- How To Move Past Your ‘Blurred Lines’!
- The Audition Room And How It Triggers Our Reptilian Brain (Part 2)
- The Audition Room And How It Triggers Our Reptilian Brain! (Part 1)
- SHARE YOUR CRACK! PART 2
- KEEP REACHING TOWARD THE FINISH LINE (Some thoughts and prayers for the victims of the Boston Marathon)
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Tag Archives: Acting class
Sometimes radical shifts in our perspectives of how we see ourselves and our world require major, dramatic openings. Sometimes they happen slowly over time – like adaptation – which is the process of natural selection that ensures a species’ survival. And other times, the shifts occur suddenly. Like a lightning bolt from the sky.
Either way, it’s simply in our DNA to continue to expand and adapt.
Not just biologically, but spiritually, emotionally and in our awareness of Self.
It seems that we collectively adapt our paradigms to match the evolving consciousness of our culture and planet. But actually, our collective paradigms are what shift the consciousness of our culture and our planet. The world mirrors back to us how we choose to see it.
But why do we hold onto antiquated thoughts? Old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve us? Conditioning we want to move beyond?
Simply because our fixed paradigms make us feel safe and in control. They’re familiar to us and we’ve spent a lot of time defending them and creating our identities around them. So our ego doesn’t want to see them go.
Thankfully, our brains have an elasticity that makes the neural wiring changeable. And therefore, our paradigms can change.
Part of our adapting new ways of thinking requires us to let go of old beliefs and start adopting new ones. It’s a complete rethinking of how we choose to see the world.
You can choose to see the world from the science of classical physics that is rather finite, limited and fixed. Or you can choose to see your world from the quantum perspective – infinite, changeable, possible.
To me, the easiest way to get there is to start asking “Why?”
We did this as children, but for some reason, as adults – we give up that curious exploration of getting to the root of why something occurs. As adults – because of our conditioned thinking – we believe we already know all the answers.
Keep probing deeper. Engage in a more thorough inquiry with yourself.
As you hear yourself say things that to your friends or loved ones would seem preposterous (“I’m ugly.” “I’m fat.” “I’m untalented.”), ask yourself why you say those things to yourself.
No one else thinks those things of you. And if they did . . . who cares?
So keep asking. Don’t stop with the first answer you get. Keep going deeper to get to the genesis of your limited paradigms.
Crack open your world. Crack it open! You do this by asking better questions. And you’ll begin to see that your paradigms will shift to meet the new discovery of who you are and what’s possible for you. What you’ve been scared to meet all along: Your Magnificence.
All from asking “Why?”
Q = Quantum.
Let your thoughts dwell on that which you are: cosmic, expansive, huge. You are not your fears, your challenges, your obstacles. You are made up of the same stuff that birthed our planet 13.7 billion years ago. Tap into that scientific truth and your “challenges” will seem to be a tiny blip on the screen of your magnitude and magnificence.
R = Relax.
Truly, things take time. And patience is a virtue. So just relax, if you can, about those things still unsettled in your heart. Relax that you haven’t yet fulfilled all the things you set out to do. Great things take time. Relaxing doesn’t mean stopping. It’s surrendering to greater faith that things will work themselves out accordingly.
S = Sell The Goat.
The goat represents the albatross around your neck. The thing you keep carrying around with you that you’ve obviously outgrown (a habit, a negative thought, a toxic person, an inattentive lover, an outdated belief) but for some reason, you can’t quite let it go. Out of fear, out of habit, you hold onto this thing that is not only weighing you down, but keeping you from making room for what you really want. You know what it is! Sell it to someone else who’s ready to buy it. You’ve paid for it long enough in more ways than you realize.
T = Totally.
Do things totally. Be with people totally. Share totally. Give of yourself totally. Be out in the world more fully. We’re so not invested in living fully that when you begin to give yourself over to doing things totally, you’ll find you have more energy than ever before. Attention Deficit = Doing 10 things at once. What if you just tried to do one thing at a time? And did it completely?
U = Ugly.
Who me? Yes. Actually, we’re all beautiful, but what makes us so is that all the things we judge and are scared about (our shadow self) are not only the parts we want to see, but they are the parts that reveal our beauty. To us and to others. In short, our humanity. And it’s also the part that gives other people the permission to share all of themselves.
V = Vehicle.
You’re not the source. Not the fount. Not the creator. Let yourself be this amazing channel that we all are for something greater to move through you. Stay plugged into the creative matrix and let your TV-set broadcast something fantastic.
W = When In Doubt . . . Do It.
Do it now. Fix it later. Get out into the world and try things. If it all falls apart, that’s OK. At least you’re out in the world in an alive way.
X = 10 In Roman Numerals = The 10 Chapters Of Your Life:
Watch the video from May of 2011 to see:
Y = Just Say Yes.
Do the things that scare you. Take an acting class. Go out on a date. Stop coming up with reasons why you can’t do something or it’s a bad idea or why it would never work. Watch how often you say “no” to something out of habit. Broaden your horizons. Say yes.
Z = Zymurgy.
Is the branch of chemistry involved in making wine or brewing beer. You are like a fine glass of wine! Which means, the process of your life’s unfolding is alchemical. It’s a process of creating and trying things and experimenting and attempting. You are the scientist and the experiment. The wonderful thing about alchemy is that it’s always a work in progress. Just like you and me.
Your journey is a never-ending art form.
And you are the art.
Now that’s something to celebrate in 2012.
Happy New Year!
When we’re on the outside looking in, when we compare ourselves to others, when we listen to the glossy, photo-shopped stories the media feeds us about people who’ve “made it,” we often feel like there’s something wrong with us. We lack what other people have.
I remember early on during my spiritual path when I first started learning to meditate (and even after one of my first trips to India), I struggled with questions of faith. I thought I would wake up one day and all my doubts and insecurities would be gone because I was on a “path.”
They didn’t. In fact, they got louder.
And when I compared myself to the images and stories being spun of saints who seemed to have conquered all their fears, I felt even worse about myself.
Similar to when I was in my 20’s starting to act. No one in any of my classes talked about their struggles with the work. It was always about discussing the “character arc” and objectives. Here I was feeling doubt and loathing, excitement and dread – all these contrary emotions – but no one else was talking about them.
Years later I read an autobiography of the spiritual icon (and Nobel Prize winner), Mother Teresa. It was a watershed moment. The woman who had been publicly portrayed as the most saintly and devout of nuns actually had many dissonant feelings about her faith. She struggled and felt alone and lost. She said she was hypocritical because the outward face presented to the world was smiling and beatific, but inwardly, she often experienced absolute confusion and disbelief. Who would have thought that the woman who was considered the most faithful woman in the world actually struggled bitterly with her faith?
The moral of this story is twofold. First, and foremost, because of her contrary thoughts, Mother Teresa was even more a hero because she continued to do such serviceable work. She helped millions. Her inner battles didn’t leave her feeling sorry for herself or inert. They didn’t stop her from doing good. She persevered.
It also is yet another example of how we aspire to be like the often air-brushed images that are sugarcoated and fed to us making us believe that people who are achieving great things have something extraordinary that you and I lack.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to glamorized images. We need to realize that the same stuff you and I struggle with is the same stuff everyone on the planet works through.
The true heroes are the people whose work is not abandoned because of their fears or doubts. They’re heroic not so much because of the work they do (although that itself can be inspiring) but because of their honesty and bravery in pushing through their challenges to continue creating the work.
Compare yourself less.
Realize the hero is your own hero within.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~ Mother Teresa
You don’t get what you wish for in life. You get what you believe. And sometimes, our beliefs need a little bit of encouragement. For example, you believe you can do something (write a play, audition for a show, ask someone out on a date) but you also have doubts. You fast-forward to the end results and start worrying. Or you focus on what someone else will say or how they might react. Or you come up with excuses why it won’t work.
But when we finally commit, we discover that those projected fears rarely occur. The miraculous act of commitment ushers in the discovery of things that weren’t available to us had we not committed.
Commitment to something is both causal – you cause something to happen that ordinarily wouldn’t; and it also creates the end result or the effect. You end up experiencing the effects of stepping into something and making a commitment.
So you’re both the cause and the effect.
But it’s up to you. To experience the things you want in life requires you to step into the unknown. If you’re sitting on your couch all day long, lighting up the bong or playing Wii or reading other peoples’ Facebook walls you’re not really committing.
We don’t know what commitment looks like so that’s why we’re often hesitant to step into the unknown that commitment requires. But the leap I’m asking you to take isn’t unconquerable. It’s not crossing the Grand Canyon. But you’ll never know how unless you attempt to experience something that’s foreign to you.
Start small. Turn off the TV. Ask someone out on a date. Start writing. Work on acting material that’s challenging. Get your reel together. Tell someone what scares you. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Take the trip you’ve been postponing. End a relationship that’s causing you pain. Call an agent. Go to the gym. Ask for help. Demand respect. Express your needs. Meditate. Let go of control. Laugh more. Give up the drama.
Small acts (like these) lead to big victories.
“Make voyages! Attempt them! There’s nothing else.” — Tennessee Williams
Why do we wait? For what? We wait for the better airfare, or for the date we went out with last week to call, or for permission. We wait until we lose 10 pounds, or until we get our haircut or until we’re “more prepared.” We wait to get new headshots or write that novel or ask that person out on a date. We end up wasting so much time “waiting” for the right moment, that eventually the things we were “waiting” to do – slowly disappear from our lives. We end up not doing them at all. They become long-lost dreams that for some reason, we seem to be okay with not having anymore.
So when is the right moment?
Stop waiting for things to get better or easier or less busy. Stop saying that you need to wait to be better prepared or more secure or more sure of yourself. Stop waiting for the girlfriend or the husband or the agent or the manager. Stop waiting for the right look or the right age or the right resume or the right time.
Stop waiting for someone or some thing to give you permission to be all that you already are.
Stop putting your life on hold, thinking you’re still missing something in order for you to do the things you want to be doing. You can do them now.
Homework: What have you been postponing? Putting off? Delaying? This week, go do the thing you’ve been waiting for “the right time” to do. Take the trip. Write your screenplay. Enroll in a class. Go to the gym. Ask for help. The time is now. It always will be.
“Life is being on the wire. Everything else is just waiting.” — Karl Wallenda
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love discusses a phenomenon in which our lives will undoubtedly transform if we just start taking a step to move beyond our comfort zones. She calls it Quest Physics.
I call it Zero Commitment = Zero Results. It’s a mathematical formula. You don’t get what you wish for in life, you get what you believe. And you don’t get what you believe in life if you don’t commit to taking action.
This means stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that might make you feel unsure of yourself. Stepping into the unknown is scary. It is exciting. It does sometimes make us feel unsure. But as we start committing in the direction of things we desire, all sorts of possibilities present themselves that we simply do not have access to if we do not commit. This may seem obvious to you, but just take a moment and look at all the things you want to do in life but haven’t yet made any tangible effort to do them.
Homework: Watch the video lesson. What is it that you want to do that you keep putting on hold? Is it taking an acting class? Calling an agent? Going to the gym? Taking that long-postponed trip? Giving up cigarettes? Asking someone out on a date? This week, take action toward making one of those things happen. It doesn’t matter if you get the agent tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough money in your bank account yet to take that trip. Start doing what you need to do to see that dream eventually realized. Maybe before you get an agent you have to get headshots first. So get them. Start looking into flights to your far-off destination to get some prices. It’s all about getting activated in the world of action. Any kind of commitment will yield results. So what are you waiting for?
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” — Woody Allen
52 WEEKS & 52 WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE, GET ON PURPOSE & BECOME THE ARTIST YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE (AND BOOK THE DAMN JOB!)
(Yes, that’s You! Whether you’re an Actor or Doctor. Musician or Banker. Sculptor or CEO. Singer or Stay-at-home Mom.)
We’re all artists. Every one of us on this planet. And what makes you an artist is your life.
Your LIFE Is Your Art.
Your artistry extends beyond the jobs. The events. The bookings. The titles. The notoriety. Those things don’t make you an artist. Being an artist has nothing to do with what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an acting class in Los Angeles or have your art shown in a gallery in Brooklyn.
It’s an expression of your self in all things. In any given 24-hour period, you have an opportunity to start being the artist you truly are. Stop waiting for the phone to ring or the agent to sign you or someone to give you the job to confirm that you have something of artistic value to contribute to the world. Give yourself to the world now and watch what happens.
So, as I’m setting forth to create a blog that has come out of the work I do daily at my acting studio in Los Angeles, I hope it will help the artist in each of us to live a more empowered life and change the way we think (and look) at ourselves and creativity.
There’s gonna be homework. Do it! Sometimes, I’ll use the blog to share thoughts or philosophies or ideas to help bring about change and other times there’ll just be something to do. But all of it is working toward re-shaping and re-thinking your life!
# 1 – Declare You’re An Artist (an Actor, Musician, Writer, Poet, Dancer)
Homework: When someone asks you this week what you do for a living (and invariably that will happen because we’re living in America where so much of who we are is defined by what we do) proudly say that you’re an artist. Don’t say, “Well, I’m kind of an actor.” Or “I’m trying to paint.” Or, “I’m just bartending right now but what I really want to do is…”
Declare what you are. It doesn’t matter that right now you’re slinging hash at the local diner. You’re an artist! Say it. Feel what its like to claim that ownership. Without feeling guilty or shameful or weird about it. So what if you haven’t booked a TV show yet. So what if you don’t have an agent. So what if you haven’t sold a painting or written a hit record. So what if the largest percentage of your income doesn’t come from your art yet.
You’re an artist. Say it.
It feels good, doesn’t it?
“Life is what happens while you’re busy planning other things.” — John Lennon