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The art of deception: Albuquerque-based casting director’s method is based on principle that ‘all acting is a lie’

Faith Hibbs-Clark is a casting director who has lived in New Mexico since 2013. She continues to train actors for auditions. (Courtesy of Byron Medina)

Faith Hibbs-Clark is an inquisitive person.

She’s taken what she’s learned as a deception detection expert and married it with her work as a casting director in New Mexico.

What’s she’s created is the Communication Methods for Actors.

“I’ve been teaching for a really long time,” she says. “I moved to Albuquerque in 2013 and have been busy as a casting director since then.”

Hibbs-Clark made her move to Albuquerque from Arizona, which at the time had done away with its film tax incentive program.

She says a friend told her about New Mexico’s growth in the film and TV industry and she took a chance.

“Arizona is a great commercial market, but I really loved the storytelling aspect of film and TV,” she says. “It was really interesting, because I saw something homegrown and thriving here. It did make it difficult as an outsider coming in, and I’ve come to appreciate the tightknit community.”

Hibbs-Clark’s CMFA method is a strategy that isn’t focused so much on aspects such as character immersion or backstory; instead, Hibbs-Clark works to identify and place focus on how the actor is perceived.

“Actors are encouraged to encode and reverse engineer their performances with body language and to use scientific concepts that will help to evoke feelings in the mind of the receiver,” Hibbs-Clark says.

She says using the technique, actors can also focus on the training they’ve been given and the strategies they have learned as opposed to caving under the pressure of an audition.

She used to teach deception detection to trial attorneys, federal agents, CEOs and politicians so they could find flaws by looking at body language.

“The No. 1 principle for acting is that all acting is a lie,” she says. “Combined with my experience as a casting director, I’ve learned what actors needed. The training gives actors a way to be consistent in their auditions.”

Hibbs-Clark has worked with a long list of actors and actresses and developed some online resources. More information can be found at cmfatraining.com.

She says that after she moved to New Mexico, it took a little time to find her place as a casting director.

“In terms of what I had to offer, was an outside perspective,” she says. “Not better, just something different. It’s the same reason that we travel to other countries. We continue to learn about new cultures or new ways of doing things. As you grow something as wonderful as the film and TV industry has done in New Mexico, you are going to attract people to the community.”

After years of being part of the community, Hibbs-Clark is excited to see the growth and potential.

“There’s so much happening right now that the local community is stepping up,” she says. “It’s important to keep pushing ourselves in all aspects. The CMFA training isn’t just for acting; it can also help people manifest something positive.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.




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