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"The better you know yourself, the better an actor you'll be" - Ivana Chubbuck

"The Power of the Actor will show you how to take your conflicts, challenges, and pain and turn them into something positive, both from the standpoint of the character you are portraying and the human being behind the character. This technique will teach you how to use your traumas, emotional pains, obsessions, travesties, needs, desires, and dreams to fuel and drive your character's achievement of a goal. You'll learn that the obstacles of your character's life are not meant to be accepted but to be overcome, in heroic proportions.

"In other words, my technique teaches actors how to win" - Ivana Chubbuck


1. OVERALL OBJECTIVE: What does your character want from life more than
anything? Find what your character wants throughout the entire script.

2. SCENE OBJECTIVE: What your character wants over the course of an entire scene, which supports the character’s OVERALL OBJECTIVE.

3. OBSTACLES: Determining the physical, emotional and mental hurdles that
make it difficult for your character to achieve his or her OVERALL and SCENE

4. SUBSTITUTIONS: Endowing the other actor in the scene with a person from
your real life that makes sense to your OVERALL OBJECTIVE and your SCENE
OBJECTIVE. For instance, if your character’s SCENE OBJECTIVE is “to get
you to love me,” then you find someone from your present life that really makes
you need that love – urgently, desperately and completely. This way you have all
the diverse layers that a real need from a real person will give you.

5. INNER OBJECTS: The pictures you see in your mind when speaking or
hearing about a person, place, thing or event.

6. BEATS and ACTIONS: A BEAT is a thought. Every time there’s a change in
thought or tactic, there’s a BEAT change. ACTIONS are the mini-OBJECTIVES
that are attached to each BEAT that support the SCENE OBJECTIVE and,
therefore, the OVERALL OBJECTIVE.

7. MOMENT BEFORE: The event that happens before you begin the scene (or
before the director yells, “Action!”), which gives you a place to move from, both
physically and emotionally. MOMENT BEFORE is the event (re-imagined in
your thoughts) that gives you the urgency to get your SCENE OBJECTIVE.

that you endow your character’s physical reality – which, in most cases, is
realized on a stage, soundstage, set, classroom or on location – with attributes
from a PLACE from your real life. Using PLACE and the FOURTH WALL
creates privacy, intimacy, history, meaning, safety and reality. The
PLACE/FOURTH WALL must support and make sense with the choices you’ve
made for the other tools.

9. DOINGS: The handling of props, which produces behavior. Brushing your hair
while speaking, tying your shoes, drinking eating, using a knife to chop, etc. are
examples of doings. The act of using DOINGS tells us what you are really
thinking and feeling. Remember, words can lie, behavior never does!

10. INNER MONOLOGUE: The dialogue that’s going on inside your head that you
don’t speak out loud because it’s vulgar, too revealing, not politically correct,
ineffective, and exposing second guessing/insecurities. Dialogue, that can’t be
spoken aloud because it would defeat your purpose/OBJECTIVE.

11. PREVIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES: Your character’s history. The accumulation
of life experiences determines why and how they operate in the world. And
then personalizing the character’s PREVIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES to that of
your own so you can truly and soulfully understand the character’s behavior and
become and live the role. Remember: it is your past that establishes your present
life choices, and how you currently negotiate life.

12. LET IT GO: While the Chubbuck Technique does use an actor’s intellect, it is
not a set of intellectual exercises. This technique is the way to create human
behavior so real that it produces the grittiness, textures, layers and rawness of
becoming a true human being – to live a role, not perform it. In order for you to
duplicate the natural flow of life and be spontaneous, you have to get out of your
head. To achieve this you have to trust the work you’ve done with the previous

Chubbuck Technique Course

This course is weekly and will provide the actor with the opportunity to become more proficient in the Chubbuck Technique. This course is for serious actors of all levels, who have familiarized themselves with Ivana's book, The Power of the Actor.

*Above, Brian Taylor pictured with Ivana Chubbuck at the Ivana Chubbuck Studio with Chubbuck teachers in Los Angeles*

Technique: Text
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