Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the meeting, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Mindy Cohn 00:00
Hey everybody, welcome back to Monday's with Monday. Hi everybody. Welcome back. Today's episode features a conversation with Steve Braun. Steve is a partner in the bgb studio, a home for actors to take class, get coaching and be a part of a community of proud creatives. Steve came into my life almost six years ago at a time when I really needed to find that community. That for me is so much more easily accessible in New York City in a city like Los Angeles where the business of show can negate the artistry. I joined his Wednesday workout a group of working actors that needs to do just the work and play. More importantly, and most importantly, it reminds us all once a week that we are storytellers, and creatives, whether or not we are working book the job nailed the audition. Steve was born in Winnipeg and became a very successful actor in his own right right out of school. His credits include the television shows immortal and twins and the feature films that trip Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, the skulls three just to name a few. Steve also found success and actually still does dabble in voiceover work. The casting director Risa breman Garcia, the BG of bgb cast Steve many times and they both found that they spoke the same language about acting, she would push him in auditions and like Steve, he pushed right back. While doing some teaching on his own, they finally collaborated in 2012. And by 2015, they had 19 classes a week for almost 400 actors. Wow. Which is not nothing, especially in this town. Seriously. Yeah, along with classes and individual acting coaching. Steve has moved into a meditation, career and life design coaching not just for the individual but now also assisting companies. Steve also has been trained in martial arts and has consistently worked at it for 25 years. He's a master he would afford that I said that but he is. He currently lives in Vancouver with his wife amber and daughters June and Penny frequently visiting Los Angeles to do the work in person. Amazing. I am so excited Christian that not just you but our listeners are about to witness here. Listen see a conversation with truly one of the most special people in my life.
Christian Brescia 02:13
Amazing. I'm excited to meet him. Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to welcome to the show Steve Braun. Welcome!
Steve Braun 02:22
Oh, thank you for having me.
Mindy Cohn 02:24
Yes, you're always required for anything I'm doing period full stop. Anyway. So we start each podcast by getting into this little canister and just randomly asking five question. You ready? Okay. In a general Steve, what's your guilty pleasure?
Steve Braun 02:39
Smarties but not the American Smarties. Which are something wholly different than discussing but there's a Canadian Commonwealth smarty. Yeah. Hmm.
Mindy Cohn 02:48
Is that like a wine gum? no what is what is the taste of it?
Most similarly to like to an m&m? Not a peanut, but better like far? Okay.
Christian Brescia 03:00
Oh, actually, I think I do know what those are.
Mindy Cohn 03:02
Christian Brescia 03:02
Yeah, they kind of look like in but like tinier spree. They got like the candy shell there multiple?
Mindy Cohn 03:07
I don't know. Okay. All right. Of course, excluding me, but it is the most fascinating person you've met.
Steve Braun 03:16
My mother? Oh,
Mindy Cohn 03:18
tell me about a deep dive. A lot of celebrity talent and
my mother, they don't really? I mean, we splaining these answers, or is this just like the lightning round,
Mindy Cohn 03:34
we can do whatever we want Mindy want to answer that like
a little splain. So I think most of it is that I know her the most in the longest. And so there's probably more data from which to draw conclusions of all kinds. She's a brilliant, fascinating woman, you know, interconnected and interesting ways to me and my journey and my past. So there's a lot there to mine. And moreover, I think once we all get into that investigation of our ancestors, those who came before, as they relate also to us, all of a sudden, you start exploring the universality of human experience, which is why I went there. And you also okay.
Mindy Cohn 04:10
Yeah, wildly. What's the best advice you've been given? And who gave it?
I think it's my grandmother again, I don't know why just there's something about these times and where you caught me just now that I'm very much about my family. My grandmother, who has passed many years ago, in her language flout the age, it's just patients, the adult, which to me is not just like, hey, just chill out. It's, it's something deeper about doing less. and allowing things to come to you who gave it, I think is a really important point, because how they live their lives and the example that they show really informs the advice that they give, right, right. I get advice from Kirstie Alley once about how to fix my life, which is not advice that I would take my grandmother, you know, that's a good story. Yeah. Yeah. That's it.
Mindy Cohn 04:58
What is your best habit? And what is your worst habit?
I think I'm gonna offer a call back here the worst habit is my relationship to sugar. You know the Smarties, I think something about that I will go there in times of stress like lately, it just fills that void. It just makes everything okay for 10 minutes. And then there's a crash. And I've always been that way my whole life that's been their relationship to sugar. And the best is Cheadle, it's meditation, she Gong, meditation and action that as a practice, when I'm doing it as a habit, and lately, it's been spotty just changes everything. So why don't I do it?
Mindy Cohn 05:33
If that's how you define it for yourself, is that meditation in action?
Yeah, that's what it is. And you know, again, notions of meditation, people start thinking about, like shaving my head and sitting on a, you know, some mountaintop somewhere. And it really is a notion of peace in every step that you can find meditation in any activity. So for me studying martial arts, which led to meditation and she Gong, that practice can be some of you engaging while you're drinking tea, or while you're doing a podcast, anything can be turned into a meditation. Yeah, but that practice in particular is amazing for me.
Mindy Cohn 06:03
And so you've told me 25 years you've been what drew you to it. I mean, what why everything toxic masculinity.
I mean, that's, that's just what it was like, I was a hypersensitive, fragile kid that didn't understand that that was power. But growing up in a world where my dad was you better toughen up. And like, it's that sort of like the expectation of straight white cisgendered able bodied men to be dominators to be, you know, colonizers. And so like, so you got to take martial arts so that you don't get beat up and have your have shame befall you or whatever. So starting from that, to make myself strong when I felt weak, and any amount of kicking and screaming and punching and breaking boards didn't change the fact that I felt weak. So so then eventually, I had to get super intense with it. And that just continued to not work until I met this Shaolin monk who introduced me to meditation, and then the whole thing changed. So
Mindy Cohn 06:53
yeah, you are the second close person in my life where it has changed after meeting that kind of person, their lives kind of just pivoted. So there's something to that, obviously,
I think so. Yeah, there was something you have to be ready for it to like, had I been offered that opportunity? 10 years earlier, I would have told him to go away. Mm hmm.
Mindy Cohn 07:11
All right. If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be in?
Steve Braun 07:15
living or dead?
Mindy Cohn 07:16
I love these questions. And I hate this question. In the moment, what's your answer? Yeah, my least favorite. My favorite?
Yeah. Are we doing living or dead or living? Whatever?
Mindy Cohn 07:28
I don't care? Well, yeah,
I'd say, my mom, I'd say, You know what? My answer right now. All the fields is my wife and two daughters and my mom. That's it.
Mindy Cohn 07:40
Nice. I don't even have to ask why. How about
them? It's been too long since that's happened because of this. I was trying to go to some who would I bet that I just want to sit down with my family? Yes. Mother, who does
Mindy Cohn 07:52
that it's going to happen sooner than later. Correct? Yeah, yeah. Okay. So um, I don't know if you know this or not. But I Christian suggested that we do this because the one thing that I was sort of pining for and actually quite blew over was this missing connecting with other creatives, I tend to feed that I don't do well, on my own, I work well with others. And that includes just day to day living. And so in talking to creatives of all kinds, and I think everybody's a creative. I mean, my personal humble opinion shows that we talk about this creative process how anybody defines it, because I think it's different for everyone. And even those words sound a little pithy. But how do you define your creative process? How you move through the world?
Yeah, I think it starts for me with an understanding in apropos this discussion of confines of the pressure put upon our creative processes growing up for various reasons, right. And I'm like, Captain privilege. And I felt like I had these forces. The first part of it for me is understanding that reminding myself that I am hypersensitive, that I am a creative person that I need creativity, or else my life gets bad. So that's the like, acceptance, accepting that I have a problem first. And then understanding that that acceptance can't stay there. It has to be put into action, but specifically into a practice of some kind. And again, for me martial arts, Qigong, that is a creative endeavor for me, but I agree with you, like, the next step of it after that, and it's particularly poignant, I think, during these times is that it has to happen within community. For me, it can't just be me, you know, writing nausea in a room by myself, I need to feel that and feed off of as well. So in terms of the creative process for me, I need to be in and around people who are expressing and exploring the unique emotional experience in the world and to be challenged in that regard by people's expressions and the creation of the acting studio. Was that for me is that for so that I get to be around it all the time. And so as I shifted from get ahead of myself, as I shifted from being an actor to being a moderator of the work, I think I'm realizing that my creative process isn't necessarily about being friends center in that process, but I really value the collaboration or the ability to make space for Other people like this sort of jazz band of at all, where you're going to have your moment and I'll step back and wonder at what you're doing and create sort of a foundation for you within which you could solo and then I'll have a moment but mostly sits in that group. I think that's really important for me.
Mindy Cohn 10:13
Yeah. And this trajectory that you kind of been on or have chosen really, which I find so much power in your choice of leaving acting and picking up this other way of being a creative. And we've talked about why I've asked you many times because I want to act across from you so badly at some point in our lives together on this planet, but you don't miss any of it. The actor part of it that outlet. Tell me about that trajectory, you know, who don't know you?
Yeah, again, like only some of the tie in for me that I started as an actor, mostly because I was running from, I don't know what, a broken home or blah, blah, blah. And you know, as a musician growing up, I appreciate that creative expression and been really fell into acting, a friend of mine was making a movie and like, it just sort of happened that way. And I started working a little bit that took me to various places, but when I think of like, the actual craft of it, what it is at its essence, that wasn't introduced to me till I was on the TV series, you know, which is like a little bit of it was odd to me. So my experience of acting was auditioning, navigating the business, you know, trying to be cute and charming and little 22nd bites, and like, maybe they book you and like, it's that kind of vibe. And I think what was most appealing to me in it, again, was this notion of having my humanity reflected back at me, reflecting humanity, that exploration became an experience and like the deeper sort of stuff that was far beyond the industry, like the industry can't give you that for the most part, this little moments, but like the the pure art of it, I think, is something that happens often outside of the industry. And the industry type strives to codify it and find packaging one, right. So that's what was sustaining for me so that when the industry slowed down in 2006, or seven of the writer strike, or whatever else, I found, I found myself without that ego stroke of the paycheck, or being able to go to the dinner party and say, I'm on this show, or my episode, bla, bla, bla, or whatever. And so I sort of had that gut check moment of what is this actually for me, and what I needed for my life would get bad was what I mentioned before, in and around, yeah, the work of hypersensitive people exploring the human experience, like that's, I will be doing that till I'm dead, because I have to else my life gets bad. So it was a clear choice in many ways that once almost as if COVID, you know, in the same way that COVID did once the paycheck was removed, because there was nothing happening. Once the ego stroke was removed, I was left with the kernel of what would be the rest of my experience with acting, which was creating and maintaining spaces for people in which to explore their own voices and express their voices.
Mindy Cohn 12:34
But unlike I've been trying to explain this, not only to Christian, my parents and people who aren't in the industry, and even people who are, you know, you talk about an acting class or a weekly what I love. I mean, one of the first things I loved was just the fact that you called what I'm in the Wednesday workout. I just appreciate that so much, because that's exactly what it is. It's just once a week, getting access to your emotions and expressing yourself and playing and connecting with another person who does the same thing. So when you talk about an acting class, which I don't call what we do anyway, but most people's vision of that is something very intense and cultish secret, you know, and it sort of isn't it's the radical opposite, which, you know, I mean, the fact that you even do this work with heads of companies or you know, people who aren't actors, right, if you can tell, explain how you would explain the work to me, or a newbie when I first came into BGP?
Yeah, sure. I mean, so we back up, like oftentimes, acting classes take this largely like patriarchal Western structure. And, and frankly, for the times, I've been to movement and recent focus on racial inequality in our industry, all that has revealed anything, it's that the entire industry, which includes the acting studio acting class industry is fraught with all of these challenging problematic hierarchies, where there's this guru at the top and, and yes, that guru creates this checklist, this technique, and you get the gold star, if you check all the boxes of their technique, it's like it's, it's very much a top down, hang on to our power sort of situation. And egoic structure, one might say, you know, and what I've found in the way that I have learned via music, or acting, or martial arts, or whatever is that that creates disciples. But at a certain point, you're going to have to offer some leadership, you're going to have to be able to allow someone to spread their wings, find their own voice and do something different. Like to me an acting teacher is defined by the way that they let someone go, right, like if that's an affront to their ego, that's problematic. So I've been playing with this notion for 15 years, 20 years of it's a Dallas notion, I think of the master creating as much space as possible like having the lightest possible touch and also guiding someone to, you know, whatever is in their way and having an expectation that they have to address that on some level but I will be the one to kick down their walls. I won't be the one to scream at them and tell them to put their dead father in the chair over there. And tell him how you feel. And you read myself on the back and say this is active, right? Because it's abusive, it's violence, but also, you're not going to be able to access that without me. So if I have some ego troubles that might be appealing to me, you need me, I have two kids, and I don't want to have that relationship with anybody else, right? Like I don't I just go away. And it's not healthy. And what I find is that the more space I give a certain kind, like always presents, I'm always there. But the more space I give, the more amazing passionate sensitive actors tend to fill that space with leadership. And they tend to dip their toe in the water. And there tends to be less shame and less disconnection. And all of a sudden, they're not dipping their toe, they're jumping in. And all of a sudden, they're jumping in every week, and the jumps from, you know, higher and higher. And all of a sudden, they are the industry and they decide to make their own stuff or they sit like because they haven't been training that level of leadership. So when an acting class when two actors finish a scene or an exercise and look to the teacher, like that's the moment like what do you infuse that moment with as a studio as a teacher? Do I say a there's an objective truth be I know it and see you do not. So let me tell you, which is ridiculous, right? Because it's our nobody knows
Mindy Cohn 16:11
what you do.
Attica. It's aspirational that I feel at this regularly. But I'm more curious about where this lived in you, so that you can get the weights so that you can figure out for you. And I think again, this is really important when it comes to people of color, LGBTQ plus folks like women, people who have historically been excluded, or historically had been told what acting is, like, if I have two trans actors of color? In my class doing a scene? What the hell am I going to tell them about what acting is right? That's their voice, their experience is not. So I can only serve them by containing the space as best as I can, watching my bias, you know, which will come up but watch it and allow them to dance. And that's it. Right like, and other than that I'm imposing a technique upon them that is bad for the world, I think, well,
Mindy Cohn 16:54
I'll say as a participant and as a watcher, obviously, you observe more of the class than you participate in Christian. And again, I'll use Steve's example where, you know, how did that feel? How did that go? Usually, that's where we then end the scene, right? And that's the question he'll ask, but it leads to much less self indulgent acting, if you even want to define it as acting right. But we will for the purposes of this, in that you tend to not Showboat, there's no reason for it, right? Because you're not seeking approval from anyone. We're all in this together kind of thing. And it's becomes instead vary. I have found inspirational and aspirational work true, instead of emotionally not goal oriented. So I have found the actors that I have gotten to play with those less indulgent, I don't know how you would define it, otherwise you would define it, but it's palpably different. Well,
I will say this that like your group, and you wildly talented, you have more talents than you could possibly use in a lifetime. And so you don't need a structure that is that tight. You know, some people like me a 20, showing up saying, hey, I want to act, I probably needed more structure, right? Like I got to meditation meditation was taught was introduced to me, and I listened to it because it was given to me by someone who could break metal on his head, like, I needed that to go, Oh, yeah, he has licensed operate here. He can tell me that radical softness, as he knows, because he's a tough guy, you know, so you show up not needing a structure, you know, there's a loose one, but that class in particular knew in particular, I'm going to pull back all the way unless I'm needed. And sometimes, you know, I mean, Serena Williams has a coach like, what the hell is that guy do? I don't know. Yeah. But but as a coach is on the outside, something to bounce something off. But if someone shows up, you know, 1920 years old, not knowing from acting but wanting wanting to do it, then the structure is perhaps a little bit more rigid, but always in the interest of eventually we're going to take the structure down. Yeah, well, I
Mindy Cohn 18:40
think the biggest gift you've given me continually and continue to do so is confidence. And I don't mean bravado or ego, I mean, confidence in my ability to walk through the world and be creative and show up and use this as my tool. And that what ironically, and it isn't to you, but to our listeners out there has booked me better work, more work, different work. And just the way that whether I book or not that very fulfilling feeling, when I get a chance to work, whether that be in class at an audition at an actual job, or just moving through the world, feeling like a proud creative, I think that is what you impart and it's uniquely very special to you, personally, and I'm always so impressed at your level of tolerance and patience.
Truly to do it, you know, if you're gonna, if you're gonna go out at this way, you have to be patient, if I get frustrated, because someone's not getting two points, you know, half quicker than that's my that's my frustration. You know, you can't hold back the class and we have to move on. But but maybe that lesson is great. Let's try again next week, as opposed to you're nothing, you're worthless. You're like, whatever, why aren't you doing what I want you to do? Because like there is a click, there will be a click, but for the most part, you know, masteries mostly plateau and so it's like you have to hit your rock bottom to get to that place where I need to shift now. And when you shift from that place, it's a much greater chance that that will be a really massive transformation that will take, you know, that will last, as opposed to them doing it for me or whatever. And so again, that's part of why I asked questions and some sort of attempt at the Socratic method, like after a scene to get it were those sort of root cause of what came up for them and that so that they can see clearly, because if they see this barrier in front of them clearly, then they're less likely to run into it again. And if they do, they're doing it willfully. And so And again, that's none of my business, right? Like, if you see that, you consistently, then on some level, you need that. And so come back next week. Yeah, no, this is one class for you, or whatever
Mindy Cohn 20:39
it sounds to me and correct me if I'm wrong, but it it sounds almost like this sort of methodology is peeling back the inner expectation of what somebody wants you to do, or how they want you to act. Because even having been through acting classes, myself and auditions, there was so much in the beginning, especially in my 20s, like you were saying, where I was acting for whomever I was auditioning for whoever was teaching me I wasn't there was not a sense of authenticity, which is what it sounds like, you guys are creating more of that space to be your authentic self so that you're playing the role as you envision it. And hopefully somebody else appreciates that as opposed to playing it for what they what you think they want to see or hear do. Well, I'll say specifically Christian, one of the you know, where your brain starts to fall out of your ear. When you hear Steve say like, this is how we do it is that you bring inside you bring in a piece to do with somebody and that other person doesn't see it until you arrive, you don't study it, you don't memorize it. And it doesn't matter where it's from, if it's comedy, if it's drama, so you come to the material, right? As you Yeah, and you make decisions for it. So you're throwing any kind of expectation. I mean, for me, obviously, coming heavily sitcoms, there's a musicality that I've learned to just obviously use when the material warrants it, but not rely on the step, which I think a lot of people have different sticks. Yeah, that's what it does. It's kind of mind blowing. I remember talking to my mom and dad who have called this monkey business since I arrived in it, they noticed my change. Once I started taking class with Steve in my emotional temperature about the business work me in it, and that I almost want to weep about it. He knows I get weepy both do irritating, but um, you know, for people like my parents to notice a difference, then I'm calibrated on a different level with what I do, how excited I was to do it, and still am. Yeah, I mean, that's really something for people who just aren't even remotely close to this industry to notice a change in me after decades is really impressive. You know,
having done this for a long, long time, I have a pretty good sense. I think of what I do well, and also what has not made and you know, I think you showed up ready for a change. And yeah, so interesting about you is that you didn't have to but you did you sign up for the beginner class and you asked for it. Yeah, I did. That's what people should do, who come from a full career. And I know, but they don't, because it's scary, you go back to the beginning. But you went back to the beginning, which was really exciting for me, because someone's in that place is so right for I mean, explosions of change, which is exciting. And for me says there's far less that needs to happen to get to some sort of place of full letting go. And then what's interesting is you describe notions of the sitcom, it's very structured, that's like classical music, and a lot of ways I find it you do your best work when sure you hear the music, but you're not trying to hear the music, and you've let go, and you've got to this place of it. And you may not be WordPerfect this time, like So to your point of action, you know, to your point, like we really are like balancing structure and fluidity for sure. Right, your job as a professional is to give them what they want, quote, unquote, but some of that is like really taking a deep look at what do they actually want. And so the breakdown says like, you know, she's cute and sophisticated. She's a this type, but also this stuff, like it's written to try to project some sort of complicated character, but really it contradicts. And so you get all up in your head about I'm trying to book something. So you start finding the math in it. And all of a sudden, that fluidity of the human experience that I'm experiencing this in real time, and having an emotional experience that goes out the window. So the question is, how can we help artists find the freedom to show up to structure and find those spaces for their talents, because if you're showing up at the email comes in to the agent says, Hey, here's the thing, and you read the breakdown the scene and go to that place, and it's, you know, Friday at 5pm. And like you're holding your head is just filled with structure, and what can I do to make them love me, there's no art in that. So we have to like really systematically start breaking down over time, it takes time, and actors need to engage their head, to find the math in all of these processes. And really just come back to what is my value, my value is to elevate the script to the level of the human experience and move someone on an emotional level. And that's what it is. And so my job then as a moderator of these classes, is to create the space for that and when those walls come up, the resistance comes up and indeed it will you point it out, really good look at it and then allow everyone to decide on their own. Whether that should Come down. Oh,
Mindy Cohn 25:00
well, I'll say the biggest bitch of being in your class is that I think some of my best work is there. I've, I've come at a class so many times going well, that, you know, there it is. And 12 people saw it. And it wasn't about being seen, it was about doing it. And so that's what I kind of, I'm now harkening back to that confidence I'm talking about, it's that kind of like, that is in me, I can access it anytime I want to, I have to be willing, and be in the right mindset, whatever. But it is so interesting, Christian. I mean, sometimes you come out of there just feeling like, I mean, I just hit it out of the park, you know? Yeah, it is a great feeling. And for no other reason than to have the feeling. Yeah,
right. I would say though, that, to me, that is representative of an expansion that, like, if you can squat that amount of weight there, you can likely do it again, somewhere else. Now, then you deal with the industry? Because that's where one goes, right? I could do it here. But can I do it in the addition? Right? Yeah, the industry may not give you the opportunity to do something like that, or, you know, give you the circumstances within which you feel safe enough to do X, Y or Z and and that's on you to bridge that gap and bring that safety work with you wherever you go.
Mindy Cohn 26:05
Right? Well, I mean, I have it, it's no, like you said, it's fluid, it comes and goes. But I've had enough experiences where just being in the rooms feels so different than how it used to be for me. Yeah. So it's really remarkable. And I'm assuming that kind of work for anyone, whether it be in corporate America or any other creative discipline is incredibly useful. I mean, are you finding that more and more as you expand out? Your studio expands out?
Mindy Cohn 26:32
it's amazing. Time to talk about this. But yeah,
like around 2006 2007, that same sort of like gut check moment of why am I doing this? I started volunteering for the first Obama campaign and the very first training outside of Chicago, this guy named Marshall ganz, who's like genius, and he worked at Cesar Chavez. He was a freedom writer, he was educating us in the training on the power of narrative and to full emotional expression and the story of self and I'm like, Oh, this is, Oh, wow. Okay, there's value in this outside of booking some CW show, you know, like, there's value of this. So I spent a couple years train staff and volunteers how to express their emotional truth within a little 22nd 32nd, two minutes story of self. And so as whether it's Bernie Brown, or whoever some of these folks have, have had their vision kind of leak into corporate America, and how this notion of softness and openness to inclusion, those sorts of notions, yeah, we have to talk about vulnerability. And if we don't, then we're not seeing clients. And we're not really listening to employees or coworkers. So yeah, there's a lot of room for this kind of work. And it's, you know, like, it's point 3% of the work that you would do in class because some of this stuff scares the crap out of it out of people, but but human beings ability to look at another human being without being on their phone, and be present with them, and listen to them. And by Listen, I mean, be affected by them, and then offer a response that comes from listening. Like, that's a revolutionary act in this day and age. So So yeah, there's a lot of times for this in our lives. This, this artistry is important. For sure.
Mindy Cohn 28:06
What inspires you right now, what are you inspired by in this current climate?
Yeah, you know, what's interesting is, in March of this year, when everything shut down, we thought, okay, the studio is done. Like, that's it, we're done. Like, we can't, this has to happen in person, the sights and the smells, and we're done. That's it. And then we were sort of working with actors worldwide. Soon, we're doing a little bit of it, but it was, you know, the, the bronze medal that was like, not that great, relative relative to what happens in class. Right, right. So we thought we were done. But then like, checking in with the actress in our studio, like 250 to 300 actors, they needed this on emotional level, right now more than ever, they needed this. They needed to be in community, expressing themselves doing the work that we do. And so we said, okay, fine. Well, let's just open the doors on zoom and see what happens. And all of a sudden, I found myself being born a new every class and my humanity reaffirmed in a world where there wasn't a lot of humanity. And so I'm still inspired right now, every single class by the accuracy show up again, under duress, from suffering some more than others, but like, there's deep suffering out there. And it's, it's real for our actors, like it's like the financial, the actual loss of life, the Diaspora that like all of it, and they kept showing up and doing the work and again, like under those circumstances, speaking one's truth and being vulnerable is a revolution so that's what inspires the hell out of me like every single time I get so much from every single class even if I show up as I am usually you know weary and having not slept because my one year old and like you know running from dropping off my six year old at school to like there's no space in between anymore for me or very little man. And yet I'm it's just the shoulders drop and everything just aligns when I'm going to work with the actors who at our studio.
Mindy Cohn 29:50
So have you and Risa talked about a win in classes in the studio, physical studio will reopen and resume.
We talked about it but I mean, I think all anyone can do Let's talk right now as much as who knows, right? Like, we don't know, the listening to the daily this morning, and maybe there'll be a vaccine in January, February, and then it has to roll out, etc. so that we're not gonna do anything that's going to put anyone in danger whenever we can open safely and also within the government, no regulations, right, that sort of stuff. And even still, I'm not sure whether everyone will come back. So and then the other thing is, we've opened up to this worldwide audience all of a sudden, in the last six months, because he accept us who haven't been in Los Angeles, New York or Atlanta. So on some level, it'll be a hybrid version of this when we come back that we will have online classes and in person classes for sure. I mean, it's just a new norm. I even the industry is going that way that if I'm a casting director, and I'm doing pre reads, why would I rent a space? Like let's just do this on zoom? So yes. And then the other thing is, I wonder how many people even in your class, I wonder how many people like at 5pm. on a Wednesday, we'll go Oh,
Mindy Cohn 30:56
my gosh, do not wear pants number one to not sit in traffic? Number two, but I will say there is I don't even want to say there's there is no substitute for being in the same room with someone because there are great substitutes. But there is something different about you know, and a lot of my cohort, we've talked about it that we miss the physicality of the work. But I have to say, on a film set, it's not the same. Like the work is not the same at work because of this, too. So you're not even getting that the same way.
You did. Yeah, absolutely. And like the interesting thing about zoom, and maybe everything that's happening just now typically practice in the industry is that it gets really challenging, more challenging, I would say, if what's happening right now is always in the context of what it was in February, or always in the context of what when it opens X, Y, or Z, right? So like, that lack of presence, you're always in this battle, but then, you know, in six months, it'll be Yeah, like, you've got zones, right, and the crews over there, and because they can't get there. And so like what I think the answer then for the creative person is to kick out the temples under which you can be present. And this is just part of it. Right? So if you have some kind of performance that you're trying to infuse into, you know, a square peg because COVID changed everything. It's not going to work, right? So you're gonna have to Yes, and nice right now. Yes. And we found that on zoom, too, like, it's, it was a, this is not the real deal, blah, blah, blah. But all of a sudden, like we're pushing the boundaries of zoom, and people are using it in really interesting ways. And they've got two cameras going in the scene because they got their phone here. They've got me turning here, it's, we're doing really interesting things. So again, I know, can you find the space in between where it feels like there's limitation? Where is that space in between? That's the interesting thing.
Mindy Cohn 32:46
So I have to just tell you that you're one of my most favorite people on this planet. My love for you is so deep and Christian, sort of like you've heard me talk like this, Steve, because I'm able to talk very emotionally with you. But Christian was sort of just like, when I was explaining who you are, to me in my life was just sort of like, okay, for those of you who don't know me, I have a face that looks like I'm interested in everyone, but I'm not. And my close circle of friends is really close. You're just an incredible person to me. And I love you. I just wanted to say that publicly.
And what's interesting, though, we need to wrap up now. But this is an interesting point. What I think like your default setting of generosity, I don't know that it's that your face gives that off as much as I think you are genuinely interested in a certain level of humanity, as it relates to certain individuals. But then yeah, once it gets close, close, then you get protective. Yes, but I wouldn't dismiss the fact like you are interested in a lot of people. I think you can see like, I think you're wildly interested in everyone.
Mindy Cohn 33:53
That's the sociology and we I just meant as a as someone who gets into the, you know, past the gate way of the aorta. Well, you know, you're one of those. Yeah. Yeah. And I miss you every single day.
Yeah, we'll get this going again.
Mindy Cohn 34:09
Yeah, no, we will a Christian. This is Steve. I don't know how I'm so excited. Steve, it to no end that people in my life and our listeners out there are going to get to know you a little bit. It makes me very happy. Thank you so much for being on this episode.
Thank you. Thanks.
Mindy Cohn 34:25
This is pretty amazing. Thank you, Steve. Ladies and gentlemen, head to Monday's with monday.com. Once the show airs, we'll have some show notes about Steve where you can connect with him. You can connect to the studio, you can get in one of those online classes if you've never had the opportunity before because you don't live in Los Angeles or New York or Atlanta. So head there, check out the show notes. learn a little bit more about Steve and his business and his methods and everything else. And once again, thanks to you for being on the show. This was a really, really wonderful, very, very fascinating for me, cheers. Thank you cancer.