October 2015: On the set of 11/22/63

I’ve been extremely busy coaching on 11/22/63, a mini-series starring James Franco, Chris Cooper, George MacKay and Daniel Webber. It’s based off the novel by Stephen King, about the Kennedy assassination. It’s been wonderful to meet great Canadian actors like Shauna MacDonald; to coach exciting younger actors like George, Daniel and Lucy Fry; to watch seasoned actors like Cherry Jones, James Franco and Chris Cooper work.
I’ve recently re-branded my site and other online materials with the help of one of the actors I’m training. I plan on being more active on Facebook from now on so I can better connect with students from my Toronto studio there and encourage students to be more involved in the community as well. I am also planning on creating short 2-3 minute clips with acting advice that I’ve had for a long time.

ABC’s for the Actor

ABC’s for the Actor

… (a play on ‘Always Be Closing’ from David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross)

1. Always Be Centered

Actors must be (‘matter-of-fact’) … how else can they dream? The only person who can dream is the person who can stand with both feet firmly on the earth.
— Richard Boleslavsky

Wake up to each day with a commitment to your art, your craft, yourself as a human being on this planet. All this daily work (putting in your 10,000 hours on your own, in class, when you’re working on a play or on a set) all this work will lead you to be a fully centered, instinctively disciplined, relaxed, open, aligned actor. Yoyo Ma, the incredible cellist, was recognized as a genius when he was five. His 10,000 hours must have been completed by the time he was ten. In one interview about performance preparation he says that before he begins to play he exhales everything and then on the next breath – the first note he plays – everything is there. Like all great artists who have worked – and continue to work — on all aspects of their craft, he has found that now this simple moment brings him there. It’s only after all this personal ‘cleanse’ of your vocal, physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual blocks, that you will stand fully centered, grounded; expelling a breath and ready for you to be filled by your creativity. This applies to acting as well, as can be seen in my classes in Toronto.