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Actors Must Always Be True to Your Impulses

By Diane Christiansen

When we were kids, we acted on our impulses all the time. We wanted what we wanted and we wanted it NOW! Anyone or anything that got in the way had better be ready for a temper tantrum. But the grown-ups didn’t like that at all. They told us we had to behave ourselves, to sit down, don’t touch, be quiet, just wait, and a litany of other clipped commands. And so we were socialized (or brainwashed) to control our impulses. We were made to think that maturity under the guise of ‘being a big girl or boy’ was the prize. But what the adults didn’t tell us was that impulse control also came at a cost. Controlling our impulses meant becoming further removed from our emotions, our intuition, our gut, and the core part of our humanity that connects us to every other human in the world. So far removed, that as adults we must re-learn to listen to our intuition, to go with our gut, and to follow our instincts. This re-education is necessary because our basic inclination to act on impulse has been suppressed by early childhood socialization. Suppressed, but not extinguished. That’s the good news. Fortunately, the diligent actor can re-connect with her or his impulses, thereby tapping into the human condition. The actor’s courage to act on impulse is our gain because through that action we are reminded of what it means to feel, rather than stifle heart-wrenching sadness, crippling fear, boundless joy, and the full gamut of human emotion. It’s ironic that being authentic to our own wants, urges, desires–our impulses is considered a courageous undertaking, at least for us adults. We grown-ups are supposed to be objective, rational, and responsible. We have to manage impressions and gauge the needs of others after all. Showing emotion? Acting on impulse? Why, that’s taboo! Unless of course, you’re an actor.

As actors, we have license to throw caution to the wind, to wear our hearts on our sleeves, to act on impulse, and basically, to go there. There is where the other adults cannot or will not go, at least not on purpose. And who can blame them? It’s scary to be true to our impulses because doing so requires us to be vulnerable to others’ judgment. But we actors know the secret. We know that when we are truly vulnerable to our impulses is when we connect most strongly to those that might otherwise seek to judge us. Instead, we disarm them with our vulnerability and with our courage to expose ourselves to their judgment, because we know that in seeing our true wants, urges, desires–our impulses on display, they will relate to a similar truth in themselves. Though we are 7 billion unique personalities in a vast multicultural world, our impulses connect us all so that we are never isolated from one another. The actor is the lens through which our infinite connections may be brought clearly into focus. So actors, be impulsive!

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Broadening Your Casting Range with Original Scene Production

Create Your Reel – Broadening Your Casting with Original Scene Production

This video from Create Your Reel discusses the importance of broadening your casting range with original scene production.

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Create Your Reel: Using a Demo Reel to Show Off Your Range

In this video by Create Your Reel, Retta Putignano talks about the importance of having a demo reel that shows off an actors range.

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Actors Must Balance Training & Showcasing

By Master Teacher ~ Diane Christiansen The career of acting is a tightrope. In order to stay on your toes you have to strike a good balance between cultivating your technique through training and unveiling the fruits of your labor through showcasing. Maintaining this balance means continually pushing beyond your comfort zone. Because acting can Read the Rest…

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Stage_to_Screen_Part-2

Acting: From Stage to Screen – Part 2

Working your Internal Life with “Intentional Energy” Acting is the ability to believe in an event as if it’s happening now. In film and television, it’s particularly crucial that the acting feels like it’s occurring for the first time. This is true, no matter how many takes are needed to complete the job; acting requires Read the Rest…

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Stage to Screen Acting

For years I’ve been coaching talented theatre actors as they make the transition from stage to film and television acting. It seems the distinction between stage and film acting has become an obsession for actors who want to make the leap! The ability to adapt between the two has undeniably become an extremely important skill Read the Rest…

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booking commercial auditions

Insider Casting Tips to do Your Best Auditions – Part 2

The Audition Room Inside the Audition Room is where all your training as an actor and your preparation come together so that you can do your best and hopefully book the job – OR NOT. What the heck happens in there that often inhibits us from doing our best? The following audition pointers were formulated Read the Rest…

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NETWORKING… NETWORKING… NETWORKING…

by: Suzanne Lyons Early on in my producing career here in Los Angeles I would be at a party or event and all too often people would approach me and say, “Suzanne, I hear you’re a film producer. I’m an actor, here’s my headshot.” Or, “Hi, my friend told me you’re a producer. I’m a Read the Rest…

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How to Clarify Your Acting Niche

By Diane Christiansen Finding your “niche” or your “brand” or your “type” seems to be daunting for most actors, including kids and teens. Yet it really can be a fun process. Possibly the reason for any difficulty is because actors have this idea that they can play anything. However, Agents and Managers have to market Read the Rest…

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“Breaking Bad” and “Argo” Star Bryan Cranston’s Key to Success

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