“Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path.” ― Sivananda Saraswati I received a truly surprising email from blog reader that I had to share with you guys…. Hi ...

Why Not Start Your Own School? and more...

Why Not Start Your Own School?

“Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path.”
― Sivananda Saraswati

I received a truly surprising email from blog reader that I had to share with you guys….

Hi Virginia,

I discovered your blog years ago when I was applying for grad school and found it to be so helpful and inspiring. Thank you for putting so much energy into helping others navigate the process - the ups and the downs. I've had a rollercoaster adventure applying to graduate schools and getting accepted and deciding that I wasn't being offered the training that I felt I needed. So, I actually started an advanced actor training center and I've been hiring master teachers like Olympia Dukakis and Jim Calder. I have some stuff planned for the winter, mostly with Jim Calder and Janet Zarish. I know we haven't met, but I do feel strangely like I know you! The website for the school is www.thenewyorkdramacenter.com. Hope all is well with you!

xx Devin

Wowie! Wow! Wow!

After having an incredibly inspiring Skype conversation with Devin, I was compelled to write to you all and tell you about her. Hopefully we can all learn from Devin’s process and be motivated to think about how we can choose to make things happen for ourselves!

Let me just name a few of the AMAZING things that I see this woman Devin doing....

  1. She applied to grad school for acting. Which shows me she’s following her dream. She’s committed to honing her craft. She’s interested in getting great training and is willing to jump through any necessary hoops in order to become her best actor self.

  2. She got accepted to grad school and had a level of self-awareness to notice that she wasn’t being offered the training that she felt she needed! This is awesome to have this level of self-awareness. She’s not blaming anyone or making the school out to be “wrong” or inferior. She’s just noticing that she had an expectation that wasn’t being met and that for her to get the training that she desired, that that school wasn’t the place for her to do it. BOOOOOM! That’s HUGE! Because now, she can take ACTION.

  3. The action that she took was totally courageous and incredibly smart. She STARTED HER OWN SCHOOL.

WHHHHHHaaaaaaaat????!!!!  (I know! Isn’t that incredible!?)

I am super impressed by this. She decided that there are certain teachers that she’d really like to work with and some of them teach at different schools and many of them are in NYC. So why not just hire them to come and teach a class? And if Devin would like to work with a teacher like Jim Calder, Olympia Dukakis or Janet Zarish without paying $60,000 a year to an educational institution, then I imagine there might be a lot of other actors that would love to do the same.

How about you? Are you in the New York area? Jaded by how difficult it is to get accepted to one of the “elite” acting schools? Would you like to cut all the application bullshit, save a ton of time and money, and have the INCREDIBLY UNIQUE opportunity to work with one of the (arguably) best acting teachers in the USA? Well here is your chance...if you want it. Check out the classes available at thenewyorkdramacenter.com and see if it might be a good fit for you. Take a risk. You won’t know until you try. Please reach out to Devin at devin.shacket@gmail.com if you have questions.  

She is not making any money on the school (yet). This isn’t about that anyway. This is about creating opportunity. Creating opportunity for YOU to grow, for YOU to train, for YOU to work with a master teacher and soak up the years of skill and care that he’s put into developing his craft as an artist and a human. You can’t put a price on that kind of experiential learning (only she did and it’s super affordable). Stepping into this class could literally transform your life. One on one feedback on your work from Jim Calder and Janet Zarish!????!!! That could be everything! If you let yourself be impacted and open yourself up and dive deep into the training, you could be transformed.

I hope you’ll check out The New York Drama Center for your own sake and share it with a friend for their sake. And thank you to Devin for being a super courageous artist and fire-starter! You are being a great example to us all...If the system isn’t supporting your dreams or visions for your life...Go around the system. Be creative. Make your own opportunities. If life doesn’t throw you the lemons you want, then mix your own brand of lemonade, with a twist of courage!

Drink deep. This is your one and only one life.


P.S. Just to be perfectly transparent. I am not a sponsor or anything. I’m not making any money by posting this. I really believe in what Devin is doing. And I want to support her and her mission by spreading the word.

P.P.S. Wishing YOU major success in this life.

What Is NYU Grad Acting Looking For???

This article answers the most common question that every applicant has when applying to grad school…

What are they looking for?

Check it out.

Thanks, Backstage.


Do you. Be confident. Keep going for it..or don't. It's all up to you.



Playbill.com Article Worth Taking Note Of...

Hey Kids!

If you want to work on Broadway...Consider training at one of the schools listed in this article on Playbill.com. (Link Below)

Please note: Working on Broadway does not guarantee, fame, fortune or long-term happiness.

Long-term happiness and creating a fulfilling life is up to YOU!


Love to you all,

P.S. Check out this new feature... http://www.playbilledu.com/ 
(This could be a game-changer for some of you!!!! Best of luck with your school apps!)


The CA Family Play #10: The Documentary

Hey. I know I'm a smartass. I'd say I'm sorry, but I think those words should be reserved for bigger things, don't you? And I'd say I'm working on it, but the Buddhists say self-correction and self-improvement are acts of aggression and that we should just observe, be awake, et cetera. Whatever, I know I'm intolerable. But what're ya supposed to do when you just don't think people are very observant, when you don't think most people are even capable of looking outside their own box and they're scared because it's dark in there, sitting in their own stink, breathing in their own stale thoughts, worrying so much that they're dead that they just keep telling themselves, But I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive to the exclusion of any other sophisticated observation. Anyway. What'd you really do all night?




Sounds like we're both hard to shop for.

- Flooded With Light by Stan Richardson (The Representatives)

Hello, my blog family!

I've got an exciting gift to share with you!!!! 

This past year has been an amazing process, working on this CA family play with The Representatives. The play Stan wrote inspired by interviews with my family, Flooded With Light, was a huge success when we produced it in New York in December 2013.

Audiences were so receptive to the work. I was fortunate enough to attend almost every performance. I loved sitting and watching the actors bring life to the characters every night. The energy of the room was so different every night. 

It was fascinating to experience the audience's responses in our nightly post-show wine parties. Some people loved it and said that it was the best thing they'd ever seen The Representatives produce. One audience member left in the middle of the play, whispering to her friend, "This play is too intense for me, I've gotta go." Isn't that amazing? It affected her so deeply that she had to LEAVE! Amazing! 

I embrace both the positive and negative responses equally. They are both fantastic! I truly believe good art should illicit a strong gut reaction, so I am delighted that people either loved it or hated it. 

Apathy is death to art.

Since I knew that very few of my blog followers were going able to see the show,  I wanted to create something I could send out to you that'd give you the chance to share the experience with us, to give you a taste of what the whole process was like. Soooooooo I commissioned a short documentary film about the "making-of" Flooded With Light. I am super excited to hear what you think!

(Big huge shout-out THANK YOU to the filmmaker Joshua Paul Johnson, without his heartfelt commitment to this project this video never would have been possible.)



Flooded with Light: an apartment play from Joshua Paul Johnson on Vimeo.

Flooded with Light: an apartment playis the culmination of a year-long project to create a "theatrical portrait" of the family life of Virginia Wilcox (resident of Astoria, NY) in collaboration with playwright Stan Richardson (NY, NY) and actor Matt Steiner (NY, NY) of The Representatives.  Stan, Matt and Virginia took an immersive research trip to meet Virginia's family in Northern California. The experiences they came away with, as well as current political and social issues, have inspired this biting new play about zealotry, illicit love, and the costs of self-reinvention.  Flooded with Light was first presented on Manhattan's Upper West Side in December 2013 as part of The Representatives' Collected Apartment Plays series. Filmmaker Joshua Paul Johnson documents the making of this theatrical portrait, a process of creating intimate, personal theatre with global themes for audiences inside and outside the arts.

For more about…
The Representatives go to www.TheRepresentatives.org
The filmmaker go to www.JoshuaPaulJohnson.com


P.S. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Thanks for being patient with me. And thanks to all of you that have reached out during this period of radio-silence to say, “Hey! How are things going? Send us an update.” That’s made me feel really special, knowing that you care!

P.P.S. Interested in getting a copy of the play? Please direct all inquiries for Flooded With Light to stan at the representatives dot org.

The CA Family Play #9: "Flooded With Light"

Hello, my friends!

It's really happening.

Here is your invitation to the performances of the CA family play that I started working on earlier this year. Stan Richardson (the playwright) has titled it "Flooded with Light." Doesn't that sound amazing?

I'm overwhelmed at the prospect of having an audience see this (very personal) piece of art. Hope you'll be able to make it. To make a reservation email reservations@therepresentatives.org.

Thanks for all your kind words of support throughout the process. Sending you all big love.


the representatives

Flooded with Light

a new apartment play

written by Stan Richardson
directed by Lee Sunday Evans
with David Rosenblatt, Matt Steiner & Marguerite Stimpson

A biting new play about zealotry, illicit love, and the costs of self-reinvention.
Wednesday, December 4th
Thursday, December 5th
Friday, December 6th
Saturday, December 7th
Sunday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 11th
Thursday, December 12th
Friday, December 13th
Saturday, December 14th
Sunday, December 15th

All performances at 8pm.


1 bottle of wine
(Please include a first and second choice.)
the representatives is the collaboration of playwright Stan Richardson and actor Matt Steiner. We make plays that come from our personal and political dreams and nightmares and we do it fast.


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