MaryBeth Schroeder

Actress Represented by Simon & How Associates in London. Available to work Internationally.

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MaryBeth is an actress, model and vocalist.
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I Do Care What People Think


I’m going to make stuff no matter what, whether someone is watching or not.  And while I’m not interested in changing my strong instincts for the onlookers, their feelings are a huge part of why I share my work with the world.  There’s incredible wisdom in the varying feelings of responders to art/storytelling.  If I’m in process and I get opinions, it can be really helpful, it puts my malleable choices into their proper flexibility.  It affirms the choices I’ve made strongly and won’t change.

I care so deeply about what everyone thinks.  I don’t always have the time to take it all in and some if it is definitely arbitrarily destructive.  But even in that flow of diss that someone is doing because they clearly hate themselves, there is wisdom for me.  When something is a finished product, I take in the love and hate equally as a perspective post mortem that may or may not inform my next work process as an artist.

The high standards that haters have for themselves and others? Impossibly high standards.  Inspiringly high standards.  They see every detail left undone by their standards.  The best thing to do with it is just to take it as valid.  Everyone’s viewpoint is valid, completely and the variance in viewpoints is always helpful.

The artist, as the author of her own destiny, has the choice which influences to use and which to throw away.  If I lived in a bubble devoid of nay sayers, I’d be terrible at translating my inner voice to the outer world.  What’s the point of telling a story aloud if no one understands it? 

I don’t make things for people who don’t like the things I make but I’ll be damned if I don’t at least try and include them in the fun.

Allowing Your Attention to be Diverted is Only Evil if You Don’t Have the Willpower to Take Your Attention BACK. Being AT ATTENTION is only good as a PART-TIME Activity.

entertain (v.) 

late 15c., “to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind,” from Middle French entretenir (12c.), from Old French entretenir “hold together, stick together, support,” from entre- “among” (from Latin inter; see inter-) + tenir “to hold” (from Latin tenere; see tenet). 

amuse (v.) 

late 15c., “to divert the attention, beguile, delude,” from Middle French amuser ”divert, cause to muse,” from a ”at, to” (but here probably a causal prefix) + muser ”ponder, stare fixedly” (see muse (v.)). Sense of “divert from serious business, tickle the fancy of” is recorded from 1630s, but through 18c. the primary meaning was “deceive, cheat” by first occupying the attention. Bemuse retains more of the original meaning. Related: Amusedamusing.

(via Online Etymology Dictionary)

A “conspiracy theorist” originally told me above etymological translation of the word entertain.  He told me that television was evil and that everyone was brainwashed.  He told me it made him sad and that we needed to fight for the minds of people who, like me, watch a ton of television.  

I found this to be horribly snobby of him because

1) I’m an actor 

2) I’m a Trekkie and rampant sci-fi television fan

I was watching Battlestar Galactica at the time, deeply inspired by that gorgeous cross section of good writing and good acting.  Ideas about robotics, implications of human creation, the definition of a soul——these things were bubbling in my mind wildly and someone had the nerve to tell me I was brainwashed by TV.  Many amazing conversations were sparked between my fellow sci-fi fans, many ideas begat other ideas!

Ever the empathetic friend, I tried on The Conspiracy Pal’s point of view like a hat.  A stupid, ill-fitting hat that I didn’t need because my my haircut is too cool.  He told me that the stories I loved were constructed specifically to keep me distracted form the “real world”.  I told him I could see how someone who watches bad shows has bad taste. I could understand that maybe keeping a TV on all night while I slept could feel uncomfortable.

But his proud and unwavering belief was that the Latin INTER (“between”) and TENERE (“to have, hold possess”) somehow translated to the modern use of ENTERTAINMENT being something that was brainwashing people.  He insisted that his mind be turned on at all times and kept vigilant.  That hyper vigilance seemed, to me, illogical.  We’re meant to rest, we function optimally when we can disconnect and live through stories.  I think storytelling is a basic human function that keeps us socially connected with humanity as a whole.  The person disengaged from storytelling in some form is, in my opinion, a bit difficult to be around.

Entertainment in it’s etymology and practice seemed to me an important element of staying happy.  The definition in my intro didn’t make me afraid of being dumbed down, it made me glad there was a tool in existence for me to use to maintain the health of my mind.  Stories do that because humans are social animals! Entertainment, to me, equaled a moment’s peace in a hectic, stressful world.  I am not an apathetic person who connects through the world only through stories! I use stories to connect with new thoughts and feelings in myself and then with others.

His friend’s ignorant disrespect for human storytelling was second only to the stupidity of his misguided interpretation of “entertain”.  So for my own entertainment (and here I mean it as my personal definition of peace of mind in a hectic world) I limited by contact with this friend.  I’m interested in collaborators, people who aren’t defined by their ideas so much that they are stuck.  I love people who are willing and able to let their ideas morph and grow.  I like idea gardeners who trust themselves enough not live confined by their initial subjective insight but inspired to fuller insight!

Feelings and thoughts change, one must have the bravery to cope! We’re human, we’re set up to allow for change.  We adapt.  As individuals, we are defined by our actions, choices, expressions—we get to decide who we are in every moment using feelings and thoughts as insight, not rules.  Our thoughts and feelings are subject to change and evolution at the drop of a hat so it is essential to expect the change, to grow! To grip tightly to feelings and ideas is to stunt growth of the self.

It is wild that my former friend, poor thing, warned and feared against dogma while simultaneously creating a rigid dogma for himself that wouldn’t allow me a word edgewise to inspire, connect, be respected for my own truths! We all make mistakes, it’s just that people who craft ideas as diligently as my conspiracy friend should understand the nature of ideas!

Ok, that’s all.

MaryBeth Schroeder is a professional actor whose favourite hobby is thinking about performance and storytelling as an important human social functions.  Her professional skills include singing, sports and modelling. She loves science fiction, food and baths. 

Creative Process Communication Tips for Artists and Responders to Art

Part One: Rules for the Dicks

Hi! You’re tactless.  That’s OK.  It takes all types to make a world! I accept you.  In this section, I have your guidelines:

- Be a dick if it is your instinct to be a dick. We need people to be jerks so that we know who is definitely NOT worth listening to.  

- Your dickness makes people tougher.  I know it is a huge burden to bear for you, dickface, but it’s worth it.

- If you’re a dick with a point and you feel your point needs to be understood, your point MIGHT work with dick behaviour… but it might not. :(  If you feel you must truly be understood, best to make the effort to learn a non-dick tactic.  At least try the non-dick tactic first! 

- If the non-dick tactic is too hard (pun intended) and you just don’t feel like really getting through to the person you’re talking to, best stick with being a dick.  

- If you stick with being a dick, the louder and more crass you are, the easier it is to dismiss your opinion as based off of a matter of opinion.  

- The more stupid you sound, the better.  So really go for it with your cursing and rampant display of emotional vomit.  

- It’s important for you to be a dick loud and proud because if you don’t—-we won’t know if we should avoid you in the future.

Part Two: Rules for Artists and Responders Who Do Not Wish to be Dicks

- If a friend or colleague asks you to look at in-progress creative work, ask them if you’re allowed to be super critical in order to help refine.  A lot of times, creative workers are so entrenched in their work that it is difficult to even ask for a second opinion during the process.  

- If you communicate and make sure you’re on the same page, you know you can be honest instead of just coddling the very palpable emotions of the creator.

-If you ask for an opinion, you should be ready to want honesty, not praise.  For a lot of people, it seems to help to ask for an opinion during the process, that way they can go back to the work, weighing their trusted responses with their creative instincts and choosing what is best.  A lot of times, someone will go back after a note session and take NONE of the notes but have a firmer conviction and clarity about their original choices.  Sometimes the notes of trusted colleagues will morph into the choices and create new ideas or directions previously not available to the artist.  That’s cool, too.

-  If you give your friend creative work to look at, give them permission to be super critical.  That way you can sort of pad your emotions and save them for your private stewing-it-over time.  One of my best friends who is a writer says “Can you just be as jerky as possible about this if you have strong feelings and new thoughts.  I’m not looking to feed my ego.” I admire her.

-If you’re an artist, be prepared for it to hurt even when someone is being 100% helpful and nice about things.  For some people, it hurts every single time.  EVERY TIME.  Every. damn. time. And there’s nothing you can do but treasure your sensitivity and focus on your mental fortitude.

Always remember, you can be a dick or not a dick.  Humans are limitless and have access to many traits! Do what is comfortable for yourself and what expresses your truth.  

notes from my acting diary, 2014

Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”~ Alfred Pennyworth describing the Joker.

“It’s like when you’re excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad. And all you want is to feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means you’re happy, too.” ― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

The two above quotes represent opposites of objectivity/subjectivity to what I consider unhealthy extremes.  The quote about The Joker describes a person so objective and distant from connecting to humanity that in order to be stimulated, he must cause chaos.  The second quote speaks in first person appropriately and is, to me, an unhealthy extreme of subjective empathetic instincts and a self-dissolving over-connectedness to people who aren’t the self.  I think most humans have access to both states but have one predisposition or the other.  I’m generally fascinated with the ratio of subjectivity to objectivity in a character’s perception of the world.

Currently reading a stack of plays, deciding which character’s perceptions of the world are closest to mine (really empathetic) and whose are further away from mine (naturally critical thinking).  I’m beginning to see more similarities between the two types.  They’re only slightly different.  I don’t have any automatic “you’re an insensitive sociopath” judgment toward less emotional souls than me. I only have judgment of what someone decides to do with their powers.  

Hyper-empathetic people become evil when they 1) lose themselves in others 2) obsessively compare to others 3) forget humans are allowed to look out for #1 before they look out for the group.  The hyper-objective people become evil when 1) they can’t find themselves in others and stop trying 2) obsess over their separateness, 3) forget humanity is a team.

Both kinds of evil are equal, both cause pain in others.  

Both exhibit extreme self-indulgence and inability to explore the weaker tendency in the personality.  

When extremely objective people take the plunge and learn about the feelings of others, they seem to become most balanced.  

When extremely subjective people take the plunge and learn about the benefits of boundaries, they balance.  

When someone has an extreme natural tendency toward one side of the spectrum or the other, they’re a fascinating character with a difficult journey. A series of tough choices when it comes to seeing the world in clear balance but the formula for balance is so uniquely different for everyone.

-MaryBeth Schroeder, notes from my acting diary, 2014

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