acting 101: #6 attitude towards acting

The way you consider your intention and your task as an actor highly influences your performance.

Mahershala Ali, winner of this year’s Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in Moonlight, gave an inspiring acceptance speech which I’d like to quote:

“And one thing that they consistently told me is that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you. It’s about these characters. You’re in service to these stories, to these characters. I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity.” — Mahershala Ali

Do you just act because it is your passion and it’s fun or do you see a greater meaning in your job/hobby as an actor/actress?

Mine is the purpose of creating art that people can relate to and be inspired by for a long long time. And it’s so freakin’ fun!!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

the downsides of human love relationships or “doomed lovey doveys”

Being in love… What great feelings to recall: Butterflies in your stomach, the excitement of pleasant anticipation before every date, that seemingly ever-lasting smile on your face. That every touch making your all senses dance. Fairy-tale like times, this first phase of a love relationship. The heart-breaking reality is… This rarely continues to eventually end with a “happy ever after”. Even if one of the partners seems to stay in this first phase for as long as he/she knows the person.

Maintaining the excitement of the first phase requires hard work and strong willingness from both parties. One alone can try as hard one wants, it is a job for two. Love needs two people to grow and ultimately, to last. A balanced relationship evolves from a mutual attraction. Attraction is very much dependend on positive thoughts, admiration for the other person’s character and physical attraction. Having your partner losing sight of one of those aspects is not your fault. It’s just the way it is with relationships. A little distraction on your partner’s side can lead to him/her to forgetting about why he/she fell in love in the first place, which then leads to a broken heart — yours that is. Should we stop being naive and forget about relationships all over to protect ourselves from this kind of heart-break? Every single picture on Pinterest says no, “dare to love”. Well, then.

A love relationship, a real partnership between two lovers is the most beautiful thing to possibly experience. No feeling can compare to being in love and knowing that you are loved. It comes along with satisfaction, pride, great joy and happiness. The feeling that you can rely on someone, any time at any place. Someone who shares his/her feelings and thoughts and with whom you can share yours. Someone who finds strength in you and shows gratitude. Someone who is your source of energy when everything else goes wrong. A balanced partnership with mutual love and affection.

But when it comes to an end due to whatever reason that you did not have control over, after a great amount of time and energy you have put into the relationship to make it back to working, it is the worst feeling. It breaks your heart into tiny little pieces. In this stadium, it just makes no sense to hold on to the person, pushing him or her to talk to you if he or she does not want to. If someone who once shared his or her thoughts with you and spend much time talking to you, stops for no obvious reason, it is not something you can influence. He or she has disconnects from you — emotionally and physically. The healthiest thing for you to do is to make your peace with it. Just take it as it is. Maybe not the first time this ever happens. Maybe not the second time. But surely the third time. You are worth what you put out there. If you put out love and affection and receive reluctance and resistance, you are not obliged to take it in for the millionth time. Someone who loves you will not be able to hurt, ever. Stay strong and move on. You are not the person to for ever fight for what means the world to you. Your counterpart has to take a little bit of responsibility of his/her own.

What now? Concentrate on your self. Do whatever you love doing. Treat yourself. Surround yourself with the people who adore you. And don’t have second thoughts. You’ve acted on them a fair amount of times already. If it has not changed the past multiple times, it won’t change now.

Animals seem to have a better practice loving and partnering up. Being a penguin for a little while sounds just about right.

-your tiny woman in a giant world

acting 101: #5 scene acting – figuring a character’s story

Today’s tip is regarding your character preparation in scene play. There are some simple questions to go over when preparing. The tricky part is to keep those background information that you thoughtfully put together in mind and playing towards them but still being able to react to what your acting partner(s) offer(s) you.

Before entering a scene, you have to prepare your character’s story. These questions help you figure out a background story if not already being directed in the script:

  • Where does your character come from? Mentally and physically. What does she/he think? What has she/he experienced before entering the scene?
  • Where is your character within the scene? What is the setting? Be careful how “far” you look, imagine walls or a specific environment. Move accurately for given space/place.
  • Where does your character want the situation to lead? What outcome does your character hope for (if any)? Your reactions should be conform to your answers.

Rehearsing with your acting partner(s) to fully understand their intepretations of their own characters as well as yours is key to an harmonious scene play. Give input and take input. Act and react, but don’t lose focus of the background questions above.

Scene play is so much fun — you can fully apply everything you learn playing a scene. Enjoy practicing 🙂

-your tiny woman in a giant world

A poem: Spring, you with the beautiful soul

Spring, you — with the beautiful soul, take me in a state of admiration every time you come back into my life. Admiration over the beauty of nature. The singing birds, the blooming flowers, the shining green leaves of the trees. Your air is so pure, pure of life and full of the smell of positive change.

Spring, you make our hearts beat a happier rhythm. You warm our souls with yours. And your soul, oh your soul, is so good. The only plan you follow is for us to be active and healthy and happy. For our animals to come out and play.

Spring, we breath you in, see you with widely opened eyes. We watch you consciously. We would not want to miss the tiniest glance of beauty you offer us. Stay with us for as long as you can. Until you joy- and playfully have transformed us to feel as alive as can be. Until you tickled every bright color possible out of this lively powerful planet.

In return, we cherish and admire you. Your wonderful being will have nothing but our perfect appreciation. Every time you see us smile, feel our kisses coming your way, staying with you as our symbol of gratitude.

-your tiny woman in a giant world

acting 101: #4 pay attention to your surroundings

In times of smartphones, non-stop connectedness and social media information overload, most of us stare at our phones to bridge time gaps. Me, I try to eliminate this habit whenever possible by setting offline time episodes (even days) and taking along a book wherever I go. Initially, spare time is well used and a dependancy on my smartphone to spend time is restricted. Especially when you are an actor/actress, paying attention to your surroundings can be of huge benefit for your imagination when creating a character.

You can take so much inspiration out of other people’s behavior/movements and the way they speak. Be observant, take in the impressions of your environment. Not only the people, but also watch actively everything there is to be found around you. Attentiveness makes your eyes come alive, it gives your eyes expression. The more you see, the more your imaginational skills grow and develop.

See consciously and experience how much there really is to be inspired by.

-your tiny woman in a giant world

We Heart Cookies: Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

3If there is a sweet treat, barely someone can resist, it’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Crunchy or chewy, does not matter. The combination of rustic oats and sweet chocolate is mouth-watering and can only be topped with a fruity component: cranberries that is. When I discovered this recipe a few years ago, I did not know these cookies would become not only my but everybody’s all-time favorite cookies. Literally everyone who knows the true promise of these cookies, becomes a huge fan: family, friends, boyfriend, collegues, gym buddies, friends at acting class — all ages, all kinds of different people.

1

Great thing about the recipe is that you can vary the ingredients as you like: maybe you prefer nuts over cranberries or only milk chocolate chips? Feel free to try out new variations! They turn out to be delicious either way. To tell you a little secret: every time someone (besides my mother) asked me for the recipe, I kept it a secret. But today is the day I will no longer hold back on giving out the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies ever.

This is why I happily share my recipe with you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (soft) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • about 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • about 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • about 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Cream together the butterand sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanille extract and stir until well combined.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt and oats, chocolate chips and cranberries to the creamy mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Forming balls with an ice-cream scroop, place the cookies on a baking sheet. You do not need to flatten them.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. When you take the cookies out to cool on a wire rack, be careful: they might be soft, but they will become firm once cooled off.

2

Enjoy pure deliciousness with a cup of jo and tell me how you like them. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

P. S.: This recipe is an adaption of Panthera’s recipe on allrecipes.com.

acting 101: #3 mirroring exercise

Mirroring is a great exercise for not only working on your visual sense and your attentive concentration, but also on getting to know your acting partner and be attuned to one another. You can gain a lot of information about a person through his/her movements and choice of movements.

Here is how mirroring works:

  • Stand in front of your partner in one to two metres distance.
  • Look each other in the eyes throughout the whole exercise. This is very important to really connect.
  • One of you starts moving slowly, the other one follows his/her lead. Be careful to mirror your partner’s movements precisely, never losing eye contact and also mimicking imitating his/her facial expressions.
  • Change the lead.
  • When you change who is leading again, become a little faster.
  • Take turns, becoming for fluent. The goal is not to make visible to observers who of you is leading and who is mirroring. Exact instant replication of your movements and facial expressions.

If you have done this exercise before, you know what a difference it makes in your acting with your partner and how you improve your mirroring from turn to turn. If you are new to this exercise: you will love it! Have much fun mirroring!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

TheBalancedLife.Com: 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin

Update: If you read this after the actual start of the challenge, do not worry: All videos are online on Robin’s YouTube Channel, but only until the end of the challenge! 🙂 Did you do any of her workouts? Do you love them as much as I do?

Just now, on my daily visit to Our Body Book, I found out about the 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin from The Balanced Life and registered right away. A fun way to add to my regular workout routine, spicing things up and getting an extra challenge on.

The concept is fairly easy:

STARTING TODAY, there will be daily 10-minutes Pilates workout videos by Robin that are absolutely free. So you might want to go over her website and register right now 🙂

I find Pilates a great workout to strengthen my body, especially building up and improving core muscles. You don’t need weights, just your own body and a mat. You can pick your own time and place and just go for it. I am excited to participate in the challenge and expand my daily workout sessions to an extra 10 minutes. Are you too in? If so, you’re very welcome to share your workout results with me!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

little notion on the go: set yourself free

Do you know weeks during which you feel like you can not escape? Like you are trapped in some kind of way and cannot set loose? I can’t quite define where I feel trapped, so I blame the whole week for just holding me captive. I was just about to say, “not physically but rather metaphorically trapped” — but really, it feels as being stuck physically. As if the week is intentionally trying to get on my nerves, asking for a punch in the face. Like the ceiling is just right above my head. As though I have limited space to move. Did I go wild too little? Have I spend too much time working? Didn’t I get plenty of movement? Have I talked and sung too little? Have I maybe had bad thoughts that affect me so badly?

Sometimes, the lack of screams during a week makes us blue. “Screams” as a metaphor for “letting out mellow but firm sounds”. “Screams” as in “wiggling until your body feels free”. And also “screams” as in “daring new places, activities and challenging yourself”. I feel like it is a lack of solely positive and enriching screams.

I guess this weekend has to make up for the whole week. On the agenda:

Exploring. Movement. A new place. Sounds of joy. Songs to sing. Wildness. Opportunities to dance. Escape (in a book). Jump. Being crazy about activities, people and places.

Wishing you a mentally and physically freeing weekend xo

-your tiny woman in a giant world

spotlight on morning routines — take 2

This following notion is take 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines) on morning routines. Also see take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us).

The beauty of mornings is one of a kind. The seasons define our morning routines. Seasons decide what we’ll have for breakfast and where we’ll sit having breakfast. They make for our level of motivation when looking out the window. Seasons influence our choice of music. And seasons very much determine our perception of our environment. In strong nostalgia of past summers, I’d like to share with you one of my last year’s summer morning routines.

My alarm does not have to go off — the beautiful rays of sunlight that shine through my window into my room, warming my face, wake me up gently. The pleasant anticipation of a bright and sunshiny day get me out of bed and clear the need of pushing “snooze”. My thoughts are filled with beachy memories and happy ideas. Tiptoe-ing to the window, opening it and taking in — with all my senses — everything summer offers on this beautiful morning:

I hear the birds tweeting to one another, sharing their laughter.
I feel the mild air and sunshine on my skin, making me feel alive.
I smell the flowers, growing my longing to finally step outside.
I see the green leaves that dance in the light wind, gratitude pulsing inside me.
Is there a thing more perfect than this very moment?

Is there? The conscious gratitude of the “here and now” fills me with great contentment. I get dressed (a light shirt and jeans shorts are all I need today), get ready, smile into the bathroom mirror and dance my way downstairs. Before I head to the kitchen, I take a moment and get on the patio, take deep breath, stretch, smell the flowers.

The kitchen is my go-to-place on sunny mornings like this. The kitchen window is where the sun goes up. I prepare my breakfast: I slice a watermelon and goat cheese into pieces and place them on a plate and pour over a little honey. The colors on the plate speak for themselves: pink, gold and white. Nature’s treasure. The combination of the freshness of the waterlemon, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the honey creates a culinary delight. With the bitterness of my cup of black coffee on top, it is the best light breakfast to have. Sitting by the kitchen table on the chair, crossed-legged, I enjoy the peace with nothing but the birds singing in the background.

With my spare half an hour left before I need to leave for work, I hop on my bike and cruise around the neighborhood. Enjoying the wind blowing through my hair as I gain momentum, and the sights of colorful gardens that make me smile, I breathe freely.

Grabbing my tote bag with all the necessities for the day ahead as well as my workout bag, I head to my car and head off to the first destination. Driving with my windows down on the country road, I sing along the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, dancing and loving the day.

What does a summer morning routine of yours look like?

-your tiny woman in a giant world