Craft

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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

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Everyone Has Their Own Complex Story That Formulates The Way They Function In The World…

In this Masterclass lecture, we open class with a discussion about how life itself will always be the real Masterclass for the actor. Our craft is, always has been, and always will be formulated by life itself. I mean, what else would it be formulated by? Some may say we are storytellers, I say we are storylivers. We are intending to reveal the utmost truth within the story as service to the writer, all those willing to commune and witness that story, and the vast world of the human condtion. So why are we not turning to life itself to understand the work from its orignal source? Within life, in this here and now moment, lives all the answers to all the questions about understanding how people function and how we as actors can use that understanding for the life of our work if the desire to really understand and learn is present. Meaning, the hunger to understand married with a compassionate heart to understand and the intuition to see what may be hiding behind all things needs to be deeply vibrating within the actor’s mind, body and Spirit at all times. There needs to always be questions appearing within the actor’s mind and heart as he, she or they go through the journey of life so he, she or they can keep building that human vocabulary within his, her, or their instrument. It is by doing this, that we come to realize that within everyhuman life, there is a story that has formulated who that person is and how that person functions physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. It even illuminates us into understanding our own center and how we move through this crazy ride called life. If we know this about all humans, why then would we not apply that sameknowledge to understanding and revealing character. When we really understand this fact, it becomes possible for the actor to leave any kind of personal judgment out of the equation so he, she or they can reveal character with all the respect that a specific character’s story is due. It can evenserve in understanding and respecting all those that surround your own life. We can read this or that book about acting or life, but the truth of the matter is that the craft of acting comes from the living, observing, and implementing what life itself has to teach us and offer us about the human condtion. And trust me, life has a delicous limitless rainbow of colors to teach and offer you as an artist. I happen to call it Mary Poppin’s purse. It has everything you need in it! It is crucial for the actor to keep searching for the craft as it will always be mirrored, justified, and validated by life itself. Look for the intentions of people. Look for how people listen. Look for how people behave based on the circumstances that they are in. Look for how people try to find their way out of obstacles. Look for how people try to better their life. Look for how circumstances stimulate people to behave a certain way. Look for how people love or hate and then really question, and I mean REALLY question, what the story may be behind all of it. It is gold for the actor! And you gotta learn to pull and even steal that gold from the very rich, limitless, abundant, and giving account of life! And hey, the life info out there is free! So use it! By doing that part of the work, and it is just as important as figuring out an objective or learning your lines, it gives the actor a very high artistic standard to urge the actor to pursue and reveal only what is truthful in the work based on the circustances of the story that the writer has given. As a result, it obliterates “indication” and it debunks “shmacting” and your not trying to “pull one over on the audience“…who, whether you like to admit it or not, just so happens to know better…and truth be told…ya really can’t pull one over on them anyway. They are way to smart! Life serves as the actor’s guide in the life-long continuation of cultivating craft while also creating a high standard when it comes to being the very best crasftsperson and artist that he, she or they wants to be. So keep going and never settle for mediocrity or any generalizations in the quality of your artistry!
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
Much love,
Mario

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You Are Worthy Of Bring Witnessed…

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Craft Is An Exact Mirror Of Life…Look For It!…

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A Crash Course On What It Really Means To Be Specific As An Actor…

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The Light Within The Work….

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Playing Life’s Unmentionables…

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The Craft…The Moment…

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Facing Your Humanity…Facing Your Wholeness…

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The Human Condition…

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