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: starting / finishing / exhilaration / collaboration / focus /
committment / just playing around. 



Thoughts for the Journey, 2014

Happy New Year, actors & Workroom friends! I want to take this occasion to thank all of you whom I coached or taught last year for coming into my creative space and for the privilege of being invited into yours. 

I hoped to post this at the end of last year. But I hit the ground running at the start 2014, directing a reading of Play the Queen on January 12th at the new Annenberg Center for The Performing Arts, starring Kate Burton & written by Rosalind Miles based on her best selling novel, I, Elizabeth. Then, immediately after (right now!) I started prepping for Love Noel, a cabaret based on Coward's songs & letters, opening on Valentine’s day, also at the Annenberg Center. Slammed, in a very good way.

But 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 Conservatory & other places in LA; at Williamstown & other colleges & universities across the country. This is the daily practice that feeds everything else I do.

It still amazes me how much I love my job. Okay, sometimes the material we get feels like slogging thru the mud, but the WORK itself remains the same no matter how good or bad the writing is — can we find the "hook," can we use the material to express something that's burning to come out, or to have fun, or to stretch our talent in some way? Can we use the audition to get back to the initial impulse of why we're doing this acting thing? So much of it, I think, is keeping the flame of that initial impulse alive, that thing that made us want to act in the first place. Even though that original impulse may also contain secret passageways to psuedo-rewards: attention, approval, acknowledgment, scoring in sibling rivalry, winning the lottery, etc. etc. you name it!— no matter. 

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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.)

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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. 

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the business of YOU /  7.5.13

For the last six months, actors in my group called "The Art of the Biz" met once a week to play around with creating & articulating their own uniquely personal art-business. Actors, I call this the business of YOU. We've experimented with biz names, titles, tags, quotes, vision/ mission statements & values & goals.

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Owning The Role / 5.20.13

We leave our mark by taking -- as if it were a baton -- from our predecessors, & then making it wholly our own.

The ownership thing. I’m thinking about this a lot lately. How it works. Why it works. And when it works, how undeniable it is. How utterly irresistible.

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It's Called 'Show-Art' / 4.16.13

  So you bring your true self to the work,
your unadulterated effort, without negative
self-talk & the sanding off of the
interesting edges. Instead of compromise, 
you bring us vision.

I lead a group called The Art of the Biz -- which sounds a bit too Hollywood-ish for my taste, but it's all about this: making the business part of what we do as creative / soulful / disciplined / professional / enjoyable / as the art part.

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Previous Posts


Where To Start

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