#Interview By Lou with #Actor #Author Ronald Rand about his play #LetItBeArt and #Book #SoloTransformationOnStage #Stage #Theatre #Bookblog #BookTwitter #Theatreblog #TheArts #Arts #RonaldRand

Interview with Stage Actor/Author/Goodwill Ambassador – Ronald Rand

Today it gives me great pleasure to share an interview with you all, that I conducted with actor Ronald Rand. He is an actor, author and goodwill ambassador. Ronald Rand has appeared in many theatre plays, his latest is Let It Be Art about the life of Harold Clurman, which he tours worldwide. He is also the founder of newspaper – The Soul of The American Actor. His book is Solo Transformation On Stage is available now to purchase and includes a forward by Stephen Lang, most recently famous for playing/voicing the part of Miles Quaritch in the Avatar movies by James Cameron. The cover quote comes from the actor Christopher Plummer.
Thank you very much Ronald for allowing me to interview and for your fascinating answers about your author and stage life, as well as telling a bit about being a Goodwill Ambassador. Ronald Rand also interviews some acting greats. Discover a bit about this too, as well as some photographs Ronald Rand has kindly sent over and granted me permission to use.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Ronald Rand onto my blog. So, let’s begin…

cover SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE by Ronald Rand (1)

You wrote a book that enlightens audiences to the art of solo performance. I’ve seen some actors do this in the UK, such as Simon Callow and Julie Hesmondalgh. I always come away wondering “How do you learn all those lines and how does the way you feel going out on stage differ to that of having a full cast around you?”

Ronald Rand: First, I would like to thank you for this special gift and privilege for this interview and to answer your questions. Congratulations on having such a very fine blog, Bookmarks and Stages.

Well, when I first began acting, I had to have been around six years old, and of course, I was worried like many actors are, about forgetting my lines. Thinking it was all about memorization. But as the years progressed and I’ve worked more and more as an actor, over time I’ve learned that the lines in a play are a natural extension of a person’s thoughts. And if they’re well written by an excellent playwright, they should roll, as The Bard said, “trippingly from the tongue,” because they’re connected to the action of what the person is doing. When I have had to learn lines to perform in a different play other than my solo play, I learn them through their connection to what the person is doing each moment to get what they need.

RONALD RAND as HAROLD CLURMAN in LET IT BE ART!
Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman

 In my solo play, LET IT BE ART! Harold Clurman   certainly has a   lot to say but the words he says   come as expressions of what   he needs to say at   the  moment as a natural action in his   storytelling.   Because I bring Harold Clurman to life after a   two-   hour transformation process in what I refer to as the ‘creation room,’ not a dressing room, when   Clurman  arrives, he’s not coming on a stage, he’s arriving at his apartment in New York City and very soon he encounters three of his students (who are actually the audience). And the things he says are a natural extension of him living his life, just the same as you do when you’re talking to others in your daily life. What you’re saying is certainly not lines in a play.

You see, in his reality he’s returning from having seen a play in Brooklyn and he’s merely going on with his life; he’s not coming on a stage. As the actor inside I’m aware that, of course, it’s a stage but Harold Clurman couldn’t care less, he’s in his apartment living his life. I still have to make sure that he’s where he’s supposed to be, and hopefully he will say the words that are in the play when they need to be said. Do I have any idea that he will? I never know for sure, since he’s living his life completely.

When you ask about having a full cast around me. Well, actually Harold Clurman is talking to  three acting students in his apartment (a part of the audience), and at another time in the play, he ‘breaks the fourth wall’ and talks to a group of actors who have come to the first get-together when the Group Theater was born in 1930, (which is also the audience.)

And throughout the play, through Clurman, you meet Lee Strasberg, Cheryl Crawford, Alfred Stieglitz, Stella Adler, Clifford Odets, Constantin Stanislavski, Aaron Copland, even Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. That’s a pretty amazing cast!  So there’s all these vibrant folks coming to life on his journey through his life. So, in a sense, you might say, there is a ‘full cast’ but they’re not around “me,” they’re with Clurman, and when he heads off to the theater at the end of the play, that’s when I return for the curtain call.

What prompted you to write a book about the transformation of an actor into the person who they are going to play? I must say it is absolutely fascinating as there is so much to explore and I’ve only ever seen this a little in the film and play – The Dresser.

Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman in LET IT BE ART! in Nakuru, Kenya
             Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman

Ronald Rand: Thank you so much for your kind words. SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE: A Journey into the Organic Process of the Art of Transformation came about because of the pandemic. I was in the middle of my 20th year touring in my solo play, and I had completed a performance of LET IT BE ART! at The Ritz Theatre in Sheffield, Alabama to a sold-out audience. They actually stayed almost as long as the performance for the question-and-answer period which I always have at the end of the show. This was in late February 2020, and after that my tour was shut down and I was sequestered like everyone else.

Well, one day I was sitting at my desk, and I thought there has to be some way that I can reach out to people since I can’t do it on stage, and it occurred to me that perhaps I could contribute by sharing the organic process I go through using the Art of Transformation, and share how Stanislavski’s acting chart, ‘The Method of Physical Actions’ makes it possible.

Now I know there’s certainly several books written by actors, some who talk about their process and their life acting on the stage. However, there’s only a few about the art of solo performance, which is a world unto its own. But I think my book is the first to go through an organic process and the transformation necessary to create your own solo show. But more than that, it’s about how to make your dreams come true drawing upon the richness of who you are.

I believe it’s important for the actor today to realize that transformation is necessary. I see so many actors play elements of themselves acting like they’re somebody else, but transformation takes many years through learning about one’s craft and gaining a mastery to bring to life another human being on the stage.

It’s really a never-ending discovery process to sustain a performance for an hour or longer requiring great discipline, focus and a continual stream of storytelling. That’s why I wanted to go into this kind of process more deeply through SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, and reveal how I use Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions’ chart. The same chart he gave to my teacher, Stella Adler when she studied with him in Paris in 1934. She was only American to study for over five weeks with him, and she brought his chart back to the Group Theatre in America.

When I was fortunate to study with Stella Adler for over five years, I gleaned great insights from her teaching which helped me understand the chart in a deep way, and I have tried to bring forward many of the insights through my master acting workshops.

Still, there is always something mysterious about what takes place inside what I refer to as the creation room because for me that’s where creation begins to allow another person to come so that they can live their life through the playwright’s creation. Did I have any idea that this process would evolve this way when I began working on the role of Harold Clurman? Certainly not. At the very beginning, I looked at Clurman as a role or as a character. But I’ve come to believe there is no such thing as a character. There is only the person, a human being who must come and live their life. And I have to allow creation to occur by being an open and willing vessel.

You say that Harold Clurman chose you and you became passionate about his ideas. What were the ideas that then gave you the impulse and drive to bring his life to the stage?

Ronald Rand: I think I first became fascinated by the Group Theatre back in high school when I was studying acting with an excellent drama teacher, David Feldman, at Coral Gables High School in Florida where I was born and grew up. Feldman was a dedicated and unusual high school drama teacher, giving us exercises by Boleslavsky and Michael Chekhov, talking about the Moscow Art Theatre and Vakhtangov, showing us films by Elia Kazan and Sidney Lumet, talking about the impact of the Group Theatre and what they did that changed the course of the American Theater.

The productions we would act in had to have been on the same level as those Off-Broadway. All of this had a great impact on my life at the time. When I completed high school and travelled to New York City and studied with Stella Adler, of course, her great impact was to show us the size an actor must rise to inhabit the great roles. I had to throw out pretty much everything I had been doing before since so much of had to with imitation and indicating, now it had to be based on creation and truth. Through her great art of script interpretation, we’d learn how to dissect a play and be an instrument and be in service to the playwright’s work. This is what the actor is responsible for.

And at the same time, I was fortunate to study with Harold Clurman. Every moment transformed my very being through his overpowering passion, his pulsating vibrating thoughts, revealing all the possibilities of how to see life, and acting and what the theater is capable of.

Did I have any idea at the time that I would write a play and bring to life Harold Clurman? Of course not. But later when I read in the introduction to Clurman’s book, The Fervent Years, Stella Adler wrote that she feared that the legacy of Harold Clurman might be lost, and I thought that would be a great tragedy.

That’s what led me to consider writing a play about Clurman. But I actually began a play about the Group Theatre instead and ended up playing Clurman in many staged readings across New York City for several years trying to get it produced. It was finally produced at Northern Illinois University. After that, maybe it was a voice inside that directed me to now write a play about Clurman. But even after reading and re-reading everything he wrote, looking at my notes from my classes with him, watching videos of him, I had to sit down, put everything aside and ask him: “What do you want to say?”

All of a sudden, the floodgates opened and the words that needed to be said came.

So, this is one of the secrets of writing your own show, tapping into the subconscious, and listening. I have to believe that’s why I was chosen to bring his passion and humanity alive, not only for audiences in America but across many different countries. Because what he has to say to us is universal and necessary to hear, especially today.

You talk about the person you are portraying being almost like an extension of yourself and you transform into the character you become, do you ever feel that this influences or affects parts of your own life and how do you separate the two as the psychology, Affective Memory, and molecules that you talk about in your book come into play?

Ronald Rand: Certainly, there’s no question bringing Harold Clurman to life through my play, LET IT BE ART! for over twenty years has had a great influence on my being. It’s also an enormous responsibility to allow his vibrancy and dynamic passion, his great humour, and humanity to come alive in every single moment.

When I decided to dedicate my life to sharing Clurman’s great being, it was after I had worked in numerous films and television shows, but now I made a deeper commitment that I couldn’t work on any production that reflected any kind of negativity, evil or destruction. I have to allow myself to be in a state of affirming the best in our humanity in order to embody Clurman.

Every decision we make in our life, our choices every day is a reflection of our moral values, and we should strive to bring forth love, beauty, and art in all its richness.

And at the same time, we’re always surrounded by invisible molecules moving around us. When I wave my hand through the air, or communicate Clurman’s great passion on stage, everything’s traveling across a sea of molecules. Everything we see, all inanimate objects are made up of invisible molecules, even though they look solid. So, we have to understand and appreciate how it’s all a flow we’re a part of and allow for the greatest energy to come forth, a willingness to affirm our deepest humanity to help others on this planet through the talents we’ve been given. That’s our responsibility, and why transformation becomes all the more necessary to be a vessel in service so that another human being can live and breathe and come and tell their story.

You have advice to always take time and stop between performances, how does this aid your next performance? How do you keep performances feeling fresh for you and the audiences?

Ronald Rand: Sometimes as a performer we’re called upon to do eight performances a week. At other times it so happens that there may be a larger break between one performance to the next. When that occurs, one has to find ways to constantly refresh and refuel one’s persona and keep one prepared, ready for the next performance; it’s always like being ready to run a marathon. Being in a state of readiness is the way I exist because this is my life’s calling which I will be doing to the end of my time. Especially today when as Clurman put it, “We live in an age of amnesia and for the most part, nobody remembers anything that happened the day before yesterday, so you naturally have to say it all over again.”

When audiences all over the world no matter what country I perform in, no matter what language they speak or their background or culture, once they come in contact with Harold Clurman, it’s as if they’re transformed and become excited because what he’s telling them is about something eternal and necessary to be heard today.

When I’m called upon to bring Harold Clurman to life in a performance, it’s never been done before in this particular setting, at this particular moment so everything is completely fresh, and the theatres are always different. Whether I’m performing in the courtyard of a palace or outside on a grassy knoll at a university, or in a tribal hut or a cave theater or inside a thousand seat auditorium.

You mention so many actors, directors from theatre and film in the past and present, such as Charlie Chaplin, Simon Callow, Lin Manuel Miranda and many more… How does studying such a wide range of people and their creations influence you and how important do you think it is for actors, whether they are new or established to know the heritage of theatre and the stories they tell?

Ronald Rand: Well, when I began as an actor, I slowly became aware of my heritage, or as we’re called, being a part of a ‘tribe.’ In high school I read everything actor biography and autobiography I could get my hands on, from Edwin Booth, Ira Aldridge, Salvini, Eleanora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt, Edmund Kean, Michael Chekhov, Vakhtangov to Stanislavski but it’s not only the theater I familiarized myself with. During college, I read countless books on philosophy, psychology, anthropology, the great religions of the world. I read every great novel, poem, and play written by the greatest writers of all time from the Greeks to the present. One particular book, Actors on Acting brought me further in contact with actors from different cultures taking me all over the world

It’s a personal decision to decide to learn about one’s history but I consider it a responsibility. If you’re a baseball player, you certainly want to know about Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson. Why shouldn’t you if you’re an actor know about your heritage? That’s why I’ve included in my book a rich diversity of some of the greatest performers who have inhabited the stage from Ira Aldridge to Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. There is a great ‘well’ I talk about in my book, SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, that each of us can draw from, and it will only greatly fuel the ‘leap across the footlights’ and touch the very souls and hearts of the audience.

Towards the end of the book, you had the great opportunity to interview other actors, such as Adrienne Barbeau, Christopher Plummer, Spalding Gray, to name but a few about their own transformations. What did you learn and come away with for your own thoughts or performances from them?

Ronald Rand: I’ve been very fortunate over the past nearly twenty-five years to do over fifteen hundred interviews through my newspaper, The Soul of the American Actor, and it’s brought me in touch with these particular performers that I’ve included in my book. Some of whom have become good friends. By sharing the more than twenty interviews in the book, and their journey as a solo performer, the choices they’ve made and how their particular shows came to life has been extremely inspiring for me, and I hope will also be for the reader.

Eve Ensler talks about how she created The Vagina Monologues, Ben Vereen shows how the world around him deeply affected his choices as a young performer, Christopher Plummer plumbs the depth of his rich being, Stephen Lang (who wrote the Foreword to my book) and Laurence Luckinbill, both highly seasoned performers offer great insights into the extraordinary courage it takes to come on a stage alone and become someone else.

Through the ages up to today, when you see someone like Ralph Fiennes or Simon Callow, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Anna Deavere Smith, or Ian McKellan, you’re experiencing a great thread of our humanity in the stories being revealed. Every time I experience a solo performance, it further awakens my own understanding about what it means to be alive and how much more there is to know about this world.

It’s interesting that you say that in your masterclasses people such as lawyers, therapists, teachers, taxicab drivers and those from other professions come and are a part of your workshops, as if there is a common thread to be realised. What would you say is the common thread and why are so many wide-ranging people attracted to your masterclasses?

Ronald Rand, Goodwill Culltural Ambassador, Fulbright Specialist Scholar teaching his Master Workshop in Mostar, Bosnia
Masterclass in Bosnia
Ronald Rand, Goodwill Cultural Ambassador teaching his Master Workshop at Festival of Fame in Johannesburg, South Africa
Masterclass in Johannesburg

Ronald Rand: It has been a special gift and privilege being able to teach my
‘Art of Transformation’ master acting workshops around the world for the past twenty-five years in over twenty-five countries, and across twenty states at over seventy-five theaters, universities, colleges, and acting schools. And yes, several times a diverse array of those who have attended my workshops come from many different backgrounds and professions. Why do they come? I think it’s because of transformation. We’re all constantly changing every single day, and every choice we make literally transforms us.

When I have individuals from many different backgrounds in my workshops, they’re excited to dip into some of the exercises and learn about Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions,’ because for some, they may have thought “What would it take to become an actor?” and they find it fascinating and some realize that they have it within themselves to let their imagination loose, and in one of the exercises, I literally ‘take them off and they all fly like a bird.’ I want to give them a chance to feel this kind of freedom which is not something that always happens in their daily lives.

We have to allow ourselves to dream the biggest dreams we can dream. To achieve everything, we’re born to achieve and enjoy every moment we’re alive. And the more we understand about what moves us forward, perhaps we can be in even greater service to others, especially at a time like this.

Your book is more thought-provoking than I imagined, in a good way. You talk about the late Chadwick Boseman and basically about empowering others. How important do you think theatre is for telling the stories and making the most of what you have to say in this medium, since no one knows what is going to happen in our future?

Ronald Rand: Yes, we live in an age of great uncertainty and there are forces at work constantly trying to upset the balance and harmony of life. However, we know, deep in our beings, the most powerful forces on earth like love, truth, peace, and justice, to name a few, represent the highest ideals of who we are as human beings on this planet.

I mention Chadwick Boseman in my book because he understood the responsibility he was given as an actor and when he became a ‘star,’ he recognized it was part of his responsibility to help empower others. This is certainly what we can do as artists. To help others find their path, and that’s why for me, because the theater is ‘alive in the moment’, through our storytelling we can literally transform others to reach a place where a revelation may come, or the experience may propel them to take a good look at their lives.

Well, while we may not know the future, we actually have the power to shape its potential, and bring a deeper awareness to the others through art. and I’ve personally experienced how a solo performance can touch people in a very deep place.

You have a very accomplished CV, including being a US Goodwill Cultural Ambassador and US State Department Fulbright Specialist Scholar. How did you come to have these positions, how long have you done this for and what are some of the things do they entail?

Ronald Rand: On my first world tour with LET IT BE ART! I was invited to Tbilisi, Georgia to perform at The GIFT Festival. I was welcomed as a Goodwill Cultural Ambassador as a representative from my country to theirs bringing goodwill and as a ‘bridge of understanding.’ And over the years it has happened many times, which is especially meaningful to me.

This coming summer, I have been invited to Iceland’s Act Alone Festival to bring Clurman’s great passion and ideas as the “Elder Statesman of the American Theater.” So, it continues been an enormous responsibility bringing him alive to audiences in several many countries.

When I was first chosen as a US State Department Fulbright Specialist Scholar during my five first five years, I was able to spend six weeks at the University of Sarajevo’s Academy of Dramatic Arts teaching their wonderful students, and at the same time, I was invited to direct a production of Murray Schisgal’s hit comedy, LUV, at one of their most prestigious theatre’s, Chamber Theatre 55 in Sarajevo. The production was in Bosnian, which was an extraordinary learning experience, and I directed three of Bosnia’s finest young actors.

During my second tour as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, I taught and performed in my solo play for six weeks at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, and then the Malaysian Cultural Ministry invited me as the first American master to bring Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions’ across Malaysia to hundreds of students at their State Theatre and schools. Truly a most amazing experience!

On my third tour as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, I travelled to Uruguay to teach actors and actors and students for five weeks at the Paysandu Theater Group and also ended up directing a workshop production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Our Town in Spanish with several of the actors of the company.

Being a Goodwill Cultural Ambassador and a Fulbright Specialist Scholar has allowed me to share what we have in common and to learn from one another. It’s up to us to feel empathy for others – this is what makes us human. We must care about others with the greatest of compassion and love, giving our best towards the betterment of all.

It’s always been my goal to inspire and empower people to learn and grow in the most truthful and compassionate way by sharing our creativity and transformation. And it’s about collaboration. I encourage those I’m teaching to feel the rhythm of life, to listen with their heart and soul, to become as expansive as possible, to give more of themselves to others through their craft which I believe adds to the healing which needs to take place between peoples.

When I taught students in Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina, I learned the young student actors are constantly faced with pressures on a daily basis in a very difficult environment divided along ethnic and religious lines. I told them: “Art teaches us we each carry the tools to transform, not only our own lives but to share truths about how to live with those around us. Storytelling can help you shape your frustrations into creative expressions through transformation, finding ways to teach each other a way towards peace, through love, through the power of art, you can inspire others to come together to live in harmony.”

If history has taught us anything, it takes a willingness to build trust, and by coming together in person a dialogue can take place, transforming into an entirely new dynamic of understanding, of empathy – sharing what is basic in all of humanity.

Through SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, I talk about that through solo performance, we can go further than we ever thought possible. There are no barriers of language or cultural misunderstandings when our performing is done with an open heart, vision, a willingness to share knowledge, and to learn from one another honestly.

cover SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE by Ronald Rand (1)

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#Review (by Lou) of Paul McKenna’s Positivity Podcast @ImPaulMcKenna – Rated 5 stars #podcast – A fascinating podcast of interviews about mindset, books, films and more… #PositivityPodcast #Podcast

 Positivity Podcast
Hosted by Paul McKenna
Featuring Various Guests
Rated: 5 stars *****

Positivity Podcast

Paul McKenna is an International Bestselling Author and Hypnotist. He also does online Zoom events and (when times are better, live venue events).
For a good while now, he has been doing a podcast, where he introduces his objective to the podcast, being to interview the most interesting people in the world and get insights to discover how it is they do what they do, what makes them unique and fascinating, their success mindset and what keeps them positive as well as what books they have published. The interviews are more realistic and down-to-earth than you would think, which is a postive in itself. Paul McKenna also has a new book out about changing your life, to add to his collection of many published bestselling books; he also has newspaper articles with practical steps to help reduce stress for adults and children, in national newspapers and online events. He also presents on radio and gives interviews about his latest work on national radio and tv.

As well as interviews on his podcast with well-known celebrities, he has also produced some podcasts that encompass techniques you can try at home – Unlocking Lockdown – Coronaphobia ♦ Unlocking Lockdown – Motivation for Life ♦ Control Stress ♦ Deep Sleep ♦ Stop Comfort Eating ♦ Stay Positive & Happy. All of this can be accessed for Free via this link: https://www.globalplayer.com/podcasts

I am impressed by Paul McKenna’s interview style and the questions and the time and attention he takes with his guests and how much he allows them to speak and really answer the questions. The questions mainly focus around what he knows best and seem formal and serious at times, but there are elements of lightness, that does come from him. His guests sound at ease, which allows listeners to gently ease themselves into the episodes and time passes by swiftly as they are compelling.

Each podcast takes just 30 minutes, which is absolutely perfect for those with busy lives and yet to hear some fascinating insights, which you may not already know about a person. It’s also perhaps, a bit thought-provoking for your own life as well There is something heartwarming and uplifting about these podcasts. As much as most of the questions appear to be the same or similar in the episodes, they are so open-ended that every answer (because everyone has their own individual lives and has different experiences), is where the real interest and unique content is.

He has made many episodes, all of which are still available. I am unsure whether there are more to come or not. Here are just a bit of what you can expect and with whom. I’ve written (with hopefully no spoilers), about 3 interviews Paul McKenna conducted with a sportsman, a dancer/author and an actor.

Positivity Podcast

Gareth Southgate – English Professional Football Manager (Currently for the English National Team  and Former Player).

This is a really lovely, grounded interview, which is just a joy to listen to.

He talks about being optimistic and a high work ethic and building resillience.

He has a new book – Anything is Possible. A set of life lessons, princpals for the journey of life. It is for people for all ages and covers many interests (not just sport). There is the basis for giving hope for the future. The proceeds go to The Prince’s Trust, which is an excellent charity.

Gareth Southgate talks about the dream he had for playing football and having a goal and how he overcame hurdles and obsticals and how he transfers it over to his team and breaking down big goals into something manageable to progress and improve. It sounds a realistic interview and how there are good and bad days and how to overcome the bad days and keeping perspective.

He also talks about who influenced him, which is an interesting mix of people, who created a balance for him.

Paul McKenna talked about how he helped in some of the preparation and how to visualise and getting into a peak state of performance.

He talks of his proudest achievement and what makes him happy and his projections for the future… Listen to find out what this…

Positivity Podcast

Anton Du Beke – Professional Dancer (can be seen on Strictly on the BBC and in theatres) and Author.

He has a new book (now published) A Christmas To Remember. It’s 3rd in the series, but all are standalone. He sets his novels just before the end  2nd World War. The book sounds terrific and is based on what he knows about elegance and dance. He can hear the people speaking and sounds and he can visualise it all. It all sounds opulent.

He has some wonderful advice of not looking back and talks about how he doesn’t plan for 5 years time and instead, looks a week at a time and makes an interesting presumption about his life. There are some great anecdotes and really good wiseness of life. It turns out Anton Du Beke is incredibly wise.

He talks of humble beginnings and it is absolutely fascinating how his parents came together and how they ended up in the UK. He talks about how he came across dancing and what he wanted, but was uncertain of the career path as to how to reach his goal, and yet sounds like he was certain how he wanted to dance.

He talks of internal conflict in being competitiveness and artistic dancing and how he chose which form of dance to concentrate on.

The interview swiftly moves onto character traits and this is possibly the most fascinating, with his sheer determination and optimism.

You can learn something about Anton Du Beke that is very surprising indeed relating to his mindset about his personality and what upsets him and also just how lucky he is, but also who he was starstruck with and how he reacted.

He says not to give up on your dreams. He has some great advice around this and there’s a kindness and warmth around it.

Positivity Podcast

James Cosmo – Actor of many films, tv programmes such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and much more…

He talks about his upbringing in Clydebank, Glasgow and how ordinary it was. He talks of being disinterested in some things and how he came to acting. He also has a wonderful word that it sounds like Paul McKenna himself learns.

James Cosmo talks about his mentors and who inspired him. The answer is very differently to how you may expect.

The way he talks about having a bad day or bad period of his life in such a realistic way and this is one of the things that comes through in the podcasts, is a realistic outlook and optmimism. He talks about growing up and perspectives and being grateful. He talks of his traits and how independent he was and the impact of this and being in tough times and surviving them. Where he gets joy from is absolutely wonderful and moving. They talk about giving and supporting each other and kindness and how nourishing it is.

He talks of his proudest achievement and his view on success, as well as being starstruck. What makes him happy shows him as having a humbleness.

He has just finished working on an audiobook called Hyde – a retelling of Jekyll and Hyde, which is very dark and gothic.
He has a movie coming soon, called Skylines (filmed a few months ago), which is based in a futuristic, dystopian world, which has aliens in it.
You can also find out what Paul McKenna likes to watch on tv, which relates to a show that James Cosmo was in, which is talked of with such fondness, especially the actors James worked with and there is much joviality.

James Cosmo has some lovely advice to give to listeners and how taking one road isn’t always the easiest ones, but can be the best ones to take. He also talks about a question involving younger people.

Discover more at https://www.globalplayer.com/podcast

#Review by Lou of Blank Podcast @Blankpod by Giles Paley-Phillips @eliistender10 @jimdalycomedy #Podcast

Blank Podcast
By Giles Paley-Phillips
and Jim Daly
British Podcast Awards Nominee 2019
Rated: 5 stars *****

Blank Podcast pic 

Giles Paley-Phillips is an author, musician and an Ambassador for Action Aid UK.
Jim Daly is a comedian and author.

Description

Everyone has those difficult blank moments sometimes.

Whether in your personal life, career, relationship, or in a public situation, writer’s block, social anxiety, imposter syndrome, being off-form or having an identity crisis can affect anyone at any time. It’s part of the human condition and yet it can throw us off course and make us feel helpless.

Giles Paley-Phillips and Jim Daly host an informal, insightful podcast in which they chat to well-known people from comedy, acting, writing, broadcasting, politics and sports about their careers and how they get through these moments when things aren’t going to plan


Together Giles and Jim have created Blank Podcast where they talk about moments that aren’t going so well in a relatable and non-judgemental and down to earth way. It isn’t as depressing as it sounds. It does have some good uplifting and insightful moments as they talk to everyone from authors to actors to documentary makers to comedians and more…
It is very fascinating as what they talk about isn’t what they usually talk about. It’s those “blank moments” and almost a peek behind the scenes as it were. “Blank moments” take the chats in various directions, which makes it engaging and pretty compelling. Blankness means something different to everyone.
There will be an accompanying book early next year simply called Blank.

I listened to a few of the podcasts, which has some pretty well-known famous people. They are recorded in the Nordic Bar in Oxford. The podcasts appear Every Wednesday Morning. It is FREE and you can subscribe as well so it can drop into wherever you choose to listen to podcasts.

Before I move on, I would like to thank Giles Paley-Phillips for getting in touch with me to listen to his podcast. I was told I could just do a shout-out about it if I wanted, but once I got listening, I got inspired to write a blog because this is good!

Here are links where you can access Blank Pod and further below is a little about some 3 I have listened to and a bit of info on 3 episodes I have listened to so far.

http://podcasts.apple.com/hr/podcast/bla
Castbox http://bit.ly/2PHWUCI
Spotify http://spoti.fi/2qikmYK
Acast http://bit.ly/2qgGLpA

Blank Podcast pic

Michael Rosen

Known for writing poetry and children’s books and more…

It was interesting hearing about when he was younger and where he lived in London and reveals “MetroLand” and some secret places. You can find out what he means by this in the podcast. There are some insights into his life going back as far as being a child and what a very different type of world it was back then, into how his parents were and what they stood for and it may not be all that you would assume and not all is what you would think would go together at all in their religion and political leanings.

There is some humour that pokes through within this podcast as he, with great candour and vivid memories, talks about his life and that of his parent’s lives.

He talks of his career plans. How they changed from wanting to be a doctor to being a writer and also how his parent’s rated career paths. He did other jobs apart from being a writer, including with the BBC and find out the mysterious goings on.
There is an interesting part about creativity and how everyone is creative in some form or another and about what he calls “ego-strength”, which is absolutely fascinating and I think people will find useful and is certainly thought-provoking in his advice. He also talks about his children’s poetry and the risks he takes and how he is fascinated by performance and writing and all the different forms that he is involved in.

Rebecca Callard

Known for acting in The Grand, Coronation Street, The Detectorists, Ordinary Lies and much more

Discover what is in Rebecca’s film collection (she still has VHS) and her reminisces of video shops as well as what they are watching by more modern means and some of the most watched Netflix shows. It is interesting to hear why she watches certain shows. It’s interesting hearing her mindset from when she was younger to now about acting and watching it, including her love of horror and yet affects her.

They also talk a bit about insomnia and what perhaps affects this and also how it could have started very early on in her life and the anxieties and how it affects her and also how she learns lines and how to manage work, family and insomnia. It’s talked about in such a convivial way. She talks about her challenging times and stage-fright and how she felt isolation, until people around her told her how they’ve had it. She talks about the importance of talking about things and the discussion goes onto some deepness and how people can be hard on themselves.

Rebecca Callard has started writing and the projects she started and didn’t finish. She finally finished a piece and won a prize and garnered some success and may write more. Some of her ideas sound rather good and refreshing. Find out more in the podcast. She touches on her mother Beverley Callard having depression and also how strong and successful she is. She also talks of true friendship!

Louis Theroux

Known for making documentaries and more…

He talks a bit about his life of flitting between the US and the UK. He is writing a book and is most famously known for making documentaries. He talks of feeling most home in the UK.

It is interesting as he talks about some of the people he has met along the way in tv.

He is writing, what he calls a professional memoir. He talks about being a studious and curious person and talks of some of his interests and also how he drifted into certain jobs, including journalism and other jobs that perhaps you wouldn’t immediately associate with him. He taks about getting into that stage where you don’t quite know about what the next steps were and moved around in the US. He takes listeners around different parts.

He talks about needing structure and direction in life and seems like that’s more what he is used to. It’s relatable to and having a period of time of not knowing this.

He talks of what sounds like some real challenges in some of his films, social media. He also talks about some of his documentaries and it is some great insights from Louis Theroux’s point of view. He talks about the times when things change direction, the research and being on location. It is a fascinating peek behind the scenes a little that isn’t shown on tv.

He talks a bit about the junctions that appear in life and to try and keep things fresh.

Links

http://podcasts.apple.com/hr/podcast/bla
Castbox http://bit.ly/2PHWUCI
Spotify http://spoti.fi/2qikmYK
Acast http://bit.ly/2qgGLpA