Dr. Crawford, What a remarkable job you did holding the attention of an entire school so openly and with such care. Thank you so very much for your inspiring words, your step by step method, and your sensitive and supportive guidance. I look forward to hearing how your work with the younger generations of artists continues.
Raymond W. Smith Professor of Drama
Carnegie Mellon University
This book has become the foundation for the mental health aspect of our curriculum in the musical theater department. It has changed my life, as well as the lives of many of our students, and believe it is a " must have" for any young artist wanting minimize their anxiety and maximize their potential for success.
Head of Musical Theater
Texas State University
"Freeing the Artistic Mind" is just that...new information available as a masterclass, book, workbook, ebook, and mp3 audio that frees students in the arts to be who they are and do what they love. Going way beyond "stress management," this material uncovers the science of becoming more influential in all aspects of your life, and dealing with anxiety, auditions, difficult people, coursework, relationships, self-worth, time management, and "the future," with more clarity, confidence, and creativity.
In addition to holding a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Houston, Dr. Crawford is a psychologist and author of seven books. Over the last 27 years, he has created over 3300 presentations for such organizations as Shell, The American Medical Association, PBS, and many other organizations, both nationally and internationally. In fact, his two PBS specials have been seen by over 15 million people, and he has been quoted as an expert in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Working Mother, Self Magazine, and The Chicago Tribune, just to name a few. Having received rave reviews from the students and faculty at some of the most prestigious universities in the nation, Dr. Crawford has become committed to giving young artists everywhere the information they need to bring their best to life, regardless of the situation.
Life reaches out to you at the craziest times in the most wonderful ways. For the past few weeks, I have been lost and searching for guidance. When Dr. Crawford came and talked to us, I felt like he had specifically designed this lecture for my life. Obviously, he had not, but what he had to say, the advice he had to give was so relevant to my life that it felt personalized. I sat in that room absolutely infatuated with what he had to say and the wisdom he gave us. I think that his class is one that should be heard by people everywhere. I feel inspired to change my life, to change my connections, to connect deeper, to let go of things and people causing me pain, and to realize fully the important aspects of my life. I say thank you, thank you, thank you to Dr. Crawford for being patient, wonderful, and inspiring. This class truly changed my life, and I don't say that often. The world functions in crazy ways! — Elizabeth Brady, Texas State University
Dr. Crawford, I wanted to THANK YOU for the amazing gift you gave to our Musical Theater students at Rider University with your workshop on stress and life. The student's responses the next day in class were so positive. It was also reconfirming that the workshop you gave was important not just to our students, but also our faculty. It opened so many conversations between the students and faculty. Inspiring, fun, informative... a necessity for any young artists, and especially helpful to our young artists in school. Looking forward to your new book and how your research continues. Thank you!
Dept. of Theater and Dance
Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University
On Saturday, September 6th, 2014, my life was changed. Dr. Bill Crawford came in and handed me the essentials to living life on a silver platter. As an 18 year old freshman who struggles with time management, stress has been a familiar plague that I thought was always going to be a part of my life. I had accepted that I would never outgrow those frantic episodes of panic where my judgement blurred and everything seemed to be caving in. But Dr. Crawford disagreed. He laid out a simple, step by step process on how to get your mind to slow down and think rationally, asserting that stress was not in the situation, but in my brain's way of receiving information. He presented a series of four questions that, due to their simple complexity, would actually require my neocortex to activate and answer, putting my rash brainstem out of a job! And, once the new habits have been formed, I can think more clearly about how to manage my time, reducing the amount of triggers, and, in turn, reducing the chance of being stressed. It's an upward spiral! — Anna Uzele, Texas State University
Dr. Crawford - Thank you for your fantastic lecture. I came with no expectations and left with pages of notes. It was eye opening to learn about the science behind so many relaxation techniques and inspirational quotes. The very next day, in fact, I caught myself stuck in the limbic system and worked my way out. Thanks for the amazing tools. — Stephen Brower, Texas State University
Hi Dr. Crawford! - First and foremost, I want to say thank you very much for coming out tonight to Rider University. I know the weather was less than ideal, but I think your presence at tonight's theater lab was one for the books. I think that what you did in a very short amount of time will help me live a higher quality life. In the past, I have found myself annoyed, angry, or jealous constantly! The idea of a having a higher purpose of something you yourself have control over and is part of a process of becoming the person you want to be is so much more helpful then just acknowledging the problem, moving on, and hoping it doesn't happen again. Dr. Crawford, there's not much I can say about your presentation as far as improvement. I can't think of any questions I have at the moment, but I hope to read some of your books in the future, and I think your name will be a present one in the Rider community from here on out. — Hannah Cohen, Rider University
Dr. Crawford has given me an invaluable gift—a way to communicate with my students and help them deal with things they are struggling with on a daily basis. I am a better teacher and a more effective mentor because of what I've learned from Bill Crawford.
Head of Dramatic Writing
Texas State University
So I think I can speak for most of us when I say this workshop was NEEDED at this time in our lives. For my sake, I am moving into a brand new apartment, have a brand new load of responsibilities on my hands, dealing with quite a lot of change, and have felt swamped day after day in stress. My point is, I needed help. Advice that I could not only understand, but truly connect with and APPLY in my life. And I needed it as fast as possible. Because, knowing myself well enough, I would never reach out to anyone for fear of appearing weak. So, what did I take from it? It's all science. Once we can acknowledge that, and see past the idea that "we cannot change." that "this is what has been given to us and there is nothing we can do," then we can LEARN HOW TO IMPROVE! It's not what you are stopping, it's what your are STARTING. We have a lot of power to influence who we want to be. — Maggie Bera, Texas State University
After Dr. Crawford's visit, I find myself being able to fall back asleep in the middle of the night much more easily. I've also always had a hard time with roommates and difficult people, and I've found myself dealing with those situations better and trying to follow the steps Dr. Crawford has given us. I see now how I can change that for myself, and what I can work on to keep that positivity going! I really loved this masterclass, and I find myself constantly thinking about it whenever I'm feeling stressed or stuck in a negative situation! Thank you, Dr. Crawford. — Taylor Jackson, Rider University
"When I first invited Dr. Bill Crawford to speak to the theater department at Texas State, I knew there was a real need for students in the arts to learn better ways to manage their stress and anxiety. What I couldn't imagine, however, was the powerful impact this master class would have on our students, and even our program. Not only were the students thoroughly engaged from the beginning, to this day they continue to rave at how much they learned, and the degree to which this material has not only helped them deal with stress, but actually changed their lives. I want to personally thank Dr. Crawford for sharing his unique philosophy with our students and faculty, and I applaud his efforts to support other programs and young artists around the country."
Head of Acting
Texas State University
The master class that happened this past weekend was simply life changing. I feel like I'm already approaching the way I handle stress completely differently, and it hasn't even been a week since the class. I felt like I really understood everything he was trying to get across, and I really want to work hard to apply it to my life. I have been feeling extremely stressed out lately, so this master class could not have come at a better time for me. It felt as if it were meant for me to hear, and I cannot even express how much I've taken away from this experience. I think one of the reasons why it was so amazing was because of how passionate Dr. Crawford is for his job. I really do feel like this way of thinking could work simply because of how passionate he was about this idea. It is definitely a master class that I will never forget! — Chelsi Jump, Texas State University
I had a mind-blowing experience in Dr. Crawford's master class this past weekend. I kept telling everyone that it is the One Voice of stress relief because it was so revolutionary, but made so much sense at the same time. I was so amazed to learn why we get stuck in our brainstem, then find it nearly impossible to move into our neocortex. In addition, I found it so interesting that the neocortex is responsible for so many important traits, one of which is creativity. This really resonated with me because I have struggled with my creativity and confidence in certain types of auditions. I also really appreciate Dr Crawford taking the time to understand what we go through with respect to auditions, rehearsals, and callbacks on top of all of our school work! — Julia Estrada, Texas State University
Dear Dr. Crawford - Thank you for initiating a powerful discussion on the human mind, the neocortex, and the reality of our "Fight or Flight brain stem. Learning about the intricacies of social human behavior from a psychologist was gold for an actor like me. I will remember that I always have the choice to react with a neocortex question instead of a quick brainstem answer. — Thomas Miller, Texas State University
Holy cow... the master class with Dr. Crawford absolutely blew my mind. What I loved was that I was able to walk out of the seminar with a tangible list of things to start working on. I could start applying the information immediately throughout my daily life. I took six pages of hand-written notes and have already referred back to them. It was so different from anything I have been exposed to and was something that I think is really pertinent to actors considering the demanding nature of our field. — Emma Hearn, Texas State University
Dear Dr. Crawford - You changed my life. That's the simplest that I can put it. I have been obsessing for the past few months on concepts relating to your teachings, but I couldn't find a way to articulate what I was thinking and feeling. Your seminar put it perfectly and was so accessible! The only thing I enjoyed as much as what you taught was the way you taught, with vivacity and passion that made me want to hear what you had to say. I have been implementing the four questions in my life every day and figuring out what is my highest purpose and realizing that it is always changing! Nevertheless, Thank you so much, and I only pray that you come again. — John Brantley III, Texas State University
Listening to Dr. Bill Crawford speak to us this Saturday was four of the most valuable hours I've spent in college to date. I loved the way Dr. Crawford spoke to us. He was very open and friendly. I instantly felt at ease around him and willing to open myself up. I always feel like my stress is emotion-based, but hearing how it's actually a chemical change in your body makes me feel strangely better. One of the most valuable lessons I'm taking away from this experience is the notion of "what are you teaching to those you love?" To me that really sums it up. If I'm stressed or upset or frustrated and letting those emotions out in a negative way, I need to stop and ask myself that question. Would I teach this to my loved ones? I need to treat myself with the same respect that I would give to them. I gained a lot from this master class. I'm so grateful that Dr. Crawford spent the time and energy to come talk to us. Incredibly worthwhile! — Adria Swan, Texas State University