Everybody has a closet to come out of. We all have things we keep from people. Most of us experience life as a version of ourselves that has been heavily edited and photoshopped. We behave in manners that are socially acceptable. We behave how we think people want us to. I see that kind of bullshit in actors every single day. Actors who are trying say the line "right" or who do the scene how it is "supposed" to be done. I even have actors who can't answer a yes or no question lest anyone be offended at the outcome. As an actor it should be very important to you that people know how you feel. How you truly feel. That is your job. Its not about pleasing people, it is about being a living breathing expression of truth. The truth just is. The truth doesn't come with a battle, with a judgement or awkward manufactured laughter. This is an amazing talk that will hopefully inspire you to live your truth- regardless of sexual orientation.
We are back in action with your Special Halloween Edition
Join us for some wine and repetition 10 pm on Thursday the 31st of October, 5$, 480 Adelaide West lower level
All are welcome
Unleash the monster within....
Due to increased interest we have just added a kids class for this coming fall. The class is for young people ages 8-12 and will focus on the Meisner technique, audition techniques, cold reading and improvisational skills. My young students are all experienced actors and it gives them the opportunity to work with other kids with similar dreams and aspirations.
Class starts soon- September 21st and runs through October 26th. 10:30 am-12;30 pm every saturday for 6 weeks. The fee is $229 plus HST.
Call or email for more info or to register
Welcome to September. You may be reading this while preparing to start school again tomorrow and if you are I wish you much success growth in the coming school year. For the rest of us we are still in that habit of treating September like a new beginning and so we should. Summer is complete and now its time to be serious, diligent and motivated. What can you do over the next 3 months that will get you to the next level of your career and closer to your goals? The actions you take on a daily basis will be who you become by Christmas. So if you have something to achieve, whether it is being a better actor, mother, friend, stock broker athlete, musician etc. and you are not yet where you want to be in life, heed this advice because success is just 3 steps away.
This is something my father has been telling me since I was old enough to listen:
1) Raise Your Standards
If you know you can be doing better then stop settling. Stop being ok with mediocrity no matter what level you are at right now.
2) Eliminate Limiting Beliefs
Look around you and you will see that the most successful people are just like you. People are people. You may think you're too young or too fat or too old or too short. But fatter people than you book roles in huge movies. Older people than you start new careers and run marathons. Shorter people than you make millions of dollars a year. Beliefs about yourself that limit your dreams do you no service! They must be eliminated.
3) Change Your Strategy
If you have higher standards for your life and have eliminated your limiting beliefs then new ideas, goals and strategies become available to you. It could be making more phone calls, waking up earlier, finding a new coach or creating your own project and being your own boss. Do not do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
Change your strategy and take action!
And whatever you do, do it with great love.
Actors, For help with goal setting, branding and advice about acting classes and agents, contact Robyn Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-312-9188
Think you started late in this business? Did you start out life like everybody else with dreams and ambitions and believing things were possible and soon chose sensibility and university and regular paycheque only to wake up at 40 and remember that you always wanted to perform?? We it is never too late. For some inspiration, here is Backstages feature on actors who started late in life. It is never too late to live life by yo
So here we are in a brand new studio at 480 Adelaide WEST in Toronto and I just want to let you all in on what you can expect from the Robyn Kay Studio in the coming months.
Firstly we will be planning a grand opening event around the beginning of September to give you a chance to come in and check out our new space and mingle with fellow artists, misfits and the like. At RKS we are creating a space for actors and people in all fields related to interact and have the chance to collaborate. We want to be a springboard for your success and that starts with interacting with other actors on a regular basis, sharing ideas, sharing tips. We will be bringing in experts in the industry, casting directors and talent agents so that you can be armed with the most up to date information on what it will take for you to succeed. We plan to offer courses in Audition technique as well as our Meisner technique classes to prepare you with the skills necessary to achieve your dreams.
To begin with we are offering a new studio summer promotion rate for a 4 week Meisner Technique session with Robyn Kay. If you make your payment by August 30th you pay only $250 tax incl. For either the Tues/Thurs day or evening class. Even if you don't use that month until November, you are eligible for the promotional price if you register now. We look forward to having you and are very excited to be a part of your success.
Ok, so August is here- already! Everybody and their dog is complaining that summer has come and gone so quickly! The truth is that there is still a solid 4 weeks before September really starts and things start getting really busy again.
If you are truly serious about your craft and your career, you will see summer as an opportunity to grow and not a chance to vacation. Take a long weekend or take a few days to sleep longer, tan, drink excessively or do what you gotta do to give yourself a vacation. But like it or not, 4 weeks from now castings are back in full force and you want to impress and show how you've grown over the summer- not how many new notches on your bedpost you have. So here are 5 things to do over the next 4 weeks to prepare you for the fall.
1. Exercise. Consistently.
Whether you need to drop 10 lbs, just tone up or even if your body is perfect, we all need about 60 minutes of exercise a day. Like it or not, what you look like counts for a lot in this industry. That goes for your weight and how your skin looks. Late nights drinking poolside and extra helpings of ice cream and frappucinos do nothing for either. More exercise improves your skin tone, helps you drop fat and will have you looking well rested and healthy. Don't wait for fall to start good habits. Besides how you look, exercise contributes to healthy sleep patterns, improved moods, improves circulation and does wonders for your esteem and sex drive. All these things are confidence builders and there is nothing better to walk into an audition with than stellar confidence.
2. Take an acting class
Summer is a great time to learn a new skill or technique. A lot of schools start back up in the fall however it makes for some pretty rusty Septembers. Try a weekend workshop, a voiceover class or if you'd like to learn the Meisner technique, I run classes continuously through the summer at the Robyn Kay Studio. There should never be too long a break from working on your craft.
3. Prepare your headshots and resumes
You must do these inane paperworking tasks a few times a year. Now is a great time for getting your ducks in a row. Need new headshots or more copies? Plan to get that done before August is through. Make sure you have a stack of headshots and resumes to take you through the new year. Update your resume, have thank you cards prepared for all the casting directors youll be seeing- its even a great time to start your own website or work on your reel once and for all. Take some time to do those things that we are often too busy for during the rest of the year.
4. Watch TV
Or read plays, or see live theatre or go to the movies. Know whats current. Figure out what kinds of roles move you. Figure out why you love some actors performances. Pinpoint what you hate about others. In order to excel in this business you need to be hip to what is current. Everyone needs to watch Breaking Bad if only because it is the most critically acclaimed television show to date and its all anyone can talk about. You need to develop cultural class and as an actor, that means having opinions on what is currently being talked about.
5. Wake up earlier with a plan in mind.
Whether you wake up at 9 am or 3 in the afternoon. Start waking up earlier. You have a lot to do. Don't just wake up early to enjoy your coffee longer or take a longer morning walk. Sit down and plan out your day. Figure out a few specific measurable goals for the day and get them done. Clean your desk or learn a new monologue or make some new contacts. Every day you should be accomplishing a few things that will take you to your ultimate goals. Taking actions, no matter how small, lead to increased confidence, motivation and hinder depression. They also help you accomplish your dreams.
Socialising. Talking to people. Being yourself but being the absolute most charming, sexy, interesting, non threatening version of yourself. As someone who used to do it for a living (thank you Celebrity Cruises) I know it can be so gruelling but it is so necessary. For your career and your life. Like it or not you need friends- in both hi and lo places, Garth. It takes serious effort. Even acquaintances require effort to maintain. And you never know when you will walk in to an audition and the monitor will be that guy you told off at a party for being cheeky. This business is way to small to burn bridges.
Yet sometimes its so hard to make a connection. Sometimes it just feels like work. A bunch of equally creative and charming people standing in a contrived circle everyone trying to outdo the next with interesting ass kissing comments in hopes that someone with the power to advance their career will here and make them a star. And you stand there and listen. Nothing is mildly funny or the least bit interesting yet you contribute with whole-hearted uh-huhs and guffawing at mediocre punchlines. But you do it. You meet someone who grew up two towns over from you and you regale stories teachers who got fired in your school board and what you remember their secondary school for (possibly your school kicked their ass in basketball)
But once in a while and it happens more than you think, you get the thunderbolt. You walk into a room and are immediately drawn to someone and the banter comes easily and there is no misunderstanding. It's as if that person was made with you in mind. As if nobody would understand the language the 2 of you are speaking and the 2 of you are in on a secret, a wavelength that nobody else can access. Like all the awkward interactions have been your journey to this. Like you were in the right place at the right time. Like everything is aligned, the stars, the planets and their perfectly white teeth. The thunderbolt. The truth is that the stars are aligning for you. When you are working towards a goal or better yet a dream, your calling, putting out that message to the universe there are plenty of obstacles and things that get in your way- contributing to frowns and negative outlooks. But when you truck on and keep going when it's hard and no longer fun, the signs will appear. Little thunderbolts that tell you you are supposed to be here and everything is working out as it should be. Do not discount any thunderbolt as too small. Those moments are what you're working for. The closer you are to your dream the more often they will appear and the more obvious they will be.
So carry on, become a master of socialization. Make more friends than enemies. And look out for the thunderbolt.
"We have no idea what other lands lie beyond the great waters, We must take our chances on the waves and scatter like seeds before the wind"
Sing, the epic film
As human beings we love routine. We have this addiction to knowing how things are going to turn out or at least assuming we know how things will go. We avoid change like the plague.We stay in bad relationships. We keep jobs that we hate. We live in cities that don't inspire us. We go back to the same crappy restaurant over and over again not because it is good but because it is familiar. To many of us, the thought of change is so much more painful than tolerating the mediocrity we already have. Not because we are happy, but because it is familiar. We fear change. We fear that uncomfortable feeling when we are not sure whats going to happen. So, who the heck put such a high value on being comfortable? Since when is that a positive thing?? Its not that we're worried about negative outcomes. We are just as afraid of success as we are of failure. We just run from anything that is slightly uncomfortable. We can't handle awkward and we are terrified to sit in the face of discomfort. We laugh it off. We say something "clever" that usually ends up insulting at least one person in the room. Our brains think we can fix any situation with either over compensation or by being aloof, depending on how we have learned to cope. However, our instincts, if we let them live, will amaze us if we let them. You are far more extraordinary than you give yourself credit for.
Its time for a change. We must run towards change. We must run towards the uncomfortable. We must learn to sit in it- especially as actors. We have no idea what it possible when we react naturally to a situation rather than relying on our defense mechanisms. We all have a way of being that has been developed out of a lifelong need to avoid the uncomfortable. But we have no idea what we are capable of when we let our instincts guide us. We cannot fathom what can be possible in life when we simply sit in discomfort and run towards the unknown.
There is something much bigger than you at work. I dont know if its a God or the universe or some all knowing force of life but I know there is something bigger than us and our ideas of what is possible. Taking chances must be a daily occurence. Risking failure must be something we jump to do. We must test ourselves and our limits. Because we truly have no idea what lies beyond our field of view.
Acting coach, an artist and an advocate for truth.