Feb 28 • 1HR 26M

The Elysium Aesthetic

Week #4: The Muscles of Preparation

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Happy Monday! Welcome back to Acting Class Daily. Welcome new friends! What better way to welcome our newest subscribers … than easy access to our “get-to-know-you” month: Kindred Spirits, What Is Good Acting?, Growing Excellence.

It’s a full one today. Gmail friends will need to hit the ol’ “view entire message” button for today’s Knick Knacks + Moment of Magic.

Welcome back to The Elysium Aesthetic - to our fourth and final overview chapter of laying out the landscape to find our way forward as teammates.

We now have a clear sense of a finish line and those things we’re gonna do - specific and unique targets in each of the three areas of lifelong acting growth: our artistry, instrument, and craft. What we’re gonna do to get us across our finish line.

Here, in our final overview chapter, let’s talk about how.

Let’s talk about how we power creative success throughout The Elysium Aesthetic.

How we show up ready. How creative success becomes inevitable.

The Road To Elysium.

Elysian Fields (Edoardo Angelucci)

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

The Muscles of Preparation

Today’s Finish Line

Knowing the muscles that power personal creative growth and permeatie everything we do in The Elysium Aesthetic.

PREVIOUS: Growing Excellence NEXT: The Road To Elysium

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 Elysium Lens

As the first step in your DEAR:

  1. Discover the answer to 3 Questions at the end of your day:

    1. What experience today clarified a piece of my craft?

    2. What experience today strengthened an area of my instrument?

    3. What experience today inspired a flavor of my Elysium Artist?

  2. You can strengthen the muscle by focusing on tougher moments:

    1. How did this experience today clarify a piece of my craft?

    2. How did this experience today strengthen an area of my instrument?

    3. How did this experience today inspire a flavor of my Elysium Artist?

  3. BONUS MUSCLE BUILDER: focus the Elysium Lens on the 3 Questions for a recent and long-ago “dark day.”

Trait Work + Portal Practice

TRAIT WORK: Pinpointing the muscles of forward as only you know them.

  1. Capture a modified trait that powers each muscle of creative growth: specificity, the elysium lens, embracing your portal, never settling for the first taste of success, unleashing your olympic spirit, testing by taste (vs. judging), and letting go.

PORTAL PRACTICE: We want to build the muscle of embracing our portal fully.

  1. Taste any specific question.

  2. Embrace your “portal” by capturing it with Creative Communication.

  3. Taste the Creative Communication and “ride the slide” to your knowing.

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

Leave a comment

* Kindred Connect - you are worth really getting to know. Each submission receives personal feedback - giving us our first chance to work together. Submit your first draft … and let’s play!


* Cabaret Elysium debuts on March 11th!!! Send in a slice of your creative passion and help set the tone for everyone to go for it fearlessly.


Questions about any of this shtuff? Reply to this email and I’ll get you the answers :-)

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? We’ll translate!

THE ELYSIUM LENS; the power of productive perspective. The muscle pushing back against the roaring, tidal wave of doubt existing in all of us.

The 3 Questions (step one in our Daily Elysium Artist Report, or DEAR) is an exercise that proves daily we can look at any seeming impossibility, any fog of confusion, and find the click of forward.

Where others would pause (or be stopped in their tracks and walk away) because … there’s no answer! the note makes no sense! the script is bad! I’m not good enough to get there! … only hearing the roaring echos of inevitability, futility, and a sense it’s all just too hard .. or complicated … or impossible …

The Elysium Lens sees that too … but also more.

The answer is on its way. It’s coming no matter the challenge. It will always, always, find you.

Forged daily into the confidence of forward - your Elysium Lens continues the adventure, allows wonder and curiosity to reign, and growth to feel like destiny.

Today’s Quote

“In that Tidal Wave of Doubt… a little dude on a surfboard!”

“Yipppeee! Wooopa! Yuumma!”

Sample the ‘stacks.

In honor of our friends at The Sample (who knew the coolest newsletters to send me … and here we are today!) each Monday I’ll highlight a Substacker that’s tickling my tastebuds:

Play On.

This is where free subscriber shtuff ends each Monday ... but let’s keep things open this first month. Enjoy the content below normally exclusive for paid members.

Aaron’s Notes

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

The Notebook

Remember that these are my early, raw notes. Where there are differences always go with the audio recording - it’s the most up-to-date. Here’s a good example in the PCW breakdown as it’s a step behind in a few important areas.

EA Outros

Music inspired by our work, to carry us into the break.

Knicks & Knacks

The Wheaties box of preparation.

Moment of Magic

Imogen’s Journey (Cymbeline - 2012)

Coming up on the 10 year anniversary of a moment that shaped my artistic life.

If there is any show that feeds my hunger to unlock raw humanity it’s Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. I remember first seeing it as a workshop production - bare bones in a studio at NYU.

My next chance to see the show came at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). They were hosting Mark Rylance and Shakespeare’s Globe who were putting on the performance. It was a magical night that I’ll be talking more about in a future class.

Cymbeline was always known for being complicated. Folks wrote it off because Shakespeare was old when he wrote it, at the end of his career and retired back in his cottage.

This was a writer lazily rehashing old themes. Trying to put all his greatest hits into one swelling story. This was complicated, they said.

This was my type of show, I thought.

How can anyone ever count out the greatest writer who ever lived?

Because he’s old? Because old themes echo throughout the piece?

This is a soul filled with the Romeos and Juliets, Caesars, Iagos and Lady Ms …

I knew I wanted to do right by this piece. By what the writer left behind.

One morning my alarm went off to KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic … and I woke up into Imogen’s Journey. That daring, brave, fearless, (all the words) risk of leaving behind her life, her royalty, and heading off into the dark forests of the unknown … all to find a love that no longer believes in her.

She faces her fears.

She goes for it.

This song, this moment, is my knowing of her journey - her heart! - and it shaped the show and my storytelling confidences for ever more. Here’s Young Blood by Birdy ... and a treasured peek into that production filmed almost 10 years ago by the super talented Desi Bee.