Friday, 5 April 2013

Barbara Niven "Unleash Your Star Power!"

Barbara Niven at Celebrity English
Barbara Niven!  A Fantastic, Inspirational Hollywood Superstar! American Actress, writer, business lady, and mentor Barbara Niven talks to Celebrity English this week about her exciting journey into ACTING and her incredible life-changing program UNLEASH YOUR STAR POWER!


Part One Acting
Alex Graham:  Can you tell us about when you decided to get into acting and why?

Barbara Niven:  I actually got into acting really late in life and that’s why I am so passionate now about helping other people “wake up!” If they are not living their passion and purpose, it is never too late to start!  Because I started acting when I was approaching my 10-year high school reunion up in Portland, Oregon.  I was a single mother. I got something in the mail that said, as everybody does, the application says:

“Who did you marry?”
“How many kids did you have?”
 “Where do you live?”

The last question on that thing said,

“Have you achieved all you thought you would in your life by now?”

And that was my “AHA MOMENT”, “My wake up call!”  It hit me like a ton of bricks that I hadn’t really started yet.  I was living everybody else’s dream of me but my own. And I knew I had always wanted to be an actress.

So that is the day I declared, 

I said it all in emotion. And it has been an incredible up and down ride ever since but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Alex:  Wow! That is just excellent! A lot of people don’t just “jump into their dreams”! They figure if they haven’t done it by 30 then you are done. It is finished or over. Do you know what I mean?

Barbara: I know and that is why it is so important to me to do all I can to help ”spread the word” and help people wake up as I see you do as well. And I think that people are waking up because it isn’t about age or where you live or where you come from or the circumstances in your life. If you have something inside your heart and a purpose that you are meant here to do, it is time to start!  Life… Life here is very short!  The worst thing you can ever have at the end of your life is to say, “Wonder…I wonder what if, what if I had done this what if I had not?”  So that is what drives me!

Alex: Absolutely! Fantastic thoughts and feelings Barbara!

Alex: What did you find the most difficult about getting started in the acting industry?

Barbara: So the hardest thing for me to get into acting… It was hard partly because I was a single mother very very poor.  I had just gotten divorced and you’re supposed to play it safe. You’re supposed to be responsible and make sure that you get a 9 to 5 job etc. So many of the passions of the heart are leaps of faith. People around us don’t like us to leap.  Because it negates their playing safe. That is why I have created a “Dreamers Network” on my Face Book page. I have had it for years.  It is a support group for us “Dreamers”.  The people who want to play bigger roles in our lives.  Many of the people around us want to keep us down because it is scary to watch us change.  We need to surround ourselves with people who are other Dreamers, so they can celebrate with us give us advice and mentor us along the way.  And then they can cry with us when we are down but also celebrate our wins when we reach certain goals.  But it’s also important to find a mentor. And then once you reach the level of your success to in turn be a mentor yourself and “pay it forward.”
I didn’t know anyone who was an actor in my life.  I was in Portland Oregon and, “Oh My Gosh!” I grew up hunting and fishing and in fact I used to teach duck calling. 

It’s CRAZY!  You think you are crazy if you have a big dream inside.  My passion now is to help people know that they are “NOT CRAZY!”  That we all have big dreams and we are here for a purpose and it is time to “Step Up!” and “Start Shining” and “Playing Big!”

Alex:  Absolutely!  Barbara, my final acting question and then we’ll move on to the mentoring and educational side of Barbara Niven specifically focusing on the incredible “one-of-a-kind” program UNLEASH YOUR STAR POWER!

Question, Barbara, you have played many diverse roles, how do you prepare for them?
Barbara Niven Unleash Your Star Power!
Barbara Niven as Marilyn Monroe!
Barbara:  Ha! That is what is so fun! It is just so much fun to play all the different characters. I feel like I get to try out and be somebody else’s little piece of somebody else all the time.  Acting has really been really good therapy for me because it has let me try things on for a little while. Like playing Marilyn, oh my gosh, to get to play Marilyn Monroe in something. I just felt so unworthy. But I got to try her on for a little while. So parts of every character I play actually stay with me. Stay in my heart.  And they’re integrated into me because as an actor, the only tool you have, the only instrument is yourself.  So it is the little pieces of yourself that you are “figuring out” and “trying on” and saying, “Oh yeah you know what? This enlightens me more about yourself!” There is just nothing better!

I am really pedantic about working out of character.  I studied with a brilliant acting coach. He was infamous here in Hollywood. His name was Milton Katselas. He founded the Beverly Hills Playhouse.  He passed away 5 years ago and it was such a loss.  But I studied in his master class for 12 years.  He taught me so much about breaking down the character, breaking down the script.  Every little moment you see in the script, in the performance of a good actor is thought out before and tried on and then in the moment you just let all the homework go!  You just are “in the moment”. You just live through the character.  And there is nothing more magical. It’s the biggest “rush” in the world to be doing an acting job. It is not really you but it’s just this incredible magic you create with the rest of the film crew as well. It’s like…it’s unbelievable!

Alex:  So you studied while you were working? Is that correct?

Barbara: Oh My Gosh YES! Anybody…Anybody who is doing a craft needs to be studying and getting better all the time to get better! 
Even an accountant needs to be studying because there are new tax laws happening all the time. Anybody who is in any career needs to be bettering themselves.  Not only for themselves, but also for the difference they can make to the people around them.  Also, the whole point of all of this is to find something that you love to do that which you would pay somebody else to let you do.  Then figure out a way to incorporate it in your life.  By making a living at it, and even if you are unable to make a living at it but if you do it a little bit everyday you are going to wake up happy and excited that you get to live your dream!

 Part Two Unleash Your Star Power 

Alex: OK! We have already touched a bit on it so let’s turn to the educational and mentoring side of Barbara Niven.
You have put together a fantastic educational program known as UNLEASH YOUR STAR POWER! Please tell us about this fascinating program!

Barbara:  Well what Unleash Your Star Power” is, is a system that I put together to share all the “tricks and techniques” and everything I have been learning from my career as an actress:  

 On how to communicate, how to really move somebody through a camera lens or in front of an audience
how to do a TV interview, and much much more!

So that people can really communicate in their life and in their business to take it to the next level. Unleash Your Star Power so works for everybody! So for instance, if people lack confidence, well think about it actors lack confidence.  But we have to learn tools and tricks to overcome it so that we can be effective on the stage, or through the lens, or in a meeting with the casting director. I just realized from all these career experiences that there were so many tools, tips, and secrets that I could pass on and that Work For Everyone!  And so I created Unleash Your Star Power
It has audio CDs, it has DVDs, and it has a great Action Guide to walk you through to creating your message and sound bites and your talking points. It shows you exactly what to say and how to say it. So you can actually become a media star! And if you are in business you can become the “Celebrity Expert” and go to authority in your niche.  See what I’ve found is that most people know their career and their expertise down cold.  But now-a-days, the game changer with the Internet is that we can all become “top dog” if we present ourselves well on the Internet. And use the media opportunities to make it personal and be able to show people that we are the kind of person they want to work with.  And it is the difference maker if you have a good video on your welcome page. And I show you how to light it and what to say and how to say it and how to really talk heart to heart through the camera lens and give your viewer an experience. It’s a “game changer” when somebody, your potential client is looking at key words and checking on all the different links and everyone is kind of the same. Y’all have the same information on your website. It is all written there. But do you know what happens when they come up on you speaking heart to heart through a great video?  They feel like they know you!  And that’s the person that they’re going to work with! 

But people aren’t born knowing how to do it!

That’s why everyone needs to work with a media coach and get a little bit of that training.  So, that you can be effective and really get your message out there and do what you are meant to do. Because bad videos or bad interviews can hurt you more than help you.  And then they never go away off the Internet either.  10 years from now if you have a bad interview or bad video out there. Somehow it has gone viral somewhere and 10 years from now when somebody googles your name that “dang” video is going to come up and that video is going to drive them away, rather than drive them to you.

Alex: How long does it take for the participant or the average person to complete Unleash Your Star Power?

Barbara:  Oh it is so quick! Because it is just easy tips and techniques. All I do is a little tweaking, a few adjustments to the dial and they are off to the races!  So the fastest way, there are two ways that people usually do it.  I can mentor them, which means that they invest in my home study course and then some group calls with me. And I can walk them entirely through the course and give them personal attention and make sure that they are successful.   The quickest way that most people do is come to my 2-Day Video Boot Camps here in Hollywood. It is really fun and very small groups maybe 3 to 5 people. And I personally guide and direct them on camera. We hone their message, their talking points, their performance skills. I give them tips and techniques and exercises to help handle those nerves and actually turn them into fuel.  That’s the first day. And then on the second day they sit in front of my camera with a Hollywood make up artist. And I actually shoot their videos with them so that they walk away with some fabulous videos to use on their website and on You Tube.
Barbara Niven Unleash Your Power
Barbara Niven personally directing a student!

Alex: WOW! That’s a phenomenal educational experience and valuable media package!

Barbara:  Yes, it’s a fabulous way to get it done! And once you are trained, seriously Alex, once you are trained you can do it yourself! That’s what is remarkable! That’s why Olympic athletes use coaches. Everyone needs a coach to just figure out the things they are not great at so they can be more effective!

Alex: Can you tell us about a SUCCESS STORY or some of the successes stories that have come out of the Unleash Your Star Power Program? I am sure from the great design of your program that everyone is successful but…

Barbara: Oh yes, yes here is my one that I am standing up and doing  “HIP HIP HOORAY” on! My latest one!  I don’t want to use her name because I don’t want to embarrass her.  Let’s call her Debbie. And she didn’t want to be in the media by the way.  This Unleash Your Star Power is all about really stepping into your true authentic power. Getting rid of nerves. Getting yourself out of the way so that you can just shine your light and make the difference your meant here to do.  And that is what Debbie did.  She called me, no actually she emailed me because she was too shy to call me saying that she had a big interview process happening at work.

And she is somebody who was paralyzed by fear, by self-doubt by not even being able to look people in the eye!

She can talk to children but can’t talk to adults at all!  I mean literally it was crippling her in her life and in her business development.  So she invested in my mentorship program and I overnighted the course to her. Then we did a couple of coaching calls to help her work this out before the interview.  She was gonna have her interview on Wednesday.  So between Friday night, when I shipped, overnighted the home study course to her, And then we did two calls before her interview, and then oh my gosh, what I did was, and what the system does is help you get out of ‘overwhelm’. We all have the big picture in our head but we need to be able to organize our thoughts. And that’s what the home study course does. It walks you through your talking points, your sound bites, creating a presentation. It helps you to decide who you are talking to and what their problems are and how you can best really help serve them.  Because what I was telling her is that when we are really lacking confidence and really nervous. It is all about us is and what we are thinking about.   And we need to stop thinking about how we look or how people are perceiving us and really put it into our heart and think about what we are truly giving to them.  Once we think about them, we are not nervous anymore.  That is just one trick! So by the time that she came to her interviews, Oh my gosh! Oh and the other thing I told her to do which is another physical trigger that actors do is just to jump. Like physically jump. And if your readers would do that right now, just stand up and do 3 quick jumps wherever you are and try to touch the ceiling and yell out “YES!” each time. 

~ Note from ALEX ~
At this point in the interview, Barbara leads me through the physical trigger/tip. And trust me, this lady is HIGH ENERGY! 
I think everyone in the building was jumping to the ceiling, yelling, and feeling the energy.   
Barbara’s enthusiastic voice is very powerful!
By the time you do this 3 times you will find that blood is pumping and you are not nervous. Because you are in a different physical space. You find that you are raring to go just like a race horse at the starting gate! 

Because fear and anxiety are really 
just a label that we put into it!

What Milton Katselas taught me was, that all those symptoms when we are nervous maybe sweaty palms or shallow breathing or feeling that you can’t think or out of your body. You know having an out of body experience.

All those things are also symptoms and signs that we are excited about something.  So a great tip to use is to label it differently! When you start noticing these things happening and instead of saying I am so fearful or I am so anxious, I am so scared and instead say I am so excited about what I get to go do in just a minute.

And so if you label it differently, you will perceive it differently! So by the time she did her interview and this was a woman who had been really beaten down by her father for years. The father said things like: “Do not speak at the table!”, “You are not worthy!”, “You are not beautiful.”, “Nobody wants to hear what you say!”.  This was a 47-year-old woman. By the time she came out of that she…she was jumping up and down.  She was smiling. She was hip hip hooraying. I walked her through the entire thing by text so I could help support her best.  She now, we are talking about the book she is writing, so she can pass this onto children. Other children who maybe shy and going through the same thing.  So by unlocking herself she is now going to be able to “pay that forward” and unlock others as well.  So it is a huge “win win” and I am still giggling and smiling over that one. But that is the power! We each have our own personal, unique dynamic star power within us! And playing small doesn’t serve the world but if we can step up and shine our light and I am borrowing this from my favorite poem by Marianne Williamson:
“If we can stand up and shine our light, we can allow everyone else to shine theirs as well.  There is no limit of what 
we can do together to change this world!” 

Alex: Obviously, there are going to be lots of people interested in signing up for Unleash Your Star Power! What is the easiest way to sign up for this wonderful program? Where should they go?

Barbara: The easiest way to sign up for the program is to go to my website

and if they go under services they will see my mentoring programs and see my home study course and they will see exactly what I offer. Love to Help the Celebrity English readers and anyone else who wants to unleash their inner star!  And most of the time, it is just a couple of tweaks and then they can be off to the races as quick as this Debbie did!

Alex: What is next for you this year?
Barbara:  Well I am pretty blown away. I have just had a movie called “A Perfect Ending” come out and it has been released worldwide. You know I am all about empowerment for people. And this movie was just that. And I am also about facing fears because I find if you leap into your biggest fears you will fly with your biggest goals. And so it has been making a huge splash! Even from women, on my face book page in Croatia, Afghanistan, and China places where women don’t usually have a voice. So it is pretty great. And I just got asked to, we are going to have a screening in London in September, and they just asked me to do a keynote speech on Unleash Your Star Power. And it is not just for women it is also for men. Just to start paying it forward.

And if there is just one thought I could leave Alex, I would just love people to know that if you aren’t living your most passionate, fabulous life, it is up to you to change it. You have the power.  And when you do start stepping into your power, and start going into your dream. Don’t give up 5 minutes before the miracle. Because I’m telling you, you can make it happen!

Alex:  Thank you very much for taking time out of your terribly busy schedule and doing this extraordinary interview for Celebrity English about Acting and Unleash Your Star Power!

Barbara: You are welcome! Keep in touch!

Alex: I will, take care!

NEXT WEEK! We will have another fabulous Hollywood Superstar at Celebrity English!

UNTIL THEN, check out Barbara Niven in her movie  “A Perfect Ending” and sign up for a one of Barbara's fantastic programs! Today is the day you start living your passions and your dream

Barbara Niven 
Unleash Your Star Power 

Barbara Niven's Professional Career  

Barbara Niven Update:

Barbara Niven Debbie Macomber's CEDAR COVE
All Star Cast of Cedar Grove!
Barbara Niven has been cast in Debbie Macomber's CEDAR COVE on the Hallmark Channel premiering July 20th 2013.

Language Learning Section
Natural Language 
Vocabulary Boost!

Here are some high frequency expressions from the Barbara Niven interview!
First, try to write down the meanings or ideas for each expression underlined above.  Next, try to guess the meaning from the context. Then ask a friend or classmate.  Finally, check out the expressions on the Internet. However, the answer ideas are posted below. 

New Vocabulary

Part One
From Barbara Niven's:

Answer 1 
“AHA MOMENT”   = a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight; an epiphany.

“My wake up call!”  =  a warning to take action concerning something that was overlooked or neglected.

It hit me like a ton of bricks = something that  surprises or shocks someone very much creating a sense of realization.

up and down ride =  a person's good fortune and bad fortune as they go through life or career, etc.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world! = something that is invaluable; nonexchangeable. There is no other object or item or experience in the entire world that is better. This is the best!

Answer 2
”spread the word” = to tell other people, often a lot of other people, about something.

Answer 3
to get into acting  = to start or begin doing something.

to play it safe. =  to be or act safe; to avoid any risk.

leaps of faith. = acceptance of an idea(s) or conclusion largely on faith. In its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence.

Answer 4

“figuring out” = to solve some problem

From Alex Graham's:
Question 1
to get into  =same as above; get into acting

Question 2
“jump into their dreams” =begin your dreams without hesitation or thinking too much; just jump in!

Part Two Unleash Your Star Power:

From Barbara Niven's:
Answer 5

Unleash Your Star Power”  release your inner power; show your inner strength; stop holding back and shine as bright as you can. 

to take it to the next level. = improve; increase your ability; Increased abilities in chosen game, sport, or activity.

to walk you through  =  to explain or study something completely; Fig. to lead someone through a complex problem or thought process.

niche.  =  a situation or activity specially suited to a person's interests, abilities, or nature.
down cold.  =  means that you know something very well.
now-a-days, =  also written nowadays; now, currently, these days.
 “top dog”  =  the boss or the leader; In a competition, it is also the favorite or the one expected to win, and the opposite of the underdog.
 game changer”  =  a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.
 Y’all you all = all of you; everyone.

googlesto google; It means to search for somebody or to find information about somebody or someone, usually using the Google search engine.
 “dang” darn

Answer 6

tweaking, =  to improve something by making a slight change.

adjustments to the dial = to make something better.

 off to the races!  =  an expression characterizing the activity or excitement that is just beginning; [we are] leaving for something interesting or exciting.

hone = sharpen; improve; make better.

walk away = leave

Answer 7

 “HIP HIP HOORAY”   Hooray may also be spelled and pronounced hoorah, hurrah, hurray etc.) is a cheering called out to express praise or approbation toward someone or something,

gonnagoing to

‘overwhelm’. =  defeat completely; to overpower in thought or feeling.

big picturethe entire perspective on a situation or issue —used with 'the': 'the big picture'.

 “pay that forward” Pay it forward is asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor.

 “win win” advantageous or satisfactory to all parties involved.

Answer 8
I am all about empowerment for'all about' refers to really about or completely about empowering people.
huge splash! =  a big success.
keynote speech  = also called a keynote address . 'A keynote' in literature, music, or public speaking is a talk that establishes the main underlying theme.

Take care and make sure to use the new vocabulary you learned from this Celebrity interview!


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