercise that muscle…

But you cannot be dependent upon the adjustment!”


It Ain’t All About Those Feelings…

Transcipt Of Video:

“Listen…

Feelings are really important to what we do as artists…

Because they give us the capability of accessing that full color wheel of the human condition within us…

However…

Feelings are really a result…

The result of needs being met or not…

So a lot of the time when I hear a specific actor saying…

‘I am not feeling it! I’m not feeling it!’

The first thing I’m thinking about is because you’re too contained in ‘self awareness’ OF feeling bringing you to the next moment…

And what you don’t realize is what’s bringing you to the next moment is your pursuit of NEEDS…

And those FEELINGS will be a result of those needs being met or not…

But if were so focused on our feeling life…

Then all our attention is on ourselves…

And not on the pursuit…

And not on the relationship…

And ALL feeling becomes a result of IF those needs are being met through those relationships…”


The Best Masterclass On Acting…And One Every Actor Should Take!

Yes, but you’re still missing an important part of the equation.

It’s great to be reading all these books, and it’s wonderful to be going to all these classes, and participating in this or that workshop, or reaching out to this or that mentor…

But you’re still going to the middleman when you have full accessibility to go to the main source!

And that’s Life itself!

The very nature of what we do is revealing Life!

So why are we not turning to Life more when it comes to the craft of acting?

If we really want to learn to listen, turn to Life!

If we really want to learn about the pursuit of needs and overcoming obstacles, turn to Life!

If we really want to learn about relationships and circumstances in general, turn to Life!

Life is THE masterclass you will ever participate in.

It has all the answers you will ever need about the craft of acting.

And everything you will learn from it is completely applicable!


The (A) Way

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“No one can tell you how to get there. One can only suggest a way to get there. There is not ‘THE’ way to get there. There is ‘A’ way to get there. But in the end YOU choose what your in heart will get you there.”~#MarioCampanaro ©


Acting Is Interview For Cast It Talent

Acting Is… Insider Mario Campanaro

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.44.10 PMActing WAS letting others control your Acting career.

Acting IS… taking control and creating your dream career now.

Jeff Locker interview Mario Campanaro, master and teacher and coach, for our new Acting Insider series. He shares the importance of having a coach vs. a teacher, and how you KNOW you are ready to perform.

Acting Is… is our new video series that provides insight from stars and insiders about what it takes to create your career in the entertainment industry.

Actors cannot be satisfied waiting for the phone to ring. You must create your own opportunities.  Create roles tailored to fit your strengths and distribute your video for almost no money with readily available technology like your iPhone and YouTube.

Watch Mario’s Acting Is… video here: