Created by Jimmy McGovern, this BBC short series has only one season and seven episodes. Written by Jimmy McGovern and Shaun Duggan, and directed by Daniel Percival and Jeffrey Walker, Banished is short, and intensely sweet. Set in the first penal colony of New South Wales in 1788, the hardships born by the one hundred men of the Royal Navy Marine and the one thousand prisoners they must guard is heightened by the involuntary sharing of the women. This extremely poignant, honest, upsetting and revealing portrait of the birth of Australia’s first state is riveting. Portrayed by some of the finest actors I have seen, Orla Brady, Ewen Bremmer, Ryan Corr, Brooke Harman, David Dawson, Ned Dennehey, Cal MacAninch, Rory McCann, Joseph Millson, Adam Nagaitis, Genevieve O’Reilly, Julian Rhind-Tutt and David Wenham are brilliant. MyAnna Buring, and Julian Rhind-Tutt are truly inspiring in their fearless portrayals. And Russel Tovey is beyond brilliant. His depth of commitment fully embraces true human behavior. His unapologetic realism transforms. His honesty touches the very soul of humanity. Tremendous respect to Daniel Percival and Jeffrey Walker for creating the sacred working environment that would produce such compelling artistry. Please watch this one!
It is important to hold space for yourself, truly hold space for yourself. To look at your hands and say, “I really love these hands.” To look at yourself in the mirror and without flinching, see yourself and tell yourself, “I love this face, I love this body, I love this me.” You must let this resonate throughout every cell of you. It is imperative that you know you are worthy and admirable. Carry it with you into every aspect of your life. Because when you see yourself as the most valuable asset on this planet you have seen the truth. This is not egotism, it is selflessness. Holding space for yourself, granting yourself being-ness, you affect deep change. Practicing unconditional positive regard, for the self and others, grows more of that. It is the kind of love, so powerful, so righteous, it will change the world.
True artists, when involved in true artistry, are always at risk. We risk ourselves, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychically. Wherever we are, we create, delve, and care deeply with every aspect of our being. That kind of commitment, that kind of great artistry merits honor and protection.
‘The actor of this new age must be versed in the art of true transformation. Never before has it been so important for an actor to study and maintain training that addresses the spiritual aspects of dropping intensely into a world created, as well as responding practically to the demands of today’s standards.’ ~ The Alexander Method: Transformational Acting for the Total Actor
Shondra Rhimes known for her quality television dramedies, casts appealing and compelling actors. Most with an eye on ABC’s For The People could predict that Britt Robertson would emerge as one of America’s new favorites. Indeed Britt Robertson, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Ben Rappaport, Wesam Keesh, Rege-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Anna Deavere Smith possess talent, acumen, training and noteworthy excellence. Yet, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn in ABC’s For The People is complex, ido-syncratic, honest and awe-inspiring. In Season 1, Episode 10 she is breathtaking. Delivering data to Leonard Knox (Rege-Jean Page) the depth of feeling and the urgent need to cover it, astounds. Her commitment to delve deeply brings revelation for those watching. Thank you Susannah Flood for being an artist that willingly transcends to bring the gift of self. Your vulnerability and authenticity are transformational.
You see the abyss. How this life means everything and nothing and both at the same time. We have, in spirit, chosen to be here. We have a gift to share, if only we can move past the distraction, the destruction of mind to give it. Giving the gift of self, to other, including the self, is divine. In the giving of it, you see yourself back as the bearer of it. This is who you really are. This is your life. Despite what mind tells you. We see you. We need the gift you come bearing. The universe, because we have joined hands and hearts, conspires with us to manifest that which is inside of you and deliver it to us. Our spirits are hungry for it. Hungry for you.
As a human race we are dependent on transformation. Beyond the frame of the movie screen, television, or theatre, if we as a people are to remain evolutionarily relevant, we must change. If we are to live, we must transform. As transformational artists, our artistry reflects this. Transform!
Just watched the first episode of Animal Kingdom on Netflix with Ellen Barkin. Scott Speedman, Finn Cole, Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Molly Gordon and Daniella Alonso are wonderfully cast as dynamic players in the criminal Cody Family. And Ellen Barkin is phenomenal. She is breathtakingly inappropriate. Ruling over her family with a borderline incestuous finesse, Ellen Barkin as Janine Cody ‘Smurf’ is a beguiling, honest and disturbing matriarch. The intrigue, primal urgency, criminality and dark intrigue of this series is fully realized in Ellen Barkin’s Smurf. If you want to see someone capable of startling transformation, watch her.
Are you watching Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? An American period comedy-drama piece this two time Golden Globe winner is created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and stars Rachel Brosnahan. The writing is superb. Tony Shalhoub is a total delight. Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce casts a charming spell. Michael Zegen, Marin HInkle, Kevin Pollack, Caroline Aaron and Bailey De Young are a wonderfully funny and supportive cast. Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson is honest, funny and truly sublime. Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam Maisel, a jewish housewife who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy is the ultimate leading lady. She leads due to her astounding talent, sincerity, brilliance, commitment, energy and transformative power. Embracing the essence of the period and a woman’s innate struggle Rachel Brosnahan is not preforming a role, but inhabiting a being. I am struck by how fiercely the truth echoes. The laughter and revelations just keep coming.
The field of acting has transformed and so must it’s actors.
Allowing our culture to expand and evolve as it sees itself back, Art is essential to our growth. It is a necessary reflection of our world. The Artist, The Actor is the embodiment of that reflection, becoming the perfect mirror to enable change.
Some people go through life hating their mistakes. Others learn to see them as missed takes. If there is light (life), there is always time for another take.
Have you been watching LOST IN SPACE on Netflix? Its based on the campy original, so most of the writing and execution is for a younger audience. Toby Stevens, Molly Parker, Maxwell Jenkins, Ignacio Serricchio, Mina Sundwall and Taylor Russell are really wonderful. BUT PARKER POSEY’S rendition of Dr. Smith is seriously transformational! She knows how to lose the self and become other. Parker Posey is not acting. She is being. Its not always comfortable, which is evidence of her transformational expertise. She inhabits. Watch her.
I am not alone.
Everything is right with me.
I am here to grow my artistry and my life.
Are you watching TURN? (Listen, I do not like historical dramas. I find them pompous and boring.) BUT THIS! THIS is ASTOUNDING! The acting is superb. The writing and the drama of this historical time is fascinating, terrifying and revelatory. The inspiring tale of General Washington’s spy ring, the men and women who gave their lives for us to become the United States issues one cliff hanger after the next. Wow. I totally recommend this! After watching I’m proud to be an American and I also know the derivation of ‘cut through the red tape.’
When it comes to Acting Classes, there are hundreds of thousands of coaches. There are just as many methodologies for teaching technique. Some coaches can be creatively intense and push the actor toward breakthrough experiences. Other teachers nurture their students, while imparting technique. These coaches back their expertise and passion, coaching from a parental, albeit sometimes strict, yet loving approach. Over my 40-year span as an actor/singer, the teachers that imbued me with a sense of worthiness, regardless of the technique, or personal approach, are the ones that altered my path most.
What kind of training have you encountered? What for you was the most compelling? Do you have a favorite teacher or technique that you feel changed your outlook or your performance? How do you create for yourself a sense of worthiness in class, in life and on the set or on stage? I would love to hear about your life as an artist. Whatever you are grappling with or celebrating creatively, I invite you to share it. Nothing is too big or too small. Please tell me about your concerns and triumphs.
*Although topics discussed may be investigated further on my blogsite, I will never use anyone’s name without express permission. Your anonymity will always be protected. Whatever is said here, stays here.
(Adrienne Alexander has trained as an actress/singer for over 45 years, with coaches in NYC and Los Angeles, such as Tony Barr, Eric Stephan Kline, Jeff Corey, Candace Silvers, Joseph Chaikin, Carole D’Andrea, Georgia Stitt, Carol Weiss, Calvin Remsberg, William Woodman and Jerry Zaks. She has a Masters in Psychology as well as 6 years experience as a Transformational Therapist. She studied metaphysics with Thom Knoles, Anand Mehrotra, Dallas Snyder and Patricia Bankins. A specialist in Human Behavior she has trained extensively. An actress herself, fully aware of the emotional and artistic demands, she has developed a Hybrid Methodology of Acting Training. Implementing the best of Spiritual, Psychological and Artistic Principles, the tools she teaches and employs, transform artistry and lives.)
* Ms. Alexander was born into a theatrical family. Her father Rod Alexander was a renowned Actor, Shakespearean Director and Acting Coach. Her mother, Marilyn Maxey was an Opera Singer and Vocal Coach. Ms. Alexander began acting and singing onstage in her very early childhood. She graduated Cum Laude as a Drama Major from Dartmouth College.