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Actor Testimonials

We have seen the effect our work has had on the skilled actors employed by Carlo. Here are a few testimonials from some of Live In Theater's current company members:
"I can certainly say that working with Carlo was by far one of the most memorable encounters that I've experienced. His unorthodox style of teaching and his perspective of the art of acting was truly inspiring. The most valuable element that struck with me was his honesty as a teacher and as a fellow actor in this industry. Carlos's abilities and teachings as a creative mind effected me and each and every student who was fortunate enough to work with him. I had the honor of working with The Live In Theater from 2012-2013, and that is the year when i truly built my skills as an actor. Every show was a new experience that I can still recall and refer back to often in my mind. The real life interaction with the audience and the quick thinking that was required on my part was vital for the show, which transformed my rugged style of acting into a detailed and in the moment process."
Themo Melikidze, company member "The Ryan Case 1873," "The Lombardi Case 1975" and "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988"
Check it out: Themo Melikidze to Play Boston Marathon Bomber in "Patriots Day"
"Carlo is one of those great acting teachers and directors who manages to teach you so much without making it feel like class or work. He is so incredibly passionate that it can't help but transfer to you and the work that you do under his guidance, and ultimately if you can tap into that passion, you'll be okay no matter what the role. Working in LIT productions is like the Olympics of acting. As an actress who has worked on both film and stage the two present different and equally difficult challenges, but LIT gives you all of those challenges at once! I can't think of a better training tool for an actor... you have the audience right up in your face (like a camera) so you can't hide anything, you have to find truthful moments to be larger than life to compensate for the street around you, you have to have the stamina to maintain during an entire performance, and you have about 15 seconds prep time before you have to be 100% in it as your group rounds the corner. I don't know how he does it, but just in the short time I've worked with Carlo I've overcome so many of my personal blocks as an actress. I guess that's why he's the teacher and I'm the student. Every actor should work with Carlo, and aspire to act in one of his productions. It will truly make you the best you can be."
Leila Bicos, company member "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988"
"Working with Carlo at Live IN Theater has helped me hone my skills as an actor and in just a couple of months I have experienced, not steps but, leaps in my creativity and abilities. I am twice the actor and triple the person I was before I started with Live IN Theater. No bs!"
Jeffrey Foley, company member "The Ryan Case 1873," "The Lombardi Case 1975" and "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988"
"For the last three years, I have played Trixypop, a homeless junkie prostitute, in Carlo's production of 'The Lombardi Case 1975.' When Carlo first cast me, I really had no idea what I was doing. I understood the show was interactive---but not what that truly meant. I understood that I was going to be dressed up as a homeless, beat up drug-addicted prostitute, standing outside in the streets of New York City, subject to the scrutiny of the entire world---but again, not what that truly MEANT. All I knew was that this seemed like an incredibly unique opportunity, and it seemed like it was going to be fun, and it was a paying acting job, and this crazy little high-energy eccentric guy directing it seemed to know what he was doing.

So I started to do the show. And at first, it was very, very uncomfortable. And I wasn't sure if I was doing well--especially balancing the improv in the show with the scripted material. But I didn't get fired.

And then I started to notice something--a very simple thing. I started to notice that, when Carlo gave me an adjustment, if I did what he said, I would be good. Simple as that. SIMPLE AS THAT.

So I continued to do the show, and I started to notice something else---that Carlo's direction, the lessons I learn from him and from acting professionally week after week after week, were beginning to carry over into my other acting work. Carlo is a genius. We as Carlo's actors throw around the word 'genius' a lot because it is common knowledge among us that Carlo is basically Mozart. Ask any one of us and we will tell you. I saw Carlo's solo show, and watched him seamlessly play about 25 characters in about an hour. Transitioning instantly from character to character, with absolute precision. It is one thing to trust your director, but it's another thing to be able to trust your director because he's a better actor than you.

If you are Carlo's student or employee, let go of your need to be coddled as an actor. Carlo is going to regard you as a professional---he's not harsh, but he is direct and he is not going to babysit you or hold your hand. You're going to be doing a level of work that is far beyond 'am I doing this right? Is this ok? Am I good?' Just take for granted that you're good---or he wouldn't be spending his time on you. You can trust him. If you do what he says, YOU WILL BE GOOD. Maybe even great. Maybe even brilliant.
Sri Gordon, company member "The Lombardi Case 1975" "The Ryan Case 1873," & "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988"
"Working with Carlo in his shows has created a 100% improvement in my willingness to trust and go with my impulses as an actor. Since the audience can--and will--say anything, there's little to no time to think or prepare, but simply respond in character from impulses. That's where the best and truest acting comes from, not calculated brain ideas, but flowing in the moment. This kind of uncertainty is a fear that plagues so many actors, including myself before, but now it's incredibly refreshing to be so confident going with the flow of what the audience is giving and discovering new places it can and will go each and every time."
Jason Vance, company member "The Ryan Case 1873," "The Lombardi Case 1975" and "The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988"
"Carlo pushes you to where you think you can go but aren't quite sure how to get there. Carlo knows how, he gives you the tools to expand your craft. He takes out the heaviness and theory of acting and replaces it with instruction that produces immediate results. Carlo is a master of the craft, working with him inspires me to dig deeper and always search for what makes a character dynamic. This is what he is always instilling on us, be DYNAMIC going from one rich emotion/ moment to the other. He makes it so fluid and thats what he's teaching, to be fluid and make strong choices, never settle for mundane. Other teachers preach this but there is a break in communication between teach and student. Carlo simplifies and reduces the tools so you are given immediate results. Since working with Carlo I have become fearless in my auditions. I have booked 2 television shows and 3 indie feature films. I owe this to Carlo and my experience at LiveInTeheater. The man is a master craftsman and a genius. He will make you a better actor period."
Josh Dye company member "The Ryan Case 1873" "The Lombardi Case 1975" and "The Pinkertonian Mystery"


by Carlo D'Amore
Your ship hasn't come in. While it feels like you've been at this for a long time, you don't have much to show for it, especially compared to that actor who you came up with and who now has his or her own television show. You're starting to doubt the choices you've made. The reality of working a restaurant job (or its equivalent) and sharing a small apartment when your contemporaries are buying houses and raising kids is weighing on you. Maybe acting isn't for you. Maybe it's time to give up the dream.

But how do you know for sure? You had so much hope in the beginning. While that blind hope has been killed by cold practicality, you still have moments in class, on stage on a random Thursday night, or at the odd audition, when it all feels so right-when you feel like you can do this. So, you go back and forth between investing even more in your acting career and considering moving back home to start a new life. One moment you'll think, "Well, Gene Hackman, Jane Lynch, Kathryn Joosten, Samuel Jackson and Jon Hamm didn't hit it big till later in their lives," and the next you'll be paralyzed with bitterness and hopelessness, picking up extra shifts to pay the rent that month.

That struggle is one that every actor engages in, but that thought process is inherently flawed. The truth is that being an actor is not something one gives up. It is who you are. It is a deep need that exists in every molecule of your body to explore the depths of the human emotional experience and then find human connection in the expression of those feelings. Giving it up would be like giving up hunger or thirst or the need for air. And it's arrogant to think that you could.

Of course here we must draw a distinction between acting as a deep need on the one hand, and the desire to derive validation and piles of money from acting on the other. It's an obvious distinction, but one that most actors don't make. Often actors, who presumably started acting because they were profoundly moved on an emotional level by the magical human experience of acting, move to L.A. and all of a sudden think that acting means fame and fortune. Then if they don't get the big house and have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers in the first few years, they're ready to stop acting. "I gave it a shot but it didn't happen for me." This is ridiculous. Reducing acting to a title measured by money and fans-even if you have those things-is a dangerous game that kills your craft and stunts your career.

Of course every actor has to figure out how to make a living, and often that means working some other job. But that doesn't mean you stop acting. You couldn't if you tried. It's who you are. And it doesn't have to be all or nothing. In fact, you have to have other interests. It makes you a better actor. Even the most successful actors have other things going on-children's charities, aid to Darfur, raising kids, producing, writing, directing, painting, teaching. Have a full life, have multiple sources of income, act whenever and however you can. But being an actor is not a choice.

You are an actor. The sooner you commit fully to that notion and give yourself permission to be an actor-whether you've booked a pilot this year or not-the sooner you'll achieve the career that you want. And then your career will slow down, and then it will pick up again. Then slow again. You'll manage the ups and downs with a full life, but you will always be an actor. No one can take that from you. Not even you.

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