Mindfulness Mode

Kickass In The Acting Biz; Debra Wanger

May 19, 2020

Debra Wanger is an actor, singer, and certified wellness coach, who has performed in theaters and cabarets across the U.S. Debra helps actors and creatives connect mind, body, and spirit through her holistic approach to acting. She's a sought-after public speaker and talent manager where she’s helped guide the careers of top Hollywood names including Donald Sutherland, Halle Berry, and Antonio Banderas. Debra draws wisdom from decades of working as an actor, talent manager, and lifestyle coach. Her book The Resilient Actor: How to Kick-Ass in the Business Without it Kicking Your Ass was an Amazon bestseller.

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Effect on Emotions

  • The biggest thing is with the presence and being able to take my brain back when the thoughts and the monkeys highjack my brain. Mindfulness is a way for me to calm myself, get centered, and reclaim my brain.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • Breathing is huge. That's where I tell people to start, actually. That's the least expensive and lowest impact way is to just breathe through your nose.
  • When our sympathetic nervous system takes over and we are feeling like there's a threat, we are not breathing well and we're panting or moving our chest just to reclaim breathing by taking slow deliberate breaths through our nose and telling our body it's safe, I'm in charge, I'm okay, no one's chasing us, we're safe. That is where it all begins.
  • Breathing is where it's at, baby!

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Bullying Story

  • When I was eleven years old I lost my first friend to suicide. She was twelve years old. I remember I had gone to one of my first funerals and it was the first time I had ever been in a Catholic church … I remember seeing this family completely destroyed. My mother made the choice for me to go back to school that day. …
  • There were some boys in my class who noticed that I was different (I was still wearing my funeral clothes). I told them that I'd been to a funeral and they started making fun of me.
  • They started saying horrible things which I now know in hindsight as my adult self is that they were trying to deal with an unimaginable situation. [They said things like] … she probably took one look at you and jumped out the window just looking at your face. They said horrible things and I was in such shock or so insecure that I just took it. I didn't fight back or say anything.
  • Now, I would tell the teacher, or I would stand up and say ‘you guys are being first-class jerks. I went through a horrible situation. How dare you make fun of someone who's in such a horrible situation?'

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