Thursday, April 26, 2018

Energy!!!!- Trust the Vibes You Get...Energy Doesn't Lie

Wow! I haven't written in almost 3 years.  It is so hard to believe.  Many times I found myself wanting to write, but couldn't find the ENERGY to just do it.  As I reflect with my energetic cup of coffee in a coffee shoppe in Astoria, NY, I realize that in the time since my last post, I have completed my Master's degree in Educational Theatre, created an original work about the impact of theatre and identity, worked on a pilot education program for a Broadway show, taught probably over 450 NYC actors and students, auditioned for some major television shows filming in New York, filmed a commercial, and got engaged!  All that definitely took some energy. 

So here we are with enough energy to write today. This spring weather is definitely giving me life and energy.   

Energy, energy, energy! Maybe if we say it three times, it will appear like Beetlejuice.  Energy surrounds us every single moment of our day.  There is always an ebb and flow to our lives, especially as artists.  Many times actors and artists do not have stability.  Some artists thrive on this and gain some energy from the constant movement.  We are running from audition to audition, contract to contract, day job to day job and we have to keep our energy up. 

For many of us, I think we are constantly asking the question:

How are we expected to do all of this?

For myself, as a teacher, artist, and actor, I like to trust the energy in my gut or my soul.  I think deep down, we as humans know how to do it all and what small steps to take.  Sometimes we need a little guidance and that is why a good circle surrounding you is important in this business.  As an actor, I really try to ground myself in my work.  By planting myself into the ground and my work, I find that the Earth around me supplies the energy.  I know this sounds a little hippie dippy, but I truly believe simplicity is sometimes the key to success.  For me, a simple breath and being present in the moment gives me the energy to succeed.   (Confession--I am guilty of sometimes neglecting being present and discovered this through a lot of self reflection.) 

How many times do you obsess over the latest tweet, or game on your phone rather than looking up at what the world has to offer?  Sometimes, I think challenging yourself is good.  It creates a new energy in your life.   My challenge for myself is to find a new form of social energy for half the day that doesn't involve my phone or social media.  Movies, sports, writing, singing, who knows what?!

So as I take another sip of my coffee, I think about how actors and people use energy.  Many times directors will say, "I need more energy."  What does this mean to you and your own work?

As we look at the big picture, where are you placing your own energy? 

I think it is important to be a full performer which means a person and an artist.  Is there a project that your gut is telling you to pursue? Is there a person you haven't connected with?  Is there negative energy with a friend or relative that needs space in order for you to recharge in order to gain some positive energy? Is there a first date that sparks that love energy? 

Take five minutes now to listen to the energy surrounding you.  Positive and negative.  Make note it and see where this energy is trying to lead you.  Momentum is an amazing aspect of the artist's journey, and I believe moving, smiling, and healing is good for the soul. This allows us to empathize with others and the characters we get to create.  In the end, good vibes, positive energy, and amazing souls are all I want around me.  The energy I have in this moment is telling me I am heading in the right direction. 

As always, Live for Today, Laugh Always, and Love this Moment!

Get it, live it, book it, and love it!

Patty G.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Artistry: How do you rediscover your voice as an artist?

So not going to lie, it has been a really long time since I last wrote. With the addition of graduate school, the life of a teaching artist, and the life of an actor, writing has fallen to the curb.  My apologies to my fellow readers.  However, this distraction has allowed me to find my voice and my artistry in a way that I have never thought would be possible.

Being a professional actor is hard.  There is no way around that.  It takes a thick skin.  So many times, I often forgot why I loved acting in the first place, and this year has revitalized my voice as an artist.

What fuels your artistic voice?

Or simply put, where do you find your passion.  Passion is something that fuels our lives.  As people, I think it is important to be passionate about life, about your job, about your profession, and about your relationships.  Passion is what connects so many people on so many levels, and as an actor and a teacher, passion is what fuels my work. But sometimes the passion starts to fade.  I think as people overtime that passion can dissipate. I was left to wonder why this happens and how can we change this, especially as an artist.

As a person, what is your own passion? Some people are fueled by food...others music. ...others exercise.  What draws you to this certain thing and why do you keep coming back to it?

For myself, I am a storyteller.  I love the stories I tell as an actor, and especially the ones I get to tell on stage.  This year has reminded me that I am a storyteller, and that I have so many stories to continue to tell in so many unique and creative ways.  However, it was the students I work with and digging into my work as student that has helped me realize my love for storytelling.  Learning is never done, and life is always about learning from our own experiences.

As a re-experience my own passion once again, and re-examine my own artistic voice, I challenge you to make a choice to find what makes you passionate about our own world and rediscover something new.  Through your own rediscovery, your own passion will grow.

As an actor, it can be sometimes be difficult to remember why we do what we do.  The auditions, the rejection, the constant examination of what you are doing with your life.  However, try to remember that first moment of finding your passion as an artist and rediscover what that means! Sometimes that means taking a month or even a year to have that discovery!

As always live for today, laugh always, and love this moment!

Patty G. McGee

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Goals, Guts and Glory

Goal!!!!!! I am sure we have heard this word many times over the past few weeks with the World Cup! However, I think it is important to look at your goals and then reexamine the goals that we have set.  Let's think back to the beginning of the year where many people are feeling invigorated with New Year's Resolutions. 

What was one goal that you set for yourself that you accomplished?
What was one goal that you are still working towards?

It is important to remember that as artists we are constantly working towards our goal.   Some days may not feel like a victory, but those small victories that occur on a daily or weekly basis help to maintain your confidence and your career.  This business is about the marathon, not the sprint so making sure that you check in each mile marker is important. 

For myself, I set out to apply for grad school and I am happy to report I am officially in a Graduate Program in NYC.  For my other goal, I really wanted to book a commercial.  It did not happen, but I had a very successful callback for a commercial with a huge office in NYC and took a wonderful 3 week on camera commercial class. I will continue to follow up with thank you notes, postcards, and maybe even take another class in the Fall.  But the fact that I had that callback is a victory in itself. 

Being an artist takes guts! So first off, it is important to acknowledge this fact and be proud of the fact that you as an artist had the guts to do this.  But it is also takes guts to continue on your artistic path. 

What is something that you are too scared to do?
My challenge to you is to tap into your guts deep down inside of you that gave you the spark to pursue your passion in the first place and be fearless.  Do something that you haven't done because fear has been stopping you.  Maybe it is taking a voice lesson because you are afraid to sing, or go to the gym because you are afraid of what other people are thinking of you, or maybe you haven't auditioned in 6 months because it is just easier to not show up.  Pick something and go do it! Fearless artists will set this world on fire with their confident passion.

How many times have you had to answer this question? .......
When are you going to be on Broadway or is that film coming to theaters? You chuckle but we have all been there and if you have accomplished these things..... great and if not that is great as well! Your glory comes with knowing who you are as an artist and doing good work in the room.  That may be the stage, the set, or the audition room. Your glory may be the fact that you are doing your first professional gig in summer stock, or that dream role you have always wanted to tackle, or moving to a city that you always wanted to live in.  Don't forget that your glory comes every day with the sun in the morning so acknowledge the fact that you have accomplished so many things day in and day out even if it hasn't been Broadway..... YET!

As things continue to heat up this summer, raise the stakes on your goals and be the gutsy artist you want to be!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who...What..Where...and Why...We are All Characters in Our Own Story!

The Who, The What, The Where, and The Why are all basic questions we must answer as actors.  We constantly search the text and create a back story for the characters that we create....

What happens when we have to ask ourselves these questions and find the answers?

Cue scary music

So often I am drawn to acting because it is often an escape. The more and more I meet with students and learn more about myself as a person and an actor, I have learned that I must not escape myself in the work but bring more of my unique self to the work. It is this sense of self that will spark a unique perspective in my work whether on stage, in the audition room, or on set.

So here it goes.......

Who are you?

For so many of us, we are defined by our careers which are really important to all of us.  However, we are so much more than just the work that we create.  For example, I am an actor but not defined by this.  I am also a writer, a teacher, a motivator, a son, a cousin, a comedian, a loyal friend.  I am all these things and these things shape my voice in my work.
Go ahead...write 5 things that define you as a person. Do it!!!!

What am I doing?

I probably ask myself this question at least five times out of the day.. But what are you doing with your life? I often try to be more engaged in my day to day actions that will help me focus on a bigger picture.  Small steps allow us get to a great final result.  For example, you say I want to be in a film.  Therefore step must be in on camera class. Second, what casting directors know your work?  It would also help if these casting directors work on casting films... So get in front of them.....casting workshops are a great resource for this.  Finally follow up with a personal thank you note that includes a photo of you!  Three steps that help make an end result more obtainable.  The end result may come four months from now or even 2 years but keep on putting your foot in front of the other one.

Where am I going?
Do you feel like you are stuck and not making progress.  You are hamster running on that wheel not getting anywhere.  Trust me...I feel you and have been there.  However, it is important for your artistic soul to do something new for you.  Maybe it is getting new headshots...I was talking to a friend in LA and his manager suggested that getting new shots might be a useful tool in getting that foot into the casting room.  A new fresh look with your creative energy is never bad thing.  Maybe it is taking a new class or joining a new gym.  I must confess I am taking a new on camera commercial class starting this week and also start classes for my Master's at the same time.  The idea of these classes that lie ahead have given me a sense of pride as both an actor and a teacher.  So get out and do something new... maybe it's even getting a new swimsuit for that summer season that is creeping upon us :)

Why am I doing this?

I think this is intrinsically an important question.  At the end of the day as professional actors, we all make to make money.  We have bills to pay.  However, when the going gets tough...why do you keep on keeping on?  Go ahead and really think and answer this question for yourself.  Look into yourself and say why do I call myself an actor?  And for those readers who are not in the industry I believe that this also a very valid question as well.

For myself, I am an actor, because I am a story teller.  Like this blog, I like to tell stories that inspire people and help them to connect to the world around us.  I think that both theater, film, and television not only entertain our society but also have the opportunity to make change. As an actor, I want to be apart of that.

At the end of the day, it is easier some days to look at ourselves in the mirror.  I must confess... I did in fact look at the physical mirror the other day and went..."O my God... I look like my Dad!"  I was horrified and laughing all at the same time.  :)

However you look at yourself..... you must get to that deeper part of you and realize you have a unique quality and voice to offer this industry in a  future project that will come along your way.  Stay true to yourself and to your passion, dig deep when the going gets tough, and the work will come when you least expect it.



Monday, May 5, 2014

The Perfect Power of Now

There is something simple in the present moment of now. This moment right in front of you.  These past few days I have been struck by the idea of this given moment and how beautifully powerful this can be if we allow ourselves to be in this one moment and no where else.  Like many things I have written about ......easier said than done right.

If you arrive at a restaurant before any one else what is the first thing you do once talking to the host? It probably would be pull out your phone and distract yourself while you wait.  In an age where we are connected socially through technology why must we distract ourselves from the reality and real moments in front of us? I am 100% guilty of this.

As actors, it is important to be present in the moment, but I think as a society we need to connect with the moment in front us rather than being concerned with our facebook followers, twitter comments, and Instagram pics.  I am not saying that these things are not useful, but what would happen if you cut back for one hour a week and made the effort to look up from the phone?

Maybe you might meet the love of your life.  Maybe you will have a conversation with a complete stranger that will spark that new film script or maybe you will see that sunset that inspires you to connect more with the world.  This is my challenge this time around. Put it down for one hour, look up and connect. I not only want to complete this challenge for myself but I need it.

In terms of your career, you will be more present in your work on stage and on screen, because you will truly understand how to capture the simplicity and power of that one moment.  That one moment with your co-star or that scene partner or that reader in the audition room. You will own it, because you have looked up and understand what it means to connect in the moment of now.

In terms of the long term goals, the  power of now is also extremely important.  How many times do you worry about the past mistakes in the audition room or how your future roles are going to come into fruition?  I know that I reflect and worry about all these things and more as an actor. However, I am going to try to get from one real moment to the next and see how my work becomes enriched.

I, you and me, we, only have the now .....So why not look up and enjoy it! We owe it to ourselves as people and artists to seize the moment but how can you seize it if you are not aware that it is even there!?


No ...might be not be what we want to hear but that one no may lead to the yes you need.

Own your moment.  It is your opportunity to shine.  Relish in each opportunity you get to show your voice and talents as an artist in the audition room, on stage, and on set. We actors don't always get this moment!

Winning is not always in the outcome. As actors, we always want to book that role.  So many factors go into the casting process. Winning is showing up fully prepared and present in the moment knowing that you are a professional artist with a unique voice for this role.

As we celebrate cinco de mayo, enjoy the guacamole and margarita while looking up at the moments. It's character research after all or at least that's how I am justifying it. ;) I am sure you will appreciate it much more than that newsfeed you have updated five times in a row.

Live for today, laugh always, and love this moment.

Patrick G. McGee
Actor - Writer - Teaching Artist - All Around Good Guy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Off Season!

So as we start to wrap up pilot season and the theater auditions start to wind down, you look at your phone constantly and realize you have not booked the recurring role or that summer stock season....or like for myself some projects you weren't even called in for....I ask you.....

What do you do now?

Obviously getting yourself into a class is always good.  But yes.... yes it does cost money that you do not have.... so now what?

The periods of not working can be the most difficult times as an artist and not booking something does not mean you are not talented.  You and your talented artistic voice will be given a chance to be heard just not at this certain moment in time.  This is a very difficult thing for your psyche to accept.  As I had some drinks and dinner with some friends this past week, I was struck by this idea of non-work as an actor.  So many actors, even famous actors, go years without work.  After some reflection, I have realized your life cannot be the business otherwise you might go crazier than you already are.

I think it is healthy to so desperately work hard at something but when it becomes your entire life....I think then it might border on unhealthy obsession.  Therefore, think outside the box in order to discover other interests.

What sparks your interest other than your artistry?

In fact those interests won't take away from your artistry...they will enhance them.

Name three things right now that you love to do other than your main career goals:

For myself

1. Cooking
2. Writing
3.  Teaching

I might have wanted to throw in drinking a good beer but didn't want to give you the wrong impression. ;).
But those three things are great outlets that also enhance my work as an actor.  I am also an active runner, and I love a good card game.  Who knows when those skills will come in handy but they fulfill my life in a different way.  As an artist, I think it is important to live your life and develop your various interests.  It will keep you grounded and keep the momentum of creativity going when you need it most.

I know you have interests so go do them!

 Go volunteer at that animal shelter....go for that run....join that yoga class....learn how to play guitar.  Who knows what you might discover....

Discover in order to uncover a new key to success!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The 3 L's......Love, Luck, and Light

February has just ended, and March has just begun. Not gonna lie, I was struck by these two months.  We are three months into the new year and bundled down with many outside forces.  As we continue to bundle ourselves from the cold with work, a social life, bills, and so many other things, we have a light that is at the end of the tunnel known as Spring.  With this season, we are all hoping for a renewal that we so desperately crave during this moment in time that is still not quite winter and not quite Spring.  You feel me..I am still taking applications for quality cuddlers...

With February, I am always hit over the head with the concept of love.  As  we merge with the month of March, I ask you love what you are doing with your life?

For myself, it is constantly up hill battle with the balancing act between my artistic career goals and making a difference and impact on this world in a positive way.  Some days, I am down trodden by the ideas that society has placed on life goals but deep down I know that I love both my life as both as an artist and a teacher/motivator.  So many people go day in and day out and truly hate what they do and bring the people down around them.  As an artist, I have encountered too many bitter artists who complain about performing and their job as an actor.  If you feel like you are being sucked into this toxicity, it is alright to give yourself permission to step back from your life as an artist in order for you to find a stronger more positive voice.  Letting your artistic life goals go or change is so hard for so many artists, because this is a life you have been comfortable in for so many years.  However, by letting go of that old artistic life will allow you to MARCH into Spring with a sense of renewal.

By Marching into the Spring, you will realize how lucky you truly are.  With the month of March, I am reminded of LUCK.  As a true Irish man, I love the month of March for many obvious reasons.  However, I ask you at this moment.........are you lucky?

In this business there is the old saying, it is all about LUCK and I do have to agree partially with that sentiment .  However, I also would add in hard work, and with that hard work, you will realize how lucky you truly are.  Yes, there is a matter of luck for that "big break."  But if you stop and think about your hard work over the weeks, months, and years, you will see how LUCKY you are at this moment in time.  Over the past few weeks for myself, I landed a meeting with new commercial agency in NYC, and am in talks to do a very fun project.  Over the past six years, I have had the honor of working as a professional actor paid for my work at one point throughout the year or another.  When I stop and look at these few things, I say "damn, I am one lucky man."

Finally, light the world on fire.  There is a constant light at the end of the tunnel for all of us actors and artists.  What does this light signify for you?

For me, the light serves as two things.  First, it is a reminder that I am always growing and reaching to be a better person and artist.  Second, it is a reminder of rebirth and cleansing.  The light allows myself as an artist and person to reevaluate my goals and aspirations in both my artistic and personal life.  We are only given one life.  We might as well light up that screen, light up that stage, and light up that one moment.

Love what you do in order to march into your dreams, goals, and aspirations that will continue to bring this world into a better light.

 Lucky you that you can do all that and more!


Paddy G. McGee

PS Don't forget to celebrate your luck, love, and light on my special Day MARCH 17!!