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When Actors Replace Hard Work with Negative Attention

Question: What do some actors do when show business doesn’t love them the way they hoped it would? Instead of becoming better actors, fighting harder for their careers, or finding satisfaction in their creative identities, they go down the dark alleyway of negative attention. We see it all the time. There are countless stories of talented but troubled actors who overdose, go to jail, or just become public nuisances. Yes, Lindsay Lohan comes to mind, but there are many other actors who self-destruct without reaching Ms. Lohan’s level of notoriety. What is everyone after? Well, attention, of course. Also love - [...]

When Actors Replace Hard Work with Negative Attention 2016-07-22T17:11:18+00:00

Do people and actors deal with rejection differently?

  In the real world when people interview for jobs they don’t get they draw the following conclusions:   I probably don’t have enough experience for the job. I messed up the interview. They didn’t like me. I probably don’t want to work there anyway. In show business when actors audition for jobs we don’t get we draw the following conclusions: They can’t perceive the true nature of genius. The reader was a hack. I am a hack. I have wasted my life and will die broke, alone, and anonymous. When will I finally get to prove to the losers back [...]

Do people and actors deal with rejection differently? 2015-10-11T14:30:08+00:00

Sanford Meisner said it takes 20 years…

It takes 20 years to become an actor, Sanford Meisner1 would say to us. What did he mean by that? I never asked Mr. Meisner. We assumed he meant 20 years of acting training, 20 years of hard work. And if any of us suspected Sanford Meisner meant something else, who would dare reveal his ignorance by asking him for clarity? Now I know what Mr. Meisner meant. It took me 29 years of acting and teaching and directing to figure it out - that remark has echoed in my head since the 1980’s. Here it is; it takes 20 years to [...]

Sanford Meisner said it takes 20 years… 2015-05-22T11:52:18+00:00

Acting and the 2×4

So there is a famous experiment. It goes something like this: Take a 2x4 length of wood, say maybe 5 feet long (and 4 inches wide) Drop it on the floor and try to walk across it without falling off the 4 inch width. Most of you (all of you) will have no problem doing this. Now take the same narrow piece of wood and suspend it between 2 ladders. Now try to walk across it. What’s the matter? You can’t? You won’t? Why? Exactly. What’s different? What has changed? Same piece of wood…still 4 inches wide…Only difference is that now [...]

Acting and the 2×4 2015-04-13T19:25:37+00:00

Surviving and Thriving in Hollywood

My friend just said to me, “I don’t just want to survive, I want to thrive.” And that gave me pause. Because I don’t know if the idea of surviving and thriving can happen independently of each other. What am I talking about? Case in point (as much as I dislike self-referencing) - here’s my example. I started off as an actor and I had to survive for a number of years doing theater and whatever else I could find for work. I had trained at the best school I could find at the time, The Neighborhood Playhouse, where Sanford Meisner [...]

Surviving and Thriving in Hollywood 2014-11-21T11:24:40+00:00