Acting can be a metaphor for living a self-actualized life. Prepare for the challenge of living consciously in an uncertain world.

Course: Actor for Life

Life has been described as improv. Without a script to guide us we undertake quests. We pass milestones, we may be faced with calamities, or take part in thrilling events, or chance upon comic ironies. We encounter some of the same dramas that are played out on the stage and screen, we just don’t have all the special effects.

An actor on stage might play the hero, victim, warrior, or protector.  Actors can show a range of mental states like the ones we encounter in life. They can be patient, peaceful, angry, fearful, joyful, sad, surprised, vindictive, manipulative and the list goes on and on. 

The three-day course uses acting as a metaphor for living a self-actualized life. The book Actor for Life: How to have an amazing career without all the drama was written as a textbook for young actors, but the concepts and exercises prepare anyone for the challenge of living consciously in an uncertain world. Specific skills help with things like self-doubt, motivation/procrastination, and stress.

Who is it for?

This classroom will attract individuals who want to live a meaningful and fulfilled life, people who are willing to take time to think through important life decisions and take purposeful action to move toward life goals.

For coaches, the course is accredited by the International Coach Federation for 24 hours of continuing education credit. It fulfills all the core competency and ethics requirements for renewing a coaching credential.

What is the content?

Drawing on research from neuroscience, participants will develop mental strategies to help them align their ongoing habits and patterns (in both behavior and thought) with who they are at the core of their being, and who they want to be in the future.

Using specific memories and state of mind “anchoring” techniques, participants will explore a variety of internal resources, and design ways to express these gifts and talents.

The textbook is organized into three sections, The Self, The Work and The Whole.  The Self focuses on how to win at “the inner game.” It helps us identify and craft habits of thought that serve us. The exercises in this section provoke awareness and bring to light patterns that can either support or inhibit our growth.

The section on The Work focuses on the attitudes that successful individuals bring to their work. It includes exercises that explore craftsmanship, resilience and how to cope with failures.

The section on The Whole looks past the individual into the systems within which we live and work. These include both the immediate systems (the workplace, the family, the community) and the larger system of humanity.

The course is experiential. Each activity begins with solo thinking time, then participants explore and develop their thoughts in pairs or in small groups.

When and Where and How Much

The Dansk Institute  in Copenhagen hosts Actor for Life. In 2019 the dates are  September 23 – 25, Monday through Wednesday. To register, or for more information contact the institute directly at or through the website,

Every other year (alternating with Visual Coaching) the 3-day residential seminar is held at Starved Rock State Park in late October. In 2019 the dates are October 22 – 24, Tuesday through Thursday. Early bird registration (available until the end of August) is $400. After September, registration is $475.

Lodge and cabin rooms are available at the park, but rooms sell out quickly. We suggest you make your hotel reservations early to assure that you get a room. There are also accommodations near the park in either Oglesby or LaSalle, IL.  

For information about sponsoring a short course, contact Jan at

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