acting

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!

Don't send me an email like this...

Don't send me an email like this...

I used to have a massive crush on Jon Bon Jovi.  

Who didn’t?  

That hair. The swagger. How his lips lingered on the microphone when he sang…

He was the ultimate heartthrob and he made me want to be a singer. Because then I had a chance of touring with him.  

Why not dream big, right?

But what I really wanted to be was Little Orphan Annie and I thought I had a good shot. I had the hair and I loved the songs.  

So I auditioned when the musical came to town.

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.  

Busy doing nothing?

Busy doing nothing?

I walked by a house the other day that still had its Christmas lights up.  I get it, those perpetually tangled strings are a complete pain in the butt to put up and take down every year.

But this house also had a giant snowman on the front porch, surrounded by fake presents and oversized ornaments. I didn’t see a garage, which means the owners walk by these decorations every day.

And every day, they choose NOT to take them down.  

It’s all about choices.

And just like the owners of that house, you’re making choices every second of every single day.  

It’s a bit heady to think of your acting career unfolding in a series of snap decisions, isn’t it?  

The #1 secret for making things happen

The #1 secret for making things happen

As humans, we need each other.  

For companionship, for love, and definitely for goals.  

Because we all have strengths and things we’re good at, but we also have the things we’re not so good at. 

This could look like a person who has a million great ideas but never finishes one before she’s off and running with the next thing. 

Or it’s the person that’s who takes so long weighing all the pros and cons that they never make a decision. 

I’m highly aware of what my talents are and also very aware of alllll the things I don’t do well.   

Enter strength-based partnerships. 

Remember your why

Remember your why

If you read my blog post, “The power of being naive”,  several weeks back, then you know that I went to the University of Michigan and that I’m pretty much obsessed with it.  #goblue.

I wish the Wolverines had won the NCAA tournament, but I was still blown away by the way the team played.

It was freaking impressive by all accounts.  

But what I loved the most, was how the coach, John Beilein, responded to a reporter’s question after their loss for the title.  His words speak volumes about him as a coach and mentor for those young men. He said:

Wanna cut through the noise? Do this.

Wanna cut through the noise? Do this.

I got a great question recently from an actor named Josh Berresford and wanted to highlight it here, because I think this is one that comes up for a lot of people... including me.

Here’s what he asked:

How do we deal with all of the bloggers, educators etc. out there, and be able to extract what will help us most and not be inundated with so much and so many to choose from?

Here’s my (very stream-of-consciousness) response:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How To Have More Free Time: My Day Of The Conscious Nope

How To Have More Free Time: My Day Of The Conscious Nope

I have a confession.

I pride myself on knowing my greatest talents and strengths, yet they sometimes get me into trouble and it drives me absolutely insane.  

I don’t think I’m alone.  

We all have strengths and talents that let us do incredible things, but there’s also a “dark side”.  Our strengths can also get the best of us if left unguarded or misunderstood.  

For me, it’s my Responsibility and Harmony.  I know what you’re thinking, “Those seem like goodie two-shoes themes. How in the world do they get you in trouble?”

First of all, I don’t mean TROUBLE, Trouble.  I just mean they leave me cursing myself for my inability to reign it all in.  So, maybe instead of the "dark side" of talent, I should call it, Talent Exuberance.

Let me explain.

How To Handle The Most Misunderstood Audition

How To Handle The Most Misunderstood Audition

Yippee! You have an audition!   

Then, dread. It’s a one-liner.

I know what you’re thinking.  How will I stand out? How will I let the CD know what a good actor I am and that I can cry on cue?  What about my Meisner Training?

Throw it all out the window!  (But not too far.. you’ll need all of this when the guest star auditions roll in).  

How We Can Turn Hollywood On Its Head

How We Can Turn Hollywood On Its Head

Let's Start a Revolution.

Who's with me? Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could take the entertainment industry by storm and move it from a fear-based, nebulous entity to one where we all speak the same language – a language of strengths, self-certainty and positive growth?

That’s the kind of revolution I’m talking about.