During the month of October, five movies were shot featuring both first and second leads who are recent and current LB actors. I coached many of them for their auditions and also worked on scenes with most of the others before their shoots. I also worked with the guest stars on two series. By any measure, these statistics are impressive.
From a marketing standpoint, it would be advantageous to take credit for this; however, on a personal level, it would be opportunistic. Of these actors, 11 out of 13 have trained with me on and off for a minimum of three years, and two of them for more than ten years.
The actors who have found significant success with me, or at my studio, did so after years of fierce and courageous dedication. They maintained hope in spite of an onslaught of rejection. Their reward was not the applause but the sheer joy of creation and the confidence to know they were getting better.
When I began my career in teaching and coaching, the entertainment industry was vastly different from what it is today. The digital age revolutionized how acting coaches and schools were promoted, relying on the digital equivalent of "word of mouth." Fifty years ago, acting coaches didn't advertise through carefully researched Google keywords, nor did they speak of empowerment, branding, booking, or mind set. We relied on old school work ethics. Our track record as coaches mattered. What we taught and how we taught it mattered. Now it seems anyone with clever marketing plan and a winning personality can do it.
We focused on the art—craftsmanship, dedication, integrity, and the inner quest for truth. Our role was to nurture actors' aspirations to excel and evolve as artists, not to strategize on how to charm Casting Directors for a role.
When did the art of acting transform into a strategic endeavor filled with phrases like "own it," "kill it," "nail it," and "command the space"? What happened to the authentic exchange and self-revelation through a writer's words?
We never felt compelled to push our students to label themselves as "creatives" or "storytellers." Such buzzwords serve only to inflate egos—both of students and coaches—and do not foster humility or the development of empathy. They create a misleading sense of distinctiveness, distancing us from our shared human mission to breathe life into text by being fully attentive to the moment we are in.