THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Andrea Monroe
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Writes "The Hidden Artist"
MEDIUMS: acrylic and mixed media on canvas
Ho Ho Ho Ya’ll. Writing you this on the plane back from my last work trip of the year. The Golden Globes have been announced (Go see The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash), the release of The Interview has been cancelled (coming to a laptop near you), and 2015 is right around the corner. For me this year has flown by (more Delta miles than ever) and I am overflowing with gratitude and appreciation for all the lessons, opportunities, adventures and joy that I have been fortunate to experience over the last 12 months.
Well it’s December, the end of the year and a time to wind down 2014. A time to celebrate, and for many actors - take a break, visit family, and replenish. I think it’s a good opportunity to “marinate”, contemplate, vision, or simply step back and take inventory. We say at The Actors Workout Studio that we are in the business of “transforming actor’s lives, one at a time”. We believe in the “whole artist”, not only the skills, craft, and business of the actor, but “who each actor is”.
Alex, Lily & Monsie
I was asked a few months ago to take part in a filmmaking festival a dear friend of mine was putting together. Because I am ridiculously busy and always say yes to things anyway, and then sometimes run myself ragged trying to get it all done, I acted like a grown up and said no.
THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Jennifer Gunlock
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Lives and breaths and “trees” there
MEDIUMS: mixed-media, photography
In my bodywork practice, I rarely approach a day’s worth of clients in the same way. Recently, my schedule was booked full with a visiting dance company and for a week straight I worked on virtually the same issue amongst them all. The main focus of my therapy protocol was to treat the muscle imbalances related to hyperextension of the knees.
Most people don’t agree on everything. In fact, we stay close to the people that we mostly agree with to make our lives easier, but the most simple and profound truth is that we all want to be happy. Democrats and Republicans, PBS and Vampire Diaries watchers, ballroom dancers and booty shakers ALL share the primary goal to be happy.
"Fontana”, Samantha & Javier Ronceros, 2011, Lancaster, CA 2011
I was asked a question just recently, by someone who does not make films, or do anything particularly creative.
I give this lecture in my class every year as the holidays approach, and we spend quite a bit of time talking about and working with this topic. I’ll share a bit of it here. As we all know, a good acting class should challenge you, open you up, and get you in touch with your emotional life. It’s the process of unraveling yourself to be raw, present, vulnerable, and exposed. That’s what the acting instrument is - a present, vulnerable, affected being, raw with truth. Our work is to get in touch with and master our emotions, so we can utilize, not be victimized, by them.
THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Alma Magaña
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Makeup Artist at the Gallery 800 for "Elements of Art and Fashion Show"
MEDIUM: face and body paints
I have to admit I was a little star struck. I’ve worked with lots of celebrities but when I heard I might be going to the Vice Presidents home in Washington, DC to film him for a Public Service announcement, I was thrilled and butterflies took flight in my stomach.
‘The Race’ 2011, Burbank.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated?
You are not alone…
This is the beginning of the season of awards, fall film festivals and lots and lots of screenings.
Living in LA we are surrounded by the movie business, and that can be intimidating for very independent filmmakers because, well, everyone is bigger than you.
Self-care comes into play once we are aware that we need it! Usually this comes from an injury or pain, or maybe a great instructor or director gives you a heads up about how to become a better you. Being detective-like and curious about health and wellness can lead you to some great discoveries.
THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Erin Stone
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Her former "office" was at Republic of Pie and she has facilitated the creation of murals in and around NOHO
That “place on the other side of the hill,” otherwise known as the San Fernando Valley, has always held a stigma of being uncool or, at worse, the land where porn was born. Thanks to Erin Stone and the rest of her comrades at 11:11, 818 might very well become the new 213 when it comes to the Los Angeles art scene.
In September, I started a new beginner’s acting class, which I hold three times a year - September, January, and April. I love this class, filled with all kinds of interesting people, from all walks of life. Many (most) are pursuing acting and want to get solid, professional training. Others want to “test the waters” and see if they have talent, or perhaps have been away from acting for a while and feel rusty. Often I get an actor’s spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, who wants to understand the process and see what actors do and go through. Or, maybe a writer or director wanting to better understand and speak the language of acting. Sometimes it’s a sales person, lawyer, or someone who simply wants to be more expressive in their own life, come out of their shell, and explore themselves. It’s a great opportunity to explore acting, get in touch with your emotions, and discover your creative side.
Filming Man Eating Tree, 52 Films/52 Weeks, 2011
I’m the kind of person who can’t stop creating, even if I don’t write it all down and it stays in my head, which is actually more often than not come to think of it, I am always thinking about some new or old idea I have for a film.
THE HIDDEN ARTIST: David Estrada
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Lives there and enjoys late night grilled cheese sandwiches at Sitton's Coffee Shop on Magnolia
When actors act, they are in the business of creating chemistry, creating a relationship, and making it believable. Say you are playing a romantic relationship (which happens often), and you need to create chemistry with your partner. Sometimes you might just meet them for the first time that morning on set. What if your role is that you’ve been married for 10 years? That relationship needs chemistry and history. You need to make choices and create specifics.
My dear readers, it is my great pleasure to share with you the work of my colleague and treasured friend, Amanda Hart. She is diversified and successful in the dance community, from studio teacher to choreographer to artistic director and beyond, and her passion for dance makes Los Angeles a better place to be an artist for us all. I hope her story inspires your own, as we can always learn from and lean on one another.
The more you do, the more you do
Gustavo The Great, Angeles National Forest, 2011
A great friend of mine, who is also an accountant, reminds me regularly of the importance, as I am essentially a freelancer, of cultivating and maintaining multiple income streams. She is right of course, and while I would like to have a larger multiple of streams of income than I have at present, it also got me thinking about multiple streams of creativity.
THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Janet Lamb
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Lived at 11911 Weddington from 1941-1949
MEDIUMS: Pen and ink, pastels, watercolor
I’m a spiritual person to a certain degree. I practice a metaphysical faith and try to affirm positive reinforcing statements about my life, but I have to admit I fail miserably at simple things like meditating and quieting of the mind. I prefer to say I get my “connection” and inner peace by performing my art. That’s because I believe I’m an expression of something larger than myself. And so it goes with Janet Lamb although she’s tapped into something at a much more sensitive level because she IS a sensitive, often referred to as a medium; someone who uses his or her psychic or intuitive abilities to tune into the spirit energy surrounding a person. Only Janet’s special gift is a constant communication from her heart center that is graciously and generously given to her recipient in the way of a symbolic energy drawing.
Daily Risks to make you happy.
“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It may have been.” Kurt Vonnegut
Let's face it. Life is risky business. We take chances every day and truthfully, without taking risks, you don't truly live… you merely exist. And the funny thing is you may not even recognize or give yourself credit for the small risks you do take everyday. Like crossing the street, trying out a new dish, asking someone out, or volunteering to take on a new client. No outcome is ever 100 percent certain and that means that any attempt at anything has an equal chance of complete failure as much as success. Including getting to the other side of the street!