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Performance Potential with Elma Linz Kanefield

Posted by Team APATA | Mar 25, 2023

Pioneer specialist in the psychology of the performing artist Elma Linz Kanefield sat down with APATA Managing Director Yolande Smith to discuss performance potential, the theme of Kanefield’s book Hamlet’s Mirror: Reaching Your Performance Potential Onstage and Off.

With 40 years experience counselling performing arts students and artists Kanefield understands what makes performers tick. She has dedicated her life’s practice to building better understanding around the hard-wiring of the performer and just what it takes to definite your own version of success.

“I want the performers with whom I work to gain a conscious awareness of the effect that both their psychological histories and their chosen life as artists, have on who they are and how they perform in life, particularly on stage,” Kanefield states in Hamlet’s Mirror.

“I trust them to find that voice within that moves them to fulfil their special performance potential and create a lifetime of sustainable, successful and authentic performances on and off stage.”

About Elma Linz Kanefield 

Elma Linz Kanefield, LCSW, CPC, succumbed to debilitating stage fright as a young performer which left her voice… silent. However, rather than remain devastated and at the effect of her fear, she transformed her fright into her life’s calling and became a specialist in the psychology of the performing artist.

So passionate was Elma about addressing the special personal and professional needs, challenges and possibilities of performing artists that she relocated in 1980 from the Midwest to New York City to open the only Psychotherapeutic private practice exclusive to performers. For the last four decades Elma has been healing and empowering artists at all ages and stages of their lives and careers

In 1986, Elma became the Founding Director of The Juilliard School’s Counselling Services. She created the first of its kind, on-campus, fully staffed psychotherapy facility, offering unlimited, confidential sessions to serve the entire graduate and post-graduate student body. The Juilliard School’s Counselling Services remains the only mental health service in the world for performing arts students in an independent performing arts institution.

Elma’s philanthropic work includes Board memberships on: The Actors Center, The New York New Music Ensemble, The Juilliard Council, The Actor’s Fund’s Dancer’s Resource Advisory Council, and Chair of the Artist for the Cure Benefit at Carnegie Hall. In 1999, Elma became a member of The Lotos Club, an arts and literary club founded in 1870 in New York City. As a member, she was asked to serve on The Lotos Foundation Board that offers grants to noteworthy arts organizations in the city.

Not only has Elma written and lectured about her specialization on the psychology of the performing artist, but her pioneering expertise on stage fright has been written about and quoted in The New York TimesTime MagazineThe US and Canadian Opera NewsIn Style Magazine, The Daily News, and other trade publications.

Hamlet’s Mirror, Reaching Your Performance Potential Onstage and Off

Hamlet’s Mirror looks at the stories and experiences of hundreds of performing artists to explain what prevents some from reaching their performance potential and what empowers others to realise it. Kanefield introduces four Performer Personality Profiles: Problem-Ridden, Pugnacious, Promising and Potential-Realised. These personalities reveal and clarify how performing artists move through professional and personal challenges to become the best they can be as people and as performers. You are invited to hold Hamlet’s mirror to see how the wisdom and insight that these performers gained can help you too reach your performance potential.

Hamlet’s Mirror has reached #75 in the Amazon category: Popular Psychology Creativity & Genius. Highly unusual for a first-time author, self-published book in only its 6th month. Kanefield’s work is in the company of such transformational books as The Artist’s Way, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Flow!

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