Michael Bott
AN-018 - MINDSET 8/9 ‘Visualisation’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-018 - MINDSET 8/9 ‘Visualisation’ with SHARON BOTT

April 18, 2016
Isn't it strange? Before we kicked off with this conversation, I hadn't really appreciated that when people talk about 'visualisation' in a personal development context, they're talking about something that, as actors, we're already well accustomed to doing. We rehearse things. Not only in the rehearsal room, but also in our minds, of course.
Sharon and I speculate on how it might be if we incorporated a few of the actorish skills we have in that regard into our daily lives.

As promised, below is a link to Sharon Bott's coaching website.


AN-017 | Look at me, look at me, look at me …

AN-017 | Look at me, look at me, look at me …

March 30, 2016
Some of you may realise where the title of this podcast comes from. If you’re a fan of James Lipton’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ interviews, then you almost certainly will. In 2006 Lipton interviewed Dustin Hoffman and the conversation turned to Marathon Man and the time that Hoffman spent with Lawrence Olivier during the making of that film.

Olivier was not well at the time. In fact Illness had nearly prevented him doing the film at all. It seems that those around him in 1975 were fearful that he may not have long to live, Hoffman included. Although Olivier didn’t die until 1989, there was an air of valediction to Hoffman’s time with him and this comes across in his emotional remembrance of the time at the end of filming they went out to dinner together.

At some point in the evening Hoffman asked Olivier the question "why do we do it?". Hoffman says Olivier leant over and whispered in his ear: "Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me".

Although the story certainly inspires the title of this episode, the episode is not about Olivier and what he might have meant.

However, if we, as actors admit to the resonance of those few words, then there is maybe something that we need to remind ourselves of as we navigate life and this thing called social media.

AN-016 - MINDSET 7/9 - ‘Fixed/Growth Mindset’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-016 - MINDSET 7/9 - ‘Fixed/Growth Mindset’ with SHARON BOTT

March 21, 2016

The idea that is behind this episode is that each of us tends towards one of two states in dealing with life. We do it without being aware and quite often, the patterns are set early in life.

The clue is in the title of the podcast in that we’re talking about having either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset - as defined by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, and the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University

It seems a simple concept on the face of it - but the effects of tending towards one or the other are profound. We hope our conversation provides a little clarity in the matter and gives you further insight into the strange workings of our minds and how we can acquire some control over it.



Above is an affiliate link to Carol dweck's book on Amazon.co.uk.
Below is a link to Sharon Bott's coaching website.



March 16, 2016
Watch Now:

The first attempt at a video podcast from ACTOR NOTES!

For some while I've been running an occasional video streaming show called 'ActorChat' on the Blab platform (http://www.blab.im). As they get recorded on video as a matter of course, I got round to thinking that they make good content for a video podcast.

A few days ago I had an ad hoc (see, told you!) conversation with two very interesting gentlemen; veteran Hollywood director/producer, classic car aficionado and acting guru Stephen Mitchell and brand strategist, digital Darwinist and marketing expert Art Jones.

So, we were chatting away, and as the conversation drifted towards the subject of branding, I thought I'd hit the record button, seeing as 'branding' has become a bit of a buzzword for actors of late.

Although the conversation meandered through many topics - we talked branding, storytelling, creative self-disruption, Hollywood, casting and actors as a luxury item(!) - it got quite deep, and if you listen through, I hope you'll find there's some gold to be prospected from what was said. I hope you enjoy.



Go to Stephen Mitchell's NOTES ON A CALL SHEET - an his podcast, also on Podbean. An extremely interesting and experienced Hollywood director/writer/producer and his take on acting and the business of acting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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AN-014 - MINDSET 6/9 | “Listening’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-014 - MINDSET 6/9 | “Listening’ with SHARON BOTT

March 2, 2016

Listening - that seems a pretty straightforward thing to be talking about, doesn't it? I mean, most of us have been doing it all our lives and it seems we've got quite good at it - haven't we? But have we really? Do we actually listen - and if we think we do, who are we listening to? Is it possible that in changing the way we think about listening that we could impact our lives and careers for the better?


As ever, immensely grateful to Sharon Bott for her contribution in making this series possible. If you've enjoyed this show, please have a look at her website - there's loads of good stuff to absorb ...


AN-013 - MINDSET 5/9 | ‘Negativity Bias’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-013 - MINDSET 5/9 | ‘Negativity Bias’ with SHARON BOTT

February 24, 2016

"... al of our brains - no matter who we are - react more strongly to negative events. The asymmetric response to positive and negative events is rooted in the brain's processing of emotion. Negative events cause greater self-referential activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and aslo increased activity in the insula, which is responsible for noticing visceral sensations. Lastly, they also engage more of an emotional response in the amygdala and hippocampus". 

Yes ... but what does it all mean? And is it helpful to know? 

The book mentioned and the quote above is from 'The Upward Spiral' by Alex Korb. Amazon.co.uk link is below:

AN-012 - MINDSET 4/9 | ‘Introvert/Extrovert’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-012 - MINDSET 4/9 | ‘Introvert/Extrovert’ with SHARON BOTT

February 23, 2016

Actors, as performers are often assumed to be extrovert. But it ain't necessarily so! In fact, you yourself may be labouring under the illusion that you're an extrovert when really, you're an introvert - and visa versa. The defining experience of being either, isn't quite what we think, and may help you reassess the way you think about yourself. Or not.

AN-011 | Synchronicity

AN-011 | Synchronicity

February 17, 2016

As actors, we all would love to know where the next job is coming from, what’s it going to be, what it’s going to demand of us and where it’s going to lead us.

Oh, if only ...


I wish, at the age of 61, that I did have some magic formula to pass on to you that gave you the power to determine the trajectory of your career, and to be able to divine your next best move from the plethora of actions available to you. Sometimes indeed, the scant feedback from most of the actions we do take can stun us into inaction.


A few weeks ago I shared a story on Actor Notes called ‘Full Circle at Wyndham’s’. It was a story about synchronicity, fate, cause and effect, choice and destiny. And it happened to me. Or rather, it involved me - a passenger on a strange thing called life.


I’ve got another story like that that I’d like to tell you.However, I’m telling it here not just because it’s a good story, but because it helps make a point about how - particularly as actors - we should be in life.


Standing with Stones

The story I tell happened during the making of my film 'Standing with Stones. You can find out more about that at http://standingwithstones.net


In the meantime, here's the relevant section of the film including Callanish:

Oh, and if you've never seen 'Glengarry, Glen Ross' find the film wherever you can. Magnificent perfomances from Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey et al.


Here's Baldwin with the famous speech:

AN-010 - MINDSET 3/9 | ‘People’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-010 - MINDSET 3/9 | ‘People’ with SHARON BOTT

February 13, 2016

'People' seems like rather a large subject for a 20 minute podcast. There are just so many of them - and they're all different. How can I cope - especially when my well-being, the next job, my career may depend on how I occur to the next person I meet? Well, relax. We don't think it's a case of understanding and adapting to each individual or group you meet and/or work with. It's more about understanding and adapting just one person - YOU!

AN-009 - MINDSET 2/9 | ‘Responsibility’ with SHARON BOTT

AN-009 - MINDSET 2/9 | ‘Responsibility’ with SHARON BOTT

February 10, 2016

In the second of a series of nine discussions, Sharon and I reflect on the area of Responsibility and how being aware of, and taking care to manage what we're thinking and how we're feeling impacts our direction in life. Taking responsibility for what's going on between our ears not only empowers us in our careers, but also when we're doing the job, in rehearsal and on set.