Feb 7 • 1HR 12M

The Elysium Aesthetic

Week #1: Kindred Spirits

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Welcome to Acting Class Daily! My heart is filled with appreciation and excitement at having you here. Our first focus … earning our way forward as teammates.

The Road To Elysium.

Elysium’s first home in the foothills of La Crescenta, CA (photo: Luc Mondelaers)

We’ll use this space to track our EA 2022 progress. Share feedback & suggestions on what you’d like to see featured here to: actingclassdaily@substack.com

This Month’s Focus

The Elysium Aesthetic Overview

Today’s Class

Kindred Spirits

Today’s Finish Line

Kindred spirits in what we love, and want to accomplish, in this amazing profession of acting.

NEXT WEEK: What Is Good Acting?


The Olympic Spirit.

We’ll use this space to recap each week’s personal crafting work - and share the discoveries and challenges of teammates within our community. Send feedback & suggestions on what you’d like to see featured here to: actingclassdaily@substack.com

Personal Crafting Work

The Contract

  1. What’s your equivalent to “coming a few minutes late to yoga?”

  2. Draw up the contract that holds you to account.

  3. What actions could you take that would set the new standard?

10 Acting Questions To My Future Self

  1. Specify the top ten questions you would ask your future, wiser self about how to deal with any specific challenges you currently face as an actor.

  2. Let’s time-capsule each one separately. Look directly into the camera (your future self) and ask each question.

  3. File your 10 questions (video clips) in an organized, accessible folder that you can taste back to with ease throughout the year.

Share your discoveries & challenges from each week’s personal crafting work. We’ll include a response (or two) each Monday. Subscribers can hit ‘reply.’ Members can discuss on Discord and comment in community:

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Put It Up On The Wall!

We had a tradition of capturing quotes on the Elysium walls. The torch has now been passed to the digital realm. We’ll use this space to highlight quotes and translate those terms we tend to throw around.

Glossary Gigantum

Have a question about a phrase you’ve heard? Let us know and we’ll translate!

Today’s Quote

“If you could just consider me for any role. Whether it’s a rock … tree …”


Play On.

This is where free subscriber access ends each Monday ... but let’s keep things open as we get to know each other. I hope you enjoy the complimentary content below normally exclusive to paid membership.

Aaron’s Notes

Members have access to my handwritten notes for each audio chapter, bonus resources, personal nicknacks, and … a moment of magic.

Dramatic Society (1998)

My first ever role in middle of the truth-telling that made me fall in love with acting.

NYU’s Meisner Studio (2000)

Vicki never sat in judgement of our work … she lived through it fully with all her humanity. Heartbeat by heartbeat. Radiating with the joy of our success.
I loved arriving before class to take advantage of the calm focus of our space. Here’s a shot of the crew that cut lunch short - all to earn being “ready to work.”


Utah Shakespearean Festival (2003)

Feeling badass, backstage at Utah Shakes.
Taking a break from rehearsing the wedding in Much Ado About Nothing.
The first actors I ever directed! (USF’s Youth Shakespeare)

Graduate School: Harvard/Moscow Art Theatre (2005)

The grad school crew at Zoe’s Diner, our favorite spot in Cambridge. They even created this breakfast special for us called “The Waffle Slammer!”
Outside the front steps of the Moscow Art Theatre school.

X Repertory Theatre Company (2008-2011)

Theatrum Elysium / Elysium Conservatory Theatre (2011-2018)


Moment of Magic

As I prepared to close the Elysium Conservatory Theatre, I was presented with a very meaningful gift - the poem Ithaka on canvas, with Elysium drawn in ethereal gold representing our destination.

On the final day of the Meisner studio in NYU, Donna Germain (our voice teacher) asked three classmates (including myself) to sit in the center of the space. We were the three who were graduating (we started together in the Spring Studio as transfer students) while the rest of our classmates, who sat in a circle around us, still had two more years ahead of them. She had us all close our eyes.

And then she read us Ithaka.

When she was done she asked the class to take a group inhale and release a long, sustained hummmm. And suddenly a vibrating ring surrounded us.

Donna told us to remember that moment.

Remember the feel of being fully wrapped in our classmates’ care.

That whatever we face in the profession, in life … we would never be alone.

She was right.