Featured Articles

  • 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 […]

  • Actor's Privacy and The Dark Side of Fame

    Actor’s Privacy and The Dark Side of Fame

    “When you’re famous, you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way.” Marilyn Monroe Ayn Rand wrote a commentary in the Los Angeles Times, two weeks after Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 5, 1962. Referring to the “sordid and horrifying childhood of Monroe, Rand wrote: “To survive it and to preserve […]

  • Dealing with fame - or not

    Dealing with fame – or not

    Many other talented and acclaimed actors also reach a certain level of public recognition because of their work, and Jennifer Lawrence notes fame is “a dangerous topic” and comments about how assaultive and how much negative impact it can have: “I teeter on seeming ungrateful when I talk about this, but I’m kind of going […]

  • Amanda Bynes, Kyra Sedgwick, Anjelica Huston on motherhood

    Amanda Bynes, Kyra Sedgwick, Anjelica Huston on motherhood

    It can be a major decision to be a mother and still pursue a demanding life as an artist. On her Twitter profile, Amanda Bynes says: i want to be a mom but not til i’m 30 and even if i get married b4 then i still want to wait to have kids til long […]

  • Being Shy or Introverted and an Actor

    Being Shy or Introverted and an Actor

    Many dynamic actors, musicians and other performers report being shy as a child, or still as an adult. Some people call themselves shy – or are labeled that by journalists and others – even though they may really be introverted or highly sensitive. For more about these traits and how they differ from each other, […]

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 […]

Find your purpose – Jurnee Smollett on her warrior spirit

Jurnee Smollett plays Samantha Booke in the film “The Great Debaters” (set at Wiley College in Texas during the Great Depression), who becomes the first woman selected by debate coach Melvin B. Tolson (played by Denzel Washington) to compete on the debate team, which defeats the University of Southern California’s team (changed to Harvard in […]

Amy Lyndon on actor training and achievement

Amy Lyndon owned and operated Gold-Levin Talent Management for 9 years and has been a Booking Coach for close to 18. She created The Lyndon Technique: The 15 Guideline Map To Booking, which has helped 1000’s of students learn how to book jobs and consistently earn their living as actors. [See a review of the […]

Keeping your integrity – Sarah Polley on staying true by not taking the big movie role

Sarah Polley on fame In a recent article, film critic Kenneth Turan writes: Sarah Polley looks back on her decision to leave “Almost Famous” as a turning point in her life, a decision to keep fame at bay and have as normal a life as possible. “My first experience with a sliver of fame was […]

Actors and therapy

Heather Graham “Acting is telling a story, and you’re part of telling that story. In some ways therapy helps more than acting class. You realize why you operate in certain ways.” Heather Graham [in our interview several years ago about making “Lost in Space”] expressed one of the most valuable and positive reasons for therapy […]

Intuition – Keeping out of your head to act

James Woods – “it just flows…” James Woods appreciates being an actor: “I’m just like an idiot savant. I have one enormously enjoyable, pleasurable – for me – talent, which is being able to act. I do it without any confusion or restriction or ambivalence or hesitation, and it just flows, almost as naturally as […]

Actors & Addiction

Philip Seymour Hoffman In a recent interview, Philip Seymour Hoffman [Best Actor Oscar nominee for “Capote”] admitted he used drugs and alcohol earlier in his life. A lot. “It was all that stuff. It was anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all.” He got sober, he says, because “You get panicked. […]

Actor stereotypes – Shia LaBeouf: “You have to be brokenhearted.”

Shia LaBeouf [his new film is “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”] says, “I’m a lonely dude. But, again, it’s the price. You subject yourself to weird [stuff], just so you can feel something. To be an actor, a true actor, you have to be brokenhearted.” [The Washington Post, October 17, 2006] That comment reminded […]

Acting schools – building you up, or tearing you down?

Weeding out the weak? In a Backstage article [Crossing the Line by Nicole Kristal] acting coach Carolyne Barry comments, “I think that there are a lot of teachers out there who are on power trips and ego trips and truly believe that by demeaning people they can make [actors] work harder. Well, that will work […]

Celebrity and personal growth – Terrence Howard: “to discover more truths”

Referring to his role of Brick in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (directed by Debbie Allen),” Terrence Howard says, “I always tell directors, ‘The role I want is the role I can’t accomplish, the thing that’s going to make me fail.’ Every warrior is looking for that fight […]

Entertainment psychology – Heath Ledger and drugs and narcissism

High drug use in Hollywood “It’s so obvious that this is a population that has a huge appetite for drugs.” Drew Pinsky, MD The death of Heath Ledger – considered an accidental overdose of prescription medications – is another indication of how much drug use there is in the entertainment community. He also reportedly had […]

Celebrity and personal growth – Developing confidence as an actor

Ian McKellen on timing Ian McKellen admits in a recent article that it has taken time and life experience to develop the self-confidence that now helps fuel his dynamic roles. “Suppose it had been me who played Tom Jones [1963], not Albert Finney?” he said. “There was never any question of me playing those sorts […]

Character development – Rachel Weisz: “The actor’s job is to get into people’s skin.”

Rachel Weisz: If the woman is a bitch, and a sexy bitch, is there a way of finding humanity in that character? Mike Myers: The idea that they’re the hero of their own story. Rachel Weisz: Everyone walking around the planet is the hero of their own story. Mike Myers: And they can justify to […]