Terry Knickerbocker on ‘Why I’ll Never Make it’

Patrick:

Hello, I’m Patrick Oliver Jones, actor, singer, and host of “Why I’ll Never Make It”, or WINMI for short, which is one of Feedspots, top 25 theater podcasts. Here, I talk with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in the performing arts. The website is whyillnevermakeit.com. There you can sign up for the monthly newsletter. You can find out how to support this podcast and get members only episodes. And you’ll also find special offers and resources to help you and your artistic career, all that, and more at whyillnevermakeit.com

 

Ever since I became the sole host and producer of this podcast, I have wanted to have an acting teacher as a guest. Well, it certainly took me long enough, but that episode is finally here. Terry Knickerbocker has been guiding students for almost 30 years. Having trained and taught with William Esper, who was one of the most respected proteges of Sanford Meisner. So Terry is part of a direct lineage of Meisner and his brilliant approach to actor training. Each month I present and highlight a specific artist resource here on the podcast. You can find a full list of them at resources.whyillnevermakeit.com. And the Terry Knickerbocker Studio is this month’s featured resource. Now I will be perfectly honest with you that until the studio reached out to me about collaborating together, I had never actually heard of Terry, but by the time our conversation was over, I knew that this is a man I wanted to study with.

 

And my feeling is that after today’s episode, you may feel the same way. His studio has four primary objectives when it comes to their actor training and Terry and I will be touching on these topics throughout today’s episode. Number one, to provide students with tools and a process for creating authentic, imaginative acting. Number two, to cultivate uncompromising standards of craftsmanship and artistry. Number three, to empower students to embrace the full range of their unique humanity. And finally, number four, to support students with the entrepreneurial skills needed to be a successful working actor. That’s right. Cause it’s, as I mentioned, it’s not just the artistic side. It’s that commercial marketing business side that is just as important. However, in our conversation, we do find some disagreement, especially when it comes to the rule of many schools and studios that acting students stop auditioning while training. Now you can decide for yourself which side of the argument you agree with, but our wide ranging discussion starts with a fundamental shift that has happened across the country. And that is the growth and necessity of online teaching and training. But acting is such a physical and expressive exercise. So what can be gained from staring at a computer screen and being alone in your own room? Well, at first, Terry had his doubts as well about it, but he shares some important lessons he learned during this past year.

Patrick

All right. Well, Terry, thank you so much for joining the podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Terry

Thank you so much, Patrick. And it’s nice to be here with you.

Patrick

Having an acting teacher is very interesting, especially now over the past year, because a lot of actors where we haven’t been acting very much, at least professionally, it’s mostly been either classes over zoom or just our own self-study. And so for, for you as an acting teacher, what has this year meant to you and your students?

Terry:

You know, our last in-person class was that last Friday, March 12th or March 13th. And then that was the week that Broadway shut down. That was the week that sports shut down, a week or two later, New York city public schools shut down, restaurants, et cetera. And I was petrified, frankly, because I was a disbeliever that this could go online. I had taught at NYU for decades. And I had heard that they had sort of come down from on high and said, well, we’re going to be online for a week, that was the timeframe when we thought this was a two-week thing. Yeah. Yeah. And I was so mad because I was frightened because they’re like, you cannot teach acting online. You can teach history online, you can do an English lecture, but anything that is embodied, like what we do a voice class, a movement class at ballet class, a class that that has to do with two bodies in the same space and the possibility of touch.

 

And I was terrified. I was, they’re like, okay, well, you know, we’re going to close. The studio is going to go out of business. And my family and I are going to be out on the street. I mean, I was really in that mindset, and I wandered over to NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing, where I went and, and where I taught for so many years and found my former boss, there’s a wonderful teacher named Rosemary Quinn. And she was the only one there. I mean, the place was like a ghost town. And she was so jolly. And I found that early because I was mad, scared. And we bumped elbows and, and she said, “Well basically NYU said either do it or you’re fired. Like there wasn’t a choice. That’s motivation. And so I passed that onto the faculty and one teacher quit who was sort of an old timer.”

 

And she said, “But you know who better to figure this out than us because improvisation is at the soul of what we do. And this is literally calling for us to figure it out in the moment.” And I left going, okay, I don’t know how we’re going to do that. But I like that attitude. And I had recently been invited to join a wonderful organization, used to be called the Actor’s Center. Now it’s called the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. And it’s an elite group of acting teachers from across the country. And we had a zoom call that Saturday with like 70 acting teachers from Utah, California, Texas, Washington, and all over. And, and we were all scared and trying to figure it out and what it came down to first of all, was that this is going to build resilience and resilience is a very important, I mean, the name of your podcast, “Why I’ll Never Make It.”

 

I mean, that’s a kind of an ironic title, but we face failure all the time. And if you don’t have as an actor, I think you need the soul of a butterfly, but the hide of an Armadillo. You need to be completely able to fall apart. And then when you, you know, there’s that a lot of people do this now when they have an audition, they just rip up the sides and move on because whatever happens is going to happen. I did it and we’ll see what it happens. And because the odds are you’re not going to get it. So, you know, this is this. If we can get people engaged in training in this time, it’s a great time to train because what are you going to do? Sit around watching Netflix for the next, however long.

 

But we were still doubtful and a wonderful teacher from Columbia grad named Peter J. Fernandez was, this was sharing my thoughts, which was, this will never work. Maybe we can do table work on some scenes, but the actual blocking of a scene, the living out of it in, in the fullest possible sense, no way. And he was having an argument with a wonderful teacher from Ithaca College who was saying, “Yeah, but Peter, you know, I dated my husband in Cameroon on Skype for two years. And when I would say, sweetheart, and I reached through to my camera and said, I’m going to hold your face right now, before I say, good night, that transmitted. Wasn’t just this digital thing that was happening. There was a feeling that happened and a connection that is intimate. I see.”

 

And he was saying, “No, no, no.” And she was saying, “Yes, yes, yes.” And 68 of us are watching this scene. And all of a sudden it kind of went, Oh, light bulb is working. It’s happening right now among us. It’s actually working, it’s working from moment to moment and that was okay. Gave me hope. And then I called a friend of mine because my students were starting to get in touch. We were on spring break and they were saying, “We don’t think this is going to work. Many of them had gotten together and written me emails saying, can we pause? Can we take a month off? Can we take however long, this will be, can we just stay at the table and not do the, you know, the blocking stuff? Cause we don’t like there was so much fear. Yeah. And anger.

 

And a lot of had left town because they pay for classes out of there bartending money, restaurant, money, babysitting money. And there was no restaurant bartending or babysitting and they’d gone home to California or wherever given up their apartments, gone home to Minneapolis. And so this friend said, “I think you can do this because of two things, one, it will be meaningful for people to do what has meaning for them and acting has meaning for them and training as meaningful to them. And two, it will be meaningful, for them to be in community because we’re in this isolated thing where everyone’s in their apartment and they’re afraid to go out.” I mean, I was afraid to go to the supermarket at that point. It was a very terrifying time. And this person said, “Everybody, don’t send them an email, call every one of your students and listen to them and tell them that you’re going to give this a try.”

 

And that proved to be the thing that worked. And this person was absolutely right, that the need to be doing something meaningful and the need to be in community at a time when we were so isolated and so frightened, and hearing from me personally, and making space for them to share all their concerns and worries and whatever. And we lost one student and that one student was a mom with three kids. One of whom had special needs and she couldn’t go to the bathroom by herself. There was no way she could do acting class. And they were still doubtful that first class back, you know, on zoom that was not, a Fun Fest. That was making space for people to just share and see where that we didn’t do a lot of acting. We just got into it a little bit at the end of class and then things started to happen.

 

You know, the tagline of my studio is Training the Passionate Actor Committed to Excellence. So I said, “Look, that’s, that’s my brand. So if this won’t be excellent, if this zoom thing sucks, we’ll pull the plug, let’s try it for a week.” And now it’s been a year and a couple of weeks. And we had a zoom graduation which was weird, but fun and nice. And we’ve had a lot of events like readings and actor talks. And we’ve really because one of the things that makes my studio very special to me and to the students and alumni is a true sense of community that we emphasize and that we have, and somehow, we’ve managed to continue. It’s not the same. It’s not like you run into people on the subway, in the coffee shop, walking down the hall, eating a sandwich while you’re between classes.

 

We don’t have those accidental social meetings, but there’s still some sense of community. So it’s been very useful. Some things aren’t so satisfying, you know, kissing, dancing, shoving, embracing don’t happen quite as, richly on zoom as they would in person for sure. But a lot of it happens and I don’t know why I didn’t know that it would because I’ve been coaching. The other thing I do besides teaching Meisner is I coach a lot of professional actors and I’ve been coaching actors online for like 15 years. I mean, I do it in person when I can, but like I did every episode that Emmy Rossum did on Shameless from California, because that’s where she was filming. So every Sunday we’d have a Skype call and do the script. And so that worked. So there was a strong possibility that this could work. Yeah.

Patrick

I imagine with it just being zoom in there, being that distance, then you really get to focus on the dialogue. You were able to kind of mine the physical-ness of it, but I guess you really get to focus on the words, the dialogue, the, the vocal expression. Do you still try to embody all of the physical movement with it.

Terry

100%. It has to be embodied actually. And then that’s something I had to push again sometimes because the typical zoom is I’m sitting at my desk, right? So most people are going to be sitting for zoom. But like when we knock on the door, we have to adjust the camera so that they can be standing sometimes for a long time. And like, if you know, the Meisner work we do all of these activities. So one of the things, Meisner actors that drives them crazy and makes them better actors is they have to come up with all these so-called independent activities. Like I’m fixing a plate because I can sell it to this pawn shop. And then I can go get tickets to Hamilton or whatever. And so we got to have the camera so it’s catching you and your desk fixing the plate. And what we do is everyone else turns their cameras off. So we’re just seeing the two people who are working and everyone’s watching that. But no, it’s all about the body as well. And sometimes I have to, you know, they’ll come in and they’ll say, “No, no stand, let’s get that going.” And certainly from movement and voice, you know, they’re doing that as an embodied practice and, and lying on the floor or standing. So it’s trickier.

Patrick

Yeah. That’s actually one thing that I wanted to get into is that self-tapes, and these zoom interviews, these zoom auditions are, are really the norm now. And they probably will be going forward even after the pandemic. So how does a theater actor who’s used to those in-person auditions and that face-to-face how, what does that adjustment that theater actors need to make to now audition in front of a camera?

Terry

Well, have you done any Patrick, have you, have you had the opportunity to do any?

Patrick

Self-tapes, I’ve done plenty of those, but as far as the actual zoom audition, I’ve done a couple of those.

Terry

Well, if it’s a zoom thing and it’s happening live, you know, auditions are so nerve wracking for actors, but if you can switch your mindset to know, as someone who was a professional director before I started teaching, all I want, if I’m directing a show or if I’m a casting director is for you to be the right one. I’m there praying, “Be the one!” I’m not there like, “Okay, let’s see what you got.” I’m there, like, “Please be the one to make my job easy.” Right. So first of all, they might be cynical, but basically, they’re hoping that you’re going to do a great job, so that energy’s in the room. Like, let’s see what you got and, plus it’s a hard time. So thank you for acting and thank you for showing up with your songs and what you got and, and, they know what they’re looking for, and if you’re prepared, they’re going to see something, you know, and they’ll tell you how to frame it.

 

You know, you can say, “So you want me to, so a medium shot, do you want to close up? Do you want me standing so you can see what I’m doing?” And if there’s a reader there, they’re there for you too. Sometimes readers can be a little bit stiff, but if you’re really ready and you’re off book, especially. Because the thing that’s so interesting, (like I keep looking at you, but that’s not the way to do zoom the actual way to do zoom). If you’re an actor, the way is to look at the green light and listen because they want to see your eyes. And so I should actually move this down a little bit and not look at you and look at this, and then they’re going to see more of me.

 

So, there are a couple of tricks, but I think it’s the same. It’s just what’s happening. And, you know, I think self-tapes give you an enormous amount of control. You know, you don’t like what you did do it again, believe me, do it 30 times, but that’s really cool instead of going into someone’s office and waiting a long time, and then they’re running late and then you don’t do it right. And then on your way home, you’re going, “Ah, woulda coulda shoulda. I wish.” You know, like you actually have some control to put out what you like, and if you get it there early enough, sometimes you get feedback and you can do it again. If you’re working with an agent and you get it, if you turn it around relatively quickly, some places, depending on how significant the role is, have definitely said to people I work with, “Can you make them a little nicer? This was a little too edgy or, do it fast,” you know, like an actual adjustment. That’s not happening in real time, the way it would in a casting office. But sort of “Okay. Send in another self-tape.” So I think it’s all good. And I think those casting agents are gonna love it because they don’t need to rent space.

Patrick

Right? Yeah. From, from their end, it’s certainly been somewhat easier because they, they can do it from home that they can probably do more auditions in a day, you know, and do it quicker,

Terry

Even, even with regional theater, like if it was Dallas Theater Center and they weren’t going to send someone to New York, you’d also send in a tape sometimes, or have a zoom audition for like regional theaters. So it doesn’t feel like the biggest adjustment just feels sort of like the direction things were going. It just got sped up, by the virus.

Patrick

Yeah. Cause I’ve certainly been on one job on location there, you know, in another city and then recording a self-tape for hopefully the next job, you know? So I’ve definitely been doing that for a few years now. But I guess for me, the biggest adjustment has been a distraction. It provides a distraction from the acting because there’s the question about the lighting, right. Is the sound right? Am I framed up correctly? If I’m like this and I’m looking at myself and I’m trying to, and then the, you know, the reader has to be so far from the camera so that I’m more heard. You know, there’s all these technical things that then they become so far removed from the actual acting.

Terry

Yeah. You have to be your own director, producer and editor, and you have to invest some money in like a backdrop and a ring light. And I don’t know what a Yeti mic costs or whatever. That’s true. You’re right about that. I haven’t thought of this before, but you’re making me think that I wonder if these people are distracted by production values. Like if they, it, somehow unconsciously makes them like your work more or less, if you’re, if your background’s cleaner or if your mic is better, they’re not even looking at the acting as much as I was thinking, “Oh, that’s a very clean take,” you know? Yeah, that’s distracting, you’re right about that.

Patrick:

Yeah, I saw a, I think this video went viral. It was either on Instagram or Twitter, but of an actor who was doing an audition and the casting director who I think didn’t realize he was off of mute, was talking about “Why is there so much in the background?” And the thing is, it wasn’t a crazy thing. It was basically someone’s living room. There was a fireplace, you know, some mirrors, but it was just a regular room, but he was like, “Oh, why don’t these actors get a white wall? Is the white wall so hard to find?” He was basically just going off and the actor went “Well, I’m at my parents’ house. So this is the best I can, you know.”

Terry

That actor turned that into a public relations coup because it went viral. The director had to out himself. I know that actor, I coached him on this series that Emmy Rossum is doing “Evangelyne” that got halted in LA due to the virus, but it’s going to come back. And he was very strategic with that. That was a little gift to him, I would say, but embarrassing for the director.

Patrick

Yes. Yes. Because ultimately, like the crazy thing was that it was a fine background. It just wasn’t a blanket at all, but yeah. So hopefully, especially theater, casting directors who, aren’t so much, you know, caring about what it looks like on film per se, that they’re looking more at the actual actor

Terry

Yeah, I hope so.

Patrick

Now I was, listening to a podcast that has Terry Teachout, who is a, a theater critic here in New York. And he was talking about these zoom performances, which is probably obviously become much more prevalent. And he was talking specifically about comedy and how he noticed that comedic plays, comedic presentations, are very hard to do over zoom because there’s not the audience interaction. There’s not the laughter. You’re also not there with the person doing the slapstick or whatever the comedy may be and that the comedy gets lost in it. Would you tend to agree with that what’s your thought about how to overcome that?

Terry

Oh, you know, I think about that all the time, because when you do scene work in class, I tell my students, “Look, it’s not church, so you don’t have to be absolutely silent like you do for like a Keith Jarrett piano concert, where if you cough, he gets up and leaves the stage,” you know, “But you’re also not civilians. So you have to kind of at least tone it down a little bit so that your reactions aren’t disruptive to the people who are working, because you’re not an audience, you’re fellow technicians, watching some other artists work on their craft.” But nonetheless, when moments are great, you feel that gas, you hear that laugh when, when like you’re doing a farce, you know, and, and it’s fantastic. And I’m often wishing that my students who are watching other actors work and their cameras are off, would have their mics on so that we could hear the laughter and stuff.

 

And, and I haven’t tried doing that, but, uh, I think Terry Teachout is 100% correct. It’s very hard cause as you know, you can’t just plow through, and you time applause, if it’s a song, you’re kind of riding that wave. And if you don’t know that, I mean, I can’t imagine stand up. You have no idea if the jokes are landing. So that’s tricky. I agree. But the acting, the quality of the acting and the choices you make as actors to do the work in a comedy would be the same. It’s just, you’re not getting that wonderful feedback that each night’s different audience gives you. And that’s the thing that actors would go backstage and say, “The audience tonight, isn’t quite with us,” or “Last night’s audience, they loved it. I don’t know, my jokes are falling flat.” You have no idea. So all you can do is just commit to the truth of what you’re doing and hopefully be in contact with the other actor and, and that’ll still make something happen.

Patrick

Now we’ve been talking about a very specific hurdle. That’s, you know, kind of specific to zoom and you know what we’re going through in the pandemic, but overall in your teaching, as, as well as directing, what have you found to be actors’ biggest hurdle? What do you normally have to kind of either strip away, get out of an actor or build them up in some way.

 

Terry

These are great questions, Patrick. Well, you know, Uta Haagen who was a great teacher and co-founded HP Studios over in the West village with her husband, Herbert Berghof, and wrote a great book that if your listeners don’t know, they should go get fast, called Respect for Acting, and watch her teach on YouTube. Cause she was, she was a marvel, and she was also a great actress. She said she could teach acting in six months, but it took her two to three years because actors get in their own way.

Patrick

That is very true.

Terry

You know, I mean, look, I’ve thought a lot about this. There’s two things that happen in an acting class. You acquire skills, through whatever method could be Strasberg, Stella Adler, Meisner, Grotowski, all those approaches, Uta Haagen, hopefully lead to the same mountaintop, which is really good acting. Consistently reliable, believable, authentic, imaginative, truthful acting. I mean, that’s the goal–to really tell the story and tell it well in a believable way and in an artistic way. So you’re giving them skills for how to do that. Whatever the approach is, they have their own set of tools and a way of working a process. One: what do I do when I get a script? What’s my way in. And what are the questions that I ask myself to start? I mean, basically actors are makers. They make behavior, right? So dancers make dances, actors make behavior.

 

So how am I going to turn this script, that’s over here, into something that feels like it was mine from the start, like a custom suit. Like I was born to play this part. Like it was written for me, you know. So skills, but there’s also a bunch of unlearning because it’s the child in you, the free child in you. I believe that makes the work right. That child, that didn’t care, that child that laughed and cried and got mad spontaneously without a sense of, “Oh, that’s not right to do.” And of course, as we all grow up, everyone, no matter what kind of parents and upbringing you had, everyone develops defenses because we need defenses to be on the subway, to be on the street, to be in the neighborhood, to be in schools where kids can be so cruel. To be with our parents who have inherited something from, you know, there’s a lineage there. So, if your parents said, “No, there’s no crying, don’t cry.” And now that kid has a profound choice. Do I keep myself and lose my parent or keep my parent and lose myself. Everybody keeps the parent, even if it’s a bad parent,

Patrick

I mean the same happens in relationship. I was married previously, and I know that in order to placate her, I would say, “Yes, yes.” I would say, “Oh no, no, no, you do what you want,” you know, I was constantly trying to just keep the relationship going, keep her happy. And so I did, we lose ourselves sometimes in relationship

Terry

And avoiding the truth of the conflict, which actually is not a bad thing, if it’s handled with love and some sense of mutuality and empathy, right? You can’t love someone if you can’t also hate them. That’s not a real relationship. But a lot of people don’t learn that. And so, there’s a big un-learning process and everybody has blind spots. If you think of your actor’s instrument as a keyboard, you want all the keys to sound. Just like, you can’t say you’re a musician and you play the trumpet, but you don’t play F sharp. So you can’t put on your resume. I don’t get angry. I don’t cry. I don’t beg. You can’t bring the work’s possibilities down to the way you’ve arranged to live your life and live it safely. And human beings, just from an evolutionary point of view, we don’t want to change because that’s what makes danger.

 

If caveman always takes the right fork of the road to go down to get water, he does that because he knows there are no saber tooth tigers. I don’t know what’s on the left side. That would be a change. And yet paradoxically life is all about change because we’re all headed to the grave. And so an educational process of any kind implies change. I don’t go to a school to come out the same as I came in. I go into a school to come out different. And part of coming out different when it comes to acting, not just learning how to take a script is to have a bigger set of possibilities. Hopefully the fullest set of possibilities in my instrument. That meets with resistance, right? And so that’s every actor. Every actor has some blind spot and you can see them come up to the edge, right? It’s like weightlifting, right? Like, okay, today I can bench press 30 pounds. Okay, that’s my edge. But if I am consistent with that and the little micro tears in the muscles happen, then maybe the next I can do more reps or add weight and keep growing and expanding and doing things.

Patrick

I assume as easy as actors are trying to make it seem like they’re giving, you’re recognizing those invisible walls that take them up to a certain part. And they just aren’t going any further

Terry

100%. And everybody knows in an acting class, the ghost in the room, the elephant in the room is: what if I don’t make it right? Because that’s the odds you look at, you know, if you take SAG membership and you look at what percentage made less than $40,000 last year, it’s a high percentage. Right? And that’s why when kids go to NYU nowadays, much more than 20 years ago, because NYU is 75 grand or more, parents are, they’re like, “Um, can you get us a double major? Can you do a pre-med pre-business right?” Because what’s implied in that this isn’t going to work out and actors that the artists, I would say, not just actors, but they are the only people who, as grown-ups’ friends who run into them after many years say, “Oh, hi, are you still acting?” Do you say that to dentists? Do you say, are you still a dentist? Right. But there’s this kind of insulting idea that comes with the idea of fear. That’s like, that didn’t work out. Did it? Well, you tried, right?

Patrick:

Because I’m not seeing you do it then obviously, you’re not making it. You’re not doing well. Right,

Terry:

Right, right, right. Yes, that’s right. Yeah. My girlfriend’s father, when I was going to act in school, said “So what am I going to see when a show?” You know, and like the sense that you have to like validate yourself for others because they’re anxious and they’re frightened. So it takes such courage to be an artist and to have the dignity of that and not to really be controlled by the fears of your families and the fears of your friends and the judgments of people in general, because we don’t value art in this culture. We value sports and business and stuff like that, you know? So it’s really hard and people, some actors, you gotta want to do this. You got to really want to do it so bad that you’re willing to come up to those edges. And some actors really tackle them with bravery and heart, and I’m moved so much by seeing them have those breakthroughs.

Terry

And then it’s heartbreaking when you see an actor who just kind of refuses and they let the anxiety and the fear and the resistance win. Because you’re going to be scared, it’s, you know, opening night on Broadway. It’s scary. If you’re the lead, it’s scary. First shot in a major feature film and you’re opposite Frances McDormand, I’d be scared. What if I blow it? Right? But hopefully the excitement and the adrenaline and the love of this art form and the craft is what carries the day. It’s okay to be scared. You just take that fear by the hand and take a step. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. It’s just acknowledging the fear and taking a step anyway. And that’s what I really, really, really try to invite students to do. But as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. But you know, peer pressure works too.

Speaker 4:

In a class, that’s doing it. Yeah.

Terry

Like if they go through the door and most people are going through the door, I want to do what most people are doing. Okay. I’ll take a chance. And you just pray that you have a majority of people that you’ve really curated a class of go getters so that the stragglers come along, you pray for that.

Patrick

And speaking of stragglers didn’t you mentioned that you’ve taught big names, Emmy Rossum, Sam Rockwell, Yul Vasquez. And most of your students though, aren’t going to be that. They aren’t going to achieve those kinds of accolades. So in what ways do you, I’m sure your teaching is the same, but the results are going to be vastly different for each and every student. Do you address that as you’re teaching acting, as they go out into the world and realize that that small percentage are even going to achieve such fame and the rest? Why?

Terry

I like to think that way. First of all, I think that’s a limiting way to think. I think first of all, fame is not a gauge of quality, there all these, like we always read about, Oh, here’s a movie from the seventies that no one ever knew about, but it was a gem or, you know, the fact that Van Gogh sold two paintings in his lifetime that that’s the marketplace speaking, but that’s not talking about his art. And of course, you know, when I meet an actor, I always say, “What are your goals?” And the goal that interests me is not fame. If your goal is to be famous and make money, go into tech, that’s a way, you know. If you want to market yourself, I mean, they’re now casting people based on how many Instagram followers they have.

 

So, if that’s your goal, go pay for that and don’t come because you won’t be happy in my class. My class, and what I’m interested in, is quality. I want to work with people who want to be the best actors they can be. And the hidden part of that equation is that quality leads to success. You look all these people, everybody who’s a backer, (unless you’re going to be making your own work in your own loft and you’re not getting into the system), you’re going to be part of a system, which is, you have to do film and television. If you’re an actor, for the most part, even though theater’s where it’s at for me, Theatre is where the true, the best actors come from the theater and spend time in the theater. And that’s why Sam Rockwell will come back and do a Broadway show.

 

He was just about to open American Buffalo when the pandemic hit with Lawrence Fishburne and Darren Criss, and that’s going to come back hopefully next year. Meryl Streep doing Shakespeare in the Park and like Denzel doing Iceman Cometh on Broadway or Fences. The best actors, the best film and TV actors, Frances McDormand, doing the Scottish play, like the best film and TV actors come from the theater. But the theater pays you and hugs, right? You know, I mean, it’s nice. That feels good. But like, if you’d like to, you know, maybe I don’t know what, like, uh, live in a better part of town, or I don’t know, send your kid to private school or whatever, you know, maybe buy a nice rug. It’s tough because Broadway is where the biggest salaries and most shows on Broadway are musicals.

 

So if you’re a serious stage actor and you don’t sing and dance, your chances of making a decent living as an actor in 2021 only in theater are rare, right? I mean, years ago when you went to drama school, the goal was to join a regional theater, to go to Arena stage, to go to the Alley Theater, to go to Seattle Rep. And you’d be part of a company be paid a year on salary, do six shows a year that were built around the company. And that would be a life that would be great. And then maybe you do film and TV on your off time, you know, but nowadays that’s not how it works. And so you have to do film and television. Now who’s paying for film, and with even Broadway, who’s paying? I mean, the Schuberts and the Nederlanders, they’re just there to make money.

 

And they’re going to open and close a show based on what the New York Times says, and who’s buying tickets, right. And Netflix and HBO and Showtime and Hulu and all those people they’re looking at bottom line. Right? So it makes sense for them. You know, Manke has 10 Academy award nominations for Netflix. That’s them saying, “Okay, guys, Netflix is here and we’re competing with the studios,” which they’ve already been doing the last couple of years, they’re in the conversation. So what does Netflix need? They need the very best people. So if you focus on quality, you’re gonna win. Whether you become a movie star and have everyone following around asking for autographs, that’s a lot about taste in the marketplace. But you can have a very excellent career, if you focus on your own excellence, Sam and Emmy are great examples.

 

They have a sparkle. They’re great. It took Sam 30 years to get where he is right now. And he’s been, you know, building it steadily. It didn’t happen overnight. But like Timothee Chalamet, it happened overnight kind of, you know, and like, he’s huge right there. Plenty of actors, with all due respect to Tim Chalamet, who are just as good as him, if not better, and don’t make a 10th of what he makes. Right. But they will work because you want them in your movies. I find the industry not to be particularly imaginative. So like when James Gandolfini finished seven years on the Sopranos, of course, every script he got after that was for gangsters. Cause that’s all Hollywood could think about. And so to his credit, he said, no, and that’s the biggest, I think power you have as an actor is to say no, and not to come from this place of fear of like, “Oh, I better take the job because if I don’t, there might not be another one,” which is a typical actor mindset, and say, “No, that job’s not right for me. There’s a better one coming” and believe in yourself and cultivate relationships and it will happen.

Patrick

Yeah. I think that was, that was definitely for me, one of the hardest decisions or points in my career that I came to is realizing that sometimes I need to say no, that it’s like, I want this particular type of role or I’m shooting for this particular type of career. And this would be a diversion. And I need to say no to this because I want to keep my focus here. And that’s tough because you don’t want to close off any doors of possible employment, but do I want to enjoy this career or do I just want to have a career?

Terry

That’s right. So I don’t think about who’s going to make it. Who’s not going to make it. I think if you need to do this, if this is what you need to do, you know, they always said, if there’s anything you can do besides acting, then go do it because it will break your heart otherwise. But if you need to do this and nothing else makes you happy, then focus on being the best you can be. That’s a lot of different things. That’s voice classes, that’s movement classes that dialect classes, that’s acting classes, that’s therapy. That’s going to museums. That’s people watching that, seeing stuff, right? It’s a full-time job to live the life of an artist, but most really good actors are obsessed. And those people they’re going to have a great life.

Patrick

And yet, even though there needs to be that focus that drive on acting and have be passionate about it, regardless of the no’s that come your way, there still needs to be an outside life. There needs to be other personal experiences. How important, or how do you incorporate, those personal experiences into these make-believe worlds of acting?

Terry

Well, I mean, you can only act what you understand. So the more life experience you have, the more you have to bring to the table, right? So travel’s important. Falling in love is important. Getting your heart. If you’re a person who likes to fall in love, getting your heart broken is important. You know, like having a hobby is cool, definitely using your body some way every day is really important. Having friends that you connect to, it’s really important to have a full life.

 

Patrick

Friends outside the business, especially.

 

Terry

Yes, definitely. If they can tolerate you.

Patrick

Yeah. We, actors can be a lot to put up with. And, and you as an acting teacher, I’m sure you you’ve met your fair share in your studio and your teaching has been around for decades.

Terry

Yeah. The studio started in 2015. I was teaching at the Esper Studio for many years. And also at NYU.

Patrick

What made you decide or what made you think with all the acting studios? There are New York. Terry needs another one

Terry

If I knew what I know now, it’s not like New York was going, “You know, we need more than anything else? We need another acting studio.” You know, I mean, if I’d done any market research whatsoever, I would have run for the Hills, you know, the Esper Studio is a world-class studio. I had a great deal there. I was a happy member of the faculty there for decades, but it was Bill’s studio. It wasn’t my studio. And A:  I don’t think I work very well for other people. I like to do things on my own. And I like to it’s like I bought a house in 2006 in Brooklyn and I love owning a house more than like owning like a condo or a co-op. And some people would say, Oh my God, no, like if you get a leaky roof, they take care of it.

Terry

I’m there. Like I kinda wanted to decide all that stuff I want, you know. And so I wanted to decide curriculum. There were classes that I believe were really valuable for actor training or that interested me, but it was Bill’s studio. So if it didn’t interest him, it wasn’t going to happen and that’s as it should be. Right. And, and so I needed to go from being a soldier to being a general. And I like building things. I like making things. That’s why I switched from being an actor to being a director because I wanted to control everything when I was an actor. If you and I were in a scene, I’d be there like, “You know, I think I want to change his costume and that, that moment of blah.” And you know, that’s a total no-no–you never tell an actor what to wear, what to do, how to say it, you know, that’s just horrible.

 

So, when I became a director, it was like, “Ooh, I’m in charge now,” but, not really because you’re collaborating, but you get to influence it. And so I really, for years was kind of chomping at the bit to see could I make something? And it’s a totally scary thing. It was the scariest thing I ever did in my life because everything was riding on it. I mean, I had a house that means I had a mortgage. NYU was not a very big part of my overall pay. Most of my pay came from teaching at the Esper studio. So when I left, it was like, you know, free fall. And if it didn’t work, it wasn’t going to work. And so I just really thought very intentionally about it, but I really wanted to try. And I had luckily the support of a very loving wife and some former students who believed in what I was doing and it’s working out because I think there’s room there’s room for all of us. It’s not a competition.

Patrick

Yeah. Is there a bit of pride that comes with that? It’s like, “I want to do it my way, because I think that this is a better approach or this is, another way to go about it.” Or is it more just that as you were talking about, you just wanted more of the control of the studio.

Terry

It’s like when you play a part, when you play a part someone else’s played. You know, when Phillip Seymour Hoffman decided to do Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, I mean, what a bold thing to do. But the artist in him said, “I have something to say about that role that of course is going to honor Arthur Miller. I’m not going to make him, you know, Truman Capote. It’s going to be Willy Loman. But I also have an idea that is my own idea about it.” Why does a pianist play the Goldberg variations? Glenn Goldberg did it, but it’s because you feel like you have something to say. So, it wasn’t just– I wanted to be in control. You know, it was that I felt like there was a kind of acting studio that I wanted to create. And I don’t think I even knew quite what it would be, but I think it had to do with, I don’t know the word, curated and the word boutique kind of come to mind.

 

I didn’t want to make it the biggest studio in town. Like if you want to make money as an acting school, the main market to do that is beginner’s workshops. So that people, you know, who work on Madison Avenue who have a bucket list, they want to be an actor, come, and take a four-week workshop, get your feet wet, we’ll do a little acting. That didn’t interest me at all. Right. So, I didn’t do it for the money. I did it so that I could really cultivate a small group, of really dialed-in actors who were “all in”, like Navy training, and do it joyously, people who are really absolutely committed. So we make it hard to come here. Like some acting studios, you can just sort of sign up online. Like you have to apply, you have to write an essay, you have to have an interview with the person who is my manager, and you have to read a book. And then after you’ve done that, you have to come and meet me. And like, I’m basically saying, okay, I’m going to try and talk you out of coming here. Right.

Patrick

I’m sure that weeds out a lot of potential students. Yeah,

Terry

Absolutely. It weeds out a lot of potential students, but then they’re not going to be your scene partner. If you’re someone who really cares, because nothing feels worse than an acting class, then having another person who doesn’t work because it’s collaborative. And if I’ve got a scene partner who’s late for rehearsals who doesn’t know their lines, who doesn’t care as much as I do, I’m disappointed. You know, LeBron James wants to play against great players. That’s what brings out his best game. And if you’re an actor, you know, I’m starting to work with a very famous A-list actor who I can’t talk about it yet. So I’ll just leave it tantalizing like that. But they did a movie and there were about six other A-List actors in the movie. That’s the point. And so now they’re doing a sequel to that movie and it’s going to be a whole new crop of A-listers. I have to say, that’s what I want. I want to be in the room with all those great people. That’s what gets my juices flowing. So I wanted to curate a school would attract that kind of passion and desire and real commitment to excellence. That that’s what interests me is how to be the very best you can be. Not better than someone else just right. Your DNA—you. What’s the best expression of that? How do we get that to happen?

Patrick

And what does that feel like for you when you have students that either have a big break, or maybe it’s just a scene, a breakthrough in a scene, what do you go through as actors start to rise up in their own skills and careers?

Terry

You know, pride is one of the seven deadly sins. So it’s an interesting thing because it suggests taking credit. I feel like a midwife a little bit. And I’m so pleased and excited for them. I mean, you know, as you were asking the question, I was sort of melting a little bit because when those breakthroughs happen and I think it’s more about the work than like, I just got an amazing part. I mean, yes, that’s great, but some of that’s luck and marketing and all that, and when that happens, Oh God, that’s exciting, but I’m less excited about the commercial breakthroughs than I am about the artistic breakthroughs. You know, whether it’s in class or whether it’s seeing them in a show or in a movie and going, “Oh my God, that work was great.” That feels so rich.

Patrick

I was reading that you left acting to pursue directing, and as you were pursuing directing, there was a venture into soap operas that you wanted to try that out. How did that go?

Terry

Well, that was the thing, you know, I mean, we talked about the theater pays you in hugs. I mean, I think it pays even less if you’re a director. Basically, what I discovered was–I love directing but It’s very difficult to make a living as a director, unless you’re Joe Montello and you have Wicked running or Julie Taymor, those directors make, make a good living from those residuals. Joe Mantello has been getting money from Wicked for however many years. Julie Taymor the same thing, they get a little piece every week, they get a check because they’ve created the show, it’s their direction. But, I wasn’t going to be doing a musical on Broadway. And so I didn’t see that happening. So I went, “Oh, crap. I’ve now lucked into a job I love that. I’m not going to be able to pay my rent with.” There are three things you can do apparently in polling directors that support that. One is to work for a theater like on staff, associate artistic director, literary manager, you know, a lot of directors do that.

 

Well, nobody in New York need anybody. Public Theater–fully staffed. Playwrights Horizons–ditto. So that wasn’t gonna work. Um, the second was apparently directing soaps. So a friend of mine, who’s a very good director, David Petrarca. He does a lot of film and TV now, but he was doing a lot of theater. I’d won this award through the Drama League, their emerging directors program in the second year that they offered it. So he came and saw my show and, and all these other artistic directors came and saw it. And it was, you know, they give you a show. You assist like at Arena Stage and New York Theater, and then you have like a coming out weekend of your show and then all these people come and see it. And like, it’s like a showcase and it launches, and he said, “Oh, you’re really good.”

 

And I said “Thank you. But what do I do?” He said, “Well, I know someone at The Guiding Light, let me hook you up. Maybe you want to do that. It’s been helpful for some friends of mine.” So I went for a day curious. I mean, I frankly had a somewhat biased idea that soap opera acting was pretty limited and soap opera writing was even more limited. There are some actually quite good actors on soap operas. It’s, I don’t mean to insult, but some of them are pretty stiff. And also for me, I wouldn’t want it to be an actor where I’m on the same job for 20 years. That’s not fun. I like playing a lot of parts, you know. So I was there for the day and that made it very clear that it was not what I wanted to do.

 

It just, wasn’t my thing, you know? It was a lot of like “Camera three, go cameras, six, go camera, you know, go!” and “Okay, and that’s a wrap” and “Let’s move in and let’s do scene 42 CC in 42 C” and they’re moving the sets in the costume and the fake trees, and then they’re in the next thing. And it felt more like a traffic cop. And I suppose I could have figured out how to do it, but I don’t know that I would have enjoyed it. I don’t think I gave it a fair shake, but I just, I didn’t see it in my future. And so the third way was to be a teacher and I could have taught then, but I really knew what an amazing teacher Bill Esper, he was my teacher.

 

And it was the work I felt like meant the most to me. And so to teach that properly, I could, you know, a lot of Meisner teachers just were in a Meisner class with somebody and now took some notes and read some books, and now they teach it. But the way Meissner has been taught in its purest form is as part of a lineage, and so Sanford Meisner would hand pick people to teach with him, who he saw had promise, among them Wynn Handman, who died last year. And Bill Esper and Bill Alderson and wonderful teachers at the Neighborhood Playhouse. And then Bill was now my teacher. And so I approached him and that changed my life. He said yes. And that began a 32 year relationship of really learning at the feet of the master and cultivating my own approach, you know. Because I’m not a clone of Bill.

 

I actually learned that very early. I was teaching at NYU and I was trying to be Bill and Bill was a very commanding presence and, could afford to get away with being abrupt and arrogant. He could own it. But I quoted him to the students, well didn’t quote him, I just did what he said. I said, “Do people go to museums?” or something like that? Or some really patronizing comments. And like, the class just looked at me like, “Are you serious? Where the hell do you come from you pipsqueak?” And so I really learned that I would have to cultivate my own, keep the work as the work, but my own style of teaching, that was my own. And that took some time,

Patrick

Yeah. Your own approach. I haven’t taken your class, but just in speaking with you, you don’t seem very bombastic and aggressive. You seem a more like detail oriented and you kind of float between—this, now we go here and now we go there. So it seems like just a different approach than trying to ram acting into someone.

Terry

Well, thank you. We’re not in the class right now. And sometimes definitely, you know, I’m a human being. And so sometimes I get annoyed and also sometimes I have to offer a kind of energy that matches the energy that’s happening in the scene. So that it’ll go in. It’s like, there’s a narrow door. So, if there’s a big conflict scene, I may be going, “Repeat,” you know, and have a bit of, like you might say to your dog, “Bad dog.” Right? Because I’m really working with the work and the energy. It’s not the actor. And the actors also take it personally, which you have to help them not to do that because otherwise they’re going to get defensive. So, I mean I can be sweet. I can be silly. I can be sharp. You know? I have a lot of tricks in the repertoire.

Patrick

I’m sure you do well, you know, you’re teaching actors to do all these things. So of course, you’ve got to live it as well.

Terry

Yeah.

Patrick

It comes to auditioning versus performing. This is, this is one of those things that it took me a while to kind of catch the drift kind of–the dividing line between the two. From an acting teaching standpoint. What do you see as that division between the two?

Terry

Well, first of all, I keep a very hard line in my class and don’t talk about whether what we’re doing is ready for prime time. I’m not talking, came about audition. In fact, I have, basically a no audition policy while you’re in class. I want them to be investing in the training so that then they can go and audition because you only have so much energy. And if you, this training is hard and if you were going to NYU or Julliard or Yale, you would not also be auditioning you’d be training. And so I really want them focused on that. But then–okay, I’m getting to the end of second year, a disease called “second year-it is” starts to come in because it’s like, “I know the class is going to be over in two months, three months, one month, and then I’m going to be kind of kicked out of the nest.”

 

So, I need to have a “now what?” kind of mindset, which includes things like headshots and representation and okay, how do audition? And for sure, I’d be so interested to hear what you discovered. But I would say what I’m teaching in class is how to do the job, once you have the job, right? Auditioning is a different skill. It’s a very different skill, that’s adjacent and its related because it has something to do with moments and stuff like that. And breaking down a script– there’s script analysis in it. But there’s something about going into a room with people you don’t know with material that may not be very good material with a reader who’s dead and bored. And turning that into your room and staying playful, not freezing and not letting the anxiety about results grip you. And trying to keep as loose and free as you can, and not expecting anything to come of it.

 

Right. I think it’s a lot of mind games, but it’s also just a skill so that you can walk in, not be intimidated by the people in the waiting room who want to intimidate you, because there are all kinds of games that happen in the waiting room, not being intimidated by the person who’s keeping the list, who’s got attitude, and says, “Uh, your appointment was 1205. It’s 1207.” “…Okay. Did you ever–?” There’s so much stuff that could, distract you and what you really have to be able to do is love your work. See it as an opportunity to have moments–a day with moments in it, acting moments, is better day than a day without moments. So it’s my favorite thing to do, is to go in and do this. You know, this Drama League thing I was doing a play for by Maria Irene Fornes who wrote Mud. And Fefu and her Friends.

 

It was a musical of hers that I was turning into a straight play called Lovers and Keepers. And so, you know, I had a casting director and I had really good actors coming in, including John C McGinley, who was in Platoon and has had an amazing career. He’d just gotten out of drama school. No one knew who he was. And he walked in and he taught me something that day. And it was something like, it was a little cocky, but I liked it. It was kind of like something like, “Okay, well, I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but this is what I want to do. This is what I would do with this part.” And I found that so refreshing just the attitude of like, “I’m not a contrarian,” you know or, like “Tell me what you want.”

 

And you know, it’s like, “I thought about it. I looked at the script, here’s my take on it. I’m definitely open anything you want to offer me, but this is what I got. This is my performance,” not, “This is my audition.” And I love the freedom of that. The confidence in that. But I think auditioning is a skill, and the way to do it is to audition a lot and to audition a lot for things that you’re not even necessarily right for. I don’t think it’s unethical to audition — I may get some flack for this, but if you’re auditioning for something that you know you’re not available for, you know, it’s a summer stock performance in Virginia and you know you’re doing something I think –go audition anyway, because if they offer you the part, they have someone else in mind.

 

If they don’t, like it’s not a contract. And I think that can be for you and to meet them. I don’t think you’ll burn any bridges by doing that. If they say don’t audition, unless you have this schedule free, then we can get into that. And, and one of my favorite stories–, I had this wonderful, very naive woman who studied with me, but she was so she was like a young Marilyn Monroe, not in the sexy department, but in the naive department, she was just so open. She was like a flower. And she saw him backstage and audition for Waiting for Godot. Now, Waiting for Godot, all the parts are men as written, but she didn’t know that. So she went to this audition and everyone looked up and said, “Hi, can we help you?” “Yeah. I’m here for the audition.” “Um, you do know what play we’re working on here?” “Yeah the  Waiting for Gogo?”  “No, not quite but good. Um, it’s a, it’s a play for, for males.” “Oh, well, okay.” And then someone said, “Well, you came all this way and it’s a rainy night, like did you bring a monologue?” said, “Yeah!” She got cast as Didi. See, they loved her! All you can do is, put your line in the water and keep putting it in and keep doing it well, and you’ll get better and better at auditioning like anything.

 

Patrick

And that actually brings up one thing that I would disagree with you on, and other programs, is that when they don’t allow auditions. In my mind, just like you said, it’s something that by doing, I’ve heard that auditions are like the, one of the best workshops you can do. Cause you can really hone your skill, not only on auditioning, but just the craft of those types of settings. And so for me, it’s a chance to put in practice as you keep learning to audition as well. That’s why I disagreed generally with programs that don’t allow auditioning.

Speaker 3:

Well, first of all, it’s very refreshing to be disagreed with. And so pleasantly, so thank you for that. Yeah. I, I mean look, we’re not doing acting class to do acting class or doing acting class to work, and maybe it comes from what Bill Esper told me. You know, I was cast in a show with Anne Bogart directing when I went to interview with him to study and I’d done about eight or nine projects with Anne who was not as well known then as she is now, she hadn’t started the SITI company. She wasn’t teaching at Columbia, but she was my teacher at NYU. And then we did it all these outside projects and she was a real true mentor. And so on my way out the door, after my interview with Bill, I said, “Oh Bill, I just want to be full disclosure. I may have to miss one class in the Fall.” And he looked at me said, “Well, why would you miss a class?” And I said, “Well, I’m in this show.” And I think we had, you know, it was an afternoon class, so “I could do night performances, but we have tech that day as a 10 out of 12,” he said, “What’s the show? Is it a Broadway show?” I said, “No.” “Is it an off-Broadway show? Public Theater or Playwrights’ Horizons?” “No, it’s an off-off Broadway show, but it’s with a director I’m really, really connected to.” And I told him about it. He’d never heard of her, and he said, “I don’t think you should do that show.”

 

I said, “What? I mean, isn’t that the point, right?” “No, no. The point is not for you to do that show. The point is for you to become better. And if you go from my class to those rehearsals, and that performance, you may, because most directors don’t really understand the craft of acting and we’re working on something that’s very delicate at the moment. And they’re going to ask you and because you’re a team player, they’re going to ask you to do something inorganic, ‘Could you yell there? Could you laugh there?’ And because you want to please them or because you want to be part of the project, you’ll do it. And then you’ll disrupt the organic way of getting to that behavior that I’m working on. I want to teach you how to win races and we’re going to start by crawling.” So I’m all for learning how to audition, just doing it while you’re training to me, if I may humbly disagree with you, disagreeing with me, can disrupt the process.

 

And it also just puts stars in your eyes. You know, I mean, I see people who are like– Now, look, if you’re already a Broadway actor and you come and study with me, which I’ve had, I had at one point many people from the cast of Spider-Man studying with me and performing at night and studying with me during the day. Well, they have a career and they have put in rehearsals and they have replacement rehearsals and their agent is sending that for pilot season. So I asked them to slow that down. Like when Sam Rockwell came and studied with Bill, he was working, he was a working actor. And as soon as he committed to the Two Year Program, he told his agent, “Unless it’s amazing. Don’t tell me about it, slow it down. I’m training now.” Right. And it was, I think it was the best thing he could’ve done.

 

So to me, it’s about focusing in because yes, you should get that practice, but this training takes a lot out of you and, and you want all your creative energy going into that. I would say. And you know, when I was at Circle in the Square, which is part of the NYU program, we were in Broadway, and ‘Backstage’ came out and a lot of students would come to class dressed for auditions, you know? And then the teacher would say, who wants to work today? And they’d go, “I’d love to work, but, uh, I have an audition later and my pantyhose, I don’t want to, ruin my makeup” and I’m, they’re like, “Why are you in class now if you’re trying to get a job? Get a job after it. I mean, aren’t you here to train? This is the point.” So we’ll have to respectfully disagree on that one. Yeah.

Patrick

I definitely hear what you’re saying. I guess in my mind, it’s like, well, why can’t the two happen at the same time? Like, for example, since I’m a singer, you know you have a song that you sing and it’s this particular range. However, as you warm up, you want to make sure to go even lower than the song and even higher than the song. So that way the song itself becomes easier. So it’s important to stretch those other things that may not be useful in that particular song. So I see that as, as a way to stretch yourself in other directions.

Terry

Yeah. I love the song analogy, but that’s still a musical idea. Auditions are a commercial idea. Auditions are just a transaction, a calling card , a way of meeting, a way of them checking you out to see, do I trust this person to carry the ball? It’s a tryout. It’s not really an artistic idea, right? It’s related, but it’s not quite the same. It’s like a job interview or a first date. A first date isn’t a relationship–It’s an audition. Right. And then if something sparks, then we can see about going along together.

 

Patrick

It’s the rare bird that will be fully themselves and engaged on that first date. We’re all putting on the best performance.

 

Terry

I’m so happy to be married. I hope you are too, because I wouldn’t know what to do.

 

Patrick

No doubt, definitely dating can be exhausting. I certainly remember those days. Well, this has been a joy to talk to and get to know you. So I appreciate it.

 

Terry

I was just thinking that you’re very easy to talk to. Even when we disagree, you’re such a pleasant person and for people who are listening, because I didn’t know what you looked like. You have such a warm and inviting face. So it’s been nice to speak with you.

 

Patrick

Thank you, Terry. Thank you.

 

Well, thank you for listening and joining Terry and myself in this conversation for those who support this podcast as a WINI producer or artists that they’re also members only episodes where Terry and I talk about audition stories and insights, as well as he answers the final five questions. To gain access to these and other bonus episodes, go tojoin.whyIllnevermakeit.com. Terry’s warm and open presents and inviting personality just made, not only this conversation easy, but it also gave me a sense of the kind of training that I would get at his studio. So I’ve already sent in my application and look forward to getting back in touch with my own actor self, and building those skills again. Well, I’m your host, Patrick Oliver Jones in charge of writing, editing and producing this podcast. Music in this episode is provided by. Vortex. Why I’ll Never Make It is a part of the Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. Join me next time with Evelyn and Chris, a couple who worked backstage in theater, as we talk more about Why I’ll Never Make It.