How TKS is staying optimistic, engaged and creative in a time of uncertainty

Mar

21

Compiled with care by TK Staff Emma Welch


 

If we’ve ever crossed paths – as a student, alumni, potential student, vendor, neighbor – we consider you part of the TKS community, and you are our family. Please know that we are thinking of you in this complicated, scary and unpredictable time. We know we will get though this, we just don’t know how or when – yet. In the meantime, we are sharing this list of various resources. We’re sure you have your own. We hope it’s helpful to you in some small way. If you have some good ones, please share as well .

We are fiercely devoted to the power of community and the infinite capacity of Art as a meaningful force for healing and nourishment for all beings.

Some of you may be used to the strange way Terry signs his emails: “Ever yours” …….. this is actually an adaptation of a salutation from the leader of the Ashram in Kerala, India where he has been going for the past 22 years: Anandashram. The actual salutation is: Ever Your Self – which basically means – “we’re all one”, or as Angelyne says: “I am you is we is me”……….

So, we’re all in this together! We are thinking of all of you and sending you strength, compassion and joy. And please……..

WASH YOUR HANDS!

Voice-Class-Paris-Peterson-Alex-Falcao-Terry-Knickerbocker-Studio


 

Read on for our list of resources to keep your BODY, HEART, and ARTIST’S SOUL healthy in this time of uncertainty:


 

FOR YOUR BODY

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It’s important to keep our bodies moving. It keeps us out of our heads and into our hearts and breath, allowing us to find connection and grounding. If you’re used to being active when you’re outside of the house, it can be hard to imagine doing so in your home. But there are many ways to keep your space alive and in motion – here’s some things we’re doing!

Yoga!

-Check out this article for a list of online yoga classes that are FREE and/or donation-based.

-Never forget that Youtube is a boundless resource for routines of every kind. I stumbled upon these gems recently: Facial Expression Exercise, & Pokemon: A Cosmic Kids Yoga Routine

-Call a stretchy friend over Facetime and ask them to walk you through a routine. (Movement folks, remember that yoga-esque warm-up that Nate/Kana/Julia/Mack showed us? I still remember it! I try to do it regularly and it helps me stay *balanced*. Whether you’ve taken class or not, find me on Instagram (@grapeofwrath) and I will happily walk you through this 20 minute full-body routine via video chat. Seriously. I mean it. Message me. Right now!)

At-Home Workouts

-The TKS snack bar is regularly stocked with these delicious Rxbar’s (the one’s that list out the ingredients on the front). Well, the company is streaming live at-home workouts from 3 trainers everyday March 19 to 25. Go check em out!

-Our Industry City Neighbor Fit 2 Box is also going the instagram live route with daily home work outs ! There’s already a few to check out.

-I personally have been subscribed to Madfit on Youtube for several months now on. For someone who is very new to working out, her channel of at-home workouts of all levels and styles is sooooo accessible and helpful. She’s the best!

DANCE, BABY, DANCE

-Now is a great time to cash in on free trails. Steezy offers dance classes in a gazillion popular styles and they’ve got a 7-day free trial

Debbie Allen, a literal legend, hosted an Instagram live dance class this Wednesday. You can catch the whole recap video here.

-Check out the #TKQuarantineChallenge “Kitchen Grooves” on our Instagram to see some of the TK Tribe getting loose with their own solo movement sessions in their kitchens. Give it a try in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, anywhere! 🙂

 


FOR YOUR HEART

A NEW KIND OF “LIVE” PERFORMANCE

As the reality of live performance was brought to a sudden and indeterminable suspension, many artists had their hard work cut short. As the community pauses to grieve and process, we simultaneously seek to innovate and adapt. With a spirit of “the show must go on,” many performers have been finding unique ways to share and spread their work

1. Follow these instagram accounts to show your support & solidarity to these artists, and treat your soul to some incredible, FREE content:

@theatrewithouttheater “A nightly theatrical broadcast aiming to fill the current artistic void at curtain time.” Some of their shared work includes a scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ‘s Nicholas Podany, and a high school production of the award-winning School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

@officialbroadwayworld check out their Living Room Concerts, including intimate moments with performers from Hadestown, Jagged Little Pill, Hello, Dolly, and many more!

@24hourplays Their IGTV series “Viral Monologues” includes new works from a Terry-favorite, Stephen Adly Guirgis, amongst many others. They are freaking hilarious and incredibly inventive.

-Check out this article for more similar ways artists are adapting and using this moment to the fullest.

2. The Rosie O’Donnell Show is coming back this Sunday with a live broadcast featuring dozens of incredible artists performing safely from their homes. The event will promote The Actors Fund.

3. Some more “free trials” to jump on right now:

Marquee TV full productions of award-winning dance, opera, and theater. In response to the pandemic, they have increased their free trial to 30 days!!! 

Broadway HD hundreds of Broadway shows! Get in on their 7-day free trial now!

4. Playbill is doing an interactive screening of the 1965 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on March 20. More info on this delightful thing here.

5. Follow this article for a list of several of theaters who are moving their productions to a virtual landscape.

6. Stay at Home Fest has created a central hub for artists that are streaming their concerts and other events online. Incredible!!! Music, drag, dance parties….so much is listed on their calendar already

7. Join Joe’s Pub at Public Theater for their weekly series of live-streamed performances on their YouTube channel. They are already have an amazing existing archive but are adding even more content!!

8. Not live, but this doc about the remarkable playwright María Irene Fornés was just put up on Vimeo for 2 weeks for free. SUPER cool.

9. ALSO not live, but the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam has several hundred documentaries from all over the world available for free streaming online; they’ve added to the collection of free titles in honor of the pandemic. Heck yeah.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

Now is a perfect time to indulge in your streaming habit. Not only is it a necessary escapism to help us cool down and process, it is also a great study for actors! Personally, my nerdy self keeps a notebook on hand whenever I watch anything. I like to jot down ideas and inspiration; and to notice why a moment worked or didn’t work for me as an audience member, and what the actors are doing to make that happen. Check out Terry’s watchlist…..

T-KNICK’S PICKS:

ON NETFLIX

TV

The Stranger

La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)

I Am Not Okay With This

Mindhunter

Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame)

Bojack Horseman

MOVIES:

The Two Popes

COMEDY:

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

DOCUMENTARY:

American Factory

ON AMAZON PRIME

MOVIES:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (ft TKActor Jonathan Majors!!)

Honey Boy

Midsommar

Late Night

The Report

Lady Bird

Landline

Cold War

TV:

My Greek Odyssey

Hunters

ON HULU

DOCUMENTARY:

Hillary

TV:

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Act

Little Fires Everywhere

High Fidelity

Pen15 (this is Emma’s one and only pick please watch it dear god it’s so good, message me on instagram to talk about it oh gosh I love it so much I could go on for days about how genius it is)

 

WHAT TO LISTEN TO

Some awesome PODCASTS about acting, and art to check out:

Off Book: The Black Theatre Podcast by Broadway Black

“Go into the world of black theatre artists on this weekly podcast with a theatre journalist, an actress, & a playwright. Drew Shade, Amber Iman, & Donja Love are your hosts and they will certainly be Off-Book.”

10,000 No’s with Matthew Del Negro

“Actor Matthew Del Negro (Goliath, Scandal, The West Wing, The Sopranos) describes his career as being told “No” for a living.  Here, he gets up close and personal with top-shelf folks from all walks of life about the 10,000 “No”s they’ve had to endure and the struggles they’ve had to overcome on their journey to where they are today.” Check out the most recent episode “How to Use the Principles of Resilience to Combat the Corona Virus Crisis”. And be sure to listen to Terry’s episode if you haven’t already!

Parsnip Ship 

“A podcast play company that amplifies bold artists for audiences who crave accessible stories and storytellers. Our live events and audio podcasts are eclectic and transformative, creating communities in person and digitally. Through our work, we revolutionize the way you hear theater.”

Up Close and Cultural

“Unscripted, thought provoking conversations about the business, relevance, and sustainability of the arts in the 21st century. Guests will explore challenging issues as well as exciting opportunities for the arts and cultural sector to help address the civic agenda and, in collaboration with other sectors, build a more vibrant and inclusive community. program was founded and is hosted and produced by arts consultant and social justice activist, Rachel DeGuzman.”

Actor CEO Podcast

“Our goal is to understand how an acting career is like running your own business, and using the insights we learn to create our own success” Check out Terry, Pandora Scooter, and Andy Roth‘s episodes !


FOR YOUR ARTIST’S SOUL

Whether you lost your job from a business closure, are fully quarantined as you wait on response from a test, or you find your schedule totally bonkers now that you’re working from home, the fabric of our daily lives has drastically changed in just a couple days. It’s scary, it’s confusing, it’s surreal. But artists are a resilient and adaptable bunch with boundless capacity for empathy and ingenuity. We hope you are finding space, time and energy to fill the artist in you. Here’s a few ideas we’ve come up with to keep yourself artistically active.

10 ARTISTIC SELF-PRACTICES FOR A QUARANTINED WORLD:

1. Play your favorite childhood games. In order to be the best actor you can be, you need to have a sense of play. Terry is a big pioneer of the necessity of JOY in the work. In the Clown workshop at TKS (taught by the INCOMPARABLE Justin Cimino), we focus on re-connecting to our “little one,” our 5 or 6 year old self. One of the exercises is to remember a favorite game from our younger years…and to play it!! Check in with how stiff your “big one” has become and see if you can return to a state of freedom and play. Use your roommates, your friends over video chat, or your own dang imagination! *If you’re game required being outdoors, what was your favorite “rainy day game”?

2. Spend time on your other passions. I, personally, am not just an actor. I am also a musician, a writer, and an aspiring amateur Elvis impersonator. If you’re like me, you may have been putting most of your eggs in the actor basket lately. But if I learned anything from my interdisciplinary education at Bennington College it’s that everything informs everything. What I was struggling with in voice lessons, was also holding me back in my acting and my personal life. So take some of this newly found “time” and dedicate it to your passions and your hobbies. Put them at the top of your priority list. And I guarantee it will shake some things up and turn on some light bulbs in the rest of your life.

3. Practice self-taping efficiency! Make it a challenge. Find five-ten scenes (from movies, plays, backstage submissions) to tape throughout the week. Set a timer and try to beat your record with each new scene. See how quickly you can get into the stakes and the circumstance and deliver a kick-a** tape. Never recorded a self-tape before? Great chance to figure out your home system! Throw a proverbial rock and you’re bound to hit an actor friend who is well-versed in self-taping; reach out to them for tips and tricks.Voice-Over-Class-Andy-Roth-Terry-Knickerbocker-Studio

4. Study animal movement. We’ve all had that moment in acting class where our teacher suggested basing your character work on an animal. Did you ever do it? I *kinda* did. Well, give it a shot now! I don’t need to tell you how great a resource Youtube is for this (I swear to god you can find anything on there). But also check out these livestreams for some animal study. Or my hometown zoo’s facebook page who will be doing daily livestreams <3<3 (you may have heard of our friend Fiona the hippo……)

5. READ PLAYS. Host a virtual play reading group with your friends. Create a cross-apartment virtual “book shelf” of all your different play collections, use the Genius Scan app to easily scan pages and send them around. OR take turns reading to each other! I know I’m going to be working my way through the rest of the Wadsworth Anthology of Drama I bought for Pandora‘s Theater History class. But also, here’s a couple online script libraries we’ve found: Momentum Stage (free!), New Play Exchange ($10/yr for 1,000’s of new plays!). And to top it off, Brooklyn Public Library has a super extensive eBook library, including lots of plays accessible with your library card! Same with New York Public Library. And there’s tons of databases with movie script pdf’s – here‘s one I love.

6. Practice a new dialect! Been in need of some more “special skills” to buff up your resume? Head over to the International Dialects of English Archive, an amazing resource that Matt shared with us in Voice III, where you can listen to amazing recordings of dozens of regional accents. I know I’m going to be perfecting my Minnesota accent for when my friends & I do a virtual read of the Fargo script.

7. Improvise a scene over Facetime. I’m still reeling over this character/scene work that Margaret Qualley & Miranda July did over Instagram last year (honestly, still don’t know what was real and what wasn’t….). Get an actor friend, establish a relationship and a circumstance, then create your own objective for the call. Then call ’em up, and be a “feather to the wind.” You can screen record (iPhone, Android) to watch back and maybe even transcribe the dialogue you found …..

8. “Hang out” with your friends. This is probably the most important artistic self-practice of all. You need to talk, joke, grieve, play, dance with the people you love. As much as you can. And for the ones you don’t live with, there are so many options for group video chats, it’s freaking insane. The delightful Henry Knickerbocker taught me about the app House Party which he’s been using for playdates with his pals (it’s apparently *huge* with the youths). The app notifies you whenever your friends are online (“in the house”) and you can join the room and just hang! Make dinner together, do work together, sit in silence together. It’s great. And don’t forget about Facebook Messenger Video Chats, Instagram Video Chats, Facetime Video Chats.

9. Inhabit your space as someone else. You may be in the middle of scene work or a project, or maybe you have some characters that live inside you on the daily. Try living as them for a little bit of your day. See how they cook, how they brush their teeth, what clothes they’re drawn to in your closet. Do they keep their space organized or scatter things around the room? Find how they are in the quiet moments of life. What do they think about? What do they long for? Pick a simple daily activity to start with, set a timer (so you don’t fall too far down the rabbit hole), and let yourself play and explore.

10. Seek a moment of silence and stillness. Whatever that means to you. Whether you meditate, or not. Try to spend 10 or more minutes in which you do nothing (Movement class folks will recognize that phrase). If you don’t already have a practice in this, see if you can build a habit of doing this once a day. It’s necessary to help us recharge, to let our bodies breath and think, and our minds settle and find ease. If you’re like me, being silent and still is quite terrifying. But when I commit to it, it helps me attune to what I need and what I’m feeling. As you do this, make sure to tell yourself “it’s ok.” Whatever you’re feeling, thinking, needing, “it’s ok.”

 


FOR YOUR LIVELIHOOD

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The full impact of this pandemic is hard to grasp in this moment. We know that this situation will leave a lasting imprint on the fabric of many of our systems and communities, but we don’t know how or what. It’s incredibly important to be practicing radical self-care and empathy at this time. I have been amazed at the outpouring of support, and resources, and ingenuity across the communities I am a part of.

Here is an incredible list of economic, legal, health, and mental health resources being compiled for freelance artists

To add to that incredible list of resources, here’s a few more for therapy. Anyone who’s worked with Terry knows he is a major advocate for actors, and everyone, being in therapy. And in this current moment of uncertainty, having the care you need is super important. Here’s a couple services to help you get started:

Better Help is an entirely online platform that seeks to provide accessible and affordable care. For those seeking help during this unique moment, this is a great place to begin.

My Wellbeing is a free service that matches you with therapists based on your specific needs and questions. It’s where I found my therapist! And they’ve put forth a lot of offerings in relation to the pandemic, including virtual grounding groups. See here.

Lastly, the one thing we always have control over is our own mindset: how we choose to see and relate to our circumstance. My work with Terry and my therapist has revolutionized how I do this in my own life. “You have a say.” This is a phrase I have to repeat to myself, particularly when I find myself overrun by a feeling or a fear. The feeling is real, it should not be ignored, but I have a say in whether I let it rule me, or whether I can remember that I am in the driver’s seat, at all times. Below are some blogs we’ve come across that talk about how to maintain a clear mind in spite of the news and the overarching sense of “panic”:

“Calm also has a coefficient.”

-“Coronavirus is serious, but panic is optional.”

 


Thank you for your time in taking in these resources. We hope they are helpful. We hope you share them to the rest of your communities.

This list is simply what we have pulled together over the last few days. But there are so many new resources popping up everyday, and many more we’re not even aware of. Please share what you’ve come across, what you’re thinking about, what you’re looking for. Let us continue to build and communicate and support one another. Please send those recommendations to our Facebook Page, Twitter, or Instagram.

We are so grateful to you, our incredible community, and excited to see how we can continue to lift up and care for each other.

Ever yours,

TKS

 

 

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