Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gifts for Performing Artists


On this holiday season, it is always possible to get more 'stuff', line up at the mall department stores, and buy with frenzy more plastic, more electronic, more junk. Then the same junk will be promptly returned for cash refunds a few days after the holidays. An american tradition that has always baffled me.

But you can also choose to give gifts that can bring change and awareness. Gifts that have a meaning, and that will last longer, honor the spirit and feed the soul.
I personnally shy away from the mall, and try to make gifts myself, bake, craft or better even, give nurturing non-material gifts: a massage, a tree in the national forest, a theatre ticket or a concert ticket.

So in this more-than-ever materialistic season, reconnect with the soul spirit of the holidays, the care, love and gratitude.
The Season of Light.

Take great care of friends, family, and of yourself,
Gift Love,


Give the gift of career development to a serious performing artist:

Gift a SKYPE coaching session and career consultation: $50 holiday special

For serious actors, musicians and dancers interested in breaking through their blocks:
So, if your artist friend:
  • battles with self-doubt or stage fright 
  • feels a resonance with emotional scars that are slowing his or her artistic growth 
  • has a true creative self yearning to shine within
  • doesn't understand what it is, but feels something is blocking him/ her from reaching his/her highest potential
  • knows that a part of them is resisting making progress but doesn't know how to change that
  • wants feed back on their career self-marketing and promotion process
  • wants true individual attention
Then this session is for them!
The session can be a choice of Voice Dialogue and Inner Character work, energy awareness relaxation techniques, or career promotion counseling.


For more information on the packages, go to

Enrollement for Individual sessions packages (6 sessions or more) continues throughout the 2013 year.
Student rates and discount packages are available.

Gift the Book!


 A BALANCING ACT  is a great tool for actors, and explores the use of energy and inner-selves (sub-personalities) for character work. I also gives advice to live a healthy and balanced life in show business. Order a copy today!

Signed copies (at no additional charge) are only available directly with Starlight Acting Books.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You know you have talent, so what is blocking you?

photo by nicolas guionnet

 You know you have talent, you feel you belong on stage, but a voice inside says; "you can't do it"... Who is it? What is this block? 

Read this excerpt of A BALANCING ACT:

"Acting is the act of transforming oneself into a work of art, and in that process the entire bioenergetic system of the person will undoubtedly be affected. As the delicate interconnected nervous, emotional, physical and energetic system embodies someone else, imagining different surrounding circum-stances, suddenly, its blueprint changes and gets challenged. Sir Anthony Hopkins appropriately says it in his interview with Oprah, the body doesn’t know that it is fiction. With this transformation comes an immense amount of normal anxiety and stress. Whether it is acknowledged or not, the entire nervous and energetic systems are put under tremendous pressure, and the subconscious usually reacts by trying to protect you and pull you back. This often results in a huge block preventing you from performing the role freely. This block appears in a myriad of questions, smoke screens and hidden fears that the subconscious launches to stop you from going further in the transformation. Questions like: What is the director going to think? Am I good enough? Am I trying the right thing? Am I guessing what the director wants? What will my parents think? And my teachers? My partners? The reviewers? Can I still love myself if I play this villain? Do I look good? Is my voice okay? Can my wife still love me if I play this loser? Is my pain painful enough and readable for an audience? And for the director? Do I have enough energy? Can I come back to be myself again after this role? What if I couldn’t get back? Why didn’t I get the lead role? And so on, and so on. Often, the lower sub-personalities, the Shadow sides of the Archetypes, also called Disowned Selves, are the ones putting up the roadblocks. They do their best to protect your psychological integrity, sensing danger in the transformation required by the role. Their intent is just to protect you, to keep you safe. But the actor self cannot do his best job. "

The key to stop these voices in your head, is to really spend the time to listen to them... Strange?
Well not really. If you ignore them, they'll shout louder! If you spend the time to dialogue with them and listen to them and their opposite, then you can achieve balance... To get more information on this voice dialogue technique, contact me.
More info is also available in the book, a great gift for your actor friends, this holiday season.

This is an excerpt of the book A BALANCING ACT.  page 242. Want to read more? Click here
Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artist's coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine. Her technique ENERGIZE uses combinations of Michael Chekhov, Lee Strasberg, Voice Dialogue and Energy work.
She works in the USA during the year and in France during the summer months. She coaches performers privately in person, and via video conference Skype throughout the whole year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Robert Cordier, an extraordinary actors' director, needs your help!

Excerpt from the book A BALANCING ACT:
"After investigating many acting schools in Paris, auditioning several times, I finally saw a magazine article about an American acting workshop in Paris called L’Atelier Robert Cordier (now called Acting International). The article promised a new avant-garde approach to theatre, with a director who had worked not only with some of the greatest American actors, but also with Jim Morrison. [...] I made an appointment.
There I discovered Lesley Chatterley, a blond, peppy, and smart British actress in her thirties who introduced herself as Robert Cordier’s partner and asked me a few questions. I was in!
The workshops were held at the Atelier de L’Ourq, which are big warehouses on the banks of the Ourq canal in Paris. These beautiful brick buildings (which, I didn’t know yet, were very New York City style), housed visual artists, co-op galleries, architects, photography studios, and this acting workshop.
The classes were amazing — a mixture of Michael Chekhov’s work and Sandy Meisner’s technique. Robert Cordier was intro- ducing about twenty-five young actors to acting, teaching us the use of the body, voice and emotions by stretching imagination and emotional response. Robert taught me everything I know: how to set an objective and to prepare, how to start a scene with a basic emotional state, how to use a physical movement to create an emotional response, how to warm up, focus, and use the body to influence the mind.
We would do many exercises from the Michael Chekhov technique, such as “Molding, Floating, Flying and Radiating,” which I will develop further later on. We learned the psychological gesture and the physicalization of action, both of which I still use today and have developed in the energetic realm. We would work on all the basic principles that an actor needs to know, which Cordier called, “Who, Where, What?” Define who your character is, where you are, and what you want (your objective) before you start the scene. I read Stanislavski, An Actor Prepares, and explored the reality of each scene. He gave us the twelve guideposts of Michael Shurtleff, explaining to us how to work with opposites and urgency. He asked us the essential questions: “Where is the love right now in this scene?” “What are you afraid of right now?” “What can hurt you right now?” He told us about the continuum between Love and Hate, the polar opposites within each emotion (which I discovered later is the basis of energy work), taught us how to create an emotional state by using the environment around us and our imagination, and trained us to go “moment to moment” in a scene.
Cordier’s alumni are found all over the professional theatre and film world. At L’Atelier Robert Cordier I met Xavier Durringer, who became one of the most translated and published French playwrights of his time, and Gérald Laroche, a character actor who won several prestigious awards later on. Xavier and I became close friends and started working on scenes together. He read to me his first script, which he called La Pleureuse, and later on offered me a part in his first play.
Cordier was not only fascinating while telling us the stories of his life in New York, he was extremely competent and definitely giving a thorough, exciting, and in-depth training. All of this was done with utmost love and support, even when he was pushing us beyond our limits. He was never condescending like other acting teachers can be. He was a loving father figure to all of us.
This was my Lesson #1: Suffering is not necessary to do good work. You can achieve wonderful creative results with love and support."

Right now Robert Cordier is needing our help and support, as he is laid off and kicked out of his very own school, the one he founded, along with all the professors who are supporting him. Please sign the petition in his support.

Visit this facebook page:  to support him

Visit the website:

English translation of the petition:

For the immediate reinstatement of Robert Cordier!

This summer 2012, Robert Cordier, founder of the school Acting
International, has been unceremoniously excluded from school he had established.

We condemn the eviction of a man, Robert Cordier, armed with a rich experience for all of us and whose love of art and teachings don't need to be proven, and we refuse to accept the mercantile and moneymaking philosophy that may take the direction of the school! The forced departure of Robert Cordier announces for us detrimental changes to the foundation of the school which were the basis of its reputation:

"The teaching concept of Acting International, unique in its completeness and innovative approach, has been developed there over thirty years ago by the founder of the school, teacher, director, producer and writer Robert Cordier. This educational activity and creation, with proven methods, constantly redefines itself through interaction and organic confrontation of complementary knowledge,–in their intersection in the schedule– of a team of renowned masters - French, Russian, American, English, Italian - which are all professional artists.
Acting International provides training to strengthen the creative potential as well as the artistic and human individuality of each student. At Acting International, the primacy is placed on the actor, through whom the scenic interpretation is realized. "

We are for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Robert Cordier at Acting International.

For the maintenance of all teachers from the previous year who want to stay and continue to give the school its guarantee of quality.

So that Acting International remains a quality school!

Top of Form
Above is an excerpt of the book A BALANCING ACT.  Want to read more? Click here

Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artist's coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine. Her technique ENERGIZE uses combinations of Michael Chekhov, Lee Strasberg, Voice Dialogue and Energy work.
She works in the USA during the year and in France during the summer months. She coaches performers privately in person, and via video conference Skype throughout the whole year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How do you shine at castings and auditions?

How do you develop stage presence and charisma? Walk in an audition and blow them away? Make them remember you? Incite them to call you back?

Maybe it is not just about your technical ability, but more about your energy.... Read on this excerpt of A BALANCING ACT

"At castings and auditions, you need to radiate and shine. You need to exude power, charisma, and attraction. You need to make them want you, and only you. What better way than relaxing with energetic clearing and getting rid of all tension and frazzled energy? What better way than working on your aura and clearing your chakras and your entire energetic system so that you light up like a star? Clear all negative energy to attract abundance and sparkles from the source of all there is. Clear the casting room with energy projections to make it support your audition. Accelerate the spinning of your Flower of Life so that your vibrational rate increases and elevates, attracting what supports you and what’s yours to do. Hold your power and your will center to show your true strength. Release all expectations from your energetic system, so that you can perform freely and to the best of your ability. Open the best vessel of your sub-personalities to fit the character, and connect with the essence of that character, using your vibrational sense.
Finally, what better way than visualizing all what you can be and acting with your highest potential, your Highest Creative Self, your Highest Acting Self?
Afterwards, clear yourself of negativity, jealousy and competitive energies that could still be present. Clear yourself of rejection, self-deprecation and self-criticism and refocus on self-love, self-appreciation, acceptance and joy. You won’t get all the roles. But if you follow the technique, you’ll get the roles you are meant to play, and will let go of the ones you are not meant to do. Energize is a powerful technique for auditioning, it will put you ahead of the game and show your many colors and charisma, while protecting you from painful downfalls afterwards. "

This is an excerpt of the book A BALANCING ACT.  page 242. Want to read more? Click here

Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artist's coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine. Her technique ENERGIZE uses combinations of Michael Chekhov, Lee Strasberg, Voice Dialogue and Energy work.
She works in the USA during the year and in France during the summer months. She coaches performers privately in person, and via video conference Skype throughout the whole year.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is your character giving you space?

The Character is IN today... but how far? And do you -the actor- feel you still have space?

Read this excerpt of A BALANCING ACT about Personal space and dual consciousness

As in all relationships, the question of personal space arises in performing a stage character. “ I need more space,” says a lover who feels overwhelmed by your affection. When the energy of the character comes into the actor’s container, there is often a first stage when the actor doesn’t let it go down far enough. Too often I see it stopping at the shoulders. Regularly, I see actors only in character with their torso, while the second half of their body is still like their good old selves. This common mistake happens because actors are afraid of the new energy coming in. There is a sense of loosing one’s own private space in one’s body, and being “invaded.” Yet, it is part of the process of being an actor to lend your own body to the expression of another personality. That is why I always encourage actors to fill their entire container with the energy of the character. Since we will later rebalance safely at the end of the show, it becomes easier for them to let the energy “invade” them, or more exactly, fill them in. Sending the energy of the character all the way into the feet is also very important, as it helps embody the walk as well as the head movements. The energy needs to flow though the entire body – the neck, arms, tips of the fingers, torso, hips, legs, and soles of the feet. Actors need to pay attention to this throughout the performance. They need to let the energy move through them and continue breathing! Performers who are often afraid of the presence of this unknown energy in their body will stop breathing fully. Regulating the breath is a powerful way to help the energy circulate in the entire body and the blood stream.
Sometimes the energy of the character will leave the body a little and appear as if floating on the side of the actor, or above his head. In this case, the character only appears “on and off.” It is as if you were turning on a light and turning it off again. The light will seem intermittently interrupted, and while you’ll still be able to see, there will be a certain sense of discomfort and uneasiness for the viewer. It is important for the actor to be aware of that and to bring the energy back with a strong pull, and then send it all the way to the feet and the tips of the fingers again. The goal of the actor is to have a smooth, regular and deep manifestation of the energy of the character. I advise to be very aware of this very frequent issue, and each time the performer notices that the energy is off, to consciously and firmly pull it back. Doing this over and over will help with the incarnation of the character.
With practice, actors will start perceiving when they are fully in the character’s vibration, only half way, on and off, or not at all. There is a clear perception that comes with being at another level of vibration when “the character is in.” It is a very distinct feeling, different from being yourself. Noticing all these differences and nuances, voluntarily bringing the energy back and sending it to the feet and fingers, is crucial to the successful completion of the embodiment.
As with all new and unknown situations, normal anxiety can accompany this process. It is sometimes frightening, and justly so, to become someone else, to lose one’s own identity, feel oneself change vibration, feel the voice change to a different register, and to even feel the muscles of the face respond to that change and involuntarily adjust to a foreign mask. Performers need to be very solid and very grounded to let this happen to their container. Breathing deeply and fully, pushing the diaphragm down toward the feet, tremendously helps control this anxiety. As an actor will bring in an outer personality and alter his own, his entire energetic system will be affected by the change. His aura, chakras, Flower of Life, and entire blueprint will reflect the new imaginary host and take his or her shape. As if he were a shape shifter from shamanic cultures, the actor will let this happen while completely conscious and remaining in control. A part of his subconscious must always be aware. This part is the spiritual head, the inner voice that is the true leader, the chief, the protector, the inner actor, the Higher Creative Self. During a performance, the actor will let the character lead, giving him his personal inner space to inhabit. However, he must always remain ready to take control back again. It is what is called a state of “dual consciousness,” a concept at the heart of Stanislavski’s work. Dual consciousness is a state of mind that allows the actor to be aware while at the same time totally immersed in the personality of the character. It is a partnership dance between the actor and the character, one leading the other. In this state of being, the actor can still control and let go at the same time; he can lead and also be led. It is a pilot/copilot team, a walk arm in arm, a tandem. A delicate balance of leadership is required to keep the truth of the character’s incarnation. Most of the time, the actor needs to withdraw and leave space for the character, letting him or her take first place in the limelight, allowing him or her to take over.

This is an excerpt of the book A BALANCING ACT. Want to read more? Click here

Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artist's coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine.
She works in the USA during the year and in France during the summer months. She coaches performers privately all year.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Actors are Athletes of the Emotion

As we are watching the best world athletes compete at the London Olympic Games, we are reminded that actors too, are athletes and should follow the same rigorous preparation. They are a different type of athletes, yet they should give the same kind of attention to their body, their mental state and their emotional preparation before and after performance. After all their body, mind and spirit are their unique instrument...

 Excerpt of A BALANCING ACT by Emmanuelle Chaulet © 2008-12

Athletes and stuntmen

Performers are like athletes. They have tremendous pressure put on their body, on their psyche, and on their souls every day. They cannot leave the job, go home and forget about it. Most often, it follows them around for days and weeks. The schizophrenia of being two, the character and you, can often lead to instability. Whether active or dormant, the character is always in the background. Since they are not being given the proper training to learn how to tame this intense relationship, actors let themselves go along a slope where alcohol, drugs and sex are easy fixes to an inner emotional and energetic imbalance. The media, of course, immediately jumps on this situation and exhibits their lives and mistakes to the public, like gladiators were thrown to the lions. Being exposed like this when they are so fragile and vulnerable is recipe for disaster. After doing their intense emotional stunts, actors are left alone to recover with no one coming to help them, but on the contrary, with rude paparazzi trying to grasp as much pain and despair they can find to plaster the tabloids. They dig the dirt and drag actors in shame destroying what is left of their delicate self-esteem. At the very moment when actors would need to regroup, re-center, recharge and be alone, they are sent to public appearances, cocktail parties and TV shows. These constant ups and downs are exhausting and taxing. Without proper emotional management and energetic clearings, actors often fall into the traps of stress and burnout, and spiral downward. Olympic athletes know this well: in order to succeed and last, they have to rest between the games and competitions, they have to eat well, sleep well, and recharge. They are specifically trained for mental endurance and persistence, as much as taught to develop their physical abilities. They do visualization, sophrology, and relaxation. They get nutritional counseling and motivational support. They are coached to manage their sleep and rest time to reach an ultimate performance. Conversely, actors are simply left to themselves with absolutely no help, no guidance or even classes on this subject. Open, vulnerable, naive, and a bit narcissistic, they live like children in a world of imagination, and seek to be loved. Unfortunately, they often find the wrong friends to support them. Attracted by the brilliance of their charismatic personalities, many admirers and fans are in fact energy takers, and instead of supporting actors, take advantage of them and of their fragility. Led early on to a life of partying and drinking, which often starts at the college level, actors –who are starving for this sense of closeness and warmth, this illusionary family-like atmosphere – quickly let themselves go to excessive, sometimes manic behavior. 

In reality, actors are fragile artists who need strong support and strict discipline to manage their ever-flying emotions. Like gymnasts, dancers or musicians, they should follow a daily routine to nurture and care for not only their bodies, but also their minds and spirits. [This book gives] some ideas and directions, which I firmly believe are the most important aspect of the Energize technique. This is where the ultimate strength of an actor will lie: in his capacity to maintain a healthy, self-controlled, harmonious and balanced lifestyle. It is only then that he will be able to reach his highest potential as an artist and a performer and, moreover, that he will be able to last for a long career.

This is an excerpt of the book A BALANCING ACT. Want to read more? Click here

Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artist's coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine.
She works in the USA during the year and in France during the summer months.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finding the Character's Blueprint

Character’s blueprint

from the book A BALANCING ACT, by Emmanuelle Chaulet

 Michael Chekhov has a terrific exercise called “Creating the Imaginary Body” of the character. Connecting to the character’s blueprint is a version of it, with a little adjustment. With their eyes open, actors are invited to sculpt and create the body and features of their characters in front of them. Again using their five senses, they are invited to touch, smell, feel, and look at the character they will perform. When they have a clear vision and sensation, I ask them to either step into the imaginary body of the character or (what I personally prefer) let the character come over them like an invisible mantle, or second skin. We then explore feeling the vibration of the character, its blueprint. The actor should then ask, What kind of frequency does the energy of this character have? What kind of heart rate does he or she have? At what rate are the cells of this person vibrating?

The perception of the energetic frequency of an imaginary character is very real. A character’s vibration is invariably different from the personal one of an actor, and will give a very tangible feeling. Like a radio emits waves, our bodies emit a certain frequency of a bioenergetic field. Imaginary characters are the result of the thought patterns and imagination of the author and playwright, the actors who have performed them, previous and current directors, dramaturges, stage managers, marketing directors, and all of those involved in the production. This vibration or frequency is a mass of energy charged by all these thought forms. It is what we call a blueprint.

 Each character, each human being has its own, as individual as a set of fingerprints. Historical figures have even stronger and more defined blueprints because they actually existed. Therefore, the frequency of their energy is extremely precise. Archetypal imaginary characters have a very intense aura of vibration even as you merely pronounce their names: Hamlet, Ophelia, Phaedra, Oedipus, Iago, Stanley Kowalsky, Blanche Dubois. These roles carry with them a background of very powerful energies. They are vibrant with the imprint from past actors who played them and from the imagination of the author. They each form a distinct individual energetic mass. An actor can easily tap into this vibration and connect with it in an energetic way. The vibration will show him the movement, rhythm, intonations, tones of voice, and posture without going through any intellectual process.
However, to tap into this vibration, it is vital that actors utilize their usual research process. I am an advocate of doing research on the time period, place, social context, health issues, historic background, etc. This research will, of course, fuel any organic understanding. Yet, the work on stage should be more impulsive, moment-to-moment, and less intellectualized. After all the research is done and assimilated, one must throw it to the universe and just play. This is what I suggest with the concept of “tapping into the character’s vibration.” After creating the character with your imagination, having researched its history, and with the information from the script, it is crucial to make the work organic by feeling the character not only with the five senses, but also with the energetic system. The actor must connect organically instead of processing things only intellectually. Too often do I see very intelligent actors get in their own way because they are staying in the intellectual understanding of the role, not transcending it and feeling it organically. By using the vibration and the energetic sensory tools, one can shortcut the process and work with one’s instinct. Only then does it become a fusional process, during which the actor starts wearing the character’s energetic blueprint, like a chameleon. Here is what one actor has to say about this process:

 If a writer is drawing from personal experience, which we’re taught is good writing, even though the characters are figments of the writer’s imagination, they are undoubtedly drawing from real, personal interaction with people. Therefore, doesn’t that make the character on the page human? I think Energize can help one come to that conclusion. Once you do that, you stop thinking of acting as an illusion, and start thinking of it more as … what’s the word … an embodiment. You start thinking about embodying a character, rather than creating the illusion of a character. You start thinking about living a character instead of changing yourself or creating a façade. When you draw on a character like Hamlet, who’s been played by thousands of real people since the play’s inception, you’re drawing on those real people’s experiences. When you draw on a character, you’re drawing on an essence that has been explored by everybody. So there is something tangible out there in the universe; there is a Hamlet. We know, we have an idea; I think people have an idea of Hamlet as you draw it into you.  
- Michael T. Toth, actor & participant in an Energize workshop and production

This excerpt is from A BALANCING ACT, the development of Energize a holistic approach to acting by Emmanuelle Chaulet, Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine.
For more information on Emmanuelle Chaulet's individual coaching and group workshops, please visit

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Collin Chute, talks about playing Eric Harris, in "THE COLOMBINE PROJECT" and using the ENERGIZE method:

Emmanuelle Chaulet: Hi Collin, it's such a pleasure to interview you. We had met at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) when I taught there a week-long workshop about my book A BALANCING ACT. You just closed the show The Columbine Project which played to sold-out audiences at the Avery Schreiber Theatre in North Hollywood.  It is such an amazing project which raises awareness to school shootings. You had a very demanding role as Eric Harris one of the two school shooters, and mentioned you used the ENERGIZE work I teach for this role. Tell us a little bit about the project, the play and how you got cast for the role:

Collin Chute: I moved to LA from Virginia this past January and shortly after signed with Ryan Glasgow and Bohemia Group. I had met him in much thanks to VCU  and the Actor's Connection the previous year. He told me about an audition for a play called "The Columbine Project." I was intrigued because of the power of the subject and knew this was a story that needed to be told, re-told from different angles. The script was non linear including multiple perspectives from teachers, students, parents, and the shooters themselves. When I auditioned for Eric Harris, one of the two shooters I had this long swooping hair which I would later shave. When I walked in the writer/director Paul Storiale whispered to the assistant director Bree Pavey, "Why is Justin Bieber auditioning for this? Is Ryan (my manager) out of his mind?" I threw on a backwards hat, took a few seconds to conjure Eric's energy, did this creepy monologue and completely changed their minds, haha.

How did you reconcile liking your character with what he did?

Collin: I think an actor can't judge their characters or they have already lost the battle. I did lots and lots of research and realized that Eric Harris was just a high school kid like everyone else except for maybe a few odd tweaks in his head, combined with some of the people he was around, and his environmental circumstance, leading to an awful end. Eric was indeed a sociopath, but I couldn't help but think what if I was born in his situation with his genetic make up? How would I behave? I certainly don't condone anything he did, but I could piece together where his anger evolved from. From there I think it just snowballed and became out I control. I still have a difficult time thinking about how he actually pulled the trigger.

What was the most difficult aspect of the role?

Collin: The hardest part of this role was to show that Eric wasn't just a monster, he was a human being who lost it, and made some terrible choices. Playing a villain can be easy because they are often reduced to being one dimensional, but this was a non-fictional complex human being that I had to bring justice to. He didn't just lose it in one day.
One of my favorite scenes in the play Eric is flirting with a girl, talking, just being a normal teenage boy, talking about maybe taking a trip after graduating to Costa Rica. Costs Rica was the first country outside of the US I had visited, and I've been there several times because my mom takes yoga retreats there, and it just struck a chord with me that connected Eric and I. I felt so much empathy for him while reading that scene because I knew he was so close to just living a regular life. That made it easy for me to embrace the role, but made the challenge of giving him an honest portrayal so much more difficult.
After one of the shows we had a talk back and an audience member thanked me for playing the role with no judgment, and that was the highest complement I could have received.

Did you find that the energy of this character would sometimes take over, and if so, what did you do to deal with it and regain control?

Collin: When I took on "The Columbine Project" as Eric Harris I knew I was going to have to go to a very dark, dark place to get there, and I would have to go all the way to the bottom because this was a story that needed to be witnessed through truth. My first thought was you and the training I had received through your workshops at VCU. I knew that I had to be safe going in and out of a character like this and you gave me that power by physically visualizing my character's energy, giving it a color and bringing it into my body. Not only does this achieve a safe entry into a character like Eric Harris, it provided me focus and a complete comfort knowing I was always Eric while that energy was in me. Doing this dissipated any nervousness converting it into focused energy.

After collecting all my research and analyzing the script, the energy of my character became my top priority. I had to find Eric Harris' energy, which was absolutely frightening. Through the natural process of rehearsal, research, journal writing, and meditating I found Eric's energy and used your teachings to harness that energy with a color, bringing it into my 7 chakras.

Leaving this character at the end of each show was a must in order to remain mentally healthy.
Through this particular energy, there was incredible power and confidence to be found within the craziness. That power was absolutely addicting and I had to use your technique to safely release that energy after every rehearsal and show or I would have been walking around like a nut, haha. In fact there was one day when I didn't release that energy for whatever reason, forgot about it, and I felt  completely overwhelmed with life to the point where I began to cry. It's a little embarrassing to say, but it's a testament to how important it is to step out of character. Which I soon did, once I realized what was happening, haha. I released the energy, and brought in new pure white light which instantly calmed me. Visualizing Eric's energy as black with grey speckles and a touch of white I took my time releasing that through my body. After all of Eric's energy was drawn out of me, I cleansed my energy system by bringing in a pure light, allowing me to become fully present as myself.
I'm grateful for that day because I will never go without using your technique again, because it is so vital to take the time to step out.

The show just closed, did you do something at the end of the play for your personal closure?

Collin: When I released the energy every night I always hung onto an imaginary thread that connected me to the character so I could easily retrieve him. When we closed, it was hard to cut that thread for good. I smiled and said thank you and goodbye. Because even through Columbine was a terrible tragedy,  good things have come out of it, such as "Rachel's Challenge," and through my portrayal of Eric and everyone's amazing performance I knew people would be more aware and understanding to the complexities that created such an awful thing, thus creating positive change.

Is there a future project you want to talk about?

Collin: I know that Paul has adapted the show into a screenplay and he just needs the right producers to jump on board to make it happen. I would love to be a part of that, but for now I'm just grateful to have been able to grow and give so much through such a meaningful story. Thank you Emmanuelle for allowing me to go to places as dark as I had to go and to return feeling like myself with such ease.
Through your technique and making it my own I have avoided unnecessary stress, gained focus, and have brought a sense of honesty to life that was unachievable before.

Emmanuelle: You are so welcome Collin! I wish you the best in your career. You are starting it with an amazing intensity, and I have no doubt you're going places!

For more info on A BALANCING ACT and the ENERGIZE technique, please visit

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


How do you define Presence? Is it something that can be developed? Can you increase charisma?

Isaach de Bankole in Chocolat by Claire Denis
"In 1988, I got cast in a small role in Chocolat by Claire Denis, and flew to Africa (Cameroon) to shoot for two weeks. There, I could observe well-known actors in a more traditional type of movie. My part was very small and quick. I was playing a white woman who would get very sick and cry in pain, but her husband would not tolerate the fact that a black doctor would have to take care of her. It was always easy for me to dive into the pain, so the shooting went quickly. After I was done, I went to the set daily to watch the others. I could see the way the lead actors were concentrating, focusing, tuning inward. Isaac de Bankolé played the black African servant to the white colonists, who fascinated the mistress of the house by his fierce beauty. He did not have a word to say in this part. His role was the lead, but was completely silent. Isaac was doing remarkable work, taking everything in and expressing subtle ties. This was again an incredible learning experience. I discovered that presence is something immaterial; it does not rely on words. It relies on character development. The energy of his character was radiating through him without the use of words. It was passing through his look, his eyes, his hands, his posture, and even his back, when he was turning away from the camera. His masculine strength and energy was shining through him, via his instinct. I then realized that too often actors get caught up in the words, in the analysis of the text, instead of letting their instinct and higher intuition guide them. They use their mind and intellect. Isaac used his guts. I was beginning to understand. It was Lesson #4: Presence is an immaterial energy. It does not rely on words; it shines through the character."

Exert; A BALANCING ACT © Emmanuelle Chaulet 2008

For more info on workshops and coaching to develop presence, please visit

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Actors, Performers, Your Body is a Temple

Your mind/body/spirit is your instrument

The body is a temple. Housing the soul and the mind, the body is the vehicle that we were given in order to walk through this dimension. At the same time strong and delicate, resistant and breakable, incredibly adaptable, yet demanding utmost care and attention, the body is an envelope and machinery that is also breathing, living, and changing. It is alive, and energy flows through it at all times. Responding to the currents of energies inside and around it, the body can develop pains and diseases — dis-eases — or on the contrary, strive and shine.

Loving or hating the body has a tremendous impact on how it will respond and react. Constantly subjected to feelings of hate and criticism (“I’m too fat, too ugly; I don’t have a beautiful figure”), the body will wither. On the other hand, if cared for with loving attention and tenderness, the body will become beautiful and strong.

An actor, like an athlete or a dancer, needs his body to actually “embody” the character. The body is the very instrument he uses for his art. Each day, he or she, as part of his or her job duties, should devote a specific time, a minimum of one hour, to care for his or her body. Whether the physical activity is walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, yoga, aerobic, stretching, pilates, dance, going to a fitness center and using machines, soccer, volleyball, rock climbing or any kind of sport, it is crucial that an actor makes it part of his daily routine.

Unfortunately, this idea is usually so far from actors’ preoccupations that at the college cafeteria, you can see a room divided in two: on one half are the athletes, on the other side are the artists and theatre people. There are very few actors who cross over between the two populations. More often, actors make fun of the athletes, and vice versa. Condescension and criticism are the rule. This attitude is not only foolish, it is depriving actors from an essential piece of their training, which I strongly believe should be included — and mandatory — in a theatre and acting curriculum. Physical activity will not only shape the muscles, it will also boost the spirits. As we discovered earlier on, the mind, body and spirit are so linked together that working on one will affect the other two. Working on the body itself will not only develop strong and beautiful musculature, it will also care for the house that hosts the soul, therefore enabling it to flourish.

Exert from A BALANCING ACT ( @Starlight Acting Books )
 Find the book on Amazon
Emmanuelle Chaulet is a Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine and an Artists coach

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


One very important aspect of the inside-out approach is that it recognizes that we hold in our psyche a flock of different traits and experiences, which can be tapped into and used for acting performance. I believe this is fundamentally true and constitutes an amazing tool for actors. I just consider we should use this pool of information slightly differently than what is commonly proposed. Instead of using actual personal memories, one should only work with the energy of each aspect of our psyche. In this fashion, the actor can still focus on the reality of the imaginary circumstances of the play without using substitutions. Yet, he can support himself with the appropriate quality of energy that belongs only to him, thus reaching a genuine and truthful interpretation of the required feelings and emotions. Using only an energy type or a sub-personality type that comes solely from his own subconscious (instead of using events or memories from his own life), the actor will remain in the creative world of the play, yet still feed his performance with his own personal truth. Here is how it works:

The voices in your head
Many different theories about the subconscious agree that our mind is filled with multiple voices, which form the multifaceted aspects of our personalities. Like a prism, each facet of our psyche reflects a different persona and has its own point of view, style and agenda. Each voice tells us in genuine truth what is better for us, according to him or her. Each sub-personality looks out only for our best interest and fiercely defends its territory and its argument, sometimes succeeding in saving us from danger. Sub-personalities seem to be like different characters living inside our minds, inhabiting us all at once and taking turns at who is running the show. Each sub-personality can also be visualized as an energetic aspect of ourselves. Different from the clinical diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, the idea that all of us are a composite of many individual, psychological and energetic selves is growing in the psychological field. Following are three different approaches of this enlightening theory, and the angle that Energize uses for actors.

Famous psychiatrist Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, developed the theory of Archetypes, which Caroline Myss, PhD, an internationally renowned pioneer in energy medicine and spirituality, recently reworked in her book Sacred Contracts. According to this theory, every one of us functions following different set behaviors or thought patterns that are defined as universal Archetypes. These thought patterns have existed for centuries and have been described through countless stories, songs, legends and myths. They form our behaviors and are deeply engraved in our subconscious. They are part of what Jung called the “collective unconscious.” These Archetypes shape the stories of heroes and heroines from mythology to modern day storytelling; they explain our actions and influence our thoughts, inspiring the lyrics of songs and scripts of movies. Caroline Myss believes that we are actually born with them and that they consist of the psychological grid on which our destinies are woven. They are the subliminal patterns that explain most of our decisions and choices. They resonate in our subconscious like voices telling us what to do.
Caroline Myss says:

These patterns, often ancient in origin, populate our minds and lives in ways that affect us deeply. Yet we are generally unaware of them. These patterns of intelligence are archetypes, dynamic living forms of energy that are shared in many people’s thoughts and emotions, across cultures and countries. Learning to read the archetypal patterns that influence your energy is the natural complement to working with the energy of the chakras. Just as the energies of your chakras work together to provide a map of physical and energy information, the collective body of your archetypes produces a view of the governing forces of your psyche and soul.

For example, here are a few Archetypes you should be able to recognize immediately: the Victim, the Child, the Wounded Child, the Princess or Damsel in Distress, the Mother, the Prostitute, the Teacher, the King, the Healer, the Protector, the Negotiator, the Servant, the Master, the Rebel, the Thief, the Don Juan, the Savior, the Rescuer, etc. Many roles in major plays and movies correspond to these Archetypes. Caroline Myss actually lists examples in her book: Harrisson Ford in Indiana Jones as a Rescuer; James Dean, of course, as a Rebel in Rebel Without A Cause; and Princess Leia in the Star Wars Trilogy as a Princess or Damsel in Distress are just some of the most obvious. It would be wonderful material for a thesis to examine Hollywood films from this angle. Caroline Myss’ research led her to believe that there are twelve major Archetypes that shape our lives and behaviors. Following Jung’s theory, she also explains that there is a positive and a negative (or Shadow) side for each Archetype. The Shadow side represents emotional patterns coming from repressed feelings and fears, the secret reasons why we sabotage what we try to do. Neither good nor bad, the Shadow side is a “complex,” a part of ourselves we do not want to acknowledge. Eventually, says Myss, every one of us needs to confront our Shadow sides in order to evolve to our highest divine potential. In her fascinating book, she gives tools to analyze the Archetypes that rule your “spiritual contract” (or higher purpose), and offers ways to transcend the Shadow sides of our psyche to move forward on the road to our evolution.

Voice Dialogue
The Voice Dialogue approach also describes a multitude of inner voices called “The Selves.” Developed by Hal Stone, PhD, and Sidra Stone, PhD, Voice Dialogue is a psychological therapeutic tool that can be used in conjunction with other modalities, and that is also greatly influenced by the work of Carl Jung. Hal and Sidra Stone explain that they see “The Selves as the smallest discrete units of the psyche: as energy bodies that vibrate within us and determine ‘who we are’ at any given time. Each Self has its own way of viewing the world, its own perceptions, its own beliefs and rules, and its own specific history.” They refer to them as energy bodies that can deeply affect the physiology of a person, as each self can sometimes present different physiological characteristics: different allergies, different blood pressure, different pains, more or fewer wrinkles, etc. They represent certain types: the Responsible Parent, the Rational Mind, the Protector, the Rebel Child, the Procrastinator, the Overachiever, the Slob, the Emotional Self, the Fearful Self, the Pleaser Self, the Perfectionist, etc. Some of these are more familiar to us, while some are ignored and down right excluded.
The “Disowned Selves” are the energy patterns that have been ignored and rejected. They often carry violent emotions and feelings of exclusion. The Disowned Selves represent the opposite polarity, the Shadow side. For example, opposite a Pleaser will be a more selfish side, opposite a Controller will be a more relaxed, “laissez-faire” aspect, opposite a Procrastinator will be a Perfectionist, opposite an Obsessive Cleaner will be a Slob, etc. We are often aware of only one of the polarities, while repressing the other. Hal and Sidra Stone believe that even though the Selves will remain consistent, they can evolve and change. The best way to help this evolution is to let them speak, as what they want most is to be heard. Often, the Selves influence our behavior in peculiar and restrictive ways just because we do not let them speak or listen to them. However, being heard is often just enough to calm down the frustration that a Disowned Self can carry. For example, let’s say your Overachiever is pushing you to finish writing this screenplay you have started, but your laid back Beach Bum wants to get tanned and go swimming. There will be a tug-of-war in your mind until you listen to both sides and allow each to express what it wants, as well as reassure them both that each of their demands will be honored in its own time. Today you finish writing, but tomorrow you’ll go to the beach.
In Voice Dialogue, a facilitator will help a patient let several of his Selves speak their mind on an issue, fully and without restraint. Using a convention of having the patient alternately sit in different chairs, representing each voice, the facilitator will ask questions to each Self and their opposite, allowing them to speak freely. Finally he’ll help the person mediate between them, by going through a process called “The Aware Ego.” I have myself experienced this technique and was amazed by the fact that, without my control, each Self used a different body language, voice, accent, and tone of voice. I also felt the muscles of my face changing its “mask” as I was alternatively moving from one chair to the other. I witnessed the same thing happening to each of the fifteen actors experimenting with us. The Selves most often expressed long, repressed frustrations. Suddenly, the reasons why we were doing certain things in our lives appeared very clearly to each of us. With the Voice Dialogue, the level of awareness increases and the “Aware Ego” process develops. In that process the person tries to honor, mediate between, and care for the Selves without necessarily making all of them happy. This technique is especially fruitful for decision-making. Each individual wish of the Selves cannot always be fulfilled, but the Selves will feel reassured and cared for enough not to wreak havoc in the person’s subconscious.
Voice Dialogue is currently used by thousands of therapists and facilitators around the world, and many books have been published on the subject." I believe VOICE DIALOGUE is a fabulous tool for performers enabling them to tap into their inner voices to create a character.

Exert from A BALANCING ACT, by  F. Emmanuelle Chaulet

© Emmanuelle Chaulet  2008

To read more please check the book : A BALANCING ACT, by F. Emmanuelle Chaulet
Emmanuelle Chaulet is an artists' coach and Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Maine

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Artistic Flame

 Ancient ceremony: 
Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou lights the Olympic Torch 

This winter, I learned that the first stepping stone for any creative or artistic endeavor is vibrant health. Without vibrant health, your creativity is stifled and you are forced to pause.
I learned this of course the hard way.  I was forced to pause and take care of myself. It felt like I was held back. In fact, I was moving forward on my path...

Vibrant Health is supported by emotional balance, rest and proper nutrition.

Artists too often neglect these stable pillars in their lives, and believe that they only need intense emotions, fast pace lives, and exciting rush to create. It strikes me that often, intense pathos, drama and adrenaline surge will give the illusion of creation, but they will more likely open the gate to the expression of one's personal crisis, and not the gate to creativity.

What is the Creative Source, the Artistic Muse? Does it reside within ourselves or outside of us? Is it personal or universal? As a young actress, I thought I had to suffer to perform well, and share my pain, "wring my guts" as the French say.

Now I know that the Artistic Muse will touch an artist with the gift of transmitting love, beauty, and harmony. It will pass the flame of wisdom, and ask you to share it with the world. It will charge you with a mission and a purpose. Perhaps you will be asked to open people's eyes to terrible realities so they can turn to beauty and love. Perhaps you will be charged to show peace and harmony. But no matter the case, the Muse will whisper in your ears, if you only learn to listen.  Your work is to relax, tune in and get ready.

This is why vibrant health is so important for an artist: you need to get prepared to carry the flame of the Artistic Muse like an Olympic athlete carries the torch.

So, take great care of your Artist Selves, get ready!

Emmanuelle Chaulet

Artists Coach