Featured Articles

  • Michelle Williams on Interpreting Marilyn Monroe

    Michelle Williams on Interpreting Marilyn Monroe

    Her portrayal of the icon is earning praise from many reviewers. Claudia Puig writes in USA TODAY that “While My Week With Marilyn is more an awestruck reverie than a revelatory biopic, it’s worth seeing for Williams’ bravura performance.” Roger Ebert thinks “The movie seems to be a fairly accurate re-creation of the making of […]

  • Actors and perfectionism

    Actors and perfectionism

    Many talented and accomplished actors and other creative people are energized – or burdened – by this drive of perfectionism. Acting in the final two “Potter” movies, and thinking about choosing college, Emma Watson talked about criticism of her work as Hermione, and modulating her perfectionism. “I will look back on this part of my […]

  • Scarlett Johansson: "I'm comfortable with being uncomfortable."

    Scarlett Johansson: “I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

    As many actors and other creative people have noted, facing our fears is often a key to developing creativity and doing exceptional creative work. Talking about taking on one of the most iconic theatrical roles, Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Scarlett Johansson refers to making more demanding choices on herself for roles. […]

  • Vanessa Hudgens on striving to be strong and aware

    Vanessa Hudgens on striving to be strong and aware

    Like many actors who want to develop their talents, Vanessa Hudgens observes people – and also uses the experience for personal growth. She also develops her awareness through reading, such as the book The Four Agreements. Hudgens chose to act in “Sucker Punch” – and wear risqué costumes for the role – because she found […]

  • Acting and Body Image: Portia de Rossi, Toni Collette

    Acting and Body Image: Portia de Rossi, Toni Collette

    Body image issues can be particularly acute for people in entertainment, which also provides most of the icons and role models of appearance. In her new memoir Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, Portia de Rossi writes about a dark side of pursuing a “perfect” look. “Anorexia was my first love. I didn’t […]

  • Liv Tyler on Feeling Real

    Liv Tyler on Feeling Real

    In an issue of Interview magazine, director James Mangold and Liv Tyler had a stimulating conversation on many aspects of being a creative artist, on excellence in acting, and being vulnerable and authentic. James Mangold: “There are some actors who, when they feel insecure in a scene, will just turn up the volume or the […]

Creative experience characteristics – Jenna Gavigan on not thinking too much

Jenna Gavigan’s role in the William Inge play “Come Back, Little Sheba” is the “vixen” Marie. Gavigan is on academic leave from Columbia University to pursue acting. A recent newspaper interview [Shedding the wings, by Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2007; photo: Myung J. Chun] notes that “she wants to major in something […]

Entertainment psychology: Bonnie Gillespie on fame and redefining success

Entertainment psychology: Bonnie Gillespie on fame and redefining success

In her post Defining Success on the Showfax blog The Actors Voice, author and casting director Bonnie Gillespie writes about new actors lusting after fame. Here are some excerpts : Those who do become household names? They’re talented. Yes. That’s a given. Being even moderately successful in this industry requires a baseline of talent. Done. […]

Embracing your fear – Rose Byrne on fear and focus

“I always have a deep-seated fear that it can all go away, and it can. You can not get work very easily,” Rose Byrne says, recounting how she’d recently read an interview with Julianne Moore, who admitted to panicking about never working again at the end of each film. “I mean, it’s Julianne Moore,” Byrne […]

Celebrity and personal growth – Jimmy Smits and others on fame

“Celebrity hits like a bomb. So you have to find what makes you stable in the storm.” Jimmy Smits adds, “Then, no matter what’s happening around you, no matter what the hype or the publicity, you can still manage to make leaps in your work as an artist.” [imdb.com] In my article The Dark Side […]

Entertainment psychology – Portraying people’s depths

Daniel Dae Kim – avoiding stereotypes Daniel Dae Kim [photo from “Lost”] says that when he looks at a character to play, “I don’t necessarily look for his heroic qualities or his negative qualities. I am very aware of playing stereotypes and trying to stay away from those. “But I think that wanting to play […]

Building identity – Eva Green on life off the set

Her character in “Casino Royale” is a woman of complexity, intellect and self-assurance. Eva Green has commented about some aspects of her life that help develop the kind of depth she has as a person to play such a role. “I am many things. I can be quite mad, and young, but I’m not the […]

Secrets of the Actor – a podcast

By guest author Elaine Elrod I am an aspiring actor and singer and am also the host and creator of Dramatic Impact: Acting and Theatre in Alberta. Dramatic Impact is a podcast that through video and audio recordings of interviews, forums, and performances, reveals how rich and vibrant the theatre scene is in Alberta, Canada. […]

Personal motivation – Kevin Spacey on what drives talent

“There is no prize, out there. The only prize is, this one, and what you feel and what you want to accomplish. … “I feel that I very often watch a lot of young people sort of meander around without any idea about why they’re doing what they’re doing. “I mean to want and to […]

Sober young actors – Staying healthy in a business with unhealthy pressures

Danielle Panabaker Danielle Panabaker [left] cautions, “You’d be surprised how many people are headed in the wrong direction [in Hollywood] and it makes me very sad to see these people with so much potential at such young ages getting involved in things that they should not be getting involved in. “I try to surround myself […]

Artistic confidence – Embracing fear and discomfort as an actor

Out of the comfort zone Many people, maybe most, want to avoid anxiety, fear and other “stressful” feelings. Except for the occasional roller coaster ride. But talented actors (and other artists) often use those kinds of feelings to guide and energize their work. Julia Stiles [left] says she chooses projects based on “ways I need […]