My Toolbox.

There are so many approaches to acting- to building the character. Some from the inside out (what is often referred to as “method acting”) or from the outside in (which we tend to attribute to British actors for some reason). An actor can spend their early, formative years in confusion, trying to grasp and incorporate all the techniques out there from very famous people- Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, etc, etc. But the best word of wisdom I received was in my apprenticeship and I still carry it- try them all. Be open to the ideas and the exercises of these practices and practitioners. Do yoga, do Viewpoints, do LaBan- try everything you are wont to try- then keep the elements of any of these practices that serve you- and throw the rest away. That’s how you build your toolbox. And it is just that-yours. It may change over time- tools may be added or discarded, and that is how you keep your workshop productive. 

I’m currently trying a lot of things that aren’t in my toolbox- some of them will stay and some will go.         People – teachers, mentors, colleagues- all come and go. Keep the ones who enrich you and discard the ones that are toxic. Toxic people are the most dangerous kind of rust that will attack your tools. Foisting their beliefs on you as the exemplary way of being is toxic. If they are truly at their good place and doing their best work, there is no need to corrode you and your tools with their words or actions. I always hurt for my younger colleagues who have their hearts broken by someone they turned to as a mentor.

Bullies do exist in art. Pick up your toolbox and find another place to work. 

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