I help actors to access themselves and to get out of their own way. That's the way the best work gets done. When you work on yourself and evolve as a person, you inevitably work on yourself as an actor and an artist. Acting is challenging work but at the end of the day it should be insanely fun. I have been an actor for over 20 years and have had some of the best moments of my life on stage and rehearsal rooms. Plays, musicals, TV shows, commercials, movies. I've been lucky enough to do them all. Truth and courage are the key ingredients to longevity in the industry. You should be able to get there hopefully with a little less stress and a little more enjoyment.
I love when someone I'm coaching gets it. When they click and the truth drops in and they connect and fly. There's nothing like that. We do this because on some level we want to be better people. Acting is an amazing vehicle to bettering yourself in the world and in your personal life. I love helping people. It makes me better. Gandhi said "in order to find yourself, you must lose yourself in the service of others." Couldn't agree more.
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Getting to know them, their goals and aspirations in the profession. A lot is asked of us as performers. Vulnerability, courage and trust, just to name a few. I work to empower actors to ground their work in truth and to trust themselves so that they are able to deliver and have fun! Its about creating a safe environment in which to explore.
I have an undergraduate degree in Theatre. I lived and worked most of my adult professional life in Chicago where I worked at several regional theatres including Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Writers Theatre, American Players Theatre and a host of others. I have been in several national commercials, feature films. Television credits include Chicago PD, Chicago Justice, The Exorcist and Shameless. I have had the great fortune to work with amazing teachers and directors over the years and have learned so much.
When I was in graduate school, there was a teaching component that was required to finish the degree. We were assistants and worked under a head professor, but we got to teach hands on, 2 classes per week. Super immersive and fun!
Mostly adults and young adults college and up, with a small sprinkling of elementary school children thrown in.
Got to shoot with Zach Braff and Michael Imperioli on new show for ABC in which they are both starring. Zach Braff directed the episode. Very cool to meet them both. Great day on set. super nice and generous guys.
Good question! Lol. I would say, get ready to look at yourself truthfully and to plug in to the desire to get under and inside of the work. It all depends on what areas the student is looking to work on and enrich, but know and understand that all of it requires all of you. Which gets easier the more you practice.
First and foremost, what is it that they think that they need?
Are they willing to put in the work to get it?
How do they view themselves and what is the value that they bring to industry?
How are they different and unique?
Are they willing to be vulnerable and imperfect? To be messy and foolish?
What are their definitions of courage? Of bravery? Of failure and success? Of fun?
Are they over-sensitive to constructive criticism?
Are they ok with doing things they don't necessarily "like"?
Are they willing to be "uncomfortable" and to try new things?