19 minutes | Apr 18, 2016
AN-018 - MINDSET 8/9 'Visualisation' with SHARON BOTT
Isn't it strange? Before we kicked off with this conversation, I hadn't really appreciated that when people talk about 'visualisation' in a personal development context, they're talking about something that, as actors, we're already well accustomed to doing. We rehearse things. Not only in the rehearsal room, but also in our minds, of course. Sharon and I speculate on how it might be if we incorporated a few of the actorish skills we have in that regard into our daily lives. Amazon.co.uk Widgets As promised, below is a link to Sharon Bott's coaching website.
16 minutes | Mar 30, 2016
AN-017 | Look at me, look at me, look at me ...
Some of you may realise where the title of this podcast comes from. If you’re a fan of James Lipton’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ interviews, then you almost certainly will. In 2006 Lipton interviewed Dustin Hoffman and the conversation turned to Marathon Man and the time that Hoffman spent with Lawrence Olivier during the making of that film. Olivier was not well at the time. In fact Illness had nearly prevented him doing the film at all. It seems that those around him in 1975 were fearful that he may not have long to live, Hoffman included. Although Olivier didn’t die until 1989, there was an air of valediction to Hoffman’s time with him and this comes across in his emotional remembrance of the time at the end of filming they went out to dinner together. At some point in the evening Hoffman asked Olivier the question "why do we do it?". Hoffman says Olivier leant over and whispered in his ear: "Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me". Although the story certainly inspires the title of this episode, the episode is not about Olivier and what he might have meant. However, if we, as actors admit to the resonance of those few words, then there is maybe something that we need to remind ourselves of as we navigate life and this thing called social media.
22 minutes | Mar 21, 2016
AN-016 - MINDSET 7/9 - 'Fixed/Growth Mindset' with SHARON BOTT
The idea that is behind this episode is that each of us tends towards one of two states in dealing with life. We do it without being aware and quite often, the patterns are set early in life. The clue is in the title of the podcast in that we’re talking about having either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset - as defined by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, and the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University It seems a simple concept on the face of it - but the effects of tending towards one or the other are profound. We hope our conversation provides a little clarity in the matter and gives you further insight into the strange workings of our minds and how we can acquire some control over it. . Above is an affiliate link to Carol dweck's book on Amazon.co.uk. Below is a link to Sharon Bott's coaching website.
70 minutes | Mar 16, 2016
AN-015 - 'ACTORCHAT' | with STEPHEN MITCHELL & ART JONES
The first attempt at a video podcast from ACTOR NOTES! For some while I've been running an occasional video streaming show called 'ActorChat' on the Blab platform (http://www.blab.im). As they get recorded on video as a matter of course, I got round to thinking that they make good content for a video podcast. A few days ago I had an ad hoc (see, told you!) conversation with two very interesting gentlemen; veteran Hollywood director/producer, classic car aficionado and acting guru Stephen Mitchell and brand strategist, digital Darwinist and marketing expert Art Jones. So, we were chatting away, and as the conversation drifted towards the subject of branding, I thought I'd hit the record button, seeing as 'branding' has become a bit of a buzzword for actors of late. Although the conversation meandered through many topics - we talked branding, storytelling, creative self-disruption, Hollywood, casting and actors as a luxury item(!) - it got quite deep, and if you listen through, I hope you'll find there's some gold to be prospected from what was said. I hope you enjoy. ART JONES Brand, Marketing & Saes Strategist - Story Facilitator. Art is partner at TAOSO - The Art of Standing Out. STEPHEN MITCHELL Go to Stephen Mitchell's NOTES ON A CALL SHEET - an his podcast, also on Podbean. An extremely interesting and experienced Hollywood director/writer/producer and his take on acting and the business of acting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
22 minutes | Mar 2, 2016
AN-014 - MINDSET 6/9 | "Listening' with SHARON BOTT
Listening - that seems a pretty straightforward thing to be talking about, doesn't it? I mean, most of us have been doing it all our lives and it seems we've got quite good at it - haven't we? But have we really? Do we actually listen - and if we think we do, who are we listening to? Is it possible that in changing the way we think about listening that we could impact our lives and careers for the better? As ever, immensely grateful to Sharon Bott for her contribution in making this series possible. If you've enjoyed this show, please have a look at her website - there's loads of good stuff to absorb ...
20 minutes | Feb 24, 2016
AN-013 - MINDSET 5/9 | 'Negativity Bias' with SHARON BOTT
"... al of our brains - no matter who we are - react more strongly to negative events. The asymmetric response to positive and negative events is rooted in the brain's processing of emotion. Negative events cause greater self-referential activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and aslo increased activity in the insula, which is responsible for noticing visceral sensations. Lastly, they also engage more of an emotional response in the amygdala and hippocampus". Yes ... but what does it all mean? And is it helpful to know? The book mentioned and the quote above is from 'The Upward Spiral' by Alex Korb. Amazon.co.uk link is below:
15 minutes | Feb 23, 2016
AN-012 - MINDSET 4/9 | 'Introvert/Extrovert' with SHARON BOTT
Actors, as performers are often assumed to be extrovert. But it ain't necessarily so! In fact, you yourself may be labouring under the illusion that you're an extrovert when really, you're an introvert - and visa versa. The defining experience of being either, isn't quite what we think, and may help you reassess the way you think about yourself. Or not.
12 minutes | Feb 17, 2016
AN-011 | Synchronicity
As actors, we all would love to know where the next job is coming from, what’s it going to be, what it’s going to demand of us and where it’s going to lead us. Oh, if only ... I wish, at the age of 61, that I did have some magic formula to pass on to you that gave you the power to determine the trajectory of your career, and to be able to divine your next best move from the plethora of actions available to you. Sometimes indeed, the scant feedback from most of the actions we do take can stun us into inaction. A few weeks ago I shared a story on Actor Notes called ‘Full Circle at Wyndham’s’. It was a story about synchronicity, fate, cause and effect, choice and destiny. And it happened to me. Or rather, it involved me - a passenger on a strange thing called life. I’ve got another story like that that I’d like to tell you.However, I’m telling it here not just because it’s a good story, but because it helps make a point about how - particularly as actors - we should be in life. Standing with Stones The story I tell happened during the making of my film 'Standing with Stones. You can find out more about that at http://standingwithstones.net In the meantime, here's the relevant section of the film including Callanish: Oh, and if you've never seen 'Glengarry, Glen Ross' find the film wherever you can. Magnificent perfomances from Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey et al. Here's Baldwin with the famous speech:
23 minutes | Feb 13, 2016
AN-010 - MINDSET 3/9 | 'People' with SHARON BOTT
'People' seems like rather a large subject for a 20 minute podcast. There are just so many of them - and they're all different. How can I cope - especially when my well-being, the next job, my career may depend on how I occur to the next person I meet? Well, relax. We don't think it's a case of understanding and adapting to each individual or group you meet and/or work with. It's more about understanding and adapting just one person - YOU!
23 minutes | Feb 10, 2016
AN-009 - MINDSET 2/9 | 'Responsibility' with SHARON BOTT
In the second of a series of nine discussions, Sharon and I reflect on the area of Responsibility and how being aware of, and taking care to manage what we're thinking and how we're feeling impacts our direction in life. Taking responsibility for what's going on between our ears not only empowers us in our careers, but also when we're doing the job, in rehearsal and on set.
54 minutes | Feb 7, 2016
AN-008 | Interview with MHAIRI MORRISON, creator of 'Feathers & Toast' comedy web series.
For the first INSIDE THE ACTORCHAT STUDIO interview, I was thrilled to be able to welcome actress MHAIRI MORRISON, creator and star of the hit TV and web series "Feathers & Toast". http://www.feathersandtoast.comIn our chat we not only talked about her career and training, mime, comedy and live stand-up comedy, but also her experience of moving herself to Los Angeles and adapting to and surviving the Hollywood way. Mhairi attained her BA in Theater from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before studying movement and mime at Jacques Le Coq, Paris. Following her training, she formed a theater company, performing as a clown throughout Paris.Moving to London, she began working in TV and film. Feature film credits include Young Adam (with Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton), Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, O, Jerusalem and Green Street Hooligans. TV credits include Murphy’s Law, Casualty (BBC), Missing (ITV) and Emo (C4). Theater credits include Blues For Mister Charlie (Tricycle), Faeries (Royal Opera House) and Low Life (Blind Summit).Since moving to LA she has performed regularly as a stand up comic, bringing talking Scottish mime to the Hollywood comedy scene.The interview is also available as a Blab video recording on YouTube:
21 minutes | Feb 7, 2016
AN-007 - MINDSET 1/9 | Limiting Beliefs with SHARON BOTT
The first in a series of nine conversations with mentor, coach and trainer Sharon Bott (who also happens to be my wife), taking on the area of mindset as it concerns actors. This time, we're talking about LIMITING BELIEFS - how they're formed, how we can distinguish them and ultimately, how we can choose NOT to live out of them.In the conversation, Sharon mentions a blog she's recently written on the subject called 'No Limits'. Here's the link if you want to read more: https://medium.com/@sharonbott/no-limits-2f477abdfbb3#.ukv2txcrk
14 minutes | Jan 29, 2016
AN-006 | Sand in the Oyster
When we get a new script in the hand, it's all too easy to succumb to some less than helpful habits in our keenness to make our mark on the role. Inspired by a quote from a slightly surprising source, here's a thought about character development that may help shake out any old, stale habits you may have fallen into.
58 minutes | Jan 21, 2016
AN-005 | Podcasting: what's in it for actors?
What's all the fuss about podcasting? Is there anything in it for me as an actor? Should I be paying attention? I'm joined by co-host of the POWERFUL NONSENSE podcast, actor Wayne Ingram, in this recording of an hour long ActorChat video discussion about the advantages and some pitfalls of podcasting for actors. YOUTUBE RECORDING OF THE #ACTORCHAT Here are some links to other sites that may be useful. There are many podcasters out there whose main role in life seems to be helping and educating new and aspiring podcasters. They are easy to find via a search on Google but my favourite so far is 'THE AUDACITY TO PODCAST' podcast. It's a good starting place. Wayne mentions his own page where beginners can get an idea of the kind of equipment that forms the basis of a reasonable podcasting set-up. It's here at POWERFUL NONSENSE. There is an actor called Tommy Kendrick who is based in Austin, Texas. He runs an excellent podcast for actors - indeed (although I've cut it from the podcast) he tried to join the Actorchat Blab but didn't succeed due to some Blab first-timer technical problems. Nevertheless is was good to make the connection and I highly recommend his shows - mainly interviews with other actors and creatives. It's called ACTORS TALK. Another podcast I highly recommend to actors is Stephen Mitchell's NOTES ON A CALL SHEET - an extremely interesting and experienced Hollywood director/writer/producer and his take on acting and the business of acting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
8 minutes | Jan 15, 2016
AN-004 | Upset - it's no big deal
It strikes me that many of us learned, very early in life, there was a huge payoff in drawing attention to the fact that we were upset. There was real value in complaining to your mother that something was wrong. However, as we get older, the strategy begins to produce diminishing returns. What are the consequences?
11 minutes | Jan 13, 2016
AN-003 | Full Circle at Wyndham's
For three glorious months, back in the Summer of In 2014, I was very honoured and privileged to be understudy to the great Bill Nighy in the revival of David Hare's 'Skylight' at Wyndham's Theatre, directed by Stephen Daldry. This is a little story about luck, fate, and synchronicity, cause and effect - call it what you will. It has a longish preface because it revolves around this very significant event in my life. In order for the jewel to shine, it need to be bedded in the right setting - so bear with me! SHOW NOTES REFERENCES In the show, I make reference to couple of names that are significant to the story but you may not have heard of. If you're interested, you can find out about Tucker McGuire on IMDb here, and Tom Macaulay here. At left is a shot of Tucker McGuire in the film "A Night to Remember", the 1958 British film about the sinking of the Titanic starring Kenneth Moore.
39 minutes | Jan 13, 2016
AN-002 | Actors & Goal Setting
Being still at the beginning of the year, it’s not too late to talk about goal-setting - indeed, a week or so into January, it’s maybe around now that first indications appear that those fine and sparkly resolutions we made are beginning to look a bit tarnished? If that’s not the case - brilliant - however, as actors we’re particularly aware of the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and I thought a conversation with my personal development coach wife, Sharon Bott, to look at the particular concerns that actors have about determining how life is going to go may be apposite. YOUTUBE I host an occasional video streaming chat - called, amazingly, ActorChat TV, that uses the Blab platform. By way of kicking things off and because it was easy to do, we did a live broadcast entitled ‘Actors & Goal Setting’ and the rest of this podcast is the audio recording of it. If you would prefer to watch the conversation, here is the YouTube recording of the Blab. WEBSITE If you love what Sharon is saying and would like to know more about here and what she can offer, please pay her website a visit as soon as you can!
15 minutes | Jan 12, 2016
AN-001 | The Scary Thing Is ... Performance
The very first episode of the Actor Notes podcast is about our constant companion ... fear. The thing is, whether or not it gets in the way of our work - and if so - what can we do about it? Not that I've got any answers necessarily, but I hope my angle on it strikes a chord or two - if only you feel less alone in your terror from now on. In case you needed proof - a Fender Stratocaster definitely does NOT make me into Jimi Hendrix: