A Nightmare in Acting

In her latest piece, Mariela Ticas described an absolutely horrific experience she had while taking an acting class. We hope it serves as a warning to make sure you peer under the mask of things that seem too good to be true.

Like many actors in LA I’m trying to discover ways to break through to the next level of my career and decided to take a workshop class on “Actor’s Block”. Little did I know this wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience, but more of an interesting and perhaps, dangerous encounter. Let’s begin…

The Introduction

I will leave the instructor’s name out for anonymity purposes. The first half of the class was very thought provoking. She was kind, made valid points on how an artist should take care of oneself, and explained how to keep yourself clear-headed in the audition room.

Then she began to share some unconventional tricks — one such as how smacking yourself in the face will open up your positive energy points to release stress and welcome good energy flow into your body. “Hmm…” I thought to myself. I was trying to be open-minded about this process, so I continued to listen to her with a receptive mindset. We practiced what she was preaching. She then asked the class, “Do you guys feel any better?” Many people in the room agreed and I nodded yes, so that I could feel included.

A Plot Twist

After the first half of the class we took a 15-minute break. When we returned, I was ready to continue learning with an attentive mindset. She went on to teach a lesson that made me question her credibility. She said that a lot of the crap that goes bad in our lives is actually “your fault.” She gave an example that if the train gets stuck or if you are diagnosed with a disease, “you manifested all of that.”

That’s right, apparently all the millions of people trying to go on about their lives, were actually manifesting the train to break down. The lesson was that you are the source of all negativity in your life. Body shaming is bad, but victim blaming is just wrong. I was in shock! I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. At this point I could see a lot of people in the room tensing up and clearing their throats. What if someone had just gone through a horrific sexual/violent attack or had just been diagnosed with an illness? Can you imagine what hearing all this could do to someone’s psyche?

Yes, there is such a thing as being a negative person and attracting more negativity into your life. Some eat junk food out of stress or smoke from being stressed and that sets the body up for disease. However, this is not the case for everybody. Everyone has their own story. Not only is this her theory the most negative, it was also a very dangerous message.

If we listened to her theory, does that mean innocent children summon disease and that all children that encounter something terrible are to blame? No — absolutely not. Innocence cannot summon darkness. She continued to talk and I was still in shock of this woman’s ignorance. I took another look around and this time the faces in the room seemed very depressed. This made me think of all the incredible artists, in particular musicians, we have lost this year. As of 2017, there were 16 million adults diagnosed with depression (typically due to an unfortunate event). When I thought about how artists and actors alike are the so vulnerable, it angered me.

It angered me that the people in the room, like myself, went in to this class for direction on removing ‘Actor’s Block’ and she was adding to that block. She tried to sweeten the mood by giving us advice on how and why we should be motivated to continue on our journey. She wanted us to help and aspire others, but qualified it with if we didn’t finish what we started, “In a thousand years were all going to be dead so it doesn’t really matter. Think about the bigger picture, is what I’m trying to say,” Oh okay, I will keep the bigger picture in
mind when I wake up, Dr. Seuss.

This woman then gave a list of meditation practices one should do. I raised my
hand in an attempt to try to turn this into a positive. I mentioned the “I Am Wishes Fulfilled” meditation by Dr. Wayne Dyer. She rejoiced in excitement that I mentioned his name and then went on to say that he was “The King of the World”. Well, this “king” spent his entire life teaching the law of attraction and after being diagnosed with leukemia and passed away. But if we followed her theory it was his fault because dedicating your entre life to the greater good is not a good way to live your life. Wink-wink. Her theory just went out the window.

A Happy Ending

As artists we want to know the reason why we didn’t get this part or that part. That adds to the belief that we didn’t do all that we could have done in the audition room. However, it’s not always about us, as Kristine Oller taught me. The day after this class, I had the pleasure of Kristine. She gave a class on “Focus, Function and Flow”. She was phenomenal and gave real, intelligent advise with wisdom and poise. I was thinking about skipping her class, thinking she was going be another quack, but now I see how it was all a test.

Things happen for a reason and if you’re having trouble getting into character because of some unfortunate event in your life, just know that you will soon be dead. I’m kidding! Synchronicity is proof that time has intelligence behind it and it’s God.

You ARE somebody and no one else can give what YOU have to give.

Be brave soldier and know that we all go through things in life. Some more terrible than others, but one thing is certain, the harder the fall the sweeter the victory. Charles R. Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Think about that next time someone tricks you into believing that you’re the source of all the problems in your life.

Now, strap your boots on soldier. Your next audition awaits you.


Mariela Ticas lives in Los Angeles, CA. and is a regular contributor to ATRP. She is a podcast personality/co-host/blogger for “The Strange Kamelion Show” on iTunes and is an active member of Sag-Aftra as a performer. She has always been a writer at heart and got her start writing poetry as a teen. Mariela got her start in the entertainment industry back in 2012 and is now currently working on her first children’s book! On her downtime, she’s a volunteer member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. You can follow Mariela on Instagram, or Twitter! Be sure to read her podcast blog, and scope her IMDb for upcoming features.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of All The Real Parts.

Stock Image by Llanydd Lloyd on Unsplash.

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