Posts in ‘The Conscious Actor’

The Conscious Actor

Jun 05

Bonnie

 Throw Away Your Scripts!

by Bonnie Katz, MA

Are you living your life based on someone else’s script, or are you living your life with NO script?  It’s hard to follow your passion when you pay more attention to what you should be doing rather than what you want to be doing.  If the opinions of others are more important than your own, you will end up living someone else’s life. Choosing a career as an actor elicits lots of opinions from family and friends. They might think they’re doing you a huge favor by discouraging you from going into a profession that has a 1% success rate. Actors must find a way to courageously walk their own path. When people challenge your decisions, remember you are not obligated to do what everyone else is doing.

You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if some people disagree. read all »

The Conscious Actor

May 01

Bonnie

YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED

by Bonnie Katz, MA

When New York Times Theatre Critic, Charles Isherwood critiques an actor’s performance and says, ”Less would have been more,” that has to hurt.  But if you can get past the pain of hearing those words and explore the cause of “overdoing” a performance, it’s rich with wisdom.  At the root of overdoing anything is the universal feeling of  “not being good enough just as you are.”  In fact, it’s your belief that you are not handsome, pretty, skinny, smart, rich, talented enough that will cause you more suffering than any words a critic may write about you.  Your negative self-beliefs not only get in the way of becoming a successful actor, they impede your ability to achieve happiness in every area of your life. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Mar 31

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

Feeding The Right Wolf

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you went on an audition, a welcoming committee was waiting to greet you with a nice beverage, a warm smile, and a kind word or two?  Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a big difference in how you feel about what you’re going through.  Life feels easier when you have a team behind you, cheering you on, and catching you when you fall down.
people

That team is called a “family.”  But, some people don’t have the kind of support they need as they go through life.  That makes life feel harder

As hard as you try, you can’t have a better past.  But you can create a better “present.”  The present moment is filled with choices.  Stay stuck in the past or start getting busy making your present better.  Here are 6 things that you can start to do right now to ease your way in the world:

read all »

The Conscious Actor

Mar 02

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

What’s Your Story?

Great stories help us make sense of the complex world we live in, and invite us to expand our understanding of it. Actors have been an integral part of storytelling for hundreds of years. A good story performed well, has the power to heal our pain by revealing the universality of our difficulties.  Knowing that everyone has problems helps us feel less isolated and ashamed.  A good film or play can give us the courage to open up and explore unknown territories within ourselves. Storytelling is a a miraculous phenomena that shows us a range of possibilities while making us feel more connected to each other.

Actors are an essential part of  storytelling.   If they are not 100% convincing in their roles, the audience won’t believe the story, and the magic cannot unfold.  In order to fulfill this important task, actors must have access to a full palette of emotions within themselves.  It requires courage and faith in oneself to reach down deep into murky, messy, vulnerable feelings and reveal them to the public.  Edgy, moving performances do not come from playing it safe.  Greatness is born out of risk-taking and valuing truth over vanity. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Feb 02

Bonnie

by Bonnie Katz, MA

What’s really stopping you?

Blame is dangerous.  While it may feel good to rant, rave and, complain about how unfair life is, ultimately it turns you into a victim.  Yes, I agree, life is unfair.  But the question is, what do you want to do about it? After you express your unhappy feelings to a compassionate ear, then what?

There are many things in life that are out of your control.  As actors, you deal with this dilemma on a daily basis.  Your future is based on people saying yes to you.  “Yes, you’re right for the part.”  “Yes, I would love to be your agent.” “Yes, you’re exactly what I’m looking for.”  Given these facts, it’s important that you build strength to handle the no’s.  You can build skills to handle difficulties so they don’t have a negative effect on your self-esteem.  Begin by making a firm decision that no one will ever determine how you think and feel about yourself.  That power is in your hands alone.

Here are some ways to take control of the reins and steer yourself in a healthy, happy, productive direction. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Jan 07

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

The new year is a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin again.  Forge ahead in 2015, fearlessly trying new things.  Let go of old patterns that no longer serve you and view your life as an adventure to be savored every step of the way.  Begin with cutting-edge research to help transform your dream of becoming a successful actor into a reality.  To help set you in the right direction, I’ve compiled three important tips that are proven to help you become more efficient in attaining your goals.

overwork

Tip #1: Overworking makes you less productive.  In fact, research shows that relaxing, socializing and kindness is key to productivity.  Most people think the key to success is to work more, but that leads to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and lonely.  According to former Harvard Psychology professor, Dan Wegner, “Too much concentration on set goals can lead to the exact opposite of the desired goal. In other words, you cannot have a positive mental state when working under conditions of stress.” read all »

The Conscious Actor

Dec 01

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

Make Sure Ed Doesn’t Spoil Your Holidays This Year!

The holidays signal a time to press the pause button as you reconnect with family and friends.  You’ve worked hard all year and are looking forward to kicking back and removing yourself from the rat race for a while.  Seasonal tunes stir up memories of holidays gone by. People are wishing each other good cheer and everything seems all right in the world.  How can something that wonderful end up feeling so miserable?  Well, you can blame Ed for that – Expectations and Disappointments.  When you have built up expectations,  you are setting yourself snowy cabinup for disappointment. Instead of biting the hook this year, try something new.  Embrace what’s right in front of you and stop chasing the dream of perfection.  It doesn’t exist. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Nov 05

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

How to Stay Real in an Unreal World. . .

Take your own garbage out.  You’re probably thinking uh oh, the Conscious Actor is slipping into unconsciousness with that one.  But hold on, before you pass judgment, hear me out.  The special challenges actors must deal with on a daily basis make them susceptible to losing sight of important values.  It’s important to remember what’s important in this business because temptations like power, wealth and fame, could easily transform you into a solipsistic nightmare.  In the whirlwind of ambition, qualities like integrity, honesty, generosity and kindness can get swept away.  You’ve got to constantly keep your values and narcissism in check so you don’t end up like Michael Keaton’s character in, “Birdman.”  He birdmanbeautifully portrays an actor who failed to balance the energy he put into building a successful career with building a successful personal life.  His heartlessness and blind ambition tore apart his family and ultimately alienated him from himself.  Strong values grounded in truth and whole-heartedness will always help you find your way home when life gets confusing. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Oct 02

Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

Your Guide For Getting “Unstuck.”

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when auditions are scarce even though you’re doing everything you possibly can.  Because an actor’s life swirls in uncertainty, they often feel powerless and stuck.  Frustration builds knowing that the clock is ticking, and you’re not getting any closer to your destination.  When you find you’re in the midst of this kind of struggle, don’t give up.  It’s okay to feel worn out by the acting profession, but don’t let it take you down completely.  There is plenty you can do to push through difficult times and come out smelling like a rose.

two roads

As badly as you may feel, remember, somewhere inside of you is the power to move forward no matter what obstacles are thrown on your path.  Hold tight to your dreams as you go through adversity knowing that you will come through it being the best version of yourself.  Your power is in how you choose to view what happens to you. read all »

The Conscious Actor

Sep 02

Bonnie

by Bonnie Katz, MA

The Most Important Thing is to Remember the Most Important Thing

Back in August, while gathering my thoughts for September’s article on, “Happiness,” I wondered how useful it would be to the Networker readers.  In the midst of my pondering, the shocking news of Robin Williams’ suicide splashed all over the news. That week, a lot of my patients, as well as the rest of the world, were shocked, saddened, and bewildered at why someone so successful and funny would take his own life.  On the outside Robin’s life seemed perfect; an enviable career, fame, family, friends, and gifted with an abundance of talent.  He was revered by his peers and by the public.  How could all those accolades not be enough to make him want to continue living?  Unfortunately it wasn’t.  I don’t know the internal workings that led Robin to make such a tragic decision to end his life, but it was obvious that all the glitter on the outside did not come close to squelching the pain he must have felt on the inside. read all »