explore & enjoy.

#1 me, watching an actor work.
photo: Geoffrey Wade

#2 Matisse's "workroom" The Red Studio, where there are no hands on the clock & most everything is unreal but the art.

#3 A letter from Tennessee Williams a few weeks after he cast me in his Vieux Carre at the theater bearing his name in Key West. He died about one week before we started rehearsals.
photo: my iphone

#4 The cast of La Ronde, performed by my students in Antaeus' A2 company, directed by Young Ji.
photo: Geoffrey Wade

#5 The artist's studio from my production of Cousin Bette by Jeffery Hatcher, set design by Tom Buderwitz.
photo: Michele K. Short

#6 Click on the image to visit my WORKROOM board on Pinterest. &/or create one of your own!

are credited at the end of each blog post.



THE WORKROOM = my space for          
all things acting + creative process + theater art  
I AM = an actor, director, author, teacher, artistic director  
THE GOAL = to live in our full potential as artists  

       I do not seek, I find.   PICASSO                            
 find: start / finish / exhilaration / collaboration / expanse      
why / mastery / oh, just play around.                  





CD Jennifer Brooks & Jane Kaczmarek, Oct. WR guests#act
INSIDE THE WORKROOM = acting class: Tues. nights / Sat. afternoons. Scene Study & Audition Technique / special industry guest every month. To audit / audition:
Inside The Workroom: Acting Class


FIELD TRIP! Sat. Oct. 18 ~ 8:00 / Maple & Vine / The Chance Theater Word on the #LAthtr Rialto = so worth the drive! Join us! code #WORKROOM = $21 tkts Box Office

thrilled to be in NYC for MTC opening of The Country House,
D. Margulies' Chekhovian romp set at The Williamstown Theater Festival, & starring the inestimable Bythe Danner. My shining light who radiates all to strive for in craft & art.


The Workroom Salon

my new FB group for purists, performance events, what you're doing, what I'm doing, the journey we share as artists! JOIN!



the man in the role / 10.12.14



Back when I was a struggling student in New York I kept a black & white photo of James Dean taped to the wall above my dresser. He is relaxing on the set of Giant and at the bottom of the picture, there's a quote: “Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.” Me, too.

The summer before last, I was cast in a production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. I was excited — the play’s pretty remarkable, with lots of meaty parts. However, given the short rehearsal schedule & the fact that I hadn’t done a play for a while —  I got anxious. Looking to hold my own in a cast stacked with heavy hitters, I went looking for help. Through a stroke of blind luck I found Jeanie via her website & I asked if she’d work with me. She agreed. 

At our first meeting I was inspired by Jeanie’s passion. We worked together for maybe 7 to 10 sessions, going from breaking down text, to the character's physicality & vocal quality to what Jeanie always considers the most important question: "Why do you want to play this role?" We worked hard together & I worked a lot on my own. I was glad I prepared as much as I did. I felt good about my work. The play was well received & even won some awards. 

A few months later, when Jeanie told me she was starting a new scene study class I jumped at the chance to take part. Her résumé speaks for itself, but I have to say Jeanie is one of the finest teachers I’ve ever worked with. Her passion is contagious, she’s insightful & when something in a scene isn’t working, she always seems to pull something out of her back pocket that steers me in exactly the right direction. 

Fast forward to a few days ago. I found myself in her office catching up over coffee. I hadn’t seen Jeanie for a few months. I had taken a break from class for the summer after close to a year of studying with her. We talked about what I’m looking to get out of class going forward.

As we sipped our Starbucks I told Jeanie I wanted to push myself. What I didn't say right then was that I wanted to be more courageous in the work  — enough to use the unfinished parts of myself, the parts I'm afraid or ashamed of. I want more access to my power, too — the part of me that steps up when I'm up against something that matters. (I realize this sounds fucking pretentious, but it's what I want.) I want to bring all of myself to my acting. & I want to have fun doing it. If I'm going to spend time doing this shit, I wanna to do it right.

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The Art of Seeing / 8.25.14

   Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It's in constantly
wanting to close that gap between where you are & where you
want to be. Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft & not for
the sake of crafting your career.
TED talk: Embracing The Near Win

The pursuit of mastery is the event of an artist’s lifetime. Teaching is an integral part of my own personal drive toward mastery: through engagement with the process of other actors I come to better understand my own. This is the privilege & the gift of the work I get to do. Its value to me is inestimable.


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The Process Journal ~ ongoing

I ask actors who study with me to commit at some point or another to writing a Workroom post about their journey in class. i.e. what they struggle with, what they're aiming for & who they're becoming via the work. The Process Journel focuses on craft. (I've got another ongoing format, called The Art-Biz Diaries, for career-focus ideas.) I think it's important for actors to try to articulate some of the intangibles about what we do -- & have access to others' thoughts, feelings, instincts, insights, etc. We build comradery, we act as cheerleaders & mentors for each other, as we celebrate our successes & even our failures. It's all part of belonging to a creative collective. Ideally, The Workroom exists as a space we each create & own: a home-base & a laboratory to nurture spirit, craft & talent.                      
                                                        subscribe to THE WORKROOM!

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Thoughts for the Journey, 2014

My still center & constant touchstone remains my ongoing work with actors — coaching one-on-one in my studio & the various classes I teach in The Workroom, at the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory & other places in LA; at Williamstown & other colleges & universities across the country. This is the daily practice that feeds everything else I do. 

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Processing Joy / 11.23.13

Joy. The topic du jour for me, in the few months since I got married. After living together for 9 years, I don’t think either of us expected it to feel this different. We married without a lot of hoopla, we live in the same house, with the same cat, & after a brief honeymoon, not that much changed. But to our surprise, ordinary life now seems to be unfolding on another plane entirely. 

I recognize this — aloft — feeling I’ve been waking up with every day. It’s the same elation that comes when I connect to the work in a meaningful way. (For me, stage acting delivers the ‘art-high’ in its most concentrated form, that’s the arm-drip.)

subscribe to The Workroom!

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Room for Everybody / 9.22.13

The Workroom is just about one year old! Since I launched, it seems like new resource sites for actors are cropping up everywhere. A dizzying array of teachers & coaches & casting director workshops, blogs, branding experts &  social media consultants -- dispensing good, sometimes great, & sometimes just plain bad advice at every turn. 

 subscribe to THE WORKROOM!

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Previous Posts


Owning The Role / 5.20.13



4.16.13 / It's Called Show Art  



Where To Start / 3.3.13 


1.20.13 / Be Famous 


Chaos, Order & All Things New
 / 1.3.13


12.12.12 / 
50 Shades of Auditioning 


RSS & The Meaning of Life
 / 11.26.12


                          11.8.12 / Embrace the Crisis 

To Compete or To Create
 / 10.27.12

                        10.19.12 / Bad Material / Good Audition 

Talent & Personality
 / 10.12.12

10.1.12 /
 15 Minutes a Day 

Mastery & Optimism
 / 9.18.12 

9.7.12 / Survival of the Creative-est 

The Art/Biz Diaries
 / Ongoing

Click to read more ...