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.                  






The Mystical Power of Saying YES

Om means 'Yes'. Always, wherever we cast
our glance to search,in one word the answer is
'yes'. Yes, what you are searching for, is. 
are searching for happiness, pleasure, joy,
You are in want, and in one
word, ­­'yes', fulfillment is there.

What does it mean, as an actor, to say YES to everything? I'm not really talking about saying yes when a director gives you a note, (but that too.) I'm talking about saying yes to whatever is in the present moment. Not just to lower your blood pressure, but as a tool, a technique for doing your best work.

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6 classes a month ~ $260
scene study & audition technique
master teachers + industry guests
 for intermediate to advanced artists,
by audition only.
To audit / audition, use link above
Jeanie w/ Jeff Passero, Casting Director



my new Facebook group to gather the purist tribe: what you're doing, what I'm doing, what we're doing. JOIN!


Whither (or Wither) #lathtr Art?


     Not this or that, but this and that. Because one thing is true, it doesn't necessarily follow that the opposite is not also true. Up and down, back and forth, move ahead and drop back, no straight staircase to the sky but growth in a kind of spiral: success, success, success, then failure and disappointment, then the struggle to get unstuck and push ahead, to keep on keeping on, and the one who finishes last wins. Brecht has Galileo say, 'As much of the truth gets through as we push through; we crawl by inches.'
                   ZELDA FICHANDLER

ancient Tibetan mandalas for rejuvenationIt is good for actors to get paid. It is good for culture to thrive in our communities. Commercial theater is good for commerce. Non-profit theater is good for art. It is good to volunteer. It is good to earn a salary. A professional actor is someone who gets paid for what she does. A professional actor is someone who practices her profession whether she is paid or not. 

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Process = Power 

What if, what if … as kids, as adults, we got praise & recognition not for our intelligence or talent or achievements … but for our effort? What if there was a game that scored points not for wins but for progress? For developing ever more sophisticated strategies, building perseverance & improvement over time? What if the quality of our effort became our sole criteria for self-evaluation?

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The Art of Seeing 

   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 to writing a Workroom post about being in acting class. The Process Journel focuses on craft, challenge, break-throughs, journey. When we have access to others' thoughts, feelings, instincts, insights, etc., we build comradery / as cheerlead & mentor / celebrate success & failure. It =s belonging to a creative collective ... The Workroom as a space we each create & own: a home-base + a laboratory to nurture flight.   

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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 

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.)

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Previous Posts

Room for Everybody


Owning The Role 


 It's Called Show Art  



Where To Start 


 Be Famous 


Chaos, Order & All Things New


50 Shades of Auditioning 


RSS & The Meaning of Life


                       Embrace the Crisis 

To Compete or To Create

                         Bad Material / Good Audition 

Talent & Personality

 15 Minutes a Day 

Mastery & Optimism

 Survival of the Creative-est 

The Art/Biz Diaries
 / Ongoing


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