Inspiration

Inspired By A Pink Hat...

Inspired By A Pink Hat...
  • I believe in the magic of the muse.  
  • I believe the teacher learns from from the students.
  • I believe joy in it's purest form is priceless (Julia Robert's Laugh...how much is it worth?) 
  • I believe that craft plus freedom of expression equals art, which puts us in such a state that when witnessed by an audience, together we breathe heaven's air.

The Thanksgiving Post. A Long Time Coming.

 

This post is about my work, people I work with and for, my life and how thankful I am for all of it. 

It's all mixed up together. my family, my work, and my life reflect each other. Together they equal my art my reason for living, my calling.  

A few months ago my husband told me I had to stop working on a project. Essentially he fired me.

It felt like a punch in the stomach. I didn't know what to do which way to go. Why to wake  up in the morning. You see to me a story untold, unfinished,  unborn is like a stillbirth. It's like that raisin in the sun that Lorraine Hansberry lamented. Does it explode?  No it rots inside and that's far worse. 

When I don't get to finish a project that I start (which has only happened to me once before) it feels like I've been dumped. Fired. Broken up with in the most humiliating of ways.  Publicly disregarded. Rejected.  A dangerous tailspin of deep depression is something that a responsible mother, wife, cannot afford to risk. 

After much talk I saw that perhaps the husband was right and we should leave the project unfinished.  But where did that leave me? 

Looking very lost.     

Looking very lost. 
 

I was lost. LOST. 

So I went on a quest to find out what we should do next.  

And this is why I am thankful for my work and my clients because that is what got me through a very long period of not knowing.

I wanted to take some time off a sabbatical. A trip to nowhere. To stop and think. To meditate. Stretch, fast and renew. But that was a fantasy. And unrealistic one at that. I'm not Alice Walker, I'm Roz Coleman. I don't have a MacArthur Genius Grant.  

I didn't stop. I slowed down. 

What I did was take a class.  And then another. I had already committed to doing a play and teaching a new acting class at NYU and continuing at SUNY Purchase.  Other than that my husband supported my time to learn, listen, and not know.  New clients and acting opportunities kept creeping into my life and I saw them as my teachers as my guides through this time. 

The quote that culminated this time came last week while I was on set coaching a creative genius. Let's call him Prince (As in the artist who made Purple Rain) because I don't want to disclose his name but he is a director, actor, artist, musician on that level.  As I observed him step into his greatness, using his own body as a canvas for his work. He was playing with his food between takes on set. The actress who is acting opposite him, who although is more experienced in acting is admittedly not as free as he is, jokingly said to him "don't play with your food."  He replied in a serious tone "why everything in life is meant to be played with."

Full stop. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Enjoy. 

Below. 

The work of the students.

More to come...

Sometimes you gotta take a chance...

Dear Mr. Tyler Perry,  

My friend Michelle Graci just visited you on your  private island and told me that she spoke of my  filmmaking work to you. 

Is it true? Do you really have an island?! Did Michelle *(bless her sweet heart)* really talk to you about my directing? 

If  it's all true, I am honored to have an excuse to reach out to you.  


**I love your movies and plays!**
 
The elements you weave together are universal. Good, evil, rich, poor, sex and music.  Just saw the movie **Temptation** and loved it. It reminded me of my all-time favorite movie **Lady sings the blues.** I am trying to play with these same elements in my web series [JUSTICE](http://blip.tv/justicetheseries). It's got a ways to go.

As one who longs to do what you do, I thank you for your writing directing and acting.
The body of your life's work shows how you love your audience. 

 **Just one or two more things to thank  you for**.

- Your life's transparency, allowing us to witness your journey and not playing like you  had it easy. 

- Thank you for taking time out of your busy successful life to inspire artists like me. 

I watch your videos and I'm on your mailing list. I read your articles. Right now I am trying  to do just one thing and let God multiply my kingdom.  I appreciate your efforts and pray that you have the energy, passion, and  fortitude to continue the work. 
I hope this letter reaches your eyeballs & your heart.

Mad respect,

[Rosalyn Coleman Williams](http:rosalyncoleman.com)


*Fav moments in Temptation**

* The party scene through the end of the breakup.

* From when she went to pick up her computer thru him punching her.

* The introduction of coke into her world.

Humph. Sold out. :-)

Wonderful show. It made an old couple hold hands. I love being able to watch the audience. I have always loved watching their reactions. It never stops being facinating. That's the same thing I love about sitting amongst an audiece ad they watch a film I have made. It's all for them, to get those reactions. And when they say thank you I realize it was all for me, for the high that had me run 4 blocks for the bus tonight. Thank you universe for the opportunity to do what I love and the good sense to know it is a blessing.

Wonderful show. It made an old couple hold hands. I love being able to watch the audience. I have always loved watching their reactions. It never stops being facinating. That's the same thing I love about sitting amongst an audiece ad they watch a film I have made. It's all for them, to get those reactions. And when they say thank you I realize it was all for me, for the high that had me run 4 blocks for the bus tonight. Thank you universe for the opportunity to do what I love and the good sense to know it is a blessing.

Vanessa Got The Job!

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When Vanessa called me to tell me she got the job, my face hurt from smiling so hard, I was so happy for her. As an acting coach I am always getting these phone calls, texts, and emails from my clients who have booked the job and are sharing their joy with me. I always feel high with happiness when someone's hard work pays off in the way that they want it to. But then the emails get deleted, the Texas are covered over with new mundane texts the phone calls and the feeling that I get evaporates and I go back to my everyday life. This time I wanted it to be different.

How ROZ COLEMAN helped me book Intimate Apparel- Pasadena Playhouse fall 2012
I went to Roz because she's my dear friend, an amazing director coach and awesome actress!
I was particularly interested in her insight on Esther because I had seen her do a kick butt job in the role at a theater in Philadelphia.
I came to her with all my actor angst and a litany of questions.What does this scene mean, 
what's the secret to Esther, what emotional place I should be in for the particular audition scene I had been given? I figured Roz would know all the answers she'd played the role (magnificently I might add) she knows exactly what's going on. She got to discover on her feet what was going on in the play! 
Roz took a breath calmly said "Vanessa have an authentic experience of material."
"Oh!" I said to myself "Oh ok...I know how to do that. This is beautifully written material I understand it, I know what's going on, I'm having an emotional response to the material already."
Roz continued "...have an authentic experience and don't focus on the result!" In other words trust yourself, trust your instrument Vanessa ...you can't get it wrong.
I was relieved and went on to have a fantastic audition armed with this sage advice and another gem of wisdom Roz had already given me in a prior coaching session which was "This is your job until otherwise notified!"
These words I carry all the time to every audition I have. These words completely and totally take me off the hook and allow me to relax into the present moment and the present joy of doing the work that I so love to do. And isn't that the truth of the matter anyway? Don't we as actors spend so much of our lives more than anything else we do trying to "get"the job? 
So why not go ahead and enjoy this process, fully embody it and enjoy HAVING the job for as long as we can or ....until otherwise notified! 
I spent more time going over the scenes, rehearsing, discovering, but now without all the worry. I was doing the part I was "in rehearsal."At the call back I was calm rehearsing with the director with the other actors who were also "in rehearsal."
I saw the other actresses who were also up for Esther, beautiful, fine looking actresses whose work I'm sure was fabulous, all the while I had a calm sense of whatever happens it's all good I'm already doing it, already doing the work.
I left feeling exhilarated inspired accomplished and detached from the outcome... I couldn't lose.
My agent called me three days later...I booked it! Thank you Roz!

Sent from Vanessa's iPad

humbling, intimidating, and fun. Day One of Love, Loss & What I Wore

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I am new to the show and the other ladies have done the show before. They are very good and the play is much better than I ever even realized having only seen it once. Why didn't I realize that this is a great play? It's written by the Ephron sisters. Of course it's great. What's really wonderful is for me to be acting in a play and not understudying it. this play is full of wonderful stories and monologues and great range of characters. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience the place so many different wonderful roles, great language with the legendary actresses. I am very very thankful.

I am acting with Donna McKechine of A Chorus Line fame. When I was a teenager I used to listen to her record of A Course Line for hours. I had it memorized. I used to perform the song she sang as a monologue for my friends. It's unbelievable that one point in the play we play mother and daughter.

One more cool thing they have a wonderful training program in MFA for actors down here and they have a resident theater company. Next year they are doing the play Clybourne Park.

A Whole New World, Asolo Theatre: Love Loss and What I Wore

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This seems like a great time to focus on heath and my own instrument. Of course I cant let my goals go so I am still working on Twinkle and Justice and Everything Acting Podcast and I will be avail for Skype coaching sessions. And it's a good time to get back to my own story writing. Of course the play. It should be relaxing. Lord help me.

Our president

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Rosalyn --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

Rosalyn --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:

http://my.barackobama.com/Marriage

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,

Barack

-----

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I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:

http://my.barackobama.com/Marriage

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,

Barack

-----

More than 1.9 million people like you power this campaign. If you can, please donate today.

Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible

This email was sent to: rosalynwilliams@mac.com

Update address | Unsubscribe

The HURT VILLAGE

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I wanted to sob at least 3 times. But I wouldn't let me because I was in the front frow. I GOT IT. I love ALL my family. Katori Hall Is the bravest artist I know. Anointed. Do Jesus. Tell the truth and shame the devil. BRILLIANT performances across the boards ( Marsha Stephanie Blake Tonya Pinkins (raw) Saycon Sengbloh . SEE it if you dare. Krystal Farris SEE IT. SEE IT please. Just when I was missing the Mountaintop. HURT VILLIAGE. I feel you. 

Okay. And Seriously @patricia mcgregor that play was in the right hands.Such care and love.I recognized my people all up and through there. I know this is crazy this but it even made me think of Whitney. 

(MY)Influential theater professor passes away

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Bruce Katzman

By Akbar Ahmed, Natasha Thondavadi Staff Reporters

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Earle Gister, an influential Yale theater professor who pioneered a new method for training actors, passed away in his sleep Sunday at his New Haven home. He was 77.

A charismatic educator, Gister was among the most prominent leaders of conservatory acting training in the late 20th century. He helped coordinate previously disparate drama programs nationwide under the League of Professional Theatre Training Programs, which he co-founded in 1972, and pushed for acting students to be held to more rigorous standards.

“Earle had a very large educational impact on the country,” said J. Michael Miller, director of The Actors’ Center in New York and co-founder of the League, which disbanded in 1987. “If there was one man who made a significant difference in professional theater training, it was him.”

Over a more than 40-year career in the world of theater, Gister mentored some of today’s most celebrated actors, directed the entire canon of Anton Chekhov at the Yale Repertory Theatre and earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most respected theater professors. His reforms to theater education changed the prevalent attitude that “training actors was like training mechanics,” Miller said, and encouraged the development of hundreds of Master of Fine Arts programs in acting across the country.

Gister came to the Yale School of Drama in 1979 as associate dean of the school and chair of the Acting Department — positions he held until his retirement in 1999. Gister had previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he served as chairman of the drama department.

At Yale, Gister established a reputation as one of the preeminent faculty members at the School of Drama. He was also instrumental in managing the school during the 1980s as then-Dean Lloyd Richards focused

on program expansion at the Yale Rep, Miller said.

Ron Van Lieu, current chair of the Acting Department, said the values Gister upheld remain at the heart of the program today. Lieu said when he began his teaching career at New York University, he looked to Gister as a role model.

“I knew then that if I ever wanted to be considered a really good acting teacher, I had to be capable of playing in the same league as Earle Gister at Yale,” Lieu said in a Wednesday email. “I actually met Earle only a few times, but I was always aware of what he stood for in the classroom: rigorous technique, generosity of spirit, deep respect for the writer, desire to serve, grace and humor.”

Evan Yionoulis ’82 DRA ’85, former chair of the acting program, said in a Tuesday email that students would remember Gister for his “wry sense of humor, his depth of love for the craft of acting and his unwavering commitment.”

Gister attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he met Robert Corrigan, the drama professor who would serve as his mentor, his son Carey Gister said. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history, Earle Gister traveled with Corrigan to Tulane University in New Orleans, La., and earned an MFA in drama.

Miller said Gister viewed his time at Yale as the “pinnacle” of his career, during which he worked with some of the nation’s most talented young actors and shared his passion for Chekhov’s works. Gister inspired students to pursue their dreams in a tough industry with low job prospects, his son said.

Stephanie Nash DRA ’88, a former student of Gister, said he was a professor who genuinely cared about his students and wanted to make sure they were both honing their skills and having a good time.

“He’s more than a teacher, he’s a mentor,” Nash said. “I remember one time I knew I had given a wonderful performance and he said to me after, ‘Are you having fun?... I can’t help you more technically, but I want you to be having more fun.’”

More than 350 of Gister’s former students had reminisced about him, expressed their grief and planned memorial services around the country, on a Facebook group as of Wednesday night.

Gister balanced his dedication to teaching with a commitment to his family, his son said. Carey Gister recalled how his father would constantly teach his three children about literature and the arts, and once spent hours coaching him for a high school acting audition.

“Growing up in my father’s house was like a world-class education in the humanities,” Carey Gister said.

Though laryngeal cancer forced Gister to have his vocal cords removed in late 1988, he continued to teach at Yale and spoke at the School of Drama’s commencement ceremony six months after undergoing surgery, his son said.

He is survived by a sister, a brother, three children and two grandchildren.

© 2012 Yale Daily News All Rights Reserved

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