Markus Silbiger (Zac And Mia, Fresh Off The Boat)
Thanks for making acting fun again and not some intense competition. It’s more exciting when you stop working and start playing. (IMDB page)
Matt Barber (Downton Abbey)
Thank you for your extraordinary dedication and energy. I enjoy the process again! I’ve been getting much more pleasure and satisfaction out of my work since we met. You’ve shown me that this incredible journey I’m on is a fun and exciting exploration rather than a threat. So, thank you!
Please Don’t Feed The Beast
A very fine actress recently told me that she looked up other actor’s self-tapes online after submitting her own. After noting that one particular gal’s performance was “trash,” she was shocked and devastated that this same gal was at the callback… and it almost threw her in the room.
What we pay attention to – what we feed ourselves – has a great impact on our creative and inner life. So are you doing what you can to take care of your artist? Or are you succumbing to the beast within? Which are you feeding? Let’s look: Continue reading “Please Don’t Feed The Beast”
Fill The Well. Put Down Your Phone.
“In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We’ve got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish– an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must…maintain this artistic ecosystem.
If we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked. As artists we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them– to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well.” – Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way” Continue reading “Fill The Well. Put Down Your Phone.”
The Number One Thing Actors Should Stop Doing
“That was a train wreck.”
“I sucked so bad.”
“…..” The actor struggles internally, but the words “I’m a horrible actor and I’ve just embarrassed myself in front of all my peers and/or casting. I should just give up and go back to being an accountant in Arkansas,” read clearly in his expression. Continue reading “The Number One Thing Actors Should Stop Doing”
Act Like A Pro
Does Lady Gaga stop singing for several months? Do Alvin Ailey dancers hang up their dance shoes for weeks on end? Does Eric Clapton let his guitar gather dust until his next gig? Does Olympic Gold Metalist Gabby Douglas stop going to the gym for half the year? Continue reading “Act Like A Pro”
How Substitution Hurts The Actor
If you had a wound on your arm that was scabbing over, would you pick at it and open it up? If you have ever done that, then you know you risk infection and a much longer healing process.
So if you wouldn’t do that to your body, why would you ever rip open an emotional wound?
Some actors pick at those emotional scabs for their craft. They use personal experiences (aka: substitution) so they can achieve an emotion. But the internal results are the same as picking at a physical scab; more pain and less healing. Continue reading “How Substitution Hurts The Actor”
Taking Care: Letting Go Of A Character
Sonya, a Holocaust partisan fighter, is assigned to keep a rabbi’s wife alive in the forest until it’s safe to move on to the next village. She is fierce and tough enough for the challenge, but secretly deeply terrified. Survivor’s guilt tears at her soul as well; after the Nazis rip her family from their home and put them on a train to Auschwitz, she escapes through a small window, begging them to come with her, but they refuse and travel on to their deaths. In the woods, she is constantly on guard for the enemy. She longs for home and good food and fights about religion with her cohort so vehemently, she knocks the woman out cold. Eventually, she is almost a choked to death by a Nazi and finally mourns her family through copious tears. Continue reading “Taking Care: Letting Go Of A Character”
Hey, you. Yes, you. Thank you.
I’ve had numerous jobs in my time:
I’ve been a shelf stocker at a discount store, glorified babysitter at the YMCA, cashier at a lunch spot/sweet shop, group leader of a socialization group for teen girls with learning disabilities and a burger flipper at a country club that, ironically, didn’t allow Jews to be members back in the ’60’s (I was only at that one for two weeks).
For several years, I was an executive assistant at an insurance company (snooze) and then at a hair care company (free shampoo!). I left the fluorescent lighting and daily desire to stick a pencil in my eye to become a freelance marketing writer for a few years. I wrote copy (at home in my pajamas most of the time) for international companies, mom & pop stores, non-profits, scatterbrained “entrepreneurs,” and independent “inventors” who created some of the most asinine products they thought would make them money. Continue reading “Hey, you. Yes, you. Thank you.”
Your Craft, Your Career, and How To Make It All Fun Again
I’m assuming you didn’t get into acting to be famous (because let’s face it; if you want to be famous, there are plenty of easier ways to do that, from eating bugs and shooting your nuts off to making a sex tape or denying marriage licenses to gay folks). You got into acting because you love the craft and you hope to make a living doing it.
What you didn’t know was that craft and career are two different things. In one hand you hold your craft, the creative spark that fulfills you. In the other hand is your career, the thing you aspire to achieve. You hope that your career and your craft will intersect…that they will thread fingers together like a romantic couple. And maybe they will. But most of the time they shift in and out, coming together and releasing like an on-again, off-again Hollywood relationship. Continue reading “Your Craft, Your Career, and How To Make It All Fun Again”
Monica Lacy (The Kicks, Hawaii 5-0)
I’m glad I have Robin in my corner. Her coaching has led me to deeper, more authentic work, with great results. Her audition coaching absolutely helped me book a guest spot and a series regular role!
So of course I went back to her for role prep coaching, and our session prepared me to walk on the pilot set with a fully developed character ready to play. (IMDB page)
Malea Rose (Kidnap, Two And A Half Men, The Crazy Ones)
It was such a pleasure coaching with you for this role. Everything we worked on really sank in and I owned it and it was so much fun and intense. You were so enlightening yesterday. I can’t wait to coach with you again!
Emilia Zoryan (Bosch)
It was such a relief to walk into a room with so much knowledge and depth about the character for just the first casting. It really allowed me to live through the audition instead of rush or ramble through it. The entire experience was very satisfying. Thank you. (IMDB page)
From Stage to Screen: Toning It Down While Keeping It Real
Ah, the stage! The glorious live performance. When you’ve had years of experience on the stage, every cell in your body knows what performing feels like. Your body knows to be bigger, louder. It feels full, grand, real and you can hear the audience react. How rewarding. How deliciously rewarding!
Then you do film or TV for the first time and your eyebrows act like caterpillars on crack. You look like a bobblehead or cartoon character. You’re surprised your eyes don’t pop out of your head to the sound of an old fashioned horn. There’s no way around it; you’re simply horrible. Continue reading “From Stage to Screen: Toning It Down While Keeping It Real”
Kate Amundsen (Stitchers, Shameless)
Robin is such a delight to work with! She offered me a FUN, safe, creative and collaborative workspace to develop a role I booked. She had clearly spent a lot of time with the script beforehand and was therefore very prepared to offer invaluable insight for the life I would be living. By the time we finished our session, I left with a solid sense of my character and felt much more prepared for the subsequent shoot days. I highly recommend working with Robin. She’s the best! (IMDB page)
Feraz Ozel (Hollywood Dirt)
Robin is by far better than every acting coach/teacher I’ve ever had. She has a unique ability to understand what you are not grasping and gets you to understand how to make the changes within you and your approach to truly “live the life” of the character. She is completely devoid of b.s. and a real person with a passion for teaching. It’s a very fun and safe environment!
Clotile Kepashvili (The Color Purple)
Having Robin as an instructor was like having an intuitive friend guide you along an unknown path. She saw where I wanted/needed to go as I explored truthfulness and empathy in my acting. She made it look easy and helped me become fearless. You might think playing the lead on Broadway makes it easy to transition to TV/film, but it wasn’t easy for me to be in front of the camera; I loved that she took me where I was at, helped me grow and allowed me to be who I truly am. So rewarding, and so worth it.
The Secret to Surviving The Quiet Season
A successful producer once told me that the key to surviving this industry is how you handle the time in between gigs. “It’s easy when you’re working; it’s what you do when you’re not working that really counts.”
He wasn’t suggesting hiding under the bed with a pint of Cherry Garcia and a vision board and waiting for the phone to ring. He also didn’t mean you should focus solely on career-centric activities, networking your face off until you’re tongue falls out of your mouth. He meant, above all, you have to stay creative and enjoy a well-rounded life. Continue reading “The Secret to Surviving The Quiet Season”
Libby Mintz (Day Out Of Days)
Thanks a million, Robin for the role prep coaching! You are really good at your job. Filming was A BLAST! Your instincts about the script were right on and I felt free to play. Director Zoe Cassavetes loved what I was doing and led me even further into a silly carefree territory, which was so fun. Thanks for helping me get out of my head and enjoy it!