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!
Find the right job to support your dream.
If you watched last week, you can tell I have the exact same outfit on. That’s because we shoot several of these in a row when we have a topic.
So this is episode two on this topic of how to survive and thrive during the probationary years. Last week we talked about your home environment.
But boy, all the more reason to parler that into a job that you actually you enjoy, that pays you well and that you enjoy, and that doesn’t take up so much time and energy that, by the end of the day, the last thing in the world you want to do is go to play practice, rehearsal, an audition, or get up early the next day. You know what I mean.
Some friends of mine bartend, and they make great money. But it’s a tough lifestyle, and they get home late.
And after a while, it takes its toll, and it’s a slippery slope. It’s a tough one to get out of.
And the restaurant business is the same thing: a lot of money, you meet a lot of people, and there are a lot of positive things about it, no doubt.
It just feels that way. I should be a little more diplomatic with that, but you know what I mean. You’re just so frustrated.
You’re at your wit’s end. You want to quit.
I just want to be an advocate of the idea that whatever job you have, if you don’t like the job right now, what can you be doing to create the better situation?
But be grateful for this job right now because it’s helping you find the next one.
But keep working it and moving it forward and be patient but consistent in going after it. But find something that brings you joy.
She’d be very good at that. She’s also very gifted with languages, so she can work as a tutor. And she enjoys it. She enjoys helping. What a wonderful thing. What a wonderful job for her.
And it may not be enough to sustain her, financially, living in New York City on a monthly basis. Maybe it can, in time, but initially it may not.
Just be proactive in feathering that part of the bed of your career: the personal, financial side of it. So find a job you love.
Find a job you enjoy. Carve it out. Create it. It might be one or two or three jobs that make it happen. And you might have a shitty job in there that’s needed to support it all for a while.
I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU
Over the past three years, I’ve meet students of the Meisner Technique Studio. When describing where they studied every single student expressed genuine joy. From these interactions a seed was planted.
Why I’m here: I took a year off after receiving my BA degree to continue building skills, learn and work with the tools I had accumulated. Through introspection and a lot of fruitful learning experiences I knew I needed more focused training in the craft of acting.
Meisner technique reveals everything. My greatest fear was being alienated.
On the walk in I felt excited to start and scared about the unknown. On the walk out I knew I was going on a journey.
The training has begun my first steps in new areas of personal and professional growth. Overall, it’s helping me to sort through pieces of myself that ring healthy true.
Gifts: It’s also allowed me to try new things. For the first time ever there’s no TV set in the house ? (the room feels so clear)! It is also providing a space that supports excellence over perfection.
The one who worked hard to instill a deep sense of truth in each of his students.
I don’t know how to answer this question.
Staying clam and trusting my gut. Developing a keen sense of when something is pushed.
1) It’s enabling me to become not just a dreamer but a truthful dreamer.
2) It’s laying the bricks for: artistic communication, reflection on the work and ability to professionally break down/adjust my work.
3) It’s putting a responsible and solid technique in place that can balance working freely from the gut.
4) Allowing me to experience something truly rare: being surrounded by an entire class of students who actually care and support each other.
3 THINGS: 1) Literalness 2) Meticulousness 3) Tunnel vision
There is a lot of work and feedback generated in class. My best advice would be to take the time you need to truthfully understand what is unclear. Overall, be kind and patient with yourself and others.
What a blessing! This place is truly one of a kind.
If you really want to learn a craft for acting, I recommend this place in a heartbeat. Jim and Melissa are so kind, and are serious about creating a safe environment for you to grow.
It isn’t all just kindness and humility; prepare to work your ass off. It is SOOO worth it when you see what real estate you can gain!
If I had a list of words that come to mind when describing Jim and Melissa, I would say: committed, supportive, caring, and consistent. They really know what they’re doing.
Good morning and a happy Sunday to you!
I’ve been in LA again for the weekend doing my MEISNER play and what I’m so grateful for today are my dear friends. It’s a short list but I have a few very dear friends and this weekend I got to spend time with all three of them at one time!
One lives in Boise, Idaho. One lives in Hermosa Beach and one is about to move back to Thailand.
We got together for lunch and while sitting there I was overcome with such gratitude for the moment because I honestly don’t know when the four of us will ever be together at the same time again.
What are you grateful for today? Either right now in this very moment or for something that happened for you this week that was such a blessing, such a gift?
It feels really good to take a moment and really honor it so I hope you do that.
So we started a new class at my school a few weeks back and I’m always struck by how tough people can be on themselves.
Tough isn’t even the right word.
I don’t say this with judgment or criticism. In fact, just the opposite. I have such enormous respect and compassion for every single one of them. My goodness, the number one fear for most people is getting up in front of other people and that’s what they’re doing every time they come to class so in my opinion they’re heroic because they are facing their fears and insecurities every single time they walk into that room.
But man, that bully-critic starts to hijack them the second I call their name and it gets worse when they “screw up” by making a “mistake.”
They instantly judge themselves as “dumb, stupid, bad, inadequate …less than” instead of celebrating the fact that they’re growing and learning (and this is just one of the many reasons why it is such an honor to teach them the Meisner Technique because Sandy’s genius is ALL about getting as healthy and free as possible).
For most of us, our inner-critic is relentless. It is constantly judging us and most everyone and everything happening to us.
Yet most times we are not even aware of it.
… “The only way out is through.”
If you’ve been reading these newsletters for a while you know how much I love this teaching so today I’d like you to “go through something with me.”
It’s a fun and extremely revealing little experiment someone shared with me recently that puts an incredible spotlight on just how cruel and judgmental we really are.
Go find rubber band. Do that right now.
REALLY! Stop reading and go find a rubber band and if you can’t find a rubber band then get a piece of string or even thread if that’s all you have.
… Ok now either put the rubber band or tie the string loosely around your left wrist.
Now here’s the game. Every single time you judge or criticize something today – I mean anyone, any situation, yourself, others, ANYTHING – I want you to move that rubber band or string to your other wrist.
And back to the other. And back to the other.
To complete this experiment I need you to do two things at the end of today:
By the way, I’ve moved mine three times already and I just put it on five minutes ago (and there’s another one, Jim Jarrett!)
I hope you play with me because I’ve found this to be quite revealing and a real gift.
And who doesn’t love presents!
All right, let’s do this.
I’m excited to hear from you all.
My best, always, Jim
One of our students, Pamela Fellows attended the Napa Film Festival this weekend. She is a woman with big dreams so it's no wonder that when she saw a film about a big dreamer she was incredibly inspired. Check out the trailer for the film. I hope it inspires you, too.
Last week I had the honor of spending time with students from the Playhouse West in Los Angeles. It was such an amazing afternoon for so many reasons but most of all it was a highlight to come back to the very room where my career first started 30 years ago. What a day and what an honor, thank you all who took the time to attend!