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The Actor’s Guide To Surviving Pilot Season!

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So…it’s Pilot Season!

For many actors this is a time of great opportunity and excitement.

But for others this could be a time of disappointment, disregard, and even depression.

Whatever the case may be, I want you to realize that you are the Pilot of your season.

Meaning you have the opportunity to be the controller of how you experience your reality during this time based on how you utilize your thoughts and your energies.

Are you squandering them in overwhelm, jealousy, competition, stress, and helplessness?

Or are you being fruitful with those energies by using them towards the creative process of either opportunities that are coming to you from an outside source or opportunities that you are more than capable of creating for yourself…

My point is that you are not a helpless victim in this industry!

You are an active participant of this industry capable of creating a reality that serves you based on how you align your thoughts, energies, and potentials to work for you!

Here are five easy but crucial steps I work on with all my students/clients to keep them from crashing during the potential craziness of the industry’s most anticipated season:

1. Maintain your peace:

Whether you are going out like crazy or you are not going out as much as you would like, it is essential that you maintain your peace and stay grounded.

Be the oak tree in the storm rather than the blade of grass being easily blown every which way.

Stress depletes us of our vital creative forces and prevents us from executing and achieving our greatest potential.

2. Do not compare yourself to others:

You are the president of your own corporation and that corporation is one of a kind.

Comparing yourself to another is fruitless and serves nothing other than creating a false sense of competition which is a complete waste of mental space and energy.

Whether you would like to admit it or not, you are not competing against anyone.

Your only competition is the illusory internal fear that tries to get you to believe that you cannot materialize your greatest dreams.

Your essence is either right in the minds of those choosing casting or it simply may not align for a particular role/project at that time.

Either way, always stay true to yourself and do not get fixed on an idea of what you think is being sought.

You are your instrument so play it with honesty, pride, and integrity.

Live your truth in the reality of the circumstances and trust that your individual approach is worthy of being considered…because it is!

And who knows, your essence may change the whole idea of what was originally being sought.

3. Accountability:

Do your work!

You are an artist with a craft for a reason.

It is not enough to just memorize your lines.

You have to endow the life that gives birth to the lines.

The same information you know in relationship to your life, the character would also know in relationship to his or her’s.

Always be sure to bring that level of truth and sophistication to your work and in the room or on tape.

Trust and utilize your skills to bring walking life to the written page by utilizing the entirety of your instrument.

Take risks but never under estimate your simplicity.

There is power in it.

4. Own the room:

Do not go into any situation with a sense of intimidation or apology for what you are bringing in.

If you are given a note, take it and then execute it instinctively.

But do not hold onto it.

You have invested a lot of time, energy, and in many cases money into that situation that, lets be honest, 9 out of 10 times does not bring the return as immediately as we hope.

Go in there and give it your all because you deserve to be there.

Do you hear that?

You are deserving, worthy, and earned the right to be be there!

That audition is your time!

It is your time and your time is just as important and valuable as anyone else’s!

You re not a dime a dozen!

You are You!

One of a kind!

And you are priceless!

5. Let it go:

Once you leave the room, the audition has concluded.

If things went amazing, great!

If things did not go as well as you had hoped, take a few minutes to process what can be adjusted for your next opportunity and then move on.

Go to the gym, read a book, watch a movie, get a coffee, burn some incense, do some yoga, meditate, paint a picture, eat an entire cake…whatever.

Give yourself the freedom from the mental torture of holding onto an idea of how thing should have gone.

Do not stay in the bondage of the past.

Holding onto events of past completely dimishes the present and who knows what you may be missing out on.

The present is the very thing that holds an infinite amount of inspiration that can be utilized for future creative endeavors.

Stay open to what is meant to be in perfect alignment for you.

Give yourself the chance to appreciate the fact that you just put yourself through a very stressful and rigorous process that derserves your kindess, support, compassion, nurturing, and even celebration.

And keep this in mind…

Maybe you are not so much auditioning to see if you are right for a role…

Maybe the universe is auditioning the role to see if it is right for you! 

I am rooting for you!

Break A Leg and have an amazing Pilot Season!

 


That Defining Moment For You As An Actor & Artist…

Transcript Of Video:

“I think it is those moments…

Where you feel like you just cannot go any further…

Those moments when you feel like you are going to crumble to the ground…

And you are going to fall apart…

That actually become the moments…

That defines you as an actor…

And an artist…

Because it is those moments…

That ask you to ask questions…

Of what you are doing…

And why you are doing it…

And when you really confront those questions…

You get in touch with the love you have for the art form that you have chosen…

It asks of you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps…

No matter the circumstances that are surrounding you…

And find that fire within you…

Find that passion within you…

Find that perseverance within you…

That overcomes any obstacles that are standing in your way…

So that you are able to laser focus your mind…

And your intention…

On fulfilling the pursuit of your dream…

The pursuit of your love in art…

In acting…

In music…

In painting…

Whatever you are pursuing…

And it is those things that open your vocabulary…

As an artist…

So you are able to put that understanding of the human condition…

In whatever kind of work you are doing…

But it is those moments…

That really shows us how strong we are!”


2019 Allow Your Inner Phoenix To Rise!

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It goes without saying that 2018 was quite a complex year full of many peaks and valleys…

We have all witnessed some incredible victories/evolutions/expansions/awakenings/healings/transformations around our great big globe…

Some of them due to nature’s divine intervention…

Some due to happenstance…

And some of them due to the ever present light and goodness that still lives within humanity…

We have also witnessed many inexplicable tragedies/losses/sufferings/despair/confusion/anger/rage/destruction around our great big globe…

Some of them due to natural disasters…

Some of them due to happenstance…

And some of them due to the still ever present darkness and evils that still lives within humanity…

And within the immense rollercoaster of all those ups and downs, one thing remains certain…

We made it through to another year on this great big globe…

And depending on the lens we choose to see life through…

It could be a blessings or it could be a struggle…

We always say this coming year is going to be the year…

And it is

Because it is all we have and we are still here, kicking and breathing…

WE ARE ALIVE…

This new year, like every new year, is our individual chance to take what we have learned through all the ups and down and build upon it for the better…

To not make obligated resolutions…

But to make personal choices that allow each and every one of us to be better than we were yesterday…

Not just for ourself…

But for all…

To take a look at what we don’t want in life so we can damn well choose what we do…

To face what no longer serves & cast it out in order to make room for what does…

To allow ourselves to make the decision to no longer settle for impossibility…

To find all that internal strength & power that we each posses and use it to lift each other to our highest potential…

To rise to the occasion to what it means to be evolved living in an evolved world…

To take everything that we have been given yesterday…

The good & the bad…

The dark & the light…

And use it all as the creative flame to rise like the Phoenix to our most beautiful Selves today!

The power to our own transformation lives in the palm of our own hands…

And with that…

I wish you all the HAPPIEST NEW YEAR this first day of 2019!

Much Love!

Mario


Two Things You Can Always Count On!

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Two things that you can ALWAYS count on:

1. By the nature of your birth, you have already be given EVERYTHING that you could ever possibly need to do something special with the Life you have been given.

2. As long as you are still breathing on this great big marble, you have also been given the necessary tools (internally and externally ) needed to persevere in overcoming any obstacles (internally and externally ) that you may consider standing in the way of you doing something special with the Life you have been given.

BONUS MATERIAL: You will come to realize that all that “stuff” that you have been through will become the most potent ingredients for you to do something special with the Life you have been given.

MORAL OF THE STORY: #HoldOn #Trust & #NeverGiveUp !


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!”


Finding Your Tribe!

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Sometimes it is through the darkest and most inexplicable of circumstances that we are lead to the light…

Those same circumstances that we may think are breaking our hearts are the same circumstances that are actually breaking our hearts open…

Opening our minds, bodies, and Spirits and awakening us to something greater than we could have ever imagined…

Those same circumstances that begin to help lead the path to a greater purpose which otherwise would have never even been a thought…

And sometimes those same circumstances lead us to a tribe…

A tribe that meets through the most unlikely and even treacherous of circumstances…

A tribe that is generous in knowledge, creativity, heart, compassion, and Spirit…

And because of those circumstances, we RECOGNIZE each other…

We SEE each other…

We UNDERSTAND each other…

We CARE about each other…

We SUPPORT each other…

And, yes, we LOVE each other from one human to another…

And together we learn that once we make it out of the fire, there will be and is beauty within the ashes that result in our our greatest contributions!


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:

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.

 


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!


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