In Artist: Awakening to the Spirit Within, revered acting coach to the stars Jocelyn Jones combines her personal story, the techniques she’s used for legions of students in her thirty years as an acting teacher, and her tried and true spiritual insights. In her book’s introduction, Jones says, “This book is a humble attempt to wake up the artist in everyone—to connect you to your own source of inspiration and the solutions that live in the ether waiting for you to tune in and listen.”
Artist is a combined memoir and tutorial on the mechanics of acting that lay bare the line between art and artist while making a strong case in suggesting that the well of inspiration an actor draws from is the same source for creating an abundant life. The author shares, “Using the same techniques I give actors, I believe anyone can discover and connect to their own depth of joy… It is the structure you create in life that lays the groundwork for an exciting existence.” Continuing with the idea of structure, Jones says, “The more confident you are in the structural choices you make for your life, the more freedom you’ll feel living in the moment. The more freedom you feel living moment to moment, the more joy you invite into your life.”
The daughter of Tony-award winning, character actor, Henry Jones, Jocelyn Jones grew up in the midst of theatrical royalty and intuited that “Acting is about creating a life where there once was none. It’s about manifesting,” and “We are what we believe. We need to wake up and take responsibility for our thinking.” Equating skills for three-dimensional acting with life-skills, Jones suggests that “thoughts and feelings (inner life) color how the actor does the behavior; after they connect to all that, the words come.”
A bi-coastal youth, due to her parents’ divorce, Jones divided her time between New York City and a beachside community in Los Angeles. Preferring to live as a student of life, as opposed to pursuing scholastic achievement, Jones found divine inspiration in nature, learned to trust synchronicities in affirming her life’s path, and realized that the core of an artist is not so much talent as an acute sensitivity.
The author has much to say on the idea of being present in one’s own life and suggests that time speeds by because most are not actually in it, and that to slow down time, there is merit in being “in the moment” to fully experience “what is.” The author places emphasis on appreciating life’s day to day variables. “Oddly, it is the mundane details of life that bring the truth to both acting and living… When you fall in love with the mundane details of moment-to-moment living, you fall in love with the miracle that is life.”
Interspersed throughout the book are exercises the author uses to teach actors that are equally important techniques to use in life: Meditation, objective observation, and communing with nature to name but a few, and each exercise is designed to help us make decisions about what we want in life, while focusing a keen eye on what we choose to do. Jones recommends asking questions. She recommends finding fulfillment in discovery, and says, “Art is the expression of that which you have personally discovered…It’s the joy of discovery that permeates the expression.”
Artist: Awakening to the Spirit Within is an insightful, accessibly written book that hits all the high notes of art and creativity with an aim toward helping us lead an inspired life. For the actor and the layman, it’s an uplifting, life-affirming book sure to inspire all readers to create and discover the art in their own lives.
For the last 15 years Ms. Jones has served as a confidential “Creative Consultant” on some of Hollywood’s highest-grossing pictures. Known as a secret weapon to industry insiders, she has advised clients on everything from acting, to which projects to choose; to doctoring scripts; to developing their future projects. Her consulting work has been considered an invaluable asset by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
An in-demand Acting Coach for over 25 years, Jocelyn has shepherded hundreds of actors from novice to starring careers at The Jocelyn Jones Acting Studio, where she works with a handpicked group of actors, directors and writers.
She began her teaching career at The Beverly Hills Playhouse, where she taught for Milton Katselas for over 17 years. She has her own studio (The Jocelyn Jones Acting Studio) in West Los Angeles.
Hear Jocelyn Jones Interviewed by the inimitable Grace Sammon of Storytellers Podcast here:
THE STORYTELLERS! Jocelyn Jones remarkable woman, storyteller, acting coach of the stars, author of ARTIST!