Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the day

We Are Human Beings, not humans doing....
- Lasca Hewes, Gaiadon Heart master teacher

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!

May 2009 bring Peace, Abundance, Happiness, Tolerance, Compassion, Joy and Prosperity to all.

In times of change like the ones we are living, it is important to look at the glass half full instead of half empty: savor simple joys like watching blue jays and red cardinals play on the white snow, or the warmth of a crackling fire, or the scent of hot mulled cider... We need not buy more things, just give simple gifts that reconnect us with our deep sense of pleasure and gratitude. Stop shopping and start feeling (and giving) gratitude.

The holidays are for sharing, for understanding and friendships, but not for competing with more toys or fueling our egos with more possessions.

Lead the way for a meaningful holiday season.
Enlighten your family and friends with the gift of sensibility. Give gifts of appreciation and spiritual awareness. You will receive a deep sense of accomplishment and peace for the year to come.

Happy Holidays to all!


Photos: © Jean-Pierre Rousset

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New York City Energize acting group is forming

A New York City Energize/ A BALANCING ACT acting group is forming. The purpose is to explore the use of acting tools outlined in the book A BALANCING ACT and especially explore character preparation with a holistic acting approach. Sean Demers, former company member with Emmanuelle Chaulet is the contact. Please email him for more information at:

The group is informal and will be an outlet for exploration, research and rehearsals.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ENERGIZE Workshop Announced at USM 2009 Summer Sessions

MAY 22-24 and 29-31 2009

WHAT : A workshop on Energize a holistic approach to acting.
developing the information outlined in the book A BALANCING ACT
with F. Emmanuelle Chaulet

WHERE: University of Southern Maine, Department of Theatre and Summer Sessions

and check:

more info to come...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22 at the New England Theatre Conference

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick, RI:
Emmanuelle Chaulet and Ann Marie Shea, Dean of NETC College of Fellows

With Beverley Lord of AACT (American Association of Community Theatres)

Friday, November 7, 2008


A Balancing Act: The Development of Energize! A Holistic Approach to Acting,
by F. Emmanuelle Chaulet

October 31, 2008
REVIEW By Jackie Apodaca, actress and Faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara

While reading F. Emmanuelle Chaulet's book, I completed a very enjoyable run as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. On closing night, after walking offstage from the wrenching wedding scene, I burst into tears. In the dressing room, I mentioned it to the actor playing Hero, who admitted she had experienced the same thing. I couldn't shake those feelings for the rest of the evening. Such an experience is precisely what Chaulet's method grapples with: How can actors who convincingly pretend they're having heart-rending, tumultuous experiences let those experiences go at the end of a scene? How can actors fully and believably take on other people's lives without damaging their own?

For the entire review please click here: read review

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Event: Book Signing at the NETC Conference Nov 22


NOVEMBER 6-9, 2008: Book presentation at the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conference, in Boston, Massachusetts at the Scholar’s Choice Table (Book exhibit, Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers).

NOVEMBER 22: Book signing at the NETC conference:
F. Emmanuelle Chaulet will be next at the New England Theatre Conference on Saturday, November 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI from10 am- 5pm. Look for her at the University of Southern Maine Theatre Department’s table in the exhibit area. She will have her book available for perusal and will answer questions.

For directions, please check:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Successful Event at The Drama Book Shop Last Sunday

Drama Book Shop, NYC October 12, 2008
Book signing and workshop with F. Emmanuelle Chaulet

Among people in attendance were Amanda McHugh, actress; Natasha Missick, actress; Joe Martin, director and author from Washington DC; Janice Orlandi, artistic director of the Actors Movement Studio in NYC; and Sean O'Connor, NYC actor and award winning playwright.

Photos by Jean-Pierre Rousset

Monday, September 15, 2008

Book Signing and Q & A at the Drama Book Shop in NYC, Sunday, October 12, 2 pm

Post-Performance Stress
Healing and Recovery

a Q & A and book signing with Emmanuelle Chaulet author of
A Balancing Act
The development of Energize! a holistic approach to acting

In a question and answer format, using participants’ experiences and stories while sharing various case studies from her own coaching practice and from her book A BALANCING ACT, Emmanuelle Chaulet will lead a discussion on balancing life and acting, and in particular on post performance stress healing and recovery.
For some actors, characters tend to linger around after the show is over, leaving actors drained and emotionally burnt out. For others, the intensity of performance leaves them in a state of over-excitement and incites them to risky behaviors. Using insight from her technique "Energize! a holistic approach to acting," and information from her book, Emmanuelle Chaulet will help participants find true closure after the end of a show.
Topics will include: Post Show Blues, post show closure, saying goodbye to a character, rebalancing your inner self, keeping the character’s strength, protecting one’s integrity when playing negative personalities, and keeping our creative selves balanced and energized throughout the rollercoaster of a performing artist’s life.


- acting as a mind, body and spirit practice
- actors as emotional athletes, spiritual stuntmen and stuntwomen exposed to a constant roller coaster of emotions
- acting techniques using discoveries from holistic and energy healing modalities
- holistic performance health management advice

Answering an urgent –yet never addressed–need, this book offers:

- an understanding of post-performance stress disorder
- invaluable energy awareness tools to heal post-performance stress disorder
- cutting edge information about recovering your Highest Creative Self, the essence of your character, and true emotional balance

for more info please check the NEW YORK DRAMA BOOKS SHOP INC

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jack Nicholson Had Warned Heath Ledger of the dark impact of "The Jocker"

Before he died, Ledger told reporters that it took a ton of energy to play the role, but that it was the most fun he ever had.

"It was one of those moments where I was asked if I'd be interested in playing The Joker, and I knew five seconds later exactly how to play it," he said.

"Yeah, I could see someone getting really crazy off of that," says Maz Jobrani, a real-life stand-up comic. "A lot of times, comics will then get upset at the audience for not understanding them, and they go, 'You don't understand me, I'm funny, you people are horrible, you people should go to hell!'"

Jobrani adds that many comics, like The Joker, are a little bit crazy — and it's their peculiar worldview that makes them funny.

In his interpretation of The Joker in the new film, The Dark Knight, actor Heath Ledger thrives on that insanity.

"I keep coming back to the way he physically incarnates madness," says Levitz. "Leave the makeup aside, leave the costuming aside — if you had Heath Ledger in plain clothes, who's a very handsome, well-presented, very affable looking man — if he walked in a room and started acting in the behaviors that he uses for The Joker, you'd get the hell out of that room fast. And that's pretty cool."

Ledger's Joker may be enthralling for viewers, but playing the role took its toll.

The Australian actor told reporters that he barely slept while playing the part. Even when his body was exhausted, he couldn't stop his mind from reeling, he said.

The challenge of the role wasn't lost on Jack Nicholson. When told of Ledger's death, the actor's immediate response was: "I warned him."

To read the entire article click here

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

‘Post-Dramatic’ Stress: Negotiating vulnerability for performance

by Dr. Mark Seton, Honorary Research Associate,
Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney

To read the whole article please go to

The greatest accolade given to actors is that of bravery rather than technical competency. We admire actors who ‘lose themselves’ in a role or who ‘expose’ themselves through their vulnerable portrayals. Yet at what cost? Some actors move from role to role with apparent ease while others seem to ‘live out’ their latest roles often prolonging addictive and potentially destructive habits. Schechner observed “the cool-down ought to be investigated from the point of view of both performers and spectators”. From my participant-observation of sites of actor training, I have witnessed advice in dealing with vulnerability, in the aftermath of performance, that suggests that actors either “develop the heart of a dove and the hide of a rhinoceros” or just “get over it!”. I discuss the lack of preparation for performers to negotiate what I have coined, evocatively and provocatively, ‘post-dramatic’ stress. I review the limited research that has sought to highlight the neglect of actors’ wellbeing in training and performance contexts and, subsequently, I proffer some options for negotiating this vulnerability. I argue we can teach and learn ways in which vulnerability can become a transformative process rather than something that has to be either defended against or denied.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Book aims to help keep actors sane, balance emotions

by Gorham Gazette, Emma Bouthillette

Faint sounds of a flute trickle in through the window of Emmanuelle Chaulet’s office on the second floor of Corthell Hall on USM’s Gorham campus. With nothing but a desk lamp on, the office is dark and cool. On the wall, Chaulet displays her certificates and awards. Newly hung is a framed cover of her recently published book.
Chaulet, 47, has always been involved in performance arts, an international actor in films and theater in the U.S. and France. Chaulet is now a director, teacher and author.
Originally from France, Chaulet spent time studying and performing in New York. Now a Gorham resident, she began working for USM and directing performances in 1994. As an adjunct faculty member, Chaulet teaches an introduction to acting course and manages the university’s performing arts events.
Chaulet joined the list of published faculty this year with her book, “A Balancing Act”. In April, Chaulet’s book was one of 30 works selected and honored at USM’s Authors’ Wall Ceremony. At the ceremony, Chaulet presented the book to the audience and received a framed cover of the book. Besides the one that hangs in her office, another is displayed on the Authors’ Wall.
“Its an honor to me because not all the books faculty published this year were selected,” Chaulet said.
Chaulet decided to write the book because of encouragement from her students and colleagues. She said “A Balancing Act” is geared toward actors, giving them a method to keep them sane, help develop creativity and balance their emotions. It is a balancing act she had to overcome on her own.
She said she turned from acting to directing when she felt her emotions playing various roles were becoming too intense.
“As a director, I realized many actors had the same problem I had,” Chaulet said.
The problem was that as actors, people become consumed by the roles they play and often have a hard time returning to themselves, she said. In her book, Chaulet includes an interview Oprah Winfrey conducted with actor Anthony Hopkins, known for his role in “Silence of the Lambs,” who said the dark roles he has played have taken a toll on him.
“When you are a performer, you go through many roles and you go through something I call ‘post performance stress,’” Chaulet said.
Chaulet recognized the need for actors to overcome their roles and to hold more balance between their acting and real lives.
“A Balancing Act” sums up all the research Chaulet has been conducting on energy work, holistic healing and applying the techniques to acting. After all her research, Chaulet said the book is the only one of its kind in publication. She intends the book to be a tool to help actors work on their own holistic healing and develop their highest creative self.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quote of the day from Felicity Huffman:(ABC's Desperate Housewives)

In this business, you work a lot, and then you don't work forever. It's feast or famine. You're worth something, and then you're worth absolutely nothing. It comes and goes. And so when it actually does come, the acknowledgment is nice, even though at the same time you know it's very ephemeral.
Read more:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY from Sir Ben Kingsley:

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

The power of now: the habit of being fully present is a great gift because it affects how we love, attend to life, how we give. It's all we have.


Friday, June 6, 2008

A Holistic Actress: portrait of Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma is an accomplished Canadian film, stage and television actress, whose ancestors originated from the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

Rekha first studied at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, followed by studies in Massage Therapy. She first became a Holistic Counselor.
Rekha found her love of acting in fifth grade in a school play; however, it was later (in her early twenties) after dabbling in a variety of things that Rekha made the decision to pursue an acting career. She studied at the Ivana Chubbuck Acting Studio and later at the Lyric School of Acting. Most recently, she has worked with renowned acting coach, Larry Moss.

Her stage productions include Prisoners, Counter Offense, and David Mamet's Oleanna. Rekha’s feature films include Whisper (2007), Memory (2006), Fierce People (2005), Edison (2005), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) and The Core (2003). Her latest film Traveling (2008), stars Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart and Martin Sheen.
She is currently working on the Emmy (2007) and Peabody (2006) award winning Sci-Fi series, Battlestar Galactica, in which she plays Tory Foster, chief-of-staff to President Roslin (Academy Award nominated, Mary McDonnell).

Her holistic interests show when she isn’t acting: she loves painting, playing Sarangi (an Indian classical instrument), yoga, meditation and the arts.

Rekha supports numerous charities, including Hurricane Katrina victims in the Southern States, Tsunami victims in Southeast Asia, and housing for outcast women in India. In Vancouver, she supports women’s shelters, has taught acting to street youth on the Downtown East Side, and supports numerous local venues for the performing arts.

This definitely shows her spiritual involvement in a greater purpose as an actress.

"Rekha’s passion for the arts and human rights fuels her dynamic and inspiring performances" says India Journal.

She certainly is an example to follow....

Read more:

Body-mind Meditation Boosts Performance, Reduces Stress

A team of researchers from China and the University of Oregon have developed an approach for neuroscientists to study how meditation might provide improvements in a person's attention and response to stress.

The study, done in China, randomly assigned college undergraduate students to 40-person experimental or control groups. The experimental group received five days of meditation training using a technique called the integrative body-mind training (IBMT). The control group got five days of relaxation training. Before and after training both groups took tests involving attention and reaction to mental stress.
The experimental group showed lower levels of anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue than was the case in the control group.
To read more:

A cry for help

Intimates of the Academy Award winning actress Tatum O'Neal have told that her arrest for buying cocaine, which took place near her Lower Manhattan apartment, came as a surprise.

"I would call it a cry for help," says one friend.

O'Neal, is the daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal and the ex-wife of John McEnroe.
She was abandoned by a drug-abusing mother (actress Joanna Moore) at age 7 and began using drugs by 14 and wrote about her struggles with and recovery from a heroin addiction in her 2004 memoir, "A Paper Life."

The actress completed rehab in 1996.
During her arrest, she claimed that whe was buying drugs to research a part about a junkie.

She also said: "I 'm still sober!...Just when I was about to change that and wreck my life, the cops came and saved me! I was saved by the bell, by the guys in the Seventh Precinct."

To read more: click here

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Playing "Wit": demanding one-woman show about cancer leaves actress exhausted

For the lead role [in "Wit," a play about living with -and dying from- cancer] of Vivian Bearing, a 50-year-old university professor who is diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer, Janina Birtolo underwent the most dramatic physical transformation the long-time community actress has ever made for a role.

Not the least of the changes: Cutting hair that’s been same below-the-shoulder length for more than a decade. The actress chopped it into a shaggy pixie cut expressly for this role, since the bald cap was too time-consuming to put on every night.

"It’s been exhausting," says Birtolo minutes before one of the last rehearsals in the Tobye Studio, the intimate 100-seat space at the Sugden used for more avant-garde performances.

"I haven’t been good about doing the rest of my work. I’m so drained after putting out emotions in the show," says the freelance writer, who, since 2001, has also performed regular one-woman shows — as many as three times a week in season — throughout the county.

Read the whole article: Facing the end: Local actress takes difficult character through cancer and into clarity in Naples Players’ "Wit"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


If you are planning to attend the ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) conference in Denver Colorado July 31-August 3, make sure to stop by the Scholar's Choice book display, and ask for a copy of a A Balancing Act for perusal. Orders will also be taken right there and then and given a conference discount...
Don't miss this opportunity!

FMI check the ATHE web site:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Book Signings and Q & A with Emmanuelle Chaulet during the Southern Maine Combined Theatre Auditions, June 9 & 12

Two book signings and Q & A sessions are scheduled on JUNE 9 and 12 (Monday and Thursday) from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Dana Warp Mill 90 Bridge street, in Westbrook Maine, during the Southern Maine combined theater auditions, an annual tradition for the theater community.

While waiting for your slot or just after your audition, stop by the book signing table and discuss with Emmanuelle Chaulet performance anxiety, post-performance stress, etc.. Discover ways to healthily manage these frequent symptoms, boost your creativity, connect with your character and develop charismatic presence. Learn about holistic acting...

Acorn Productions will once again host the auditions.
The auditions take place on Monday, June 9th and Thursday, June 12th from
7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Acorn Studios, 90 Bridge St. in Westbrook (the
Dana Warp Mill).
The book signings are at the same time and at the same location.

The auditions offer local actors a chance to
showcase their talents in front of several key producers of live
theater in Southern Maine. Although most companies are looking for
professional actors, Acorn Productions is committed to making the arts
accessible to all members of the community, and any actor is welcome
to audition regardless of their level of experience.

Companies that have already committed to attending the auditions are:

Acorn Productions
AddVerb Productions
AIRE Theater Company
City Theater of Biddeford
Good Theater
Heartwood Regional Theater Company
Knight's Bridge Theater
L/A Arts
Portland Stage Company
Public Theater
Auditioning actors are asked to perform two contrasting monologues of
no more than five minutes total. If an actor wants to audition for
Acorn's Naked Shakespeare Ensemble, at least one of the pieces must be
a Shakespearean speech of at least ten lines of verse. All actors
will also need to provide approximately 10 current headshots and

Actors interested in auditioning can contact Acorn Productions at
854-0065 or register on-line at

For more information on the book signings please contact:

See you then!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Balancing Act now available in NEW YORK CITY!

We are very excited to announce that
250 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
is now carrying A BALANCING ACT.

Stay tuned for more info on upcoming booksignings/ events and reviews......

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On reading A Balancing Act

A Balancing Act is a great book for anyone- not just actors- to have. What’s really incredible about it is that the approach it presents to acting extends to one’s everyday life and in that way, becomes almost something of a self-help book.

I was incredibly excited to read it, and perhaps that was because I was interested to read something written by a professor of mine, but after beginning the book, I almost forgot entirely about the connection I had with the narrator and got so involved in the information that was being presented that I was no longer excited, but rather sort of enlivened, in a way.

The writing style is great because it begins fittingly at the beginning, allowing the reader to get involved with the subject matter as the narrator does, and in consequence, to invest almost as much emotion as the narrator. When the narrator discovers herself in need of balance and searching for a way to get there, you - the reader- find yourself also needing that balance and luckily, it is given to you in the form of this holistic approach to acting.

What I find really interesting is that everyone, no matter what their job, career, etc., finds themselves acting in every day life. By just being, and exploring the world as a human being, you use your body as your instrument and act accordingly. As an actor, you control our emotions and movements as an art, but as a human being, you must control your emotions and movements too, therefore it is just as crucial for you to figure out that sense of balance emotionally and creatively. This book allows us to explore that and it extends beyond the art of acting.

I also found solace in the section about actors as nomads. That is definitely something that could potentially weigh on an actor emotionally so it is important that they develop a center and a way to reconnect with themselves and find some sort of home within. That translates to real life again, when I have found myself living in between Maine and New York and currently sleeping on a hard wood floor in a temporary apartment! This sense of home balances a human being out and for an actor, it is imperative that the actor be at his or her best in order to perform at the healthiest possible level, presenting the most vibrant performance possible.

Separating self from character was a really important issue within this approach and one that I think many actors in the past have overlooked. I couldn’t help but think such an approach to acting would have greatly benefited actors who unfortunately seemed to be overtaken by their work- Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, for example. It is important that you are able to separate reality from your work and for many who become so emotionally invested in it, it becomes easy to forget your truest self as a human being. Losing touch with that side of yourself becomes incredibly dangerous and thus, A Balancing Act, is something that could help you achieve that balance. In order to safely escape from the world of another character, you must be balanced, otherwise you’re walking on dangerous waters and your body cannot truly be used as an instrument for your craft if it isn’t in good working order.

I will say that this book is something that I actually intend to use. And perfect timing, considering my adventures in New York. I think it is incredibly useful for life, as well as for acting. Clearly it is a perfect way for any emotional actor connected with his or her spirit and sense of balance to explore healthy methods of achieving the highest creative ability. I think its great, and I am incredibly glad that I bought it.

Hillary Sproul,
model, actress, stylist (NYC)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

University of Southern Maine Authors' Wall Ceremony

F. Emmanuelle Chaulet and her book A BALANCING ACT, the Development of ENERGIZE! A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ACTING were honored at the annual USM Authors' Wall ceremony on Thursday April 24, 2008 at the USM Glickman Library in Portland, Maine.
The beautiful top floor function room overlooking Casco Bay hosted a lovely reception at which more than 20 USM authors were honored.

Each author received a framed book cover and explained to the audience what their work represented. USM Interim President Joe Wood spoke to the audience as well as Provost Mark Lapping.

Emmanuelle Chaulet, adjunct Faculty and Artist in Residence at USM Theatre Department expressed her gratitude for receiving such an honor, and recognized the participation of many people in the completion of her 10 years of research and 3 years of writing.
In particular she named: Lasca Hewes, her master teacher, Bernadette Curtis, owner of Holistic Pathways in Gorham, Jeannine Owens graphic designer, Susan Picinich Associate Dean, USM College of Arts and Sciences, her husband, photographer Jean-Pierre Rousset, and all the students and actors she has worked with and used as "Guinea pigs." Some of them she said, are now pursuing prestigious careers in Maine, Florida or New York.

She said she hoped her book would help actors around the world find balance in the midst of their emotionally challenging and chaotic careers, giving them tools to cope with performance stress, and ways to connect with their highest creative selves.

Her book had already been sold in ten US states, as well as England, New Zealand, Germany and France.

A Balancing Act (336 pages, illustrated $24.95) is available on line and at the USM Portland and Gorham bookstores.
For more information or to order the book please check:

Above: F. Emmanuelle Chaulet and President Joe Wood, Photo Jean-Pierre Rousset.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mythology of the Neurotic Artist

There's is a time honored mythology of the neurotic artist who creatively feeds off his or her own trauma –that creativity is a function of inner friction. I've never fully subscribed to that. You can have a healthy, happy life and still be indelibly connected to the deeper sorrow of the world. You don't need to create personal trauma to experience darkness, In fact, in some rarefied theological schools of thought, one could argue the opposite.

From In Cahoots with Tony Taccone, interview by Ellen Mclaughlin for American Theatre Magazine September 2006

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


What you think or feel resonates with the rest of the world...
As actors, you can have an impact on the whole planet.
Think about it, and play with it.....
The world is your oyster, it is precious.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Becoming a Creative Channel- Shakti Gawain

"Great works are not created by the ego.They arise from a deep inspiration on the universal level, and are then expressed and brought into form through the individual ego and personality."

" Creative people usually function as channels in only one area of their lives (such as art, science, or business) and have no idea how to do it in the rest of their lives. Thus, they are often terribly out of balance."

Shakti Gawain, Living In The Light

Find balance

Every day, ask yourself: "What can I do today to treat and nurture my instrument?"
It need not be long, or expensive, it can be a small caring gesture that will place you at the center of your universe.

It is not selfish, it is an artist's act of self-preservation.

Artists need to nurture and care for their instruments.

If you were a pianist, would you let your piano get out of tune?
If you were a dancer, would you sleep poorly and eat junk food?
If you were a writer, would you avoid solitude and drown yourself in over-activity?

As actors, your instrument is you.

Don't send yourself to Boot Camp,

Treat yourself!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Listening to your instinct and your character - Jodie Foster

"I'm happy to say I have learned a few lessons from the young performers with whom I've worked during the course of my 43 years in the entertainment business.

One of my best teachers was Abigail Breslin, the heartbreaking young actress from "Little Miss Sunshine."

This month we costar in "Nim's Island," an adventure tale about a little girl living on an otherwise uninhabited island with her father and e-mailing a neurotic adventure writer in San Francisco. That would be me.

When we were filming last summer in the Australian rain forest, Abbie, who turns 12 this month, taught me that although it's a good exercise to try to execute a director's vision, it's an actor's job to bring a full character to the table.

And that means defying arbitrary designs dictated by technical exigencies or a director's preconceived notion of the character.

Some things about a character just can't be decided while a director orders room service in his hotel.

The greatest gift an actor has is instinct. Sometimes that instinct has no grand intellectual vocabulary. Sometimes you just have to say "no."

Abbie knows exactly how to say "no" if it doesn't feel right. That was a lesson I wished I'd learned when I was her age.

Somehow she's learned to do it so sweetly and with such goodwill that directors don't even notice.

When she doesn't feel that the character should shout in a scene, she'll simply say, "Listen to it quiet. Isn't that better?"

My new rule for those of us actors still plagued with people-pleasing: Go with your instinct, even if it means saying "no."
Los Angeles Times Magazine April 6, 2008

For the full article please click here:

Fatigue - Burnout

From: Princeton University: Guidelines for theatre safety

Fatigue is a serious safety concern that should be considered during all stage productions. With performance dates approaching, most crew members can become severely overworked.

Follow these simple guidelines to avoid fatigue:

* Get proper rest. The average person requires 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
* Limit drugs that might contribute to fatigue (tranquilizers and cold/allergy medications)
* Reduce caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which can also contribute to fatigue.
* Take frequent breaks while working. Repetitive or long work sessions can reduce one’s ability to concentrate on the work at hand.
* Plan ahead. Having your building materials and equipment ahead of time can increase efficiency and reduce the work time required.
* Know when to quit. Recognize signs of fatigue – loss of concentration, slow reaction times, memory loss – and knock off for the day.

For the full article please click here.

Sleepless in Los Angeles: Heath Ledger

From: Ian Munro in New York, Kate Benson and agencies
January 24, 2008

“Less than three months ago, Heath Ledger described his sleepless nights and mental exhaustion as he wrestled with his role as the "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic" Joker in the new Batman film.

One night he took a sleeping pill, Ambien, to little effect. He took a second, slept for an hour, but then woke, his mind racing.

"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told The New York Times.

"I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going," he said, while admitting he also "stressed out a little too much" about his role in the Bob Dylan film I'm Not There.

Yesterday, the 28-year-old Australian film star was found dead.”

For the full article please click here:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Risks of the Trade

From an article by Kristin Kloberdanz

"Many actors relax after work with their favorite drink or a pack of cigarettes. But the obvious dangers of smoking aside, daily drinking can creep into problem drinking or even alcoholism, in people susceptible to the disease. "By and large, people in theater do not lead a hugely healthy lifestyle," Brandfonbrener says. "Actors are a pretty high-stress group. It's their long hours, their hard work, their intensity, and their personality." And until recently, cocaine and other drugs were a familiar part of film actors' landscape: Even if they weren't using them, drugs were as plentiful and available as candy. It's no wonder that the acting industry is rife with stories about famous stars struggling with their addictions."

To see the whole article please click on:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Marion Cotillard on leaving the character of Piaf

Even the greatest actors admit it: leaving a role can be hard. You can experience post-show blues or post-performance stress. Actually, the better the performance, the harder it seems...

Here is what Marion Cotillard, Academy Award Winner 2008 (Best Actress in a Leading Role for "La Vie En Rose") says about her experience with the role of Edith Piaf:


“ It was about letting this moment happen when the character appears. I do not know how to explain this process; that we are going to feel a person, a presence, inside of ourselves. I let myself be taken by something, not to say someone… The idea was to try not to control anything: by controlling the smallest intonation, I was afraid to take away the life of the character, and to deprive myself from pleasure.
[...] On the second day of the film shoot, I heard this voice coming out of me. It wasn’t my voice! What a shock! It was more than a voice actually: I felt in my body, the walk of Edith Piaf. It was almost mystical: the moment I had seen her, Piaf almost never let go of me again. It is not about being possessed, it is more about the feeling of being inhabited.”


At one point though, I will have to leave Piaf.
I seemed so obvious to me before the shooting and it is so hard today. I am going through a time of mourning; I feel that I am seeing her every day; that I go to places haunted by her without knowing it. Now, I will have to take back my place within my whole body.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Do you experience Post-Performance Stress?

Examples of symptoms that might sometimes happen to you:

Take our survey!

• Do you feel emptied out? Exhausted?
• Do you feel overly excited? Restless?
• Do you feel sad? Depressed?
• Do you feel lonely?
• Do you have a hard time sleeping?
• Do you have a hard time forgetting the character and coming back to your normal self?
• Do you feel confused?
• Do you need to eat a lot?
• Do you want to drink alcohol more than usual?
• Do you crave sugar?
• Do you feel a loss?
• Do you cry easily?
• Do you feel overly emotional (get over-excited or have angry outbursts)?
• Do you feel a sense of void in your life after the show is over?
• Do you feel terrible about yourself and criticize your performance, reviewing each detail?
• Do you feel fear?
• Do you feel exhilaration?
• Do you need to have people around you?
• Do you feel numb?
• Do you get sick?

List your own symptoms and how often they happen:

Mental Stress? Physical Stress? Emotional Stress?

Do a self-evaluation and post your comments.
It would help others to know they are not alone...

© Starlight Acting Institute 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caring for your instrument

© Emmanuelle Chaulet 2008

Happy Spring!

It doesn’t feel yet like it in Maine, but the calendar says: it is time to get out of our shells! After the going inward contraction of the winter, spring is the time to expand, try new things and explore the world.

The seeds you have planted are now growing to see the light and will bloom in an abundance of colors and scents. Take this special moment to reflect on your own growth, and plant new seeds:

- Have you planted the seeds of self-care?
- Have you planted the seeds of a renewed spiritual commitment to your own growth?
- Have you planted the seeds of finding time for yourself?
- Have you planted the seeds of living in the present?
- Have you planted the seeds of gratitude?

The famous “Secret” of success is to change your vibration to a higher frequency that will attract what you love and want, instead of focusing on what you don’t want. Thought is power, thought is energy and will manifest in the tangible world. If you change your thoughts you can change your world.

This spring, watch your spiritual seeds grow, nurture them with water, sun, light and tender love and care. You’ll see an abundance of blooming results in a few weeks.

Be patient, (there is no need to tug on the young plants like a farmer once did!) just patiently watch, wait and enjoy the time, like you would do while watching a child grow. This is your spiritual evolution you are watching enfold.

As actors, you have a responsibility to the world: to teach and show a new way so we, human beings, learn to coexist in peace and respect each other and our planet. Your mission is no smaller than that.

You are a Living Work of Art, so take care of your precious instrument: yourself.

Emmanuelle Chaulet

Find support, invaluable information and powerful exercises in:

the development of Energize! a holistic approach to acting

($24.95. ISBN: 978-0-9799063-0-5. 336 pages –Paperback-Illustrated) is currently exclusively available through:
By credit card, on line (shipping in a few days) at:


and by mail at:

Starlight Acting Books, P.O. Box 171, Gorham, Maine 04038.

Also available, at the University of Southern Maine Portland Bookstore, 96 Falmouth street, Portland, Maine, 04104; and at selected drama & theatre independent bookstores around the country.

Here are a few readers’ reactions on the book.
send your own comments to :

"Emmanuelle Chaulet's work was a revelation to me. I found that her work with the 'Disowned Self' was a relevant to my work as a playwright as it was to my work as a performer. A Balancing Act is long overdue!"
Carolyn Gage, award-winning lesbian-feminist playwright, performer,
director, and activist

“I wish I had discovered Energize and A Balancing Act while I was training as an actor, it would have given me a stronger spine and a more colorful spectrum of the character 's energy. Our vital force is our engine, so how can an actor perform and not be aware of that energy? It is about time to accept the osmosis between art and energy...”
Marie Preaud-Hamann, actress, model, & photographer

“Just letting you know that I have just finished reading [A Balancing Act] Energize- it has taken me a while as I wanted to really enjoy every part of the book. I absolutely loved it and felt it addressed a lot of the issues that I face as an actress. I already work with the Michael Chekhov technique and feel that this takes it all a step further and answers questions that I still didn't think had been answered. I am looking forward to putting it all into practice and will be reading it again. I would highly recommend this book. Please pass on my best wishes to Emmanuelle and thank her for creating such a much-needed acting book.
Warmest wishes”
Claire Cordingley, actress. London

“Hi Emmanuelle,
What a beautiful book! The cover is gorgeous and the color inserts are beautiful.
You did a wonderful job. You must be so happy with this.
And I am so thrilled to have an RPT bringing this work out into the theatrical world.
Best to you,”
Nancy Risley, author, RYSE, Tools for Life, Holding Your Personal Power and Life Force and developer of RYSE

"Members who experience post-performance stress disorder may be interested in a new book, A Balancing Act, by Emmanuelle Chaulet, international film actress and theatre director, Fulbright scholar and adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern Maine Department of Theatre."
Actors’ Equity Association -Winter Newsletter 2008

An Actor's Purpose

An Actor’s Purpose

© Emmanuelle Chaulet 2008

Eckhart Tolle, two times bestseller author (The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose) says, “We are running out of time.”

There is no more time. Wherever you look there are conflicts, environmental issues, abuse of one culture by another, of one class by another, and of one race by another. Things must change now or humanity will simply destroy itself and its planet.

We, as actors, are a prime instrument of the change necessary to awaken the human race to a new consciousness and understanding. We are the contemporary teachers that can show, demonstrate and engage people in choosing the right path and make the right decisions so the planet finally evolves to an era of peace, understanding and compassion.

People nowadays generally watch movies more than they go to church, read books, or study spiritual teachings. Movies – and plays -– are an extraordinarily powerful way of teaching humanity. We cannot let film – and theatre– become a tool of oppression that keeps people in a state of numbness. We as actors, must rise to the challenge and transform the way we work to bring it far beyond entertainment. As actors, we are spiritual acolytes serving a greater good and we must reconnect with our higher purpose, our higher selves and raise our vibration so we can lead the way. We are much more than entertainers. We are spiritual leaders.

So, let’s examine our state of consciousness and raise it to the next level of awareness so in turn, we raise the consciousness of others. “To work on your art, work on yourself,” says Chekhov. We as actors need to learn the tools, and study the extraordinary potential of energy. With the knowledge and understanding of the subtle energetic system, we can develop our presence, our “radiation” to touch the audience – and the casting directors – at a whole other level. We can bring the consciousness of our spectators to a higher state, transform the world AND keep ourselves sane and balanced throughout that journey.

The human energy field is the part of the iceberg below the water line: the biggest, strongest, most powerful and stabilizing part; yet it is invisible. It connects you to the subtle realms of higher vibrations, and to your higher consciousness. It can elevate you to your Highest Creative Self, your Highest Acting Self.

Your next challenge is to understand the anatomy of this energetic system, practice its mechanism, and learn how to use it to its greatest potential.
The truth is: it is very easy….
You only need the very tools an actor uses every day: mind power and imagination!

So play with it, explore and Energize your work.

Emmanuelle Chaulet
Adjunct faculty/ Artist in Residence,
University of Southern Maine Department of Theatre
Author, A Balancing Act: the development of Energize! a holistic approach to acting
Paper back -336 pages – Illustrated
Published in 2008 by STARLIGHT ACTING BOOKS

To get the book visit:
to contact Emmanuelle:

This Blog's Intent

Welcome to A BALANCING ACT Blog.
This blog is a forum to discuss holistic acting techniques, and in particular Energize! a holistic approach to acting.
We welcome your comments and feed back on the book:
" A BALANCING ACT, the development of Energize! a holistic approach to acting,"
by F. Emmanuelle Chaulet and published by Starlight Acting Books

Discussion topics can include: energy work for actors, post-performance stress, pre-performance anxiety, the actor's higher purpose, connecting with the essence of your character, character withrawal, post-performance blues, finding closure, life style choices for optimal performance, and finding your highest creative self...

Write, share, discuss, learn, enjoy...

Energize your work!

Emmanuelle Chaulet