Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara Howlin.
Barbara, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Thinking back on it now, it would have been so easy not to start! I had a lot of fear. The first audition that came up in middle school was a day full of tests and homework. I was such a perfectionist that I told myself I had no time to memorize or do the audition. As I sat there, in my first drama class watching others get up and do the monologue, I was ready to cry. I was dying to get up there. When the teacher asked if there was anyone else, I raised my hand without thinking and ran onstage. I muscled through what I could remember of the monologue from just watching everyone else do it and tried to use my nervous energy. It was totally out of character for me, my shyness felt debilitating at the time. But, I got cast. There was no going back after that.
I studied theater and my passion grew. I received my degree from the University of Mary Washington and right after that I packed up my car and drove across the country to Los Angeles. I’d always been drawn to films, but had no experience on camera. After a couple of years out here, I found my home as a student at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop. Now, it’s one of the places that I teach at and I love the open energy cultivated there.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Those same things from middle school have been roadblocks to keep jumping over for life. Letting go of my perfectionism, of control and making friends with my fear as an artist. There is a profound freedom in that self-acceptance and trust to then create from all parts of who you are, not only the shiny bits we’d like to present to the world. That included befriending my darkness and knowing it’s not mutually exclusive to the light. I need both for every role. It feels like Tyler Durden from Fight Club and Jane Austen are roommates inside me.
And in teaching, I see it come up for so many people. I think we already have the answers inside of us. We’ve got to be willing to look inward first and be gentle with self. It’s an opening process for life.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with An acting teacher at AMAW & private coach. An actor & writer – www.barbarahowlin.com – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As an acting teacher, I believe in encouraging students to start asking bigger questions. We so often want a perfect road map for a scene and let our brains set judgments based on that. It all becomes black and white. Life is one giant messy gray area though – full of contradictions and surprises. If you’re surprised up there performing, so are we watching. But that requires letting go of control, setting our invisible armor from life down and choosing to be seen in our most vulnerable self. When people do, it’s so thrilling to watch and it always bleeds out into their everyday lives. We learn to trust more. It’s a real gift to feel of service in what I’m passionate about.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Like I said, the growth never ends. I keep my head up for when that fear still bubbles to the surface, but now I run towards it with curiosity to see what else wants to expand there.
Right now, I’m teaching at Anthony Meindl’s and private coaching. Along with finishing my recent co-writing project, entitled MATES, and we’re excited to jump into production. My most recent feature film role is in a project called Sum of Us. We had a phenomenal time experimenting and playing for that. It was a freeing experience and I can’t wait for people to see it.
- Address: AMAW
905 Cole Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
- Phone: 323-450-9600
- Website: www.BarbaraHowlin.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @babshowlin
- Twitter: @babshowlin
Becca Murray Photo