Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Castle.
Diana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m the first born child of immigrants.
Dad was a Holocaust survivor who spoke five languages and mum was a music lover who survived the blitz of London.
They both deeply believed in the promise of the American Dream.
After a few years of life in New York City and New Jersey, my father got a job in Greenville, South Carolina.
This was the mid 1960’s, and we experienced terrors of racism.
Swastikas were painted on our home within weeks of our arrival and the experiences got worse from there.
These formative experiences influenced my interest in belief and consequences, perspective and experience, interconnection and interdependence, imagination and empathy.
In elementary and middle school, my mother, thankfully, enrolled me in a children’s program at The Greenville Little Theatre, where I enjoyed learning theatre and doing plays.
By the time I was ready for high school, a woman named Virginia Uldrick, had created a high school for the performing arts, The Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, where I continued to find community among the storytelling tribe.
After some experimentation with my major, as I was deeply interested in cultural anthropology, linguistics and the burgeoning psychology/neuroscience movement, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a minor in music performance from Florida State University.
I then spent a year at The Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre Training, learning from the talents of Julie Harris, Sally Field, Charles Nelson Reilly, Burt Reynolds and many other luminaries of the time.
From there, I enjoyed a career as a working actress and singer in NYC, in film/television and on stages around the world.
Thirty years ago, I began coaching and forming a philosophy, as well as a practical application to access the power of imagined possibility now known as The Imagined Life.
In 1995, I met my life partner, Steve Tietsort and together we created and opened the theatre/studio space, The Imagined Life, at 5615 San Vicente Blvd.
We’ve created a home for the professional actor.
We have four teachers on staff and we offer both day and evening workshops as well as private coaching.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Well…who doesn’t have challenges? That’s what a good story is all about!
I have the great benefit of teaching actors imagined possibility.
We stay engaged in any story when there’s challenge.
How will this person transform that obstacle into opportunity? How will this person transform trauma into triumph?
I am a Holocaust survivor’s daughter.
I am dedicated to turning the trauma of separatism into the triumph of community.
I am aware of the worst that humanity is capable of, however, I do my best to seek the highest potential found in empathy and community.
The Imagined Life is a community of professionals from different personal backgrounds and experiences, all dedicated to expanding their capacity to enter a world of imagined possibility.
The obstacle in any story is always an opportunity to identify and win over a limiting belief.
In any story, true character is revealed through adversity…our deepest beliefs are revealed when the pressure is on.
The actors job and joy is in the day to day exploration of beliefs and their consequences, perspective and its attending experience and the transformative power of empathy to enter a world of imagined possibility.
In the work of doing this for storytelling, we are all also constantly at the job of expanding and breaking through what are ultimately our own self-imposed limitations.
Mentoring the professional actor in this work, is my great joy.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Imagined Life – what should we know?
Our greatest pride is that, for 30 years, we have never advertised.
Every actor has come to our studio through word of mouth…casting directors, agents/managers, directors, producers, actors…
Our favorite stories are when actors tell us that they witnessed an Imagined Life actor on set and thought…hm… I want to do it like that!
We hear from our actors, that what sets us apart is our innovative approach and our heart to heart, life to life care for the working artist.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Nothing matters but the heart.
Empathy is at the heart of the actors art.
We empathize with the people we work with.
- Website: theimaginedlife.com
- Phone: 323-936-6818
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Diana Castle’s The Imagined Life
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