Kay’s Coaching Techniques


Coaching Notes and Techniques:

Outstanding elements:
Focus, commitment, listening, risk taking!  Tireless efforts, personalized attention and skills!

Areas for improvement:

Eliminate bending at waist, energy should come from the center of the body

Lift sternum

Heighten stakes (especially in “conversational” scenes)

Follow through end of sentences–energy

Eliminate wandering

Keep the voice strong in a large space

Maintain precision in movement and word

Articulate final consonants

Honesty should match energy—stay true to the situation

Maintain clarity of intention—minimizing movement and voice to focus on a specific target, rather than a general energy wash

Transference to actual life:  how do you use these elements to reinforce your message, your attitude, your bravery, your risk taking, commitment.



Going Between the Thoughts”, Getting into the Present Moment

Close your eyes.

Focus on the breath.

Let the mouth be slightly open, notice cool air in, warm air out.

Notice: Is the breath in the chest, or in the diaphragm?

Without judgment, always with a sense of humor, let thoughts come to you and pass through.

Let what you have already done pass through, and what you are going to do after this moment pass through.

Then, see if you can find a moment where you are neither behind nor ahead of your thoughts.

Go to the breath: Cool air in, warm air out.

Go “in between” the thoughts to the present moment.

Listen to the room.

Drop into the breath. Cool air in, warm air out.

As the thoughts come to you, breathe into them, let them pass, rather than blocking them—it takes less effort to breathe them through, than to block.

If the mind wanders, guide it back gently to the present moment, as you would a child who has strayed away. Take it by the hand, lead it back.

Keep going “in between” the thoughts to a place of rest and well-being.

Open your eyes.

New research from the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging suggests that people who meditate show more gray matter in certain regions of the brain, show stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. In other words, meditation might make your brain bigger, faster and “younger”.

Here is the article.  http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/evidence-builds-that-meditation-230237


Kay teaches “mantras”– those are, essentially, your “inner monologue” before you go into a scene–which could be applied to a meeting or a challenging conversation.  To adjust your mindset, intentionally think your “mantra” with meaning before or after important interactions. The mantra is one meaningful short sentence or phrase that is aligned with your overall objective, focused on your partner. 

Below, find an excerpt from a LinkedIn article that takes it to a corporate level–related to the latest United debacle.
“Businesses that put customers first begin with a set of company values. These are the positive attributes of your business. They are mantras that you, as a leader, want your company to believe in and exemplify. The closest thing I was able to find, as far as United’s company values was a list of supposedly “customer first” policies such as,
Occasionally we may not be able to provide you with a seat on a specific flight, even if you hold a ticket, have checked in, are present to board on time, and comply with other requirements.”
Boy, doesn’t that inspire you to do right by your customers? Me either.
Instead, dive deep as you create meaningful values, and avoid corporate buzzwords like, “We’re proactive” or bland phrases like, “Customer Service.” Clichés such as these lack any power to inspire.
Full article here:



An introduction to the mechanics of voice and speech, including a practical warm-up.  Exercises will be provided to strengthen and improve the voice, and to practice articulation for greater clarity in speech.  Additional focus will be on relaxation, body alignment, and the utilization of breath to alleviate the tension that blocks effective speaking.  The student will gain vocal techniques incorporating variations in pitch, rate, quality, volume and inflection.


A practical application of skills to help the actor through the first read of a new script in a first time audition situation, or in a “call back.”  Script analysis techniques will be provided, including: quick script diagnosis, finding focus, staying “in the moment”, using the scene partner to make choices, making a strong choice, following through, hitting operative words, choosing landing lines, and finding “trampoline lines” to lead the actor to the next moment.



– Vocabulary & Terminology (Kay)
The student learns an “Acting Vocabulary” and communication tools to feel comfortable and speak intelligently in a professional audition situation; and/or in “First Rehearsal”, after landing the job.  Theatre terminology is provided to assist the student in understanding the casting director/play director. “Table work”, stage directions, and acting terminology, such as “Givens”, “Objective”, “Action”, “Obstacle”, is explained, with easy examples provided from analyses of contemporary scripts.



It takes a great deal of trust in your partner, and a mutual respect between actors to take risks in the work. We are not playing reality: i.e., I am not actually that character (i.e., murderer), and am not actually going to hurt my partner in any way. However, I need to bring the truth of that dangerous situation to the stage so the audience believes me, and becomes involved in the story. The actor tries to empathize with the character, not just sympathize (from the outside), but to feel the feelings of the character or perform the actions of the character utilizing many methods: including physical action, exploration of given circumstances, research, observation, imitation , personalization, sense memory, emotional recall. It is always important to remember that “nobody gets hurt”,so one can take great risks. Actors must mutually agree on the choices, especially when doing any potentially dangerous physical moves or making intimate contact. Actors are the “instruments”, our bodies, our voices, our souls, and it is important to protect oneself, while at the same time, engaging the audience. The actor is using a part of himself that understands the universal truths and wants (objectives) of the human being, i.e., love, power, forgiveness, sex, control, on and on…

Remember Constantin Stanislavski’s “Magic If”…If I were that person in that situation, how would I behave?