Every November, as the weather and leaves continue to change and we enter a season of Thanksgiving as well as gift-giving, this podcast sets aside a few episodes to focus on how we can make our lives and our careers better and more fulfilling. And so we begin the third annual presentation of this enlightening series...
Bettering Ourselves, Bettering Our Careers (Part One)
You’ll hear from artists, coaches, and performers and how they have a found balance between their on stage and off stage lives, providing perspective and insight from their own challenges and experiences. Jules Helm starts us off with a focus on self-care and personal growth, using movement and acting techniques to bring both our mind and body into alignment. He will be sharing his own journey of self discovery as he learned to better love himself and be more comfortable with others, keeping performance onstage rather than having it mask the rest of his life as well. We will also get into the various techniques he teaches to bring actors into a more authentic presentation of themselves as well as their characters. As Jules says, “The first step toward great acting is deeper self-discovery and realization,” which is a great place for us to start bettering ourselves and bettering our careers.
- 02:42 - Jules and his hometown of Portland
- 08:26 - Story #1 and being inspired by Charlie Chaplin
- 18:52 - Story #2 and how the world conditions us
- 31:45 - Story #3 and his teaching of actors
- 44:12 - The Williamson Technique
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Why I’ll Never Make It is hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance.
Background music in the episode by John Bartmann and Blue Dot Sessions is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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The Williamson Technique
Developed by Loyd Williamson, this movement practice is most often taught to actors in conjunction with the Meisner Technique, because it pairs well with the particular emotional demands placed on actors. Williamson collaborated with and was a student of American choreographer and dancer Anna Sokolow. He was watching Sokolow’s dancers move freely and without tension, while at the same time he observed Meisner’s actors were crippled physically by the size of their emotional lives. Thus, the development of the Williamson Technique began as a movement training for actors that is loosely based in modern dance. It is designed to help the actor access and inhabit a physical instrument (i.e. the body) that is open, released, vulnerable, expansive, and responsive. The Williamson Technique emphasizes these primary objectives:
- Free the actor’s instrument by accessing awareness and permission. Cultivate the student’s connection to his personal, ‘truthful‘ experience, and the permission to act on it expansively.
- Enhance the actor’s sensual (of or relating to the five senses) relationship with the world, thereby creating a vivid connection with and sensitivity to impulses.
- Bring that freedom and connection with one’s surroundings into ensemble collaboration and the creation of original physical performance.
Connection is definitely one of the bed rocks of acting and performing on stage, whether it’s with the fellow performers on stage or the audience itself. In our main conversation, Jules mostly talked about a connection with ourselves first and foremost, but there is also the important connection with the role or the show that we’re in or auditioning for. In this week’s bonus episode Jules shares an audition story that took him out of his comfort zone and into the world of the Blue Man Group.
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Final Five Questions
After our main conversation, Jules sat down to answer the five final questions. Among several topics, he shares what success has meant to him (a continuation of what he mentioned in the second story) and what frustrates him most about this industry, particularly in New York City. Read it all on the WINMI Blog.
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