My Work and Training
Corrie Danieley has been a Professor of Theatre Performance since 2007 and is currently teaching at Northern Kentucky University where she directs main stage theatre productions and teaches courses in acting, voice for the actor, movement for the actor, acting for the camera, performing Shakespeare, and The Alexander Technique.
A member of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG), Ms. Danieley has performed in national and regional commercials as well as played supporting roles in feature films including Jesse Orcutt in American Pastoral directed by Ewan McGregor and starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, and Dakota Fanning; as Monica Wheeler in Inconceivable starring Nicholas Cage and Faye Dunaway; and as Betty Ireton in A Kind of Murder starring Patrick Wilson and Jessica Beale (IMDB page). She is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and has performed off-Broadway and regionally.
Ms. Danieley’s Teaching Certifications include:
and she holds a second degree black belt in Shaolin-do Kung Fu
My Journey into Connecting Mind and Body…
As a young person, I struggled with anxiety and stress which manifested itself through chronic migraines, stomach upsets, and my throat closing up when I needed to speak. These issues were heightened when I auditioned for shows and before performances but they were also present in my daily life, albeit on a smaller scale. Through my training as an actor, I began to gain ownership of my body and voice; but it wasn’t until I studied a semester at The National Theatre Institute when I was introduced to a technique that changed my life: The Alexander Technique.
“[The Alexander Technique] is a way to transform stress to joy. It’s my way of keeping on track with work and truth and the world I’m in which is working with people and creating. It’s for anyone who wants to be in contact with their own body and the way we tense ourselves and relax ourselves. It’s another way of moving.”
From my first Alexander lesson, I immediately felt lighter and free from the stress I had been carrying. In addition to my body feeling lighter, I felt joyful, and closer to my true self. I was learning that my mind and body are interwoven and that I had more control over how I move, think, breathe, and speak than what I realized. This began my path to living authentically.
Over time (through taking Alexander lessons and practicing what I was learning in my daily life) my migraines rarely happen, and my stomach and throat issues are practically non-existent. In addition to feeling physically better, this technique has helped me be more present, more authentic, and more connected than ever before. This authenticity and presence is how I like (and choose) to live my life.
For those of you who are performers, you can see how this technique could be of tremendous help to your art. We need to be open and free so we can be a vessel for our art. We need to be present and authentic in each moment. We need to be connected to ourselves, connected to our instrument, and connected to our partners on stage.
“Good acting is revealing yourself, not covering yourself up. If your body is free, your mind is free. [The Alexander Technique allows] you to feel what it’s like to stay open physically, and also stay fully involved in whatever you’re supposed to be doing.”
After I began my teaching career as a university professor and teaching The Alexander Technique, my curiosity about the mind-body connection continued. I sought out other modalities that could help my students in various ways. I found a psychophysical approach to acting called The Michael Chekhov Technique which is a phenomenal tool to help young actors make strong, clear, and bold choices. The Michael Chekhov Technique is also an incredibly healthy approach to acting as it does not require the actor to use their own personal past to connect to the character. Chekhov uses imagination skills and powerful physical explorations that result in wholehearted and specific acting choices.
“The actor should never worry about his talent, but rather about his lack of technique, his lack of training, and his lack of understanding of the creative process. The talent will flourish immediately of itself as soon as the actor chisels away all the extraneous matter that hides his abilities – even from himself.” (Michael Chekhov, page 155)
In 2018 I was awarded a Faculty Fellowship from the Institute for Health Innovation from Northern Kentucky University to study the mind-body connection of yoga for actors. This allowed me to study Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga at Sarvaguna Yoga in Dharamshala, India where I earned my 200hr yoga teacher certificate. I also completed 100hr meditation training at the same school. And in the summer of 2020 I completed my Yin Yoga certification from Bernie Clark. I bring this yogic mind-body connection into my Movement for the Actor classes as another way of helping actors be present, find their breath, and maximize their flexibility, strength, and balance.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how influential Hatha Yoga was on the Father of realistic acting, Konstantin Stanislavski. To read more about how he incorporated yogic breathing and asanas into his acting system: Click HERE.
“Stanislavsky applied yoga’s breathing principles as the basis of life when he taught breathing rhythm as the basis of theatrical creativity as such. He writes: “Music, being in agreement with the rhythm of your breathing, that is, with the basis of your whole life on earth, should increase your concentration, bringing your whole being into harmony”
While beginning my deeper dive into yoga, I also discovered martial arts training to be a phenomenal extension to my mind-body journey. Training in marital arts has helped me with my physical, mental, and emotional health while at the same time also gives me more tools to help manage performance anxiety, focus, and presence.
In 2023 I earned my second degree black belt from Northern Kentucky Shaolin-do Kung Fu and Tai Chi. And I continue studying Kung Fu and Tai Chi as another way of connecting mind and body. I bring Tai Chi and Qigong into my Movement for the Actor classes as it is a phenomenal practice to help actors connect mind and body, calm performance anxiety, and help actors be fully present.