Perfect Time and Space

Understanding that things come in their own perfect time and space can try your patience or set you free. There is a bit of mythology surrounding the actress Mildred Dunnock, who started her acting career in her late 30’s. Some say she was a bank teller and some say she was a teacher. The truth about her prior occupation is irrelevant, because that day in her late 30’s, when she made the decision to act, brought her great rewards (two Academy Awards nominations, one for Death of a Salesman and the other for Baby Doll, and many other awards). Certainly, one can say that Mildred Dunnock’s career arrived in its perfect time and space.

Recently, I was watching the 2014 Tony Awards and experienced perfect time and space example. Let me set the stage for you: in 2004, I joined David Binder as a producer for the Broadway revival of the great play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, starring Sean Combs. It was a very successful production. The 2004 production was Tony nominated for Best Revival of a Play- it did not win. The three actresses in the production (Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, and Sanaa Lathan) were Tony nominated. Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald won. Of course when I was involved with the 2004 A Raisin in the Sun revival, I wanted not only to be nominated, but to win. It was not about me- I couldn’t believe that this great play didn’t win!

Ten Years later (2014) as I watch the Tony Awards, I saw A Raisin in the Sun, now produced by Scott Rudin, win a Tony for Best Revival of a Play. Perfect time and space? The director, Kenny Leon, won the 2014 Best Director Tony for Best Revival Play- when he was directing the play in 2004 he wasn’t nominated for a Tony Award. Perfect time and space? Seated in the audience of the Tony ceremony was David Binder, the producer with myself and others of the 2004 production. This year, he was the winning producer of a Tony for Best Musical Revival (Hedwig and The Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris).  So as A Raisin in the Sun is winning for Best Revival of a Play, David Binder in all of his generous joy and passion accepts the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Yes, all perfect time and space.

As I watched all the happenings, I was laughing and crying, experiencing an epiphany filled with poetic justice. Divine intervention, truth, love and passion, for a moment the world spiraled in perfect time and space, from prehistoric time to me present. All has come to us in perfect time. The question is: Will you be ready when it arrives?

Get ready because it will arrive in its perfect time!

Congratulations to all Tony winners, and a big smile for Kenny Leon and A Raisin in the Sun winners. And David Binder, I thank you for your inspiration and integrity.

Always in the art, Susan Batson

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Dear Prospective International Students, We Now Offer a VISA Program!

Dear Prospective Students,

I am very pleased that you are considering the Susan Batson Studio VISA Program. We are excited about your interest and grateful for this opportunity to share our process with actors around the world.

I coach powerful actors such as Nicole Kidman, Juliette Binoche, and recently Zac Effron has started to use our process as well. This is the work that we offer you.

I recognize that the yearly cost of the program can be a hardship. However, if you are dedicated, this investment can guarantee you tools, comprehension, and confidence in your craft. At the Susan Batson Studio, we give you the real world experiences by exposing you to agents, casting directors, and directors.

If you are ready to come to New York and embrace this very challenging work, we at the Susan Batson Studio will commit to accompanying you on your journey to find the great actor within you!

Please don’t hesitate to email (SBSinformation@gmail.com) or call (212-226-4630) if you need further guidance in making this choice.

Always in the art,

Susan Batson

If Loving You is Wrong- I Don’t Want to be Right!

I like that these days I’m wrong- Every once in a while I’ve been slapped into humility My arrogance splattered floor before me, stinking like vomit. Righteousness and arrogance amongst artists are violations of the unwritten artist’s code. A real artist is quite aware of how humane an artist must be to achieve their craft. Like all beings they are flawed, but even with a multitude of imperfections their struggle for truth integrity authenticity and humanity in their art gains them grace. It is understood that there is no such thing as perfection. Failure is always a lesson in art. And you can’t please all of the people all of the time. What speaks to you may not speak to me- And it is not a reason for condemnation.

So, I don’t want to be right if I don’t like all of Tyler Perry’s movies. If the truth be told, I honor and respect Tyler Perry for all that he has achieved, and when I walk on the grounds or through the halls of the Tyler Perry Studio, his passion and acknowledgement of all who have gone before him is not only informative but touching. Although our drummers may differ, Tyler Perry opens his ear and shares with me our differences and our commitment to what we love doing. For this feature, I am most grateful. Tyler Perry has many detractors, perhaps they are jealous or sincerely critical of Tyler’s work, but let us put our harshness and arrogance aside and share with Tyler Perry his commendable achievements. So if deep appreciation, gratitude and respect for Tyler Perry is wrong…  I don’t want to be right.  Good luck Tyler on your new project, If Loving You is Wrong.

An Open Letter from Laverne Cox of ‘Orange is the New Black’ to Susan Batson- And Susan’s Response!

Dear Susan,

I just got a Critics Choice Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Orange is the New Black. Thank you so much for all your guidance, support and for a process that truly serves the art. Love you!

Stay in the love,

                          Laverne Cox

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Dearest Laverne,

For me this Critics Choice Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress is the equivalent to a victorious civil war like the French Revolution, or like Toussaint L’Ouverture in Haiti, or Nat Turner’s insurrection in the United States. This nomination is an equivalent of this type of victory!  You demanded, commanded, battled every obstacle, every taboo, every no, and you won. No one will ever know the sacrifices you made, the fear that you experienced, the hurt and pain that you endured but how fortunate you have made us all by sharing this victory with us! From the days of Black Nexxus to the Susan Batson Studio we’ve always been proud of you as an artist and as a teacher, and now you fill us all with joy!
Always in the Art… Love,
                                          Susan
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Susan Batson and everyone at The Susan Batson Studio would like to congratulate Laverne on her much deserved nomination! Here’s to many more… We are rooting for you!

The Only Rule in Acting

Have you ever stopped to contemplate the full implication of the life you have chosen? Stumbling dangerously many times along the road to success- Do you ask yourself, “Should I continue?” The hardships of the profession have broken many a brave contender, but those who persevere, no one or nothing can kill their spirit. They have learned that the survivor is one who keeps on creating, inventing, believing, changing and renewing.

A continuum of practicing and training our craft is one of our most powerful weapons. Reading biographies and autobiographies, not for the chronological events of the actor’s life, but to use as models to help build your own career- Recognizing you are so very fortunate to be a contributor to culture through your creativity can be a strong motivator- Seeking exchanges of criticism in order to grow as an artist- Risking to avoid the conventional to discover new and exciting experimental art forms.

Your art exists in the realms of truth, creativity, imagination, belief, passion and generosity. Perhaps the only “rule” in acting is to honor the human being you are playing. Care enough to create a person with the purpose that other will also honor that human being. You trivialize humanity if you think acting is about learning lines. Acting is about Life and Death- Needs and Wants- Masks and Personas- Tragic Flaws- Actions and Objectives- Conflicts- Crisis- Resolutions- Circumstances- and much more. The human being’s words, who you are playing, enters the actor through the actor’s heart, soul and veins first, and then the brain, along with all of the senses.

Nothing in art has anything to do with rote memory. Actors, beware of anyone who reduces your art form to just learning the lines! Forgive them, for they know not what acting is! The profession of acting is difficult, complicated, complex, but an intriguing way to build character- yours- and other human beings.

Always in the Art,

                          Susan Batson

Congratulations Pamela Afesi! We are Proud of You!

Susan is grabbing her breasts and has a big big smile!  She is so proud of her student Pamela Afesi who just got a wonderful review for her film debut ‘Welcome to New York,”  directed by Abel Ferrara starring Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset.  To read the review click here!

The Universal Language!

The Susan Batson Studio has always had a diverse population of actors. The United States Government has now given the studio the honor of offering Student Visas to our International Actors. For years I have been sharing the work around the world learning not the many languages of the world; but THE LANGUAGETHE LANGUAGE made it possible for me to exchange our acting process with much joy. THE LANGUAGE comes from the Second Brain- Absolutely not from the head- But from the Becond Brain which expresses through sensations the depth and truth of what we feel. When that is done, there is no language barrier, only the art of acting using the sensations and behaviors coming from the second brain which always expresses THE LANGUAGE– The universal language.  If we listen and watch Putin’s Second Brain expression- Avoiding the chatter of his head- We would be far more aware that we are dealing with his feelings of fear and his sensations of not being good enough or strong enough. Then the universal language would move to an exchange with this awareness present.  Perhaps this could change the course of history.

So now politically- Legally the International Actor can come to the Susan Batson Studio with a Visa. But they should know we speak at the studio, The Universal Language- THE LANGUAGE  of the Second Brain. Please join us at the Susan Batson Studio without fear of not being understood. May I suggest to the American actor to also participate in the diverse world of the Susan Batson Studio, and learn The Universal Language- THE LANGUAGE!

Always in the Art, Susan Batson