Torsten Voges, Actor

Can you tell us a little about yourself?I am an actor and writer. I worked 8 years in one of the biggest repertory theater companies in Germany (Duesseldorfer Schauspielhaus). I also worked freelance as an actor on German television shows.

How was it that you came to the United States? Can you share some of the experiences you’ve had here?When I met my American wife, Ariana, who was born in the United States but grew up in Germany, we decided to marry and move to Los Angeles. I acted for a while in a couple of movies and television shows such as The Big Lebowski, Malcolm in the Middle, 8MM, Seinfeld, and Dharma & Greg, but I decided to give up acting because I couldn’t really make a living at it, as I only booked jobs occasionally. So I worked for a while as a writer and a development person at a big German production company.

Did you miss acting?In the second half of 2008, I realized what I loved most was simply acting. So even though I just turned 50, I decided to get back into the market.

Was your approach different this time around?This time I tried to evaluate a little why I wasn’t more successful the first time around, and there weren’t really many reasons I could think of. I’ve always been very dedicated to acting. I enjoyed going to auditions and I really liked living in California. In thinking back, there were a couple of times when it looked like I got my big break - I booked a nice role, I got a lot of attention, but as soon as I was thinking, "this is it," nothing would work anymore. The energy seemed to be almost kind of stuck.

What did you do?A friend whom I told about my dilemma suggested it might be a good idea to get a feng shui consultation. First, I was a little skeptical, but after I read on the internet about the thousands-of-year-old tradition of feng shui, I decided to try it. Through recommendations we found Jenny Liu, and one day in July 2008, she came to our house for an evaluation.

How was the feng shui consultation with Jenny?She told us our house was a "stuck" house. We would have to adjust every room with colors and rearranging furniture. Bells, mirrors, and all sorts of Chinese animal guardian sculptures were placed in different parts of our house. We didn't understand all of it, and some of it seemed like strange ideas, but as we had decided to start it, we wanted at least to try it. We implemented most of Jenny’s suggestions and went on with our lives.

Did the feng shui adjustments work? What happened after you made the adjustments?About a month after we had our initial consultation, I booked a small role on a big Judd Apatow movie called Funny People. My wife and I thought that was a good start. When I received the script, I was a little disappointed because I could hardly find my role in the script! In December, I had my first day of shooting. They loved me! During this time, I seemed to have more auditions than I usually had. That same week I booked a television pilot for ABC playing the devil’s assistant on Eastwick. A week later, I got an unexpected call from my manager that they wanted me to come back for more work on the Apatow movie. So I got two additional weeks on the movie. Still a small role, but I was very happy to make some extra money. Last year, in March 2009, a friend of mine told me I should watch the trailer for the movie I was in. When I watched it, I couldn’t believe what I saw! In the 3-minute trailer for this big 70 million dollar movie, I could be seen twice! A month later, I found out that the television pilot I shot was going to be a series, and I was going to be in it. When Funny People came out at the end of July, it wasn’t a huge success, but everybody who saw the movie remembered my character. I even got write-ups by reviewers like Roger Ebert, who singled me out as an excellent casting choice. In the meantime, the television series went on, and even though it was canceled before the year ended, I was in 9 of the 13 episodes that they made. I also found an excellent agent and got a lot of other wonderful opportunities.

What would you like to tell our readers?It seemed as if all the stuck energy was suddenly flowing. Feng shui really does work. Thank you so much, Jenny, for your wonderful help!

Thank you for your time in sharing your story with us!

"It seemed as if all the stuck energy was suddenly flowing. Feng shui really does work."

~–Torsten Voges, Actor and Writer