Category: Podcasts

SHITE OLD ACTORS SAY – Episode #1

Greetings – welcome to SHITE OLD ACTORS SAY! This is the first broadcast of a weekly chat that Michael and Tommy will be having – bringing together thoughts and views from both sides of the Atlantic on the profession of acting. Thank you for joining us – please comment, ask questions – and give any suggestions for topics you’d like our thoughts on

AN-017 | Look at me, look at me, look at me …

Some of you may realise where the title of this podcast comes from. If you’re a fan of James Lipton’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ interviews, then you almost certainly will. In 2006 Lipton interviewed Dustin Hoffman and the conversation turned to Marathon Man and the time that Hoffman spent with Lawrence Olivier during the making of that film.
Olivier was not well at the time. In fact Illness had nearly prevented him doing the film at all. It seems that those around him in 1975 were fearful that he may not have long to live, Hoffman included. Although Olivier didn’t die until 1989, there was an air of valediction to Hoffman’s time with him and this comes across in his emotional remembrance of the time at the end of filming they went out to dinner together.
At some point in the evening Hoffman asked Olivier the question “why do we do it?”. Hoffman says Olivier leant over and whispered in his ear: “Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me”.

Some of you may realise where the title of this podcast comes from. If you’re a fan of James Lipton’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ interviews, then you almost certainly will. In 2006 Lipton interviewed Dustin Hoffman and the conversation turned to Marathon Man and the time that Hoffman spent with Lawrence Olivier during the making of that film.
Olivier was not well at the time. In fact Illness had nearly prevented him doing the film at all. It seems that those around him in 1975 were fearful that he may not have long to live, Hoffman included. Although Olivier didn’t die until 1989, there was an air of valediction to Hoffman’s time with him and this comes across in his emotional remembrance of the time at the end of filming they went out to dinner together.
At some point in the evening Hoffman asked Olivier the question “why do we do it?”. Hoffman says Olivier leant over and whispered in his ear: “Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me”.
Although the story certainly inspires the title of this episode, the episode is not about Olivier and what he might have meant.
However, if we, as actors admit to the resonance of those few words, then there is maybe something that we need to remind ourselves of as we navigate life and this thing called social media.

AN-016 – MINDSET 7/9 – ‘Fixed/Growth Mindset’ with SHARON BOTT

The idea that is behind this episode is that each of us tends towards one of two states in dealing with life. We do it without being aware and quite often, the patterns are set early in life.
The clue is in the title of the podcast in that we’re talking about having either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset – as defined by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, and the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University
It seems a simple concept on the face of it – but the effects of tending towards one or the other are profound. We hope our conversation provides a little clarity in the matter and gives you further insight into the strange workings of our minds and how we can acquire some control over it.

Above is an affiliate link to Carol dweck’s book on Amazon.co.uk.

Below is a link to Sharon Bott’s coaching website.

AN-014 – MINDSET 5/9 | “Listening’ with SHARON BOTT

Listening – that seems a pretty straightforward thing to be talking about, doesn’t it? I mean, most of us have been doing it all our lives and it seems we’ve got quite good at it – haven’t we? But have we really? Do we actually listen – and if we think we do, who are we listening to? Is it possible that in changing the way we think about listening that we could impact our lives and careers for the better?

As ever, immensely grateful to Sharon Bott for her contribution in making this series possible. If you’ve enjoyed this show, please have a look at her website – there’s loads of good stuff to absorb …

AN-013 – MINDSET 5/9 | ‘Negativity Bias’ with SHARON BOTT

“… al of our brains – no matter who we are – react more strongly to negative events. The asymmetric response to positive and negative events is rooted in the brain’s processing of emotion. Negative events cause greater self-referential activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and aslo increased activity in the insula, which is responsible for noticing visceral sensations. Lastly, they also engage more of an emotional response in the amygdala and hippocampus”.

Yes … but what does it all mean? And is it helpful to know?

The book mentioned and the quote above is from ‘The Upward Spiral’ by Alex Korb. Amazon.co.uk link is below:

AN-012 – MINDSET 4/9 | Introvert/Extrovert?

Actors, as performers are often assumed to be extrovert. But it ain’t necessarily so! In fact, you yourself may be labouring under the illusion that you’re an extrovert when really, you’re an introvert – and visa versa. The defining experience of being either, isn’t quite what we think, and may help you reassess the way you think about yourself. Or not.

AN-011 | Synchronicity

As actors, we all would love to know where the next job is coming from, what’s it going to be, what it’s going to demand of us and where it’s going to lead us.

Oh, if only …

I wish, at the age of 61, that I did have some magic formula to pass on to you that gave you the power to determine the trajectory of your career, and to be able to divine your next best move from the plethora of actions available to you. Sometimes indeed, the scant feedback from most of the actions we do take can stun us into inaction.

A few weeks ago I shared a story on Actor Notes called ‘Full Circle at Wyndham’s’. It was a story about synchronicity, fate, cause and effect, choice and destiny. And it happened to me. Or rather, it involved me – a passenger on a strange thing called life.

I’ve got another story like that that I’d like to tell you.
However, I’m telling it here not just because it’s a good story, but because it helps make a point about how – particularly as actors – we should be in life.

Standing with Stones
The story I tell happened during the making of my film ‘Standing with Stones. You can find out more about that at http://standingwithstones.net

In the meantime, here’s the relevant section of the film including Callanish:

 

Oh, and if you’ve never seen ‘Glengarry, Glen Ross’ find the film wherever you can. Magnificent perfomances from Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey et al.

Here’s Baldwin with the famous speech:

AN-010 – MINDSET 3/9 | ‘People’ with SHARON BOTT

‘People’ seems like rather a large subject for a 20 minute podcast. There are just so many of them – and they’re all different. How can I cope – especially when my well-being, the next job, my career may depend on how I occur to the next person I meet? Well, relax. We don’t think it’s a case of understanding and adapting to each individual or group you meet and/or work with. It’s more about understanding and adapting just one person – YOU!

AN-008 | Interview with MHAIRI MORRISON, creator of ‘Feathers & Toast’ comedy web series.

For the first INSIDE THE ACTORCHAT STUDIO interview, I was thrilled to be able to welcome actress MHAIRI MORRISON, creator and star of the hit TV and web series “Feathers & Toast”. http://www.feathersandtoast.com
 
In our chat we not only talked about her career and training, mime, comedy and live stand-up comedy, but also her experience of moving herself to Los Angeles and adapting to and surviving the Hollywood way.
 
 

 

 

Mhairi attained her BA in Theater from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before studying movement and mime at Jacques Le Coq, Paris. Following her training, she formed a theater company, performing as a clown throughout Paris.
Moving to London, she began working in TV and film. Feature film credits include Young Adam (with Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton), Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, O, Jerusalem and Green Street Hooligans. TV credits include Murphy’s Law, Casualty (BBC), Missing (ITV) and Emo (C4). Theater credits include Blues For Mister Charlie (Tricycle), Faeries (Royal Opera House) and Low Life (Blind Summit).
Since moving to LA she has performed regularly as a stand up comic, bringing talking Scottish mime to the Hollywood comedy scene.
 
The interview is also available as a Blab video recording on YouTube:

AN-006 | Sand in the Oyster

When we get a new script in the hand, it’s all too easy to succumb to some less than helpful habits in our keenness to make our mark on the role. Inspired by a quote from a slightly surprising source, here’s a thought about character development that may help shake out any old, stale habits you may have fallen into.

AN-004 | Upset – it’s no big deal

It strikes me that many of us learned, very early in life, there was a huge payoff in drawing attention to the fact that we were upset. There was real value in complaining to your mother that something was wrong. However, as we get older, the strategy begins to produce diminishing returns. What are the consequences?

MICHAEL BOTT

Michael Bott

Actor - represented by Tom Fitz at Simon & How Associates
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