Have some fun.
How important that is, for your instrument as an actor, but also for you as a human being.
“So have some fun. Loosen up a bit, enjoy life. We do not have to be so somber and serious. We do not have to be so reflective, so critical, so bound up within ourselves and the rigid parameters others and often ourselves have placed around us.”
One of the things when I was starting out as a young actress, I would always be quite somber and serious.
It wasn't until doing this work that I allowed myself to be a little bit more silly because it was almost like I felt like it wasn't safe for me to have fun.
I think that I had this idea that I had to work, work, work, and I had to be miserable, and it had to be hard. And that's just not the way it is.
Because when we relax and we have fun, and we play, that's when we enjoy our lives the most, but also how we enjoy a scene or acting the most.
The best actors are so relaxed and in the moment.
“This is life, not a funeral service. Have some fun with it. Enter into it. Participate. Experiment. Take a risk. Be spontaneous. Do not always be so concerned about doing it right. Doing the 'appropriate thing.'”
Just do the next right thing.
It's moving from "do the next thing right" to "just do the next right thing."
One is a very healthy way of thinking, and the other is very judgmental.
Do I want to choose the healthy way, or do I want to go the way I've always done it.
“Do not always be so concerned about what others will think or say. What they think and say are their issues, not ours. Do not be so afraid of making a mistake. Do not be so fearful and proper. Do not inhibit yourself so much.”
Just let go. Take a risk. See what happens.
“To keep our faces towards change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
“We were not intended to be so inhibited, so restricted, so controlled. These repressive parameters are what other people have imposed on us, what we have allowed to be done to us.”
We teach people how to treat us.
We can also reteach people how to treat us. But that involves setting boundaries, that involves standing up for ourselves. That involves allowing us and allowing ourselves to be free.
“We were created fully human. We were given emotions. Desires, hopes. Dreams. Feelings. There is an alive, excited, fun-loving child in us somewhere. Let it come out. Let it come alive. Let it have some fun. Not for just 2 hours on a Saturday evening. Bring it with us. Let it help us enjoy this gift of being alive. Being fully human and being who we are.”
That's what I would describe as great acting, that it is about being fully human, about being fully alive, about being unrestricted, about being fearless.
And I find, again, the more I can do that in my own life. The more that can be brought into the art of acting.
“So many rules. So much shame we've lived with. It simply isn't necessary. We have been brainwashed. It is time now to free ourselves. Let ourselves go and enter fully human into a full life. Don't worry. We will learn our lessons when necessary. We have learned discipline. We will not go awry. What will happen is we will begin enjoying life. We will begin enjoying and experiencing our whole self. We can trust ourselves.”
Anxiety is about feeling like we can't handle it. And the fact of the matter is we can handle it.
“We have boundaries now. We have a foundation. We can afford to experiment and experience. We are in touch with ourselves and our universe. We are being guided. But a frozen inanimate object cannot be guided. It cannot even be moved. Have some fun. Loosen up a bit. Break a few rules. We won't be punished. We don't have to allow people to punish us. And we can stop punishing ourselves. As long as we are here and alive, let's begin to live.”
I want to give you a tool: Listen to my other podcasts. Listen to all of the core work podcasts. Listen to them once. And then listen to them again with a pad and paper. Take notes. And writing it down. It's so, so powerful.
More episodes from "Acting Business Boot Camp"
Episode 215: Setting Our Own Course in Life & Career
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15:20Katie Flahive Class "Setting our own course. We are powerless over other people's expectations of us. We cannot control what they want, what they expect, or what they want us to do or be." Keep the focus on yourself. What other people think of me is none of my business. Taking care of myself pays enormous dividends. Take care of yourself first, and the rest will follow. Put on your bubble suit. When you go into difficult situations with people who push your buttons, probably because they install them, it's really helpful to know that you have a little space around you that nobody can penetrate. "We can, however, control how we respond to other people's expectations." We are not responsible for our first thought, but we are responsible for our second. I encourage you to stop taking a step back and ask yourself, "is this healthy for me or unhealthy for me?" And then responding. A response is a reaction with a pause and a thought behind it. "During the course of any day, people may make demands on our time, talents, energy, money, and emotions. We do not have to say yes to every request. No is a complete sentence. We do not have to feel guilty if we say no, and we do not have to allow the barrage of demands to control the course of our life." They are on their time, but that doesn't mean it has to wreck my day. No is a complete sentence. I do not bring stuff into my life anymore that I am not 1,000% committed to. "We do not have to spend our life reacting to others and to the course they would prefer we took in our life." We can, through core work, be strong enough in and of ourselves to know that we are enough. And keep the course steady ourselves. As Diana Nyad said, "find a way, find a way to stay on course. Find a way to stay on course." We can set boundaries. We can firm up limits on how far we will go with others. We can trust and listen to ourselves. We can set goals and direction for our life. And we can. This is so important to place value on our life, on what we want. We can own our power with people. "Think about what you want. Consider how responding to another's need will affect the course of your life. We live our own life, not by letting other people, their expectations, and their demands control the course of our life. We can let them have their demands and their expectations, and we can allow them to have their feelings. But we can also own our own power to choose the path that is right for us." Taking that time to plan out and think about what I want and my needs are. So it's finding that balance and setting my own course of maintaining the wonderful goals that I have already achieved, but yet still shooting for more. And not worrying about what anybody thinks. It's learning what is best for you and following that.
Episode 214: Self Care During Stressful Times
12:20Time Management Workshop Do the next right thing. The Language of Letting Go "Rest when you're tired. Take a drink of cold water when you're thirsty. Call a friend when you're lonely. Ask the universe to help when you feel overwhelmed." Yeah, I was in a very challenging, difficult place, along with millions of other people. But I'm here. I survived. I handled it. And out of that came self-esteem, more self-esteem that I'm capable of and will never, ever be given more than I can handle. I will never be given more than I can handle, but I will be given more than I can control. "Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard when the problem is that we've already pushed too hard. Many of us are afraid the work won't get done if we rest when we're tired. The work will get done. It will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit." Refuel. With self-love, with good food, with tea. Because nourished, nurtured people who love themselves and care for themselves are the delight of the universe. They are well-timed, efficient, and divinely led. And that is why self-care, especially during stressful times, is so very, very, very important.
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Episode 212: New Years Goals
13:20Time Management Workshop Ask Me Anything I always find December to be actually the hardest time of the year. I feel like there are more demands put on me in all areas of my life. I will allow myself just to be where I'm at. So if you feel like you're starting the new year exhausted. I just wanted to say I hear you. I'm kind of there myself, but it's all right. Find the pockets of time when you can take care of yourself. The Language of Letting Go: "Make New Year's goals. Dig within and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part." If you want to change your own life, you need to take responsibility for it. "It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living in the year to come." Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction. What would you like to have happen in your life this year? "What would you like to do? What would you like to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks or character defects would you like to have removed? What would you like to attain? What little things would you like to attain? What big things would you like to attain? Where would you like to go? Where do you want to travel to this year? How would you like your mind to open this year? What would you like to have happen in your friendships? What would you like to have happen in your love life? What would you like to have happen in your family life?" Remember, we aren't controlling others with our goals. "What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to have happen in your career?" "Write it down. Take a piece of paper. Take the time out as an affirmation of you, your life. Your ability to choose. Then let it go. Certainly, things happen that are out of our control. Sometimes these events are pleasant surprises. Sometimes they are of another nature. But they are all part of the chapter that will be this year in our life and will move us forward in the story. The New Year stands before us like a chapter in a book waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals." One of the things that I spent a lot of time over the holiday doing is going over my goals, motivations, and next steps and planning things out for 2023.
Episode 211: A Message to Send You Into 2023
10:04I’m really grateful for this year. I want you to think of a few things that you are grateful for. What's number one? Fill in the blank. What's the number two? Fill in the blank. And what's the third thing you're grateful for this year, in 2022? Fill in the blank. Also, start to look forward to 2023. Are you looking to this year coming up with anticipation and excitement? Dread? Worry? Fill in the blank. What are the three emotions you are looking at 2023 with? Feelings aren't facts. Take your emotions out of your to do list. When we are worried or anxious, the real question is, “what are we not taking responsibility for?” So if you have some sort of negative feeling toward 2023, ask yourself, “what are you not taking responsibility for?” Ask yourself, How can I baby step and take responsibility? Once taking responsibility, especially when you're frightened, especially when you're scared. When you're able to do that, you build so much self-esteem. Take contrary action. Breathing Meditation When you connect to your breath, you feel a little bit better. You feel a little more connected to what you're grateful for. I wish you a wonderful, incredible holiday season. And an even better 2023.
Episode 210: Interview with Bull Series Regular Geneva Carr
48:58Time Management Workshop About Geneva: GENEVA CARR is best known for her portrayal of Marissa Morgan on 6 seasons of the CBS television series BULL. Additional TV credits include Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Intent, Rescue Me, Younger, The Mysteries of Laura, Royal Pains, Elementary, The Good Wife, and Sex and the City. Film credits include Wonder Wheel, Love and Other Drugs, Ava’s possessions, It’s Complicated, College Road Trip, and the upcoming Asian Persuasion. Geneva earned a 2015 Tony Nomination for Lead Actress in a Play for her performance as ‘Margery’ in Broadway’s Hand To God. Additional NY theatre credits include Trevor, Just Sex, I Wanna Destroy You, Finding Claire, Rose’s Dilemma, Clash by Night, Betty’s Summer Vacation, and Boise. You have to create a space where you can find work for yourself. Bull was my eighth pilot, which I like telling actors about because it doesn't happen overnight. This was my eighth. Hand to God led to Bull on CBS. I did that for six seasons. And the truth is, nobody loves to audition as much as me because it's a 30-second movie starring me right now. I love to prepare. It's like going to the gym. It's like putting on a show. And you know that for 5 minutes, you have a captive audience. Casting directors want to like you. They want to get to know you. So if you can put your nerves aside and realize that it's a real treat to be in that room. You have to watch everything ON TV. “I don't put people on TV if they don't watch TV.” You can only be yourself. Maybe it's easier for me now because I know who I am. I'm not apologizing for who I am. I can't please everyone. But the truth is, I don't like everyone, and the more you are authentically yourself, the more you will work. If you want to build somebody up, give them an honest compliment. I had to go back to being an actor looking for work with a whole new toolkit. The Director Tells the Story Being a costar and a guest star has zero to do with being a series regular. It is very challenging being a series regular. Costars and guest stars- savor those opportunities to learn because a series regular is really hard.
Episode 209: What to get Industry Folks for the Holidays
8:15Ask Me Anything Time Management Class What to get Casting Directors, Managers, and Agents over the holidays. This year I’m suggesting one of two things: a thoughtful gift card or a charity donation. So a thoughtful gift card would be that you contact someone else in the casting office or agency and ask what their fellow employees like. “Hey, are they a Starbucks person, or are they a Costco person? Are they a McDonald's person or a Dunkin Donuts person?” And then, you can send them an electronic gift card. If you're booking a lot. Yes. You want to be thinking more $50, $75, $100. But if you're a new client or you haven't been booking that year, or there's a casting office that has maybe thought of you a few times throughout the year. A simple $20 gift card. A $25 gift card is fine. Defaults: Amazon, you can buy anything there. Starbucks, you can get food, you can get coffee, you can get tea Or, the charity donation, which, again, you could ask someone in the office or even ask that person, “I'd like to make a donation to a charity of your choice this year. Would you please let me know what charity you support?” And then you make a donation in their name. Or you could choose a charity yourself. The Actors Fund or Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS are wonderful charities that the industry recognizes. The gifts are just tokens. A well-written card, something that says something from the heart, is also a wonderful, wonderful way for you to show your appreciation. You're not going to buy your way into that casting director's heart. You're not going to buy your way into that agent or manager's heart. You're just genuinely letting them know that you appreciate how they have thought of you this year.
Episode 208: Interview with Andi Matheny
37:02Time Management Workshop About Andi: Andi Matheny is a 25-year veteran of Hollywood who started the Andi Matheny Acting Studios in 2010 and has coached hundreds of actors to book their first roles in TV and film. Andi has had a recurring role on The Resident as Dr. Kelly Whitley, starred opposite Sara Rue in The Hallmark Channel Movie True Love Blooms, opposite Kelsey Grammer in the film High Expectations, opposite Phylicia Rashad in the Oprah Winfrey production David Makes Man and opposite Ryan Phillippe and Patrick Duffy in the comedy Lady of the Manor, written and directed by Justin Long. Other notable credits include Devious Maids, The Mentalist, Ugly Betty, Zoey 101, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and The Shadow Effect. Andi hosted the talk shows Friends or Lovers, Essentials, Fit Resort and Spa, and Kwik Witz. She appeared in dozens of commercials, including a worldwide campaign for Olay. Andi won the Jury Prize for Best Florida Film for her directorial debut The Newest Member at the 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival. Her web series Good Morning St. Pete! which she wrote, directed, and starred in, won Best Web Series at the 2018 Sunscreen Film Festival and garnered her the Best Leading Actress Award at the 2018 Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. Andi’s groundbreaking book “Act ALIVE: The Essential Guide to Igniting and Sustaining Your Working Actor Career” was published in 2022 and debuted on Amazon at #3 in Acting and Auditioning. Get the book: Act Alive How hosting has changed. Human beings are interesting. hHere is a thing that beginning actors and even experienced actors do. They'll look at a script, right? And the script will say things like, "I hate you, you have ruined my life, blah, blah, blah." And everybody jumps to the conclusion of, “Well, this is an angry scene, and I got to say, I hate you, and you've ruined my life.” The hot person confrontation is when you find somebody, this "hot person" in your life who has screwed you over, and now you're kind of doing the fantasy version of talking to them the way you wish you could have talked to them in that moment. As a coach, I'm not interested in your excuses. I'm interested in what you're going to do about it. In spite of all the odds against you. If your job is to act, you better get fucking good at acting. Understand what casting directors had been trying to get through my head, which is, I want you to be good. When you audition, you are solving somebody's problem. So when you have the working actor mindset, you show up in a collaborative, helpful spirit to help solve the casting director's problem because the casting director has pressure on them to fulfill all of these roles. As soon as you make it about the other person and not about you and your ego, that's when your bookings are going to start soaring. Art comes from a totally different place. You've got to be connected. You have to be connected from your soul, from a soul level, to what you're doing. Sometimes the less, the better.
Episode 207: The Power of Serving as an Actor
21:43Ask Me Anything Marianne Williamson “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” My manifesto for my life is to inspire. It is the one word that I feel describes what my purpose on this planet is to do. I wake up, and I show up for duty. What’s your one word purpose? It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. And I believe it is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us because it is not our darkness that we need to take responsibility for. But it is our light. It is our talent. Every single one of us has a purpose. As your life gets bigger, it requires more of your attention. Because I cannot give away what I have not given myself. You not being your best; who the fuck does that serve? You hiding your talent that has been so freely given to you? Who the hell does that serve? You're not being generous and fabulous and showing your light and being who you really are. Who does that serve? The answer is no one except maybe your ego. There's the ego mindset, which is finite and is only what is in me. And then there is the universal mindset, which is infinite. Which plugs into that universal intelligence. There is power in serving. Because when you serve, you get out of yourself. When you are out of yourself, and you are serving, you are no longer in fear. I am so done with playing small so that people around me feel more comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable being around me, don't hang around me. I want to concentrate on serving one because it makes me happy. Inspiring brings me more joy than anything else in the world, no matter what form it is. It's not my job to help you feel better by diminishing myself. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. If you go on social media and you see somebody do something. And it makes you feel bad about yourself. Ask yourself, what do I not want to take responsibility for? When one of your friends wins an award or one of your friends makes a short film, and it gets voted best something at the Grand Canyon Film Festival. Congratulate them. Thank them for showing you that it is possible. Isn't that much better than just feeling shitty about yourself? That doesn't serve anybody. That doesn't do anything. I want to inspire you to do something. To be brave. To serve, because when you serve through your craft, through your talent, you are a positive force in this world. And, my God, we need a powerful force. So be that in your world. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. That is the power of serving as an actor. By you doing your work as an artist. You help other people, but you also help yourself, which only enables you to help more people.
Episode 206: Family Buttons Around the Holidays
16:26Ask Me Anything “I was 35 years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation. I was terribly frightened and almost couldn't believe I was doing this. I found I didn't have to be mean. I didn't have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself and still care about my mother the way I wanted to, not the way she wanted me to.” Take a step back and observe. I tell myself, mouth shut. If you are using your mind to govern your brain while you are with family over the holiday and you start to spot the stuff going on. You can simply remain quiet and just observe it: Maybe go to the kitchen. Make yourself a cup of tea. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Go to the bathroom. Say, "You know what? My legs are a bit stiff. I'm going to go for a walk." Understand that you don't need to be trapped into it. You can observe it and can choose how you are going to respond to it. I also recommend bringing some sort of a journal. I also find that if there is a pet in the house, that's a great always a great diversion to go to the pet if you need a touchstone because animals are the presence keepers. Drop the rope. The best frickin’ piece of advice I can give is when somebody goes at you, respond in kindness. It's not that you're not participating. It's that you're taking care of yourself. Just for this holiday. Take care of your emotional self. Say less. Be kind. Be there for others. Here's an old thing I've used to use quite a lot, put on your bubble suit. When you get to where you are arriving or if you're taking a train or a plane, go to the public restroom, and bend all the way down to the floor. Imagine yourself stepping into an imaginary bubble suit. Pull it up around your head. Clench it tight and know that in your little bubble suit, you are safe and secure.