Interviewing Sandra Robinson, Actress, Performance Coach
As Dr. Taylor (Soaps.com)
Originally posted May 26:
Update at bottom of interview.
She’s a fantastic actress, and because of that, most recently made Days of Our Lives fans everywhere hate her character! Sandra Dee Robinson, (ex-Dr. Charlotte Taylor) came to Salem to cause friction between one of the most loved couples in Daytime, John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena Evans Black (Deidre Hall). She certainly did a good job, but Sandra’s time with DOOL was short. She remained with the show for approximately 16 episodes. She’s no stranger to soaps, or television and has been seen in past episodes of the now defunct shows, “Another World” and “Sunset Beach,” not to mention Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital. Her Primetime credits are impressive as well, but that’s not all there is to Robinson, who has built a career in acting, and in performance coaching.
Soaps.com spoke with Sandra in December of 2008, about her role as Dr. Ross, and recently, we caught up with her to discuss her new business, her background in coaching and what her future plans are. Though Sandra had already been working as a coach for television hosts for three years, she ventured out on her own and in March this year, she started The More You Are. Sandra had been working as a coach for television hosts for three years before this new venture. I immediately thought about being on the red carpet with many media outlets and asked Sandra if there were any big names she had worked with. “I can say that I have worked with people from Disney, E! Entertainment, and groomed some future TV hosts for their own shows.” She tells Soaps.com, “Lately, I have the pleasure of working with some amazing women entrepreneurs that are everything from coaches, to politicians, to writers…” The list goes on and Sandra tells us that it’s mostly a female demographic who comes to her for assistance. “There seems to be a real surge of women entering the entrepreneurial world right now. They are focused and determined, and very coachable. Media is a great tool to increase visibility, and women really get that.”
Always been fascinated by Psychology, Sandra and has taken some college courses studying in the field, which help aid in coaching techniques. Because Sandra is a fine actress, many wonder if her comfort and confidence in acting was correlated to how well she did with public speaking. Often, non-actors can’t distinguish the two. She assures us that once upon a time she too was paralyzed by a fear of public speaking. “I seem to remember a particularly humiliating solo in a middle school show in front of parents, and teachers and everything. I was just paralyzed, and nothing came out of my mouth. That pretty much set the course for me for the next, oh, 20 years!” This is something many have experienced. Sandra goes on to say, “I can say that an actor can hide behind a character and therefore can fool himself into being comfortable, after all it can be reasoned that he is not being vulnerable at all, because it is not really him. You know? When an actor is forced to speak as “themselves,” then often times they can feel as exposed and uncomfortable as anyone else, sometimes, I think, it can be worse.” She makes a point about awards shows. “Ever see those actors that can’t even get a few lines out as they introduce someone at an awards show, like the Oscars?” Indeed we have!
Getting down to how Sandra goes about morphing her clients into proficient public speakers, to start with, Sandra’s website, The More You Are, provides you with free access to a useful reference guide. She discusses "7 Techniques to Look like a Superstar in front of your Audience," which is spot on. During my read, I found that they also applied not just to public speaking, but to other careers, such as my own, in the media and online. You’ll have to read them to find out why! Once a client contacts Sandra, the coaching is unique. "I put everyone on camera. Sometimes this can take some getting used to, because not everyone has seen themselves in this way before, and often there is a period of adjustment before we can really get down to it. I approach everyone as unique, and since there is a consultation initially, I have a good idea of what the client is being groomed for, such as an interview for a local TV station, or their own show, and that sets a clear path for us to work. We address everything from voice, posture and gestures, to interview skills. It's great to see the changes, and I play back the video a lot during each session, so that the progress is as rapid as possible. It's a workout!" Anybody who is in an industry who needs help in front of a camera or even with interviews or public speaking truly should talk to Sandra. She shares the basic tips for those who will be speaking in public, even those not in the Los Angeles area. She tells us, "For the basic tips, sign on to the webpage, The More You are and grab the free guide that you mentioned earlier, "7 Techniques to Look Like a Superstar." I can work with anyone, anywhere, since I work with video. I use a company called Vimeo, and have clients upload a video, and then we go over it during the session." Sandra assures us, "It’s so simple, really." What’s next on the agenda for this actress/performance coach? She’s got a plan to write a book. "It's on the master list of "things to do!"
Updated June 2: Sandra is a busy lady. Soon, she will unveil a new look for her website, and a new name, "Charisma on Camera." Fans of her work will also be able to sign up for a newsletter including valuable tips!
- Christine Fix