Are You an Acting Channel?

acting channel Are You an Acting Channel?

by Acting Intuitive Jill Place

I believe in synchronicity.  So when several actors brought up the subject of channeling recently . . . and wondered if actors actually channel their characters through some sort of mysterious psychic process . . . I just had to write a column about it.

The concept of channeling has been around since the beginning of conscious thought.  It’s the belief that communication of information occurs with an outside spirit or other paranormal entity through a person, the channel.  Theatre may owe some of its origins to the acting out of channeled spirits in primitive dance circles. In recent history, the 1800s were a hive of paranormal activity as thousands of spiritualists and organizations embraced channeling and other psychic phenomena.  Abraham Lincoln was also a big believer, and often invited trance channelers to the White House.

By 1900, channeling as a way to receive advanced wisdom and prophecy had fallen out of favor. But the writings and teachings of such noted channelers as Edgar Cayce, Jane Roberts (Seth) and JZ Knight (Ramtha) sparked renewed interest in this psychic phenomenon around the middle of the century.  And channeling has remained a psychic mainstay since then. Shirley MacLaine talks of her channeling experiences in many of her books and cult movie favorites such as What the Bleep do we Know!? include channeled information.  And the teachings of Abraham as interpreted by Esther Hicks in many books including the bestseller, Ask and It Is Given, has attracted a growing worldwide audience. Continue reading

If You Stumble, Make it Part of Your Dance

stumble If You Stumble, Make it Part of Your Dance

It always amazes me that, just when I’m ready to tackle something in my column . . . and in my life . . . little synchronicity signposts appear to light my way.  The title of this article was highlighted in some online story I read.  A few hours later, “consciously letting go of fear is the key to all wisdom” popped out of another story.  And, to top it all off, the key article in my copy of Forbes that I fished out of the mail that same day was entitled “Make Fear your Friend”.  Okay, okay, Universe, I get the message loud and clear!

I’ve been living a mostly fearless life for some time now.  But it’s not from growing up that way, believe me.  Instead, I broke through some fearsome stuff to get there.  And, when you do that, shards of fear may get stuck in your costume.  And you have to pick them out one by one as you go through life. Continue reading

Confidence is Key

Confidence A Confidence is Key

Gotta get Confident but how . . . ?

I don’t know how it happened.  But recently I talked someone into totally changing their concept of a consulting job to suit my own needs and schedule.  And, guess what . . . I got the job . . . just signed the contract two days ago.  And just last week gave another possible place an inkling of what wasn’t happening in their business.  And spontaneously shifted gears from interviewee to offering my services as an expert who could analyze and give recommendations to make their operation better.  I didn’t get that one.  But I’ve finally learned over the years that successful synergy is a numbers game.

Not only that, I had yet another meeting this morning with someone who not only affirmed that I’m “the only person on the planet doing a certain type of niche marketing”.  He invited me to be part of a growing team that he was putting together.

I don’t know how it happened.  But all of a sudden I’m making deals and kicking butt in a ways I never imagined.  I’ve been saying for years that if my career and my life would just reach critical mass everything would change for the better.  Now I had lots of proof that they had.  What’s gotten into me? Continue reading

Get Clear About Your Career

Get Clear Get Clear About Your Career

by Acting Intuitive Jill Place

This is one of my very first columns . . . but I think it’s definitely still timely today.  Even more so as branding is a bigger buzzword now than then. As always, hope it agitates and enlightens.

I have to make a confession.  Until today, I didn’t have a brand that made me happy.  Yeah, yeah . . . I know.  And I’m the Acting Branding Queen.  But I’m redoing my website.  So I figured it was also time to redo my image.  And finally brand it to my liking.

Branding is part marketing, part manifesting and part magical.  Every product you know is branded these days.  For example, Coca-Cola is now “MyCoke” . . . you and your drink are now one.  And it’s interesting that Coke’s updated image now includes Coke-inspired video games, color-splashed graphics and a “Happiness Factory” where coke is magically bottled.   Even Coca-Cola now has a little magic in it!

If you’re an actor, however, you’re the product.  So your brand has to reflect your particular essence.  In the book, Brand Yourself, Andrusia and Haskins make the case for personal branding in this way:

Branding is such a powerful tool in selling a product that it makes perfect sense that we as individuals should brand ourselves—thereby creating a strong, positive sense of ourselves (the product) and our services that is different and better than what our peers have to offer (the competition)—for the greatest possible career success.

A strong, positive sense of oneself, then, is crucial for career success. Alan Ball wrote in American Beauty, “In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times”.  Many actors I’ve worked with, however, have no idea how to do that. Continue reading

It’s all about the Little Kid

little kid act It’s all about the Little Kid

Our Wounded Child May Be Why We’re Unsuccessful at (fill in the blank)    

We all have a little kid inside of us.  A little kid that inside may still be crying, raging, and doing behaviors we absolutely despise while we’re trying to do exactly the opposite . . . become successful at winning roles or losing weight to name just a few.

I don’t care whether I’m working with an actor or a compulsive overeater.  It’s all the same. Get that kid on your side!  Acknowledge it, make friends with it, and allow it to grow up inside of you.

So when I worked with an actor this week in an intuitive session, I helped him acknowledge his.  And I got the same response I always get.  “I’m so ashamed I didn’t take care of him”.  My response back . . . “You didn’t know.  How could you know.  It’s not your fault.” And then I say, “Now fix it!  Make him/her feel loved!” Continue reading

Denial is Not a River in Egypt

river in egypt Denial is Not a River in Egypt

by Acting Intuitive Jill Place

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours—Richard Bach.

Actually, I like Debbie Ford’s definition of denial from her wonderful book, The Secret of the Shadow, better.  Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying.  I like to then add “to myself!”

You may like to think you’re being honest with yourself.  But in reality you’re probably trying to fix stuff in your life that you don’t like.  Or resisting inevitable change.  Neither will make unwanted stuff go away.  Make you lose twenty pounds.  Overcome your fear of audiences.  Or keep you from doubting your acting or actor-business expertise.

I’ve met so many talented actors who cripple their careers with denial, resistance and fear of letting go.  An actor who I wrote about in one of my eBooks announced to me that he’d only been on three auditions that year (it was August) and that his agent never called him.  He almost seemed proud of his stagnant career; it was chilling.  Another justified his growing addiction to alcohol by reeling off to me every famous drunk actor he knew.  Yet another wanted to direct, produce and act in her own films but just couldn’t tell others what she wanted or needed.  And still another said he loved to act but continually rehashed his distaste for the audition process in great detail to all his friends. Those mixed signals, fear and denial have kept all these actors unsuccessful. Continue reading

It’s All about Family

about family It’s All about Family

If you’re an actor you need a staunch support system. It’s just too hard to deal with all that rejection otherwise. I’ve drawn my support system over the years from friends, mentors and lately . . . family. A supportive family might be the best case scenario. Because those relationships are the most dynamic and multi-layered you’ll ever have.

I’ve never been one for family however. I guess I once believed like Friedrich Nietzsche that “family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.” My family expected me to conform, to be a teacher or secretary. I was both for longer than I wanted to admit. They expected me to marry. I disappointed them by marrying a non-Jewish boy. The day after my wedding, my mother called me and asked, “How is Cliff?” I then explained that, “My husband’s name is Chet.”

Wanda Sykes said, “I have a funny family, but none of them are remotely in show business”. I wish my family had had been funny. Actually, they were in their own way. Jack Canfield explained that 85% of all families are dysfunctional. So I guess that most families are “funny”. But Jeff Foxworthy quipped, “if you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair you’ll be going ‘you know, we’re alright. We are dang near royalty’”. Continue reading

An Interview with Larry Silverberg, Part Two

Larry 2 An Interview with Larry Silverberg, Part Two

A Frank Talk with the Best Meisner Authority I Know

A few years ago, Larry Silverberg, author of “The Sanford Meisner Approach” workbooks, was kind enough to e-mail me and thank me for my kind words about his books.  He also told me he appreciated my insight and how much I care about being of service.  He suggested we connect.  So I picked up the phone and found a passionate, humble actor’s advocate on the other line.  I was particularly struck by his fearless journey and deep spirituality.  So I suggested an interview. Here’s Part Two; to read Part One, go here (link:  I hope you’ll be as inspired reading our conversation as I was writing it!

Jill:      What advice can you give actors about choosing a coach?

Larry: That’s a great question.  The most important thing is to sit down with the person and ask lots of questions and see if you feel a connection.  Trust your own experience of this person.  And if they’re an available human being who is caring and generous and willing to take the time to answer your questions thoroughly.  Because if you can’t trust this person fully then you can’t work with them.  If you’re going to learn, you have to be willing to go places that you don’t know you’re going and be willing to be supported and challenged and trust that the coach’s feedback is useful.  Watch their classes and talk to other students they train too.

There are a lot of teachers who are teaching to satisfy some sick ego need and are manipulative and mean.  That is very dangerous and crippling and will destroy a student’s spirit.  That’s why it’s so important to have a clear sense of who this person is.  So if a teacher wants to cruelly break you down, you’d better run as fast as you can. These people are dangerous and will hurt you.  Continue reading

An Interview with Larry Silverberg, Part One

Larry 1 An Interview with Larry Silverberg, Part One

A Frank Talk with the Best Meisner Authority I Know

A few years ago, Larry Silverberg, author of “The Sanford Meisner Approach” workbooks, was kind enough to e-mail me and thank me for my kind words about his books.  He also told me he appreciated my insight and how much I care about being of service.  He suggested we connect.  So I picked up the phone and found a passionate, humble actor’s advocate on the other line.  I was particularly struck by his fearless journey and deep spirituality.  So I suggested an interview. Here’s Part One.  I hope you’ll be as inspired reading our conversation as I was writing it!

Jill:      When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?

Larry: My whole life has been a total surprise to me.  And I couldn’t have predicted any of it really.  One of my best friends always wanted to be a doctor; I was amazed at kids like that who seem have their whole lives mapped out.  All I knew was what I was passionate about.

I was very fat as a kid.  So when I had to read a poem before what seemed like a thousand people for a school program, I was paralyzed.  I opened my mouth, stuck in the microphone and bit down.  The teacher had to pry my mouth off that mike.  And I never got to do the poem.  Fortunately, I lost the weight in High School.  And with it much of my early fear of audiences.

I originally wanted to be a filmmaker.  But a girl I knew in college talked me into taking an acting class in college.  That was it.  It was a coming-home experience. Continue reading

Leap . . . and the Net Will Appear

leap Leap . . . and the Net Will Appear

Letting Go is the Ultimate Connection to Acting Expression

I have a rock inscribed with this saying that I hold in my hand to do my daily gratitudes.  Being grateful is just one way to let go of old belief systems that may be standing between you and acting success.

Acting itself is both a continual gratitude and state of letting go.  When you don’t let go, you’re in your head.  And when you’re in your head, you’re struggling, not acting.  Struggling to let go so that you can make that ultimate connection.  With yourself and with what Jerzy Grotowski calls “the holy actor”.  Stephan Wangh, who wrote eloquently on Grotowski, said that “the actor, if he is to reveal something significant, personal and profound . . . must reach into the depths of himself, through whatever psychic or physical blocks might impede such expression.”

Actors come to me all the time because they think I have the key to such expression.  But, in reality, all I can do is introduce them to a self-discovery process that enables them to let go.  Here are some ways to begin that process: Continue reading