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.                  




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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Where To Start? / 3.3.13

A play for the first time in 3 years. The longest stretch I’ve gone without acting in a play since I was 15. upended / rusty / flummoxed / giddy / terrified. 

Where to start? My brain rebels against memorizing lines. I feel like I can’t find a clue in the text as to who I’m supposed to be. In the most congenial of rooms with a bunch of smart & talented people I feel like I don’t understand at all how to mutually collude to tell a story – that is, to tell the same story. 

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Be Famous / 1.20.13

Hey you – struggling actor. Yes, you. Come with me for a moment. I want to take you on a little journey. 

Imagine for a moment that you have achieved your dreams. You did a terrific role in an important film, say, in the past year. Your work was noticed by the press & your peers. In fact, you were nominated for  -- no, you won! -- an Oscar or an Emmy or a Tony -- whatever turns you on most.

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Chaos, Order & All Things New / 1.3.13

The picture of my ideal life at about 18 = something like: 8am Swimming / 9am Strawberries & oatmeal / 10am French class / 11am Voice work / 12noon Massage / 1pm Stuffed artichokes & rare steak  / 2pm Acting class / 5pm Nap / 6pm Bathe / 7:30 Champagne / 8pm - well, you get the idea: learning, luxury, poetry & discipline. (really, does anything sound sexier?)

To that end, here's what's jazzing me for 2013.


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50 Shades of Auditioning / 12.12.12

I meet very few actors for whom auditioning is "vanilla" -- i.e. the same thing every time, no big deal, walk in, read, walk out, slam-bam-thank-you-m'am.

Nor should it be. It's loaded. It comes with all kinds of of hopes & expectations. It's a different animal than the rest of acting. It carries the promise of more than just a job. An audition for a good role can be the seed from which blooms a whole career. No sense pretending this isn't the case.

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RSS & The Meaning of Life 11.26.12

In myself, my relationships, the organizations I'm involved with, there's probably nothing I value more than growth. To me this means striving relentlessly to improve what I do & how I do it. I believe that the craft / the job / the very act of being an actor & tending to the stuff of acting offers an extraordinary way to grow as a human being.

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Embrace the Crisis  11/8/12

Art is a crisis. In the moment of making it & in what it elicits. The crisis of art causes those in the midst of it to forget for a while the unpaid bills, the kids’ soccer schedule, the gossip from the night before. The persistent rattle of the day-to-day, with all its compelling little nothings, fades. & in its place, rising up, instead we hear the essential questions about who we are & what we should do & why.

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Compete or Create?  10.27.12

Think about the traits that creative people possess. Creative people don’t follow the crowds; they seek out the blank spots on the map. Creative people wander through far away and forgotten traditions and then integrate marginal perspectives back to the mainstream. Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows, creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows. -DAVID BROOKS

From a NY Times op-ed article, The Creative Monolopy. The idea: how the competitive mind-set serves to undermine creativity. Creativity & competition = polar opposites.

From my vantage point in the workroom, the lure of the competitive arena is tricky. Winning is fun. 

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