Monday, January 31, 2011

January Check- In

Greetings, Friends!

I logged on this morning and was shocked to discover it was the final day of January.  How can that be?
If your January has been anything like mine, it has been a combination of the "dailiness of life" as well as surprises,  new ideas, unexpected events, steps forward and steps backward toward achieving goals and dreams.  As John Lennon said, " Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."

Today is  great day to take stock of your feelings about the first month of 2011.  Have your found your energy increasing or diminishing? Are you encouraged by your progress or discouraged ? Perhaps  a little of both? Many people set unrealistic goals for the new year and then go through a cycle of self-criticism when they falter in moving forward at the unrealistic rate they set for themselves.  Others dream of changes but feel overwhelmed by them and frozen in place, unable to move forward.  As actors, we score high on imagination but sometimes falter with follow-through. Instead of giving in to discouragement, get active! Research goal-setting and learn where you might have stumbled along the way.  Get more information and get going!

Are your goals SMART goals?  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely? This is not a new idea. If your goals do not fit this concept, google SMART Goals and take a look at how this process will make your goal-setting and follow through much more efficient and effective.  Here's a link for a free SMART Goals worksheet to get you started:

Your passion and excitement will fuel your goal-setting and ultimately provide you with the energy to move forward. Don't give in to self-criticism.  Start afresh and let's get going!  I'm cheering you on! Let me know how it goes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. - Creativity, Love and Dr. Martin King, Jr.

Creativity, Love and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by Plish on January 20, 2009
We often think of creativity and innovation in terms of the needs of business.  Yet, in everyday life, people are continually being creative, risking and innovating.  This type of daily creativity, driven directly by the needs of others can result in powerful innovation and the betterment of humankind.
This beautiful story of graciousness is about a man, who upon seeing a guest at his table eating peas with a knife, also eats peas so as not to make the guest feel badly. 
What the man in the story did was more than graciousness, it was  Love - a profound, deep act of love that was willing to break rules of etiquette so that the other person would feel acknowledged, respected…
… loved.
Dr. Martin Luther King (whose birthday we celebrate) once said of this love in his sermon, “Loving Your Enemies,”
“(this deep love) is something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love…”
He uses the word “Creative” and it is fitting. 
There were many ways the man in the story could have taught his family about loving others, about respect, about graciousness, yet in a moment’s twinkling he led by example, in simplicity, by eating his peas with a knife!
Dr. King continued:
“…when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody. Hate at any point is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life.”
 Truly powerful words and they should be taken to heart. 
While Love creates an environment of creativity, hate inhibits creativity because it destroys the core of the human which is called to Love.  A person who is diminished in this way is not operating, creating, innovating from a position of power, but from a position of weakness and frailty - the person is no longer being authentic to the depths of human beauty.
When there is a lack of beauty within, the corresponding lack of an authentic generative creativity leads to a world  devoid of innovation, devoid of graciousness, devoid of justice, devoid of peace, devoid of Love.
So next time you’re struggling, lacking in creativity, try digging deep and seeing everyone, including yourself, through the eyes of Love.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


All artists seek specificity. To be specific one must be awake, alive and available to respond moment to moment to moment. Specificity can only be found in the present moment. - Mary Thoma

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Healthy Actor Tip #5

Acting in Joy - As an actor myself, and one who has worked with and taught actors of all ages for years, I’ve seen a lot of unhealthy approaches to working with actors and a lot of damage done. Actors have a deep desire to give of themselves and share what is most important to them. Acting requires a vital vulnerablity and tremendous courage. Do not settle for less than complete respect and an approach to your work that strengthens and does not abuse your gifts.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Art and Soul of Acting

New to acting or an experienced artist? We are dedicated to the development of impassioned students who seek to possess powerful imaginations, intense intellects, and an open and joyful heart deeply connected to the people and the world around them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Closed doors

Rejection? Standard fare for the working actor. It is crucial that actors learn healthy responses to the pain and self-doubt brought about by Approval's constant twin, Rejection. What tools have you put into place in your life to deal with rejection? What if you could reframe rejection and turn it into powerful fuel to propel you to the next level? The Daily Disciplines of the Healthy Actor will strengthen you in your process and keep you steady on course building skills and a meaningful career while caring well for yourself and others along the way.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ready to take the LEAP?

Dear Actors,

There are lots of things you CAN do as an actor to build your business career and grow as an artist, and I know you know that you must focus on both, each and every day! But do you know what these actor habits are? Do you have a specific PLAN to address all the important areas? Are you running around putting out fires? Wasting energy in the wrong places? Do you know what your strengths and challenges are? Have you set goals? Do you know where your priorities lie?

If not, we are gathering Wednesday , Jan 5 from 7-9 pm in Shreveport at TASA ( The Art and Soul of Acting studio) to assist forward-thinking, dedicated actors to identify their challenges in 2010 and turn them into fuel for 2011. Wouldn't you like to LEAP into 2011 with a doable, specific, exciting and inspiring plan of action tailor- made just for you and your acting career? Would you like to leave with a calendar and a plan of acrtion that you can begin to implement immediately - one that doesn't depend on lots of extra finances? Ready to stop playing around and put yourself in the strongest possible place to go after your dream? Let's do it together!

Ready now? Contact me at

You will leave inspired to push past your current self-imposed limitations while also ready with specific steps you can take daily! ( And guess what? It's really a blast!)

Biggest mistake most actors make? WAITING. Let's get going!

LEAP!! event : $10 for non-studio members and Free to TASA studio members. Happy New Year to us all!

More info or to register? Email mary@marythoma. com or call/text 465-5374! Act now and save your spot!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Healthy Tip # 4 : Care of your instrument

" You are your instrument." This is a simple truth for actors. Don't you want your work to resonate with health and vitality? The healthy actor must focus on much more than good nutrition and exercise. if you would keep your instrument whole and healthy, you must treat yourself with care and respect. You must begin to fully believe that you are a priceless gift. Would you allow someone to leave your priceless Stradivarius violin lying on the floor? You too are worthy of great respect. Actors become so focused on "landing the role" or "booking the job" that they often neglect attending to the needs of their body, mind and spirit. Take time today to consider what your instrument needs to play at it's best.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Heathy Tip # 3

Pay attention to how your mind and body react to your daily tasks. Breathe! Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking can take you out of the present moment.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Healthy Actor Tip #2

Tools for the Healthy Actor: 

Create your Encouragement File
Had this experience lately? You feel great about your audition and walked out feeling powerful only to find out later that you didn't even get a callback? Whether you are new to acting or a veteran in the business, we all have days when disappointment  and discouragement feel overwhelmingly heavy.  In these moments, who hasn't occasionally given in to one or the other extreme reactions: You either immediately begin to tear yourself down and demean your look or abilities, or you rant about those idiot Casting Directors for not seeing you clearly in a role you were born to play! 

 The Encouragement File is an easy solution and a creative tool to remind you of the goodness of you!  It's easy to set up and as it grows, so will it's power to encourage you when you need it most!  What is it? A file to keep any especially meaningful emails, notes, letters, Facebook or Twitter posts, etc from people who matter to you.  Collect these items to remind you of who you are and what you do well.  Sound too simple? You might be surprised. And no, you don't have to tell anyone you are doing this.