I don’t like talking about myself in public at all, let alone writing about it. I only do it here because I expect the same openness from my clients. In 1:1 coaching, I tell you about myself so that you dare to tell me your deep shit – because that’s what we work with. So here is my introduction and I would like you to be similarly open, because that saves us time:
I am a convinced European of the German nation and was born on 16.6.1976 in Augsburg – a former Fugger and free imperial city founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago, Bertolt Brecht’s unloved homeland. I am a Gemini, ascendant Cancer. I am a fig tree in the Celtic tree horoscope and a dragon in the Chinese horoscope. My archetype is Priest. I am 50% Bavarian Swabian, 25% Saxon and 25% Czech. I have an older brother who is a cardiologist and a younger sister who is an insurance saleswoman. My father was an architect, my mother an MTA. My parents were divorced and remarried. My political views are always pro-nature, liberal but social, conservative but progressive. Apart from singing, rowing and driving, I don’t have any hobbies. Okay, I can ride horses and I love horses. And history. And everything that is beautiful. La mer. And I’m a convinced nudist.
I was discovered in school theater by Nessie Nesslauer and Hans-Christian Schmid and got my first film role alongside Franka Potente and Axel Milberg. This led to further roles. After my 1.9 A-levels, I immediately moved to Berlin because my parents were broke anyway and I could do whatever I wanted. So I went clubbing, waited tables and took acting lessons on the side – with Barbara Czerwinski (Schaubühne Berlin), Prof. Stefan Wiefel (Folkwangschule Essen/Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover) and John Costopoulos (HdK Berlin/Actors Studio New York). Then I was a soap star on “Verbotene Liebe” for a year and a half – a great time with great colleagues, but nobody could explain acting to me. When a low-budget film starring me was shown in Los Angeles, I met my first mentor: Susan Batson.
I had always secretly been looking for this kind of acting. I worked around the clock with Susan in her studio. Two months later, I was working with her on my theater role for the Theater an der Kö in Düsseldorf – in Romania, where I met Susan’s client Nicole Kidman while she was filming “Cold Mountain”. After my theater engagement, I moved to New York for 2 years, worked as a model and studied at Susan’s school. Susan made me a member of her Master Class, where I sat next to Juliette Binoche. I am still grateful to Susan for her support today.
Nevertheless, I was drawn back to Germany. Susan’s friend Suzanne Geyer in Munich became my second mentor. I practiced Susan’s technique with her for three more years and she brought me to the “Archetypes of the Soul”. Through our work, I succeeded in relaunching my TV career. Looking back, in my 25 years as an actor, I have played in all film and TV formats in addition to theater: In scripted reality, daily soaps, telenovelas, weekly series, TV movies, feature films, international movies, as well as for Netflix and Amazon.
I know every department within the industry from my own observations. I know how difficult it can be to get your own ideas across in day-to-day filming. But there is a way – always. Making movies is teamwork.
My biography may read straightforward and single-minded. But it wasn’t like that. Life per se is not straightforward. My life between 20 and 30 was pure chaos and a lack of direction, and it wasn’t much better between 30 and 40: stress and boredom, depression and euphoria, drama and loneliness – I know it all. But no matter, my life cleared up as I got older. Today I can see the forest for the trees. The change in my energetic frequency between “high and low” became higher and higher and my life is now more relaxed. But please never ask me how I’m doing – I’ll always say “very well”, because I’m your coach and not your private friend.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an overview of your life, I didn’t either. But with me, you have the coach I never had.
What I didn’t realize at the time, but is now the backbone of my work and my life, was that I started working spiritually at a relatively early age: I started TM (Transcendental Meditation according to Marishi Manesh Yogi) and yoga at the age of 21. Over the years, this has been a gate-opener and also my guardian angel. Not that I remained stoically faithful to meditation and the spiritual way of life, but they saved me in all the difficult phases of my life. My encounter with Shin and my contact with Sadhguru have always brought me back to myself and my soul. Today, spirituality is an integral part of my life and I am happier than ever before.
Without change or transformation, everything would be boring: in 2009 I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis). That was a shocker and also a reason why I increasingly withdrew from acting – because I no longer trusted my body. BUT: MS is NOT a reason to discriminate against actors, as happened to a colleague! If Malu Dreyer can be Prime Minister with MS, then actors can also act with MS! Why else do we have filming insurance? In addition, there are extremely different courses of MS, from “not noticeable” to “disabled”. I have a medium course and my clients don’t find out about it. I don’t want to be asked about it either. I see “illness as a path”: although you can also act with MS, it was an impulse for me to go behind the camera as a coach. I am convinced that we all became actors in order to change our lives. Or to become the person we actually are or always wanted to be. I have succeeded in that: Through acting, I have become the man I always wanted to be. And the coach I always wanted myself to be.
Speaking of “change and transformation”: My father died in 2012 after a short illness and my mother died in 2014 after a long illness. As shitty as that time was – I’m in very good contact with my parents, I don’t have to look after them anymore and I don’t have to be an actor for them to be proud of me. And what many people don’t know: I won an Oscar in 2013 and once you’ve won an Oscar, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone – my husband’s name is Oscar. And without acting, I would never have met him.
You can imagine that it wasn’t easy for me as a homosexual actor in our hetero-normative, patriarchal society and film industry. That’s why I and some of my clients supported the #ActOut Manifesto (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActOut) in 2021, which went all the way to Hollywood, so that no actor has to suffer the same fate as us. Whoever discriminates against you because of your sexual orientation will be made public.
My third mentor – or rather finish line – was Ivana Chubbuck. I met her in Hollywood not as a teacher, but as a colleague. She confirmed everything I already knew or suspected about acting. With her kick-ass attitude, she encouraged me to pursue my own acting technique – the Avatar Technique© – and to pass it on. I have always had female mentors from whom I have learned. Yes, actually only women! I have more male friends.
I would like to emphasize: I am not and have never been one of those coaches who became acting teachers out of acting failure, frustration, private unhappiness, financial hardship, inferiority complexes or a lack of alternatives and/or then took it out on their students. I know these candidates! I’m not like that. I’m also not a charlatan, temple dancer, pied piper or obsessed with power. Unlike many other coaches, I’m no longer an actor and I don’t want to be one either. Looking back, I realize that some colleagues and competitors wanted to bend and break me – but they didn’t succeed.
Now I just do what I do best and what I like best: answering questions, showing visions, giving structure and advice. That’s my island talent. I have now been coaching actors for over 15 years, have lectured at 5 drama schools and worked on a 1.0 master’s thesis on method acting. For 8 years I have been giving workshops all over Germany and even abroad, I am a columnist in the “Ca:st-Mag” and give interviews and write guest articles for the “Schauspiegel” of the Bff.
I wish you the same strength and stamina that I needed – and you will need it for your profession as an actor! If you give yourself 100% to your profession as an actor and are not afraid of your own truth, then you can count on my support forever.