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.                  






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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Bad Material/Good Audition  10/19/12

The tall, lanky, actor walks into my studio, the dark cloud of his energy filling the room. He barely says hello.

He throws down his backpack & throws himself onto my couch. He pulls out his sides & with a grand gesture tosses them to the floor. He is practically spitting disgust & contempt. 

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Talent & Personality  10/12/12

     Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent. 
STEVE MARTIN / / The progress of an artist is a continual self-
sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality. 
T.S. ELLIOT / / Genius
is personality with two measures of talent. 

All of us know incredibly talented people who can't get arrested. & we know people with one or two notes in their range who work all the time. What accounts for this?

How does who we are -- our values, our background, our strengths & weakness, our ability to manage our relationships (or not), keep impulses in check (or not), exercise self-discipline & positive self-esteem (or not) -- impact on our talent & our capacity for great work? 

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15 Minutes a Day  10/1/12

I ask actors I coach who are between jobs to commit to acting for 15 minutes every day, six days a week, for six weeks. I'm convinced that this seemingly little thing can radically reshape your craft & your confidence.

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Mastery & Optimism  9/18/12

           More than anything, I associate mastery with optimism.
It's the feeling at the start of a project when 
I believe that
my whole career has been preparation for this moment, 
and I am saying, 
'Okay, let's begin. Now I am ready.' 


What makes for "mastery" -- & the manifestation of great work? There is nothing more interesting to me than this. What are the habits / tools / processes that spark it / drive it / nurture it? What is it when you see it & what is it when you feel it? 

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Survival of the Creative-est  9/7/12

When I began my Workroom project I knew I wanted to create something different / dynamic / reflective of the varity of things I do.

I also wanted to challenge myself to learn things I didn't know. (For sure, something here about the dire urge in middle-age to remain cutting edge.) 

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