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Fall in Love With the Process of Becoming Great

By Master Acting Teacher ~ Diane Christiansen

Why did you become an actor?  This is the all-important question.  It is a question worth revisiting from time to time in order to remind ourselves of our purpose as actors.  We do not do this for fame or fortune, for acknowledgment or accolades, or for other people.  We just want to be great actors.  Of course we all know great acting when we see it, but what does it mean to be a great actor?  And no, you’re not allowed to just shout out, “Meryl Streep,” without thinking about it!  A great teacher and casting director once told me that the best performances boil down to two simple questions: “Do I believe this person?” and “Do I care?”  Be sincere and be committed.  That’s it.  Simple enough to understand, but not so easy to deliver.  In order to deliver greatness, we must dedicate ourselves to the process of accomplishing sincerity and commitment in every performance, as well as in every day of our lives.  One without the other will invariably fall short of the mark.  Imagine believing an actor’s performance, but not being moved in any way.  Perhaps the level of commitment to a chosen action is not strong enough to stir your emotion.  Alternately, imagine it’s not for lack of a strong or committed choice that the performance falls flat, but rather lack of sincerity in that choice.  Perhaps the action is forced and contrived instead of occurring organically in the moment. 

Naturally, it’s easy to talk about the importance of sincerity and commitment in our work, but these tasks become especially difficult to accomplish given the fabricated worlds we live in on a set or on a stage.  Well my friends, here is the Holy Grail: We want to do great work and to be great actors, but focusing solely on being great is missing the mark.  The process is the prize. Greatness is merely the product of faithful dedication to process.  Falling in love with the process is like choosing to do long division over rote memorization or using a calculator.  It’s more challenging, but you can clearly tell whether a person really knows what they’re doing.  Like watching Meryl Streep.  So if you want to be great, then forget about greatness and dedicate yourself to the process of being sincere and committed in every role.  Do the work it takes to get you there.  Research.  Train.  Feel.  Observe.  Study.  Practice.  Recall.  Experience.  Develop a process that works for you so that you may fall in love with it, and in so doing, discover your own greatness.  

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Interview with Carol Goldwasser part 3

Interview with CD Carol Goldwasser, Part 3

This is the final installment of my 3 part “In the Moment” interview with Award Winning Disney casting Director, Miss Carol Goldwasser. The wonderful thing about Carol’s insights in this interview that separate her from others, is her realistic approach to working with and getting the most from child actors. Not that her comments aren’t Read the Rest…

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Interview with Carol Goldwasser Part 2

Interview with CD Carol Goldwasser, Part 2

After 22 years of teaching and an equal number of years working in the Entertainment Industry, I thought I knew quite a bit about casting. Additionally, we have guest CD’s in for our monthly casting director workshop, Actors Platform, at our studios and we learn a tremendous amount about what goes on in the audition Read the Rest…

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Interview with Carol Goldwasser

In the Moment: Interview with Children’s Network Casting Director Carol Goldwasser

Have you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of casting Children’s TV, such as Disney or Nickelodeon shows? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because today we have the Award Winning casting director, Carol Goldwasser, here for Part I of an interview with me, Diane Christiansen, exclusively for Master Talent Teachers. Carol’s Read the Rest…

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3 Guideposts to Breaking Down a Script

By: Diane Christiansen Here are a few simple strategies to get a quick jump start on not only memorizing, but also understanding your script. Listen for the voice of your character. Read your lines aloud several times, over and over again while reading the other character lines silently. This way the only lines you hear Read the Rest…

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How to “Pop” at Auditions

By Diane Christiansen Auditioning is hard. It is arguably the most difficult aspect of acting. The actor’s imagination must be at it’s sharpest during the audition. You must be able to walk into a bare room and completely transform the environment and energy of the space, leaving an indelible impression on your observers. In other Read the Rest…

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pilot_season

When is the Best Time to Come to LA for Pilot Season?

Every weekend Agents and Managers are traveling to some city scouting for new kids and teens for pilot season. The top kids Agents will look at from 100 to 300 kids every week from now through the end of January. These are the brightest kids from around the country with parents who can afford expensive Read the Rest…

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Actors – Moving Past Challenges to Success

by: Diane Christiansen Show business is a very uncertain path that we performers have chosen. The ups and downs, successes and failures seem more prominent than most professions. When it’s good, it’s REALLY good, when it’s not, it’s mystifying, if not disheartening. What do we do when we have gone on 50 auditions without a Read the Rest…

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How to Become a “Disney” or “Nickelodeon” Actor

How to Become a “Disney” or “Nickelodeon” Actor

By Diane Christiansen   Having been an On Set Coach for both Disney and Nick, I have had the pleasure of training some of the finest young actors on these shows.  I have trained such talent as David Henrie, Jason Dolley, Joey Luthman, Amy Bruchner, Mason Alexander and Rachel Sibner to name a few.    Read the Rest…

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Four Resources for Actors Part 4

Four Resources Available to Actors – Part 4: THE MOMENT

“Live each present moment completely, and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each instant. Practice the presence of peace. The more you do that, the more you will feel the presence of that power in your life.” Paramahansa Yogananda This quote is by my Guru, Yogananda, and Read the Rest…

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