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.

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