“When you remove criticism, judgment and extraneous opinions from your art, absolutely anything is possible.”
– Kirstin Ford, Actress
Anything is possible. And Kirstin Ford is proving that every day. Kirstin recently had the privilege of working on the award-winning television show, Mad Men. Having no prior TV credits, Kirstin considered this a huge opportunity for someone in her position. And not only that, with a host of other roles including a national commercial for Samsung, and auditions for recurring characters on Steven Spielberg pilots, Kirstin is only just getting started.
We asked Kirstin if she was intimidated being on such a huge set with such experienced actors and crew. What she shared is that the confidence she has gained through her studies at The Acting Center put her right where she needed to be.
“I saw these techniques work in an environment that could easily intimidate even a seasoned professional. It’s a funny thing to be in the presence of masterminds and feel like you belong there. I know, truly, that had I continued in classes where the teacher is always ‘right’ and every mistake a student makes is pointed out to the class as a ‘learning opportunity’ there would be no Mad Men.”
At The Acting Center, students are continuously encouraged to follow their instincts and create what they choose, without the opinions of others factoring in. Kirsten shared that she finds this approach empowering. She has taken this with her into her career and gained confidence along with her skill.
“When I first started classes at The Acting Center, I was desperate for someone to tell me I was good. Or bad. Just something that would help me gauge whether I was going to have any success with this art form that I loved so much. Initially, I was resistant to the complete lack of judgment and criticism, but as the months went by, I discovered a powerful truth driven home by all of the teachers – that art is subjective and my opinion matters. These two concepts permeate every facet of my life.
“When you remove criticism, judgment and extraneous opinions from your art, absolutely anything is possible. There is a certain kind of exhilaration that comes from knowing, loving and sharing your artistic voice.
“And magically, at some point along the way, you realize your hands no longer tremble in auditions, you can’t wait to show them what you came up with, and you can do your job with the kind of joy that artistic expression is meant to capture.”
The Acting Center offers students the opportunity to act in every single class, and to go at a pace that suits them, no matter what level of experience they have. This is something Kirstin takes full advantage of.
“I work so much more in my Acting Center classes than anywhere else I’ve studied. In my scene study class, I work on 20 to 30 characters in the first hour alone, twice a week. Quantify that over months or, in my case, years, and I’ve worked on over 1000 characters. Compare that to the singular character I’d work on for a few weeks in the other schools and, well, my skill and ability is expanding and growing so rapidly that I no longer think about whether I’m a good actor. My focus is all about the game of finding something that challenges, excites and inspires me.
“And the most incredible thing is that I’ve never hit a plateau in my studies here. The learning never ends. At The Acting Center, everything is self-paced and you work on something until you fully understand how every single drill is applied as an actor. Essentially, there is no way not to learn and grow and become a better actor here!”
Want to find out what The Acting Center is all about?
Student Spotlight – Kirstin Ford