Actress and Coach Devin Shacket on Finding Inspiration in Others

It was actor Laurence Olivier who once memorably said, “acting is an everlasting search for truth.” Whether daring to transplant the truth of yourself into a character or summoning a character’s truth into you, the actor’s odyssey is never complete. Because, as actress and coach Devin Shacket puts it, “there truly is no size of truth.”

It is no doubt this belief that propelled Devin’s diverse career path. At once actress, casting professional, audition coach and on-camera acting teacher, it seems there is no limit to her exploration into her art – be it through herself or her students.

Devin’s too-many-to-mention professional casting credits include award-winning titles such as House of Cards: Season 2 and the feature films Good Funk, Black Nativity and 3 Backyards, not to mention theatre projects at San Francisco Playhouse. Her students and private coaching clients have an impressive repertoire of television shows, feature films and theatre appearances, too. Devin’s international teaching of camera acting and audition technique has seen her guest lecturing at NYU Stonestreet School for Film and Television, SOCAPA, San Francisco Playhouse, San Francisco State University, and several private studios in New York City.

dBs Berlin was lucky enough to be added to that list when Devin joined us for a brilliant Guest Session back in October. Learning just how integral casting is in the making of a great film, our attending film students discovered what really goes on during the process.

Blown away by Devin’s wealth of widsom, we took her aside after the session to ask her our favourite question: what is the one thing that fuels her creativity? Here’s what she told us.

 

My One Thing

 

 

I have a few ‘go to’ quotes that I turn to for inspiration. The excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran titled ‘On Joy and Sorrow.’ And also Martha Graham’s famous letter to Agnes de Mille. I also love to watch clips of great stage performances – Jan Maxwell in The Royal Family, Nina Arianda in Born Yesterday, Barbara Harris in The Apple Tree, John Benjamin Hickey in The Normal Heart, and so many others! I grew up watching I Love Lucy, and watching really connected, really expressive actors always reminds me of what is possible! There truly is no size of truth.”

Agnes de Mille

 

On a totally different note, I spend as much time as possible near (or in) water. Water is a source of clarity and renewal for me, and I find that my creative energies flow effortlessly when I allow the cyclical motion of waves and the easy, fluid nature of water to influence me in my artistic life.

Lastly, my main source of inspiration and creativity is teaching! Working with different actors on different kinds of material ignites my mind in ways I could never anticipate. I get to learn as I teach, which is a true gift!”

Keep up with Devin Shacket’s fantastic work on her website.

More on acting: Actor and creative Frank Peroni on the power of self-expression.

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