Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dan Callaway's May Industry Guest is Joan Ryan

Thoughts from the voice studio of Dan Callaway:
“Take The Hit”

I'm talking specifically about what you do as an actor and singer.

One big reason we go to see theatre and hear people sing is so that we can experience and live the things we are afraid to experience in real life.

Think of your favorite actors and singers...they make you feel something. That's because they are feeling something.

I call it taking the hit, the emotional hit. Being willing to FEEL whatever surprise comes out of telling the story you're telling.

Our favorite performers aren't afraid to take the hit. Or if they are afraid, they take it anyway.

Here's the incredible gift about being a performer. Our feelings, thoughts, and bodies are our tools, so we have to use them to be good at what we do.

Our work nudges us right up against our egos, frozen emotions, and places we don't wanna feel.

The great thing is that our work actually provides a protective zone where feeling these things is safe.

Nobody knows that the pain you are feeling is linked to the childhood abuse you're still ashamed about or the thoughtless thing you said to someone that you wish you could take back.

They just know it's real.

We all have BS detectors.

With feelings, we learn that we're dealing with sensation....and that's all...the heart pounding, palms sweating, limbs shaking that we're defining as a signal that we might die or spontaneously combust....those sensations could be the same response we have riding a roller coaster.

People pay lots of money at Disneyland just to feel those things. We get to feel them for free...and sometimes when we're lucky, we get paid to feel them.

And that's why the audience is there. They're afraid to feel it, so they want you to feel it for them.

That's why what we do is important, and I will even say that it is healing.

If you can be courageous enough to feel in front of people....and help someone else feel something they're afraid to feel, you have helped that person.

That feeling is no longer trapped in their guts or back or wherever it happened to be pushed away. And they will leave the theatre that night that much lighter.

The other benefit of taking the hit in your work is that you grow more willing to take the hit in life.

And there is a gift in that....if you are willing to feel the pain, you are also willing to learn from it, change, and grow....and guess what? That'll make you a much better performer.

See how that works?
See you in class,


Dan’s May Class Welcomes Industry Guest
Joan Ryan

Joan won acclaim for her performance in the LA premiere of the hit musical Ruthless! She has a busy performing and recording career.

She is also a founding partner of the successful voice-over company, Sounds Great, whose credits include Criminal Minds, Smash, White Collar, and both of Steven Spielberg's latest TV projects Touch and Falling Sky.

We'll tag-team coach your songs, and Joan will share her insights on building a diverse, abundant career.

Tuesday Evenings, May 1, 8, 15, 22, from 7-10 pm
Classes will take place at Dan’s studio, the Singing Cottage, 4922 Vineland Ave., NoHo 91601
$300 cash, check, credit card.

Email Dan if you wanna join in at

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