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Tag Archives: Diane Christensen

Hidden Factors of Relaxation for the Actor

By: Diane Christiansen

When practicing your Relaxation Exercises, including identifying tension in the muscles and breathing deeply into the lower stomach and exhaling through the mouth very slowly, the actor may find unusually strong feelings welling up within. Tension may re-manifest itself throughout the body even after a deep relaxation is used, and especially in the neck and throat, resulting in a “choked” sensation in the vocal chords. The actor is encouraged at this point to help release the tension by vocalizing a long, sustained “ahhhhh” sound, or a short, staccato “HAH!” to help release both the tension and the emotion.

After practicing this exercise faithfully every day for fifteen minutes to a half hour, the actor develops a “sixth sense” for identifying tension in his body, and this new awareness is especially useful on camera or on stage, where, when the actor feels tension for one reason or another, he simply “identifies where it is, and releases it”.

This relaxation exercise, when mastered, helps the actor identify the tension as it becomes apparent, then release the tension in a manner invisible to the audience. This unwanted tension must be released, or it will block the pure expression of the actor’s instrument.

But learning to properly relax is only a part of the benefit of the Relaxation Exercise. While the actor is learning to relax by identifying tension in individual muscles, he is also learning to develop and strengthen the powers of concentration needed to create the life of the person, animal or “thing” he is representing in the story the author has invented. Remember, to be concentrated, you must be properly relaxed, and to be properly relaxed you must be concentrated.

The extreme degree of concentration the actor applies to identifying tension in the body and mind during the Relaxation Exercise will make the exercise itself very tedious. Human beings don’t seem to enjoy concentrating for extended periods of time unless the object of their attention has some immediate gratification for them.
But the actor, not unlike the painter, the musician or the physician, must find a way to practice the more mundane elements of the art in ways that are stimulating, exciting and fun.

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How to Dress for an Audition

By Master Acting Teacher ~ Diane Christiansen There are really no hard and fast rules about how to dress for an audition.  For a long while, I thought the one absolute was to never arrive to an audition dressed in costume.  Then I received a note from casting to come dressed as much like a Read the Rest…

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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.  Read the Rest…

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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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