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Shining In The Spotlight: How A Tony Nominee Conquers Fear

It’s easy to think a 2015 Tony Nominee wouldn’t have any fears, right?  Yet, the higher you climb + the more big leaps you attempt. the more that fear + doubt are going to try to stop you + convince you to stay in your comfort zone.

I’m so inspired by passionate actor, director + Tony Nominee for Excellence in Theatre Education, Kevin Long, who not only turned his fear into 6 new jobs, but also had a “dream-come-true” opportunity come to him, rather than him chasing it, all within the last month.  Here’s how joining Spotlight: The Mindset of the Month Club 30 days ago helped to shift everything. 

“I am now truly beginning to LIVE the experiences I always wanted;
rather than WISHING they would happen.  
What appears to have “come out of the blue,”
I firmly believe is actually a direct result of Wendy’s Spotlight tools
that helped me to shift my energy and my internal thoughts.  It’s amazing.”
~ Kevin Long

What made you decide to join Spotlight?

I came to a point in my career where I felt like I was stuck.  I have ability and talent, but things were not moving forward in the way that I felt that they could.  I honestly felt something deep inside of me – a longing – even the spark of “I know there is something more for me, but how do I get there?  What’s stopping me?”  I had purchased your  “Creating Powerful Auditions” album + found it to be inspirational and motivating.  I decided to become a Spotlight member to see if I could find the missing link that my inner soul was yearning for.  Boy was I glad that I did!

What has your biggest lesson been?  

What holds me back from pursuing my dreams is fear—which takes shape in many forms.  Your
“Moving Beyond Fear,” audio really helped me to address this.  I could rationalize myself out of taking needed “big leaps” by reminding myself of how much out of my comfort zone I would be if I tried to take these big leaps.  My fear would kick in and eventually I would listen to it and believe it wasn’t worth trying or risking. I would say things like, “You’re not good enough yet,” or “How can you really compete at that level,” or “You are fine where you are. Why risk that?”

My fear wanted me to stay the same – where things were safe and “known.”  What I learned from your teachings was that in recognizing that the fear was just trying to protect me – that made a huge difference for me.  Instead of ignoring it, I addressed it – even thanked it for trying to do the best for me – and then I said, “It’s okay. I acknowledge what you are trying to do for me.  Thank you – but I am going to take this next step.  We’ll be fine.  I want to become the best I can become.”

That’s amazing.  Yes, fear just wants to be heard.  Was anything else keeping you stuck?

I am also a perfectionist and I have OCD.  Great combo!  But, I’ve developed a phrase for myself that I use personally and constantly remind my students.  ALIVE is better than PERFECT.  As a perfectionist, that might be an excuse for us not to try, thinking, “Well, I can’t be perfect at it, so I’m not going to try and look foolish.”   Well, there is no such thing as perfect.  It doesn’t exist.  So being ALIVE is so much better.  Go for it.  Try it.  Make mistakes and make them big.  

You’ve had so many victories in the last month,  tell us about it + what shifted within you?

Your audios, “The Next Big Leap” and Moving Beyond Fear,” along with journaling (Spotlight’s Focus Journal), has produced truly fantastic and unbelievable results for me in such a short amount of time.  Literally within less than a month, I have booked six teaching opportunities and, for the first time ever in my life, a dream-come-true opportunity has come to me – rather than me chasing after it. I have never had that happen before.
Screen shot 2015-06-21 at 11.49.18 PM

So, before my fear could stop me, I took the “next big leap” and made definite and specific plans (purchased plane tickets, etc.) to pursue this dream opportunity.  What appears to have “come out of the blue,” I firmly believe is actually a direct result of your tools that helped me to shift my energy and my internal thoughts.  It’s amazing. 

I want you to know that I continue to learn, take classes, develop my skills, etc.  I am a life long learner and take as many opportunities to keep my skills at the highest level.  With that in mind, I know that I have talent and ability, and by using your  tools, it gave me the courage to let people know about my skills, talents, and networking (which I have always felt awkward doing) was easier. This has produced the results I’ve mentioned above. AND – more importantly – it’s an acknowledgement to myself that I value myself.  Even if others affirm my abilities, it was the fact that I started acknowledging my unique and special talents that has also made the difference. 

I am now truly beginning to LIVE the experiences I always wanted; rather than WISHING they would happen.  It’s been truly amazing and I can’t wait to see where things are headed. 

You are a Tony Nominee for Excellence In Theatre Education.  Congrats!  Do you have any advice for actors who are fearful of doing Shakespeare?

First, please know that Bill is our greatest co-creator as actors.  He is our greatest story teller, greatest humanist, and truly takes care of the actor.  He WANTS us to get his work.  

For over 20 years I’ve been teaching what is called First Folio Technique.  The technique helps actors explore the language and theatre of the world’s greatest playwright through the use of the First Folio of 1623. Using Bills’s own methods, actors learn how to interpret text and build a foundation for inspiring performances.  (Notice I call him Bill, not “Shakespeare.”  I think that’s important.  He’s one of us!)

With the rigorous performance schedule of the repertory system during Bill’s day, there was no time to rehearse. Therefore, he created a system that quickly and efficiently provided the actor with the entirety of the character. He achieved this by placing essential clues for the actors directly into the text! Unfortunately, since that time, many editors have removed this vital, intended text and deleted important acting clues in the name of regularity. The First Folio is the most authentic manual available to Shakespearean actors today!  This exhilarating process results in a production that is extremely tactile, visceral and accessible.  We “crack the code” of Shakespeare.  Shakespeare becomes “demystified.”  

I witness time and time again how actors and students, of all ages, who were a bit reluctant to work on and perform the works of Shakespeare, turn into people who become truly passionate, excited, and fully engaged with these beautiful plays.  They see Bill in an entirely new light and not only find a new love for his work, but also see why it has stood the test of time.  This is my mission.  This is a life changing experience.  

What are three words that best describe you?

Passionate, Energized, Caffeinated (I love coffee!)

What’s on your ActorInspiration Favorites Playlist?

The two meditations that made such a difference for me – and so quickly –
The Next Big Leap
Moving Beyond Fear

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Becoming a Spotlight Member was, by far, the best investment I have made for my career and myself.  Remarkable things are happening and I will continue to use the tools that Wendy has given me to make my “next big leap” not only happen, but my dreams come true.

I’m so elated to hear about your inner + outer victories + to share your inspiring story with other actors.  Where can we find you online?

Any parting words?

Kevin, you are welcome.  Thank YOU for inspiring all of us. 

Try Spotlight for free + start living your (Midsummer Night’s) dream.   Details Here. 

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