Connie was an inspiration to me. It was because of her ability to connect with actors on an artistic and personal level that gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in this business. Now that those tools are in this extraordinary book, I can finally stop calling her, which most likely makes her very happy.
Will & Grace
Succinct and to the point, de Veer and Elfline offer a blueprint of important guidance to the young professional actor. Nurturing psychology is cross-pollinated with direct pragmatism (especially regarding the issue of rejection) to create an authentic springboard in consideration of what could arguably be the most subjective and difficult career to pursue. This is a welcomed addition to any bookshelf for a budding young professional in the creative arts.
Scott Lafeber, Professor
Head of Musical Theatre, Emerson College
[in Actor for Life] de Veer and Elfline offer good advice for real actors and people of all creative arts.
This is the only acting book I've ever known to address practical ways of dealing with the emotional challenges of being an artist. How does one conquer self-doubt, negative criticism, self-sabotage and creative blocks? Here are steps and exercises that actors can use and refer back to on every step of their journey. It is as useful to the theatre veteran as the theatre novice. This is the perfect text for any auditioning class preparing students for their career. I highly recommend this book to all of my students as both a professional and personal guide to navigating the landmines of our field.
Colorado State University
Education Coordinator, Bas Bleu Theatre
Connie works with students from the inside out. My experience with her ranges from learning how to warm up my voice without damage, to how to free my soul without fear.
Melisa Pereyra, MFA
American Players Theatre
Connie’s nurturing, positive attitude, thirst for knowledge, and passion for her craft contribute to making her one of the most inspirational instructors with whom I have had the honor to study.
Kate McDermott, MFA
I feel completely refreshed and re-motivated for acting.
This is exactly what I needed right now at this point in my life and my career. I feel refreshed, excited, and more open than I used to be…Vulnerable in a good way.
Connie’s ability as a teacher is second to none. She pushed us, in the most loving way possible, encouraged us to challenge ourselves, discover new things, and approach the things we were afraid of. She has an unparalleled ability to make you see things in a different light, a way in which you never would have before.
Jeb Burris, MFA
Utah Shakespeare Festival
Actor for Life is an important guide book to a healthy life of self-care in the life of an actor. I couldn’t put it down. And it’s not just for actors.
Head of Acting, Illinois State University
Connie’s expertise and skills are unparalleled. She is a certified Professional Coach, a certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique, a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, and she brings that level of professionalism to the classroom. The thoughtful, gentle, encouragement she gives to her students comes from a place of deep humanity, thoughtful attention, and motivating expectations. Her focus on self-care strategies and positive imaging tools makes her a teacher who is providing training for a lifetime of learning. Connie’s students leave her class exceedingly well trained as actors, and equipped to live a healthy way for the rest of their lives.
John C. Stark, Professor
Artistic Director, The Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Actor for Life is a game-changer. As a New York actor, I thought being in a rut on a regular basis was just part of life. Actor for Life brought to light the multitude of choices I didn't realize I make every day that either reinforce my rut or allow me to find joy in cultivating a life I love. This book is truly the missing element every actor needs for long-term happiness and success. Actor for Life gave me back my agency, and in doing so, gave me back the joy in my art and my life.
I sent in applications for three jobs I'd previously been afraid to apply for before I even finished the first chapter!
Natalie Blackman, MFA
I absolutely loved it. The book provides a life-jacket to those who feel like they're just floating around in a nebulous state of worry and stress. Every chapter stresses that the power of change needs to come from within ourselves in order to have any actual effect. We spend so much of our time trying to search for the lighthouse that will bring us out of the storm; but we need to realize that WE ARE the beacon, our fellow actors ARE the beacon, the immediate world around us IS the beacon. We just need to focus on the journey ahead to see the light rather than get blinded by the worries of where and how to take the next step.
Reading the book was an elegant, kind, and piercingly astute kick in the pants for any artist in need of a fresh perspective. With a lot of the practical examples provided, I often found myself chuckling as I'd think "Oh, man, that's totally me. I've totally done/thought/worried about/have had no idea what to do about exactly "that." It reads like a "Survival 101" for actors, performers, and the like, who need that gentle reminder that the root of the answers to all our struggles and worries is most often found within ourselves.
This will have a permanent place on my bedside table.
Ronald Román, MFA
Actor, American Shakespeare Center
Connie is an instructor whose work in the classroom has long set a standard for my own work. Her teaching is exemplary. Her classroom is always filled with the energy of positive creativity and students who feel both challenged and supported. Students trust her and are inspired by her. Connie is a fine professional artist and educator with a true generosity of spirit.
Deb Alley, Chair
School of Theatre and Dance
Texas State University