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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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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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Kids & Teens: How to Dress for an Audition

How to Dress for an Audition

Today we’re going to discuss a big topic of concern all actors face. The number one question we hear when actors come in for private acting coaching or to our acting school in Los Angeles is, “What do I wear?!” The best way to answer this question is by first focusing on what NOT to 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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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 Read the Rest…

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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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