Vincent Van Gogh"Your profession is not your job.Your profession is what you're put on this earth to do with such passion and intensity it becomes spiritual in calling."
If that’s how you feel about being an actor we’d like to help you.Check out Jim's welcome video!
That I need to love and own my own acting!
I fired my agents in January 2016 and called up my friend to make a pact that we’ll make one movie a month for an entire year. So for the entire 2016 year I made 12 movies. We wrote, learned about sound, location scouted, shot, acted, edited and executed everything that goes into amateur movie making. They are my ugly babies. Although, some are cute.
I took a break last year because I relied on my agents to supply my creative wealth. Horrible dependency. It was an awful feeling.
To fuel my own artistry I made 12 movies last year and now I’m auditioning and headhunting a manager :)))!!!!!
I was just offered a lead role in a mutual friends’ movie, which came from someone I met making a movie two years ago, who saw my work in my latest project and now wants to work with me.
You never know who’s watching!
I listen to hip-hop, jazz and rock n roll
I just finished the play Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman
I listen to Smart Drug Smarts Podcasts
Joe Rogan Podcast
I receive newsletters from brainpickings.org and thedailystoic.com
Jim Jarretts newsletter were incredibly refreshing and a good dose of artistic health.
I have a pool of about five people, my best friends, who I speak to on a regular basis. We all keep each other accountable and elevate one another to find love in our own art.
One of the greatest gifts to the craft of acting and humanity, and I am so proud to be a student of his artistic lineage and brilliance.
How difficult simple was.
Not to worry about a career yet. That happens after you train and learn and become a student of the technique. Student, then career!
The teachings are literal and simple. Leave your preparation at the door means leave it at the door. Prepare for the first moment means only for the first moment and so on. Don’t think it means anything else than what you’re taught. Those are ideas and not teachings.
While beginning to work, If it’s not fun, scratch it and make sure you come from a place of joy before you start again.
Also, relax before you prepare. I’ve learned that when you’re not relaxed you’re coming from fear and you’ll be on yourself and unreceptive.
Hunt for meaning!!
Learn to looooove how moments reveal themselves!!!!!!
How little I knew about myself before I started.
Moving away from the “actor version” of myself.
And using my real self.
With Jim and Melissa on a regular basis.
I didn’t realize till now but learning how to act at your school was really a collaborative process in it’s entirety. Jim and Melissa were helping me, help myself act and it was a lot of back and forth like a project. My questions, your answers. My confusions, your clarifications, my ideas, your green lights and no’s, so on and so forth.
Being in class with people who don’t care.
How important doors and activities are. I wish I made more stimulating choices. There’s a door and an activity in every scene we’ll ever play and see. Someone is always coming to someone with a need.
To be patient and listen to the teachings more literally. And not think about my career until I was done training.
Learning how to relax
When I fake cried hahahahahahaahah
When I cut watermelon for my grandfather.
When I learned that I am the character. But I still wish I knew that as much as I do now.
I got my agent because someone saw me working on set and referred me. Referral is best.
Don’t be desperate in talking with them.
Be responsive to their emails and calls. No delays.
I had a horrible relationship with my first agent. So I’m still learning how I would maintain a good working relationship with one.
Connect to the reader or the person you’re talking to.
And if you’ve had a bad audition. Leave for a few minutes and come back and ask for another one. Confidently. And it must be done CONFIDENTLY.
I’ve always gotten another chance.
Auditioning takes a good dose of shamelessness.
Also, casting directors/producers/directors can smell your authentic or unauthentic self the moment you walk in. So get good at getting rid of any version of yourself and being the real you.
Your probationary years are going to be wonderful if you create your own work and audition at the same time.
I’ll have the manager I’m head hunting.
Still be acting my ass off!
I’m feeling pretty impressionable about life.
I’m not a working actor.
The hustle isn’t boring.
But it’s daunting.
It’s the most difficult fun I’ve ever had.
We hate when they call “Action”
I tell directors I have good relationships with not to say it. Some listen, some dont haha!!
wix.com is free and awesome fore websites.
Other than that I’m still learning all market stuff.
I’ll have the manager I’m head hunting.
Myself 20 years from now as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Starting to be Marcus Aurelius
And I’m trying to be my best influence.
When I saw Indiana Jones playing Han Solo.
I then knew Harrison Ford was an actor and wanted to be one.
Having the opportunity and freedom to express.
My feelings and meaning vs. my intellect
I was all guts and no head.
I’ll be a master of acting!
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
Try to bring myself back to my feet.
Or look off into the farthest distance I can and focus on an object to keep my sights outside of my own head.
Making friends with fear
be an actor who doesn’t make a choice.
And we suffer a lot in our imaginations.
A lot more than we do in reality.
Don’t do that!
The Meisner Technique Studio has been an absolutely priceless tool in my development as an actor. Truly priceless. The lessons he shared in class are still to this day, now almost ten years later, beautiful little landmines that hit at just the right moment teaching and guiding me again and again. The work that is created and shared amongst everyone in class has always and will always fuel me greatly. It is what keeps me going and in those times when I’ve wanted to give up and find an easier career with a straight path. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this family and I couldn’t ask for a more courageous, thought provoking, dedicated group of people to look to for inspiration.
Happy Sunday to you!
I just spent the most beautiful weekend with my four sisters at a beach house on the coast. We get together once a year with no partners, spouses or kids to celebrate my mom who passed away four years ago. I am so grateful for such a beautiful weekend.
What are you grateful for on this Sunday morning?
So we reopened our school this week after a two and a half month break (grateful for that too!) and something very interesting happened in the new beginning class. A student quit after the very first night.
I could see him quitting right before my eyes in the middle of the class.
What happened was this: when I called him up to work for the very first time, he struggled trying to do the first step of the Meisner Technique. It’s a very basic first step but many people struggle. In fact, many people that night struggled, but he didn’t see that. All he saw was that he struggled and the more he struggled the more he struggled.
I addressed it right away but more to the room because he wasn’t the first person that night who beat themselves up for “not getting it right away.” I taught the importance of being a healthy, kind-hearted “learner” – someone who can celebrate the growing pains of learning something new and actually enjoy the stumbles because they’ll lead to growth.
I quoted Sanford Meisner’s wonderful teaching on this, “Mistakes are good. Mistakes are how we grow. Fall down. Screw up. Todays manure is tomorrow’s masterpiece!”
But I could see when he sat down he was defeated. And we hadn’t even begun to get into the work.
At the end of class I called him over and asked what was going on. He said, “This isn’t for me.” I asked, “What isn’t for you?” He then said something very truthful and very sad, “I don’t like making mistakes, especially in front of other people and I can tell I’m going to be making a lot of mistakes.”
I tried to encourage him and give him healthy balance and perspective but again, I could see he was already emotionally out the door. I asked him to think about it and give me a call the next day with his decision.
The next morning he called to say goodbye.
What happened to him/for him is something I’ve seen many times over the years – the curse of perfectionism. The curse of “If I can’t do it well and quickly, no thanks!”
Being a perfectionist has many wonderful attributes, but when trying something new – especially something elusive and ethereal like being an actor (or any art form) – it is a curse.
To be a student of acting in a legitimate acting class requires tremendous humility, vulnerability, freedom and courage.
You must be able to not take the teachings personally.
You must be willing to embrace “screwing up” and not have that define you.
You must be comfortable not being perfect. What kind of “learner” are you?
After a quarter century of teaching, I’ve come to believe that if you’re an artist of any kind, a dreamer of any kind, you must tame the beast of perfectionism. Otherwise, you’ll never enjoy the journey because no true artist is ever truly satisfied. You never conquer your art. You simply continue to grow into yourself and for that you must be wide open and willing to suck. A lot!
I’d love your feedback so if you haven’t already – please join our Artistic Family Facebook Group
Also remember to mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3rd at 10:00am PST for our Webinar Q&A – details soon!
Thanks for taking the time to be with me today and I’ll see you next week.
My very best, Jim
I LOVE this photo from our 4th Annual Sanford Film Festival for so many reasons - mostly because they all look so happy, proud, and empowered for making their film! "Nothing happens until you move" is one of my favorite teachings and this is that!