—Mike Nichols, director and winner of multiple awards: E. Katherine Kerr is a brilliant actress. It is not surprising that her method of teaching acting is as alive and plugged into human behavior as are her portrayals of characters you would swear have just been brought into the room from their real lives. It is very rare to find a great teacher of acting who both has the gift and the craft to be able to pass it on.
—June Havoc, author, actress, director The Four Principles book is not the usual “how-to”—this is the kind of inspirational, “passed on knowledge,” that I don’t believe has ever been put in a book before. Invaluable.
—Christopher Durang, Tony Award winning playwright: I’ve known Katherine since 1981 when I saw her perform off-Broadway in Caryl Churchill’s play Cloud Nine. I was so excited and moved by her performance (and by the play) that I saw the production three times. In 1987 as I was writing my play Laughing Wild, which has a very demanding leading female role, I began to picture Katherine in the part. And she and I then acted together in the play’s premiere off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.
Katherine began The Creative Explosion Workshop which I did. It was an emotionally and professional rich workshop, and also one of great bonding among the participants. I am always running into young actors who, upon realizing I know Katherine, tell me with enormous enthusiasm how much they have benefited from her classes. Sometimes they feel their lives have been changed. She brings a sharp intelligence, her own acting abilities (which are substantial), her desire to help and empower people, her sense of humor, her sense of play, a gift for helping people work through artistic and personal blocks, and her inability to settle when she can imagine something better.
—Faith Prince, Tony Award winning actress, singer. I was in a production of Urban Blight at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City with E. Katherine Kerr. I watched her riveted in the wings every night in one of the most powerful moments I had ever seen onstage yet it was never the quite the same. Always deeply affecting, her emotion seemed to burst forth fresh and different every night while always real and truthful. I thought, “Secretly within me I know I have the ability to do that. I want to know how. I want to know how to do that.” I knew I was in the presence of someone who held the answers. My inner voice was telling me this was my next Guru. When she told me about her Creative Explosion Workshop; a weekend of intense training, exercises, and information applying her Four Principles to acting and to life, I quickly enrolled. It was in that powerful workshop that I finally found out how to be fully present onstage. My eight shows a week have never been the same. While the workshop had an enormous effect on my acting, unexpectedly, it also touched me more deeply. It was life changing. The Four Principles are life altering. I can’t shout it from the rafters loudly enough or enough times. Do yourself a favor and read this book!
—-Lisa Rock, stand up comedian, actress I stayed up to 8 A.M. reading your book. It kept reassuring me that I’m not crazy—that it’s okay to feel despair. It also made me think I don’t care if I am crazy. I want so many people to read it.
—Carol Lynn Reifel, professor Queens University, Canada: I want to thank you again for The Creative Explosion Workshop. An unforgettable weekend! What I have been left with is indescribable–it feels like a precious jewel in the centre of my heart. What a gift you have for touching the core of the spirit in everything you do and are. It will sustain me.
—Richard Luciano, actor, writer. WOW! Your inspiration is more than helpful. It’s inspiring, it’s daring, it’s brave. NEVER have I EVER been so willing to let go and have faith, be courageous, daring, open, giving, and willing to share myself, until I started on this journey. It’s so deep. You have opened up my eyes not only as a performer, but as a writer, as a person. You’ve exposed me to me. And overall, I feel whole again. You’ve brought me back to the beginning…to a place I once was a very long time ago when I was young.
—Sheri Andrews, actress My husband doesn’t like to read much, but he saw something good happening to me and asked me what was going on. I gave him your book to read. He called me from El Paso the other night at 2 am to tell me how much he liked it. Thanks a lot.
—Jean Dobie Giebel, Associate Professor, Department of Drama Hofstra University: The principles of acting I encountered in her class and my subsequent experience in Katherine’s Creative Explosion Workshop continue to teach and inspire me as an actor, director and educator. As an actress Katherine is captivating, with a presence that dynamically changes a room from the moment she enters. That presence, which comes from her courageous ability to live utterly in the moment, is what she brings to teaching and what she teaches. She refers to it as “brilliant acting” but it seems to me to be more “brilliant living”—a quality that causes a specific few to shine in a field of many.
What is so marvelous about Katherine’s principles of acting are that they require a simplicity of approach that brings the actor to moments of pure humanity. I have both experienced and witnessed her ability, grounded in profound listening, to guide actors to revelation and realization. Most recently I invited her to speak at a symposium here at Hofstra University on performing Durang. Well over a hundred people were present for the symposium and Katherine, alone on stage, easily engaged the entire room with stories of her experiences. During the question and answer period, a student actress in the front row asked how she could address staying present and fully committed during performance. Katherine’s focus on the student was so powerful it suddenly seemed as if there was no one in the room but those two, and the student later commented on having felt utterly at ease, taken care of and at the same time empowered by those few minutes of Katherine’s focus. She has the ability to create, in a room full of relative strangers, an atmosphere of absolute trust. My students are still talking about her visit last fall, and I hope to have her return as soon as possible. I can both enthusiastically and without reservation recommend her work to University educators who are interested in supplementing their programs. She will bring to your campus an acting experience that is both so profound and so positive it is unforgettable.
—-Jo Anne Parady, actress, director I’m still in the euphoria of this inspirational-lifting-up experience in the sanctuary of your beautiful home. I’m exhausted, in a good way….finding a way to use that emotion is brilliant–to embrace it not run from it. And you provided a very safe haven for all that to happen. And weren’t there fascinating and uplifting moments from everyone?
—Richard Marshall, actor I’m so glad I came to class. I’m so glad I took the workshop. It’s really life altering. I was afraid, because I didn’t want to be disappointed or have to my heart broken
—-Dana Hubbe, actress I am sitting here in the peace and quiet of a Saturday morning and doing my gratitude journal, and your class and what it is allowing me to feel, is now frequently on my list. I just wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how your class is changing my life…. I have been crying and “feeling” more than I have in years, and I must say it feels good, and I feel alive, and not like I am just going through the motions.
—Christina Malpero I’ve turned so many people on to your book. I read it again last week! It has done wonders for me in so many areas of my life. Thanks!
—Greg Gasawski, writer I just wanted to let you know that I received some good news recently. I won a huge screenplay contest called the Chesterfield Film Writer’s Program–I won $20,000…. I wanted to thank you because I really believe you had a major part to play in this happening to me because of your support/belief in me….and I wanted to thank you for that and for everything you’ve done for me. I really mean that.
–Gina Carillo, stand-up comedian, actress I was having a very difficult time getting pregnant. I reread your book. My husband and I went to France, and I applied your techniques! Matthew Charles was born July 17, 1997!
–—Tom Demenkov, actor I cannot practice the craft anywhere, anytime, without you being present in my acting soul – as always – I am grateful for that
—Glenn Young, President, Applause Books I am not being facetious when I write that E. Katherine Kerr’s manuscript is one of the most important works on acting I have ever felt compelled to turn down. It is an extraordinary meditation on the nature of being and acting. The actor who resists the life force that pulsates through Kerr’s work wears more than a mask; he has been overtaken and captured by a suit of armor that ironically only someone of Kerr’s savvy hard-ass mystical talents might strip away. And if it were actually and purely about acting, I would do more than admire the text and its author…her audience, to my mind may not be about actors at all, but any constructively bewildered member of the public who finds himself on a quest for self. Rest assured I will buy fifty copies right off the presses for our shop and will personally advocate it at every opportunity.
—Liz McDonald, actress, playwright If I’d had you and your class when I was out there in the world of show business, I wouldn’t have gotten mangled the way I did.
—source asked to be anonymous You can orgasm forever using the Four Principles. You just stay present, relax and keep asking for what you want. It’s embarrassing but it works. (If anyone reads the testimonials this far, I’d love to hear from you! Someone actually did say this. LOL)
—Mark Ransom, actor, poet, singer/songwriter Last night I audited your class. It was the first acting class I’ve ever attended where there wasn’t any acting going on. I left without saying anything to you. I began to weep as I walked 42nd Street. I suddenly realized it was alright. That I was alright. That I was enough.
—Jerry Pacific, actor Finally a Process that gets you out of your head and into the core of your individual uniqueness as an actor as well as a human being.
–Leslie Diamond, singer, writer Reading your book affirmed everything I’ve spent so long to learn, experience, and conclude. –
—Lisa De Rensis, actress, director You touch people in ways that allow their gifts to shine. There are also more subtle ways—sort of a ripple effect—or just by your loving presence
—Dael Piro, storyteller I was able to take so much of what I learned from you with me. What a gift you have! I still can’t believe that I wasn’t in terror—and that is definitely from you!
—Jay Heflin, actor. It’s been a long time since I was in your class. The reason I’m writing is to thank you….your words still teach me—not only in acting but in life as well.
—Christina Beck, actress, songwriter How much I enjoy your newsletters! I also want to thank you so much for being such an inspiration as a teacher, and how in the past seven years the principles I learned from you are still a big part of my life.
—Aileen Pare, actress, writer I haven’t seen you in a long time, but I don’t think a day goes by that the gifts—many, many gifts that I have gotten from your classes don’t help me live the way I want to. The Tao (Stephen Mitchells’ translation) is a great reassurance that what I learned in E. Katherine Kerr’s class is the real deal!
—Gail Goldberg, speaker, travel agent I want you to know how much your class helped me in my job-I gave a presentation to 150 travel agents the other evening and it was so much fun! I used your special skills that you taught us and was comfortable-present and really with my audience- I even walked around with the mike, instead of standing behind the podium-I was very relaxed and one of my customers sent me an email asking if I ever thought of being a motivational speaker! I learned so much from you——I am forever grateful!!!
–LynnBraz.com, author of Flying Free: Life Lessons Learned on the Flying Trapeze I’m a workshopaholic. I compulsively spend obscene amounts of money on workshops that take up obscene amounts of time and offer little in return. I’m a Reiki Master and certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. I’ve done workshops for meditation, nutrition, aromatherapy, overcoming grief, fiction writing (short stories and novels), travel writing, singing, dancing, mindfulness, somatic therapy, psychic communication, manifesting what I want in life (useless, unless what I want is more workshops), leadership through horsemanship, Model Mugging, Advanced Model Mugging, Disarming Weapons Model Mugging (do not fuck with me; I will kill you), and more. I’ve attended so many workshops I can’t even remember all the stuff I’ve learned. This is the only workshop in which I wasn’t bored.
Last weekend I attended yet another workshop, this one in Wilton, Connecticut: E. Katherine Kerr’s Creative Explosion which was groundbreaking for me in a number of significant ways. It is the only workshop I’ve attended where I didn’t hate anyone in the group. Creative Explosion was, miraculously, totally devoid of that one annoying group member around whom the entire weekend revolves. Also, I drove away from my weekend feeling transformed. More than that, actually—knowing I’d been transformed.
I’ve been stuck on a novel I wrote nearly seven years ago. The story is fine; the beginning sucks. During the ensuing years since that very first-drafty first draft, I’ve spent perhaps a total of seven billion hours trying to rewrite the opening scene of the novel. To no avail. Everything I wrote sounded false, forced, fake, or just plain bad.
After the first day of Creative Explosion, I rewrote that beginning starting with one true sentence that grew into several paragraphs, which spread into pages, which gave me the entree into the novel that I’ve been lacking. Bestsellers list, here I come! After day two of Creative Explosion, I drove away with revelations that filled me with hope and a concrete action plan.
One of my goals for the weekend was ridding myself of difficult, demanding people who don’t appreciate me. A true test of my success came quickly. Late Monday morning, one of those difficult people—a client—called. I approached the conversation with my newly developed clarity and boundaries. What I experienced in that conversation blew me away. Instead of going into her usual time-draining, unprofitable-for-me schtick, this client actually acknowledged the reasonableness of what I was saying and apologized for her past behavior. The relationship was not merely salvaged; it was transformed. I hung up the phone feeling enormous gratitude and love—two emotions that are most definitely not part of my default settings. I know more workshops are in my future. It’s who I am—a workshopaholic. Hopefully, I’ll have the good sense to stick with Creative Explosion or other workshops by E. Katherine Kerr. –