auditioning

How to embody your character: Part 2

How to embody your character: Part 2

Many actors tell me they struggle with embodying or connecting with their characters. 

So today, I want to teach you an added layer of character development you can use for your next audition. 

First, I'll give you my 3-Step Framework, and then I'll walk you through an example.

Grab a frothy latte or your beverage of choice and tuck in.

Here we go!

How to embody your character: Part 1

How to embody your character: Part 1

Pop Quiz! 

Guess what beloved TV character is described in this breakdown: 

Droll. Dry. A wry observer of everyone’s life. And his own. Works in front of a computer doing something tedious in a claustrophobic cubicle in a nondescript office building. Gets by on his sense of humor. And snacks.

Any guesses?

Maybe you’re thinking Homer Simpson, Dilbert, or someone from The Office.

Nope.

This is so embarrassing...

This is so embarrassing...

I'm about to get personal.

Because...my second Most Embarrassing Story happened in the bathroom.

It wasn’t that someone walked in on me.

It wasn’t that I tucked my dress into my pantyhose.

It was about karate.

kismet

kismet

I got new headshots recently and I was terrified.

Headshots are one of those things that, as an actor, you KNOW you have to do but it’s so freaking stressful because “what will I wear” and “how many looks do I need?” and “what if my hair doesn’t cooperate?”

All the things that make you say no.

I’d actually needed new headshots for a while. But I kept putting it off.

Then...I started a trial run with a new manager and the first thing she asked me was whether or not I would consider new headshots.

Ugh. I believe in kismet, so I knew it was time.

So I booked it.  

Be Curious (or...what would you ask for if you knew you'd get it?)

Be Curious (or...what would you ask for if you knew you'd get it?)

I was 8 when my brother was born.

I’m pretty sure I thought my parents had him because I’d asked them to.  And this *might* actually be true.

Every Christmas I asked for two things. A  miniature, real car (why??) and a Baby Alive doll.

I never got either.

How Barre Class Reset My Self-Talk

How Barre Class Reset My Self-Talk

I think we can all agree there’s not enough time in a day.

So in an effort to “add more time” to my own day, I decided to get up at an hour earlier, at 5:45,  to exercise. I know, I know, 5:45 a.m. is NOT that early...and especially since I spent 18 years getting up at 3:45am when I worked in the bond market. But, times change (no pun intended).

In the first few minutes of my 6:30 barre class, when I couldn’t sustain a plank for a full minute, I got frustrated and started berating myself for not being as strong as I should be or letting the early morning get to me.  My mind said, “You’re better than this.”

And then my heart said,  “Hey! I woke up at 5 freaking 45 to be here.  Isn’t that kinda awesome? And even if I only get 80% of the benefit, isn’t that better than not working out at all?

And slowly, my mindset shifted.  And while I still didn’t feel as strong as I normally do, I felt pretty dang proud of myself for being there at all.

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

One of my friends was just diagnosed with cancer.  

Actually, she got the diagnosis a month ago, but she's still waiting to find out what kind of cancer it is so they can start treatment.

One month!

Can you imagine sitting with the knowledge that you have cancer, even just for one day, and not being able to attack it?

My friend and her family’s whole world came crashing down when they got that news, and I expect, all the pent-up “shoulda coulda woulda worry clutter,” too.  

Because there’s only one thing that matters now:  there is a friend, mother, daughter, aunt, and wife who is about to start the fight of, and for, her life.    

So, what a waste of time and embarrassment that I’m stressed that I didn’t get far enough through my to-do list, didn’t exercise, or didn’t book that commercial.   

I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Do you watch Scandal?

If not, you should.  And you’re lucky. Lucky because you can binge on all 6 seasons of one of the juiciest, sexiest, and most gorgeous shows out there, ALL.AT.ONCE.  Sigh.

I’m not just talking about Jake Ballard.  

Okay fine, I am.

Because he’s like that decadent Morning Brownie at your fave bakery that you resist every day (honestly, if a Morning Bun is an acceptable breakfast thing, why no Morning Brownie?).  

You shouldn’t. You can’t! Especially since you skipped yoga.  

The Power Of Being Naive

The Power Of Being Naive

One of the best gifts in my life happened because I was too naive to know that I was being naive.  

As I reflect back on it, it was part my expectation for others to do the right thing, a little about ‘you don’t get what you don’t ask for’ and even more about knowing I had nothing to lose.

This is definitely true for us actors who are fighting so hard for our dreams.

You can’t expect to make your dreams come true if you don’t go after them, right?  We all know that.  Our passion for acting is the fire that gets us out of bed every day to keep going for it, even though so many voices (sometimes even our own) are screaming, “no” and “it’s too hard”. 

Because regret is insidious.

And while I regret a lot of things in my life,  my biggest regrets are the things I didn’t do.

Luckily,  following my dreams to be an actor isn’t one of them.  And it isn’t for you, either. So high five, my friend.  We’re doing it!  
 

The Butter Cookie Breakthrough: How I Learned To Spike My Productivity

The Butter Cookie Breakthrough: How I Learned To Spike My Productivity

I’m new to the entrepreneur lifestyle and it has been a huge learning curve with many highs and many lows. And lots of ‘what the hell have I dones’.

It has felt a bit like getting a ticket for a 2018 Simon & Garfunkel Nostalgia Tour (someone please make this happen) but then finding out it’s in London and my passport won’t be renewed in time.  

I’m being dramatic but I had a recent wake-up call that turned my business on its head

Here’s what happened.

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

I recently had a commercial audition where I was asked to tell a story about the importance of family.  

That was it. The whole audition was just a little, lighthearted, fun story.  

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, it was, except I committed one major commercial auditioning faux pas.

The Real Reason Your Social Media is a Pain in the A$$

The Real Reason Your Social Media is a Pain in the A$$

Social Media is kind of a pain in the ass. 

You wish it was easier to use. You wish it was fun. You wish that attracting gobs of followers with your witty banter and interesting posts was a no-brainer.

You make excuses not to do it like, “I’m too old”, or “I wouldn’t know what to post”, but deep down you’re actually afraid that no one will like your stuff, follow you back, or that you might get blasted for saying something dumb, amiright?

And then a new kind of fear creeps in.  It’s called FOMO and it sounds like, “What’s a meme?” or  “Whose abs are they talking about?”

I know that’s what you’re thinking because I used to think it, too.

Demystifying the Aha Moment

Demystifying the Aha Moment

As most of you know, I’ve spent a lot of time blogging about the guts of my business, how I’m feeeeeeling about it all, and how crazy cool it is when an actor tells me they had a lot of “aha moments” while taking my course.  

You know who else talks a lot about her feelings?  Oprah.  And you wanna know who happens to be pretty freaking incredible actor? Yup, right again.  Oprah...wth two Oscar noms to prove it.  No surprises there. She’s pretty extraordinary.

So extraordinary, in fact, that she’s the reason “aha moment” is in the dictionary in the first place! She used it so much that the Merriam-Webster people decided that it was worthy of becoming an immortalized part of the English language.  #lifegoals

For what it’s worth, other recent additions to the dictionary are “jiggy”, “shizzle” the verb “MacGyver”, and the 2017 word of the year, youthquake.  Hmm.

But back to aha moments.  Today I’m hoping to give you one by showing you how to infuse yourself into any character you have to play.

The "Audition Hotline" And The Vortex of Self-Doubt

The "Audition Hotline" And The Vortex of Self-Doubt

The Sunday New York Times business section recently ran an article called, “Reese Witherspoon’s Second Act”.  

And it had me cheering.

Not only because she wants to create television for other woman – actresses, directors, and writers – but because Reese is absolutely killing it as a producer (cast in point, Meryl Streep signed on for Big Little Lies, Season 2. Are you kidding me???)  which means she's figured out a way to take back control in the industry. Go girl! 

How to Use Predictability in Your Favor. Every Time.

How to Use Predictability in Your Favor. Every Time.

My daughter recently turned 13.

And I know this will mean many, many changes in our house– terrifying changes that are sure to keep me up at night wondering what happened to my baby girl.   But, for now, there’s  one thing I know I can count on for sure – her birthday meal requests.

Her menu looks like this, every year:

How Getting Really Pissed Off Helped Me Find My Groove

How Getting Really Pissed Off Helped Me Find My Groove

She doesn’t know it (yet, because I just figured it out for myself)  but my mom is the inspiration behind the Magnetic Actor Method.

But not in the, “Hi, it’s me, your mom. I just called to say I have this great idea for a business you should start” kind of inspiration.

That’s not even close.  Here’s the backstory.

The 7 Real Reasons You Didn't Get That Callback

The 7 Real Reasons You Didn't Get That Callback

Booking the job isn’t just about a stellar audition. We all know that. Yet, there are soooo many things that actors do, every day, that destroy their chances of booking the job.

There are 7 that I think are the worst – The Seven Deadly Sins.  

Are you guilty of any of these? Let’s find out.

Promises, Promises + a Year of Bringing Back the Magic

Promises, Promises + a Year of Bringing Back the Magic

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my New Year’s Resolutions.  

The truth is, I don’t make them.  Never have.  One year I tried to do something every day in lieu of giving something up (I chose sit-ups), but that didn’t stick either. (Dangit.. just realized I could have given up situps and crushed my resolutions that year!)

So screw it!  This year I’ll unabashedly eat chocolate whenever I want, and may, or may not, work on my core. 

But I do have goals. And plans...for you. BIG plans.

5 Ways To Supercharge Your Next Audition

5 Ways To Supercharge Your Next Audition

I totally rocked an audition last week.  

Everything went exactly as I had planned, and I knew I’d booked it.

As we all know, auditioning is scary.  As an actor, you’re putting yourself on the line in every audition, and most of the time, you hear crickets.  It’s easy to start getting in your head and questioning whether you’ve got what it takes.  

I’m a firm believer in leveraging one’s strengths in all facets of the business, and for me, that includes audition prep and the moment I walk into the casting room.  That’s what my Magnetic Actor Method is all about, and it has transformed the way I approach auditions.  Here’s what it might look like in the the audition room, and how it worked for me.

The Only Thing That Really Matters (P.S. It's Not Chocolate)

The Only Thing That Really Matters (P.S. It's Not Chocolate)

I know it’s December, but I’m still thinking about Thanksgiving. And it’s because of my brothers.

Yes, because I’m thankful for them, but there’s more to it.  It really comes down to that I don’t see them enough.  

We see each other every Thanksgiving which is pretty incredible for a family strewn across the country:  My mom is in Hawaii, I’m in California, one brother is in Michigan and the other brother is in New York.

But about 5 years ago we made it a priority to see each other every Thanksgiving, because life is short. And family is what matters.

Here’s what happened.