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.
7, 21, 37, 49, 63
I’m totally cool sharing because tomorrow, those numbers are gonna win me the Mega-Millions.
But right now, I’m dreaming about what I’ll do with all.that.cash.
And how it’s going to feel when I hear the numbers, and I can’t believe I have the winning ticket. I’ll probably check and re-check it 57 times.
And then I’ll definitely scream and cry. And laugh hysterically. Maybe all at the same time.
But I’ll also be super freaked out that I might lose the ticket, so things could get weird. Don’t come over tomorrow night.
I dreamed of being an actor for a long time. But no one knew it, and I didn't pursue it.
Instead, I choose to bury my passion in exchange for a full-time sales & trading job at a Wall Street Bank.
I still tried to act when I could get away with it. But it was hard. REALLY hard.
It wasn’t ok for me to leave the desk for much more than grabbing lunch. In fact, I got reprimanded once for taking my daughter to the doctor for a sudden body rash.
So, you can imagine how much I dreaded getting calls from my agent. Calls meant auditions which meant I had to lie. And lying meant a giant pit in my stomach for days.
I was at an weekend retreat recently and wanted chocolate. No surprise there.
What was surprising was that when I walked into the meeting room a bit later, it was like someone had read my mind. There were bags of Ruggedly Handsome Cowboy Bark all over the table!
It was actually called Ruggedly Adventuresome Cowboy Bark.
I was sooo disappointed. Buttttt, it made me realize that I see the things I want to see sometimes.
And so do you.
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!
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.
Maybe you’re thinking Homer Simpson, Dilbert, or someone from The Office.
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:
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.
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 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!
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.