Acting Class

Beware the cult of busy.

 

Are you running around, crossing items off your ever-growing to-do list, feeling like a chicken with her head cut off, and wondering what the heck it’s all for? It’s a very common experience, most especially for freelancers (which all artists are).

The problem is we often confuse being busy with being effective. We think if we can just keep up the frantic pace, then everything will pay off in a big way. But it turns out that most of what we focus on is not the game changing work we hope it to be.

Being busy is about being reactive, tending to every day minutia rather than honing in on big vision stuff. Being busy is about chasing every opportunity – or perceived opportunity – without evaluating how it fits into your master plan.

For actors, this can look like:

- Mass mailing every single agent in town with your generic headshot and resume; rather than focusing on the top 5 agents who are right for your career right now, and building a relationship with consistent marketing directed to them personally

- Submitting to every Actors Access notice; rather than making 1 bold phone call to a big casting office for a job you’re perfect for

For writers, this can be:

- Handing out your business card to everyone at every networking event, hoping someone will call you; rather than getting the business cards of people you want to work with and starting an email campaign to stay in touch every few months

- Repeatedly deleting and rewriting the first act of your script; rather than finishing it and holding a table read to get some perspective on where it works and where it doesn’t

One of the reasons being busy is so attractive is because there is an immediate sense of gratification. Checking off your to-do list every day feels productive. Also, busy tasks don’t make us vulnerable. Getting a “no” from a casting director is harder than the non-answer of Actors Access. Having your script read aloud and hearing where it falls flat can be painful. But without taking these risks, how will you truly grow?

I invite you to step off the hamster wheel for a weekend getaway with me in the Hudson Valley this June. I’ve organized a vision-clarifying, gremlin-crushing, goal-setting retreat in nature, where we will stop the busy-making and reevaluate what you are doing and why. Check out the full details here: tinyurl.com/cm4aRetreat

Bonus for Red Wall Productions family: Get $100 off the registration fee if you can tell me what TV show Roz guest-starred on with Edie Falco.

Sam Garland is a Creative Career Coach who helps actors, writers, and filmmakers take charge of their journeys and uplevel their careers in powerful ways.  You can get more tools, tips, and inspiration at www.cm4a.com.

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...

Power Of Creation. A Preview Of Ilona Siac

In my new class, this is where I want my clients to get to: figuring out what they want to do, what they are compelled to do, and actually doing it. I directed this and helped created the material.  Craig wrote it. It's just a sneak peak.  There's more.

Meet Ilona Siac.  

ANNOUNCEMENT

Today Red Wall announced that Roz will be teaching an On-Going, On-Camera Class starting June 10th. We are very excited about this next step for us and to work with all of you. Attached is the breakdown. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support.  You are all so wonderful and we can't wait to keep growing and moving forward. We better see you in class :)  NEW ACTING CLASS DETAILS

NEW CLASS ALERT: From Scenes to Sides: On- Camera Acting with Roz

NEW CLASS ALERT: From Scenes to Sides: On- Camera Acting with Roz

A note from working with very seasoned actors in the workshop company

 Please note these are raw exercises.  Look for what works.  It's a collaborative process, creating a film. You don't have to have every skill.  But I will argue you have the most important skills: acting & a history of contributing to stories.  YOU CAN DO THIS if you chose to.

Assiatou makes a scary debut!

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I was lucky to have the incomparable Roz coach me while shooting my first starring role in a thriller film produced by Spike Lee! She listened, saw where I was and took me further than I had imagined I would go. Working with Roz on YOU"RE NOBODY TIL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU provided me with the foundation to explore the work more authentically. Roz, the movie just got released by Lionsgate on  DVD, just in time for Halloween, boooooo! If you believe in justice as well as to be scared, download from amazon with one click here: http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Nobody-til-Somebody-Kills/dp/B008JFSQBI

or get it on DVD while it lasts!

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ASSIATOU 

Thank you! From Florida

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I am taking some time off from teaching to work. It's good for me to act professionally. It certainly keeps me humble. Learning. Growing.

I miss my clients so much.

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This aknowlegement by Backstage readers makes me feel so appreciated.

I can't wait to get back to focusing on helping others breakdown scenes and connect to the materail in a way that is unique to them AND works for the story.

In the meantime. Thank you.

Here we are at Disney (where dreams come true)

Yale Like Training at a discount.

Each summer The Studio/New York offers a handful of student actors an opportunity to spend six weeks training with the Studio's faculty in a very special program, our Summer Conservatory. Geared towards college juniors, seniors and recent graduates, the program was designed specifically to meet the needs of younger actors who are ready to engage in serious training and artistic development.  It offers a rare opportunity to spend six weeks completely immersed in an exciting, fast-paced program led by some of the most respected and talented names in actor training. The curriculum, a condensed/concentrated version of one semester at a top graduate school program, consists of Fitzmaurice voicework, clown, mask, movement, Lucid Body and scene study. Classes meet eight hours per day, Monday - Friday, for six weeks, and are lead by a faculty unsurpassed both in excellence and experience.  Our faculty's attention and commitment to each student's individual development is unparalleled in the New York training community!! Our goal... to help those actors in our charge make a quantum leap in their development in six weeks. We offer a strong foundation in craft, we help each actor release old patterns that are getting in the way, and we aim to give each actor a personal understanding of his or her dimensions as an actor and the role serious training can play in developing those possibilities.  

 

To learn more about just how far this level of training can take you, I encourage you read what our past students have to say about their experiences below.

 

 

Jayd McCarty

The Studio/New York

Director

 

Work with amazing Filmmaker

Hey Actors our good friend amazing filmmaker and teacher at NYU, Keith Davis who is currently developing his feature film with the help of Sundance asked me to post:

ATTN: NYC based actors I need to bring in experienced actors (all ages, races and types) for a director/actor workshop I'm teaching at NYU grad film this semester. An amazing opportunity to work with emerging filmmakers!

If you'd like to be added to the group please email me a H&R to mail@keithldavis.com

Thank you!