I have nothing to teach you. (Say what!?)
A couple days ago, I received a voice mail from an actress I have been working with for a while in Spain. The message went something like this:
“Jo, this is Boogie. I just wanted to thank (tears) you because I was in a camera workshop this weekend, and everything you taught us… well, (more tears) it really works! The director was making me jump from one emotion to the next, and I was the only one who was able to do that authentically and effortlessly. It was amazing. So amazing he put me on the spot, to be an example for the others…”
All right, is this whole post just me bragging about how great a teacher I am??? No, absolutely NOT. You may be thinking, “Well, Jo, it sure doesn’t sound that way!?” To which I will reply: I AM NOT A TEACHER. I HAVE NOTHING TO TEACH. YOU CANNOT TEACH ANYONE TO ACT. What?! Now, for those of you who have been working with me for a while, you have probably heard me say that 1000 times because I don’t think there is anything more important than that in what I can COACH you on. I, or anyone for that matter, do not have any power to teach you anything. Here’s why:
Acting is the art of being alive. So really, do you think anyone else can TEACH YOU how to be alive your way? (Please answer no to this one.) ;-)
Kids are the best actors in the world, which is why no one wants them on a stage cuz they will steal all attention away from any actor.
If kids are the best actors (and they have never spent any time with an acting TEACHER) AND if acting is the art of being alive... then it sounds to me like you have both essential ingredients already. You have been a child - so happy definitely got this one right, ha! - so you have experienced being free and authentic. AND you are alive. (No explanation needed here!)
Do you get the picture? The only thing I did for Boogie or for any of the other artists I’ve worked with is coach them so they can UNDO, PURGE, WORK THROUGH all the B.S. (excuse my French, but I really do mean it!) that came in between. In between you being a free, authentic, infinite, emotional, driven and divine little being and you being a crippled, shrunk, resistant adult actor. How did that B.S. get in there? Education (“Sit and be quiet, do what you are told and you will be validated”), parenting (“don’t cry, get angry or get too happy and we will love you”), social pressure (“be like the others, follow, don’t voice your opinions and then you will belong”), etc. In short, you were raised in a world of good and bad, right and wrong. Your feelings are bad and wrong and so are your opinions. And to be good and loved, you need to do what you are told. So what is the work that I do? Again, I help you undo that conditioned B.S., so you can have access to the infinitely more powerful, instinctive YOU. Boogie, I know you will read this. And to all the Boogies I have ever worked with, it is my biggest honor, privilege and joy to coach you by reminding you what you already know. You are special. There is limitless life and impulses inside of your instrument. You DO have access to it, and yes, you are extremely talented and able to cry on cue, do 20 takes of an very intense scene in a row and take redirection over and over and over again!
If you need an extra push to start believing that, watch my free Magnetic Actor (that’s you!) webinar. Experience my coaching and try out some of the exercises to cut through that B.S, undo your resistance and muscle up your instrument in order to free that powerful, instinctive YOU.
I am tearing up as I am writing because I love what I do, and all you Boogies give me a chance to do that: To watch infinite and divine beings wake up to who they truly really are - SUPER POWERS. And that is my addiction. You are my crack, Boogie. So (in tears) I thank you for dancing with me. See you soon. Jo.