Follow Your Bliss

Bliss was a short film made long ago by the filmmakers brining you Stages. It really has nothing to do with the article...except that following Bliss led us to doing lots more amazing work...

Bliss (noun): Complete happiness.  I like the sound of that – COMPLETE HAPPINESS!

What gives me complete happiness is teaching.  I can’t go a day without teaching.  If I am not teaching I fill the void by writing.  Teaching is truly my passion.  It’s my bliss.

What is your bliss?  What gives you complete happiness?  What is that something that when you are doing it your world seems complete?  Whatever it is, do it.  Don’t deny yourself your happiness.

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Know Thyself: How to Maximize Your Training

By Joy Farmer-Clary

One of the simplest and most profound ideas from the great Greek philosophers is from Socrates, who recommended that we “Know thyself.”  What phenomenal advice for us actors!

Knowing thyself is useful on many levels: we need to study our physical and vocal instruments, analyze our thoughts and feelings, and attempt to understand our motivations in our own lives.  Only in this way can we fully craft the complex lives of the characters whose stories we tell.

Unfortunately, many actors fail to apply knowing themselves to getting the most out of their training.

Let’s face it, training is expensive. When you are spending precious time and money on your training, how do you ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from it?  Know thyself.

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Stay in the Ring: Keeping Inspired and Overcoming Procrastination

By Josh Adler

We are a nation of procrastinators, my friends.  Or maybe I’m the only one who avoids completing the most pressing task in any particular day by bouncing from one project to another.  My guess though is that most of us circle around a task that looms deep within our very beings as seemingly impossible.

This process has it’s own productiveness for me, however.   I seem to get everything else but that one little black spot finished: my house gets cleaned, I work out, follow up on correspondence, brainstorm for five other projects, even re-organize my dishes.  Yet, how can we pierce through the peripheral obligations and tackle the responsibilities that are often most essential to moving ahead in our careers? Continue reading

Objectives, Objectives, Objectives

It’s all about objectives. The first thing we learn in Acting 101 is that the most vital acting tool is the objective. Without an objective there is no theatre. There is no play, movie, or television show. The objective makes theatre possible.

So what exactly is an objective? An objective is what the character wants. Each character has a series of wants that connects to more important wants, that connects to the most important want. That most-important over-arching want is called a super-objective. Continue reading

Fear of Falling: Acting Lessons from Rock Climbers

A friend of mine (thanks Ben!) recently told me about a rock climbing coach who teaches that when you are in the gym on a rock-climbing wall, you have to fall.  Especially if you are afraid of it.  Having a fear of falling dictates your technique.

I immediately thought of actors as I am constantly encouraging them to take risks…so I found the post…

The language (by Dave MacLeod, link to the post here) is very technical in relation to rock climbing, but struck me as very relevant to the actor.  He writes:

23 Benefits of Taking Acting Classes (and Commentary)

23 benefits of taking acting classes:

1. They give you a base to work from…

2. They give you a solid technique that you can fall back on and recreate time after time in different situations…

3. They will help you to be able to access your emotions…

4. They will help you to see where you need to improve… Continue reading