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Diane Christensen Archives - Master Talent Teachers
Tag Archives: Diane Christensen

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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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 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 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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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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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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