Actress Barbara Niven, YOU and Starpower. #Interview + More!

Life changing…is NOT when a well-meaning friend wants you to drink Kale juice.   Achieving a dream, creating a success you have always envisioned, conveying to others without fear…is life changing.  Actress Barbara Niven knows a lot about changing lives. As Hollywood’s top media trainer and video marketing coach she does it all the time.  More on that in a moment, but first…

Those familiar with Ms. Niven in the social media universe know she’s kind, down-to-earth, generous and supportive.  They also know she’s a very busy actress.  She starts Season 3 of Hallmark Channel’s Cedar Cove soon and one of a few new feature films, Suburban Gothic , opens January 30th.

Even as she prepares for an annual Superstar Marketing Seminar with business branding strategist Debbie Allen (click Superstar image), Ms. Niven graciously consented to what became a revealing interview…and a window into WHY helping others to live their dream matters so deeply to her…

BN Banner

LA-STORY: You could just focus on your own success and accolades. What is it that compels you to put such time and passion into guiding the hopes, dreams and success of others?

BN: My motto is “Live your passion.  Connect to your purpose.  Make a difference.  And…don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.”  At the risk of sounding corny, I believe we are here for a reason.  My passion was always about my love of acting and entertaining.  I’ve learned that living your passion will eventually lead you right smack into your purpose as well.  It sure did for me.  Epiphany!  All the success tools & techniques I learned throughout my acting career are life & business skills that will serve anyone, in any business.

Sharing this is a passion and it’s why I created Unleash Your Star Power!™ To help others get their message out to the world is to help them fulfill their purpose too.  After a motivational wake-up call, I teach them how to unleash their unique Star Power (in messaging, image and communication skills).   The result is they are able to transform their lives & businesses.

I want people to know that no matter what the issue, they can out create their circumstances to achieve their dreams and goals.  I was a very unlikely winner myself.  I didn’t start acting until I was 30 years old and a single mother living in Portland, Oregon.  Against all odds, I found a way to make it happen and have been blessed to be living my crazy acting dream for over 25 years. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward – because if I can do that, anything is possible!

I also use social media for positive change. I have a Dreamers Network on my Facebook page ( I call it a “support group” for us Dreamers.  It has over 12,000 members from all corners of the globe–and amazing Twitter followers who have helped me create a #PayItForward #KindnessRevolution.  And I want to say a thank you to #FOBN (Fans of Barbara Niven) for their awesome support! I am proud to be aligned with all these wonderful people across the world. Together we are making a difference…and we are just getting started.

BN DreamersNetworkAdvert

LA-Story: For those who dare to dream there’s no shortage of risk and hard work.  Why should they embrace what you call ”Star Power” and a ”next evolution” and what secrets do these mysteries unlock?

BN:  Our dreams change as we evolve. It’s important to revisit them often to create new goals and strategies – and consciously create our next evolution.

If you’re like most people, as you get older you start to consider why you’re here + what legacy you are going to leave.  It’s easy to become complacent or fall into a negative mindset thinking “Who am I to do big things?”  Throw that thought out!  Instead, ask yourself: “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?”  Seriously. What WOULD you do?  What COULD you do?  Are you getting goosebumps just thinking about the possibilities?  Well, what’s stopping you? The only thing you know for sure: If you never start, failure is a certainty.

Believe me, I know courage and change can be scary.  When I was young, my actress dream scared the heck out of me.  But I remember thinking: “Twenty years from now, I don’t want to wonder ‘What if?’ I need to know if I can make it as an actress.”  What a gift I gave myself.  I would have ended up this age anyway – dream or not.  I’m grateful I decided to take that leap.

That’s not the only dream to frighten me.  I’ve constantly reinvented myself over the years.   Each time I’ve had to push through scary personal barriers. One of the biggest was when I decided to become an entrepreneur & create my company, Unleash Your Star Power!™.  Talk about being out of my comfort zone!  It’s been a leap of faith every step of the way…

I remember when my first client, a CEO, was flying in to work with me. I was sweating bullets and still setting up my studio as his plane was landing.  But it turned out to be a magical session.   I was able to help him on his sound bites and to get over his public speaking fears.  He said it was a life-changing experience.  That’s still my favorite part about working with clients. I get goosebumps as I help them regain their courage, hone their message, step into their power, transform themselves & achieve their dreams.

So, if the rush is gone, go find it again!  Recommit to an old dream or find a new one.  Fall in love again with your possibilities.  Surround yourself with people who make things happen.  Re-inspire yourself through the work of artists and big thinkers.  Let their passion reignite yours.  Get so hungry for your dream you can taste it…then take action.  In short, follow your goosebumps.

BN Goosebumps

LA-STORY: You offer acclaimed media training boot camp, public and on-camera speaking, and more… The limited class sizes are always full and they inspire raves.  And then there’s the annual event with Debbie Allen.  Lots of dream-building!  Pull back the curtain on the wizard…details!    

BN : (laughs) If you’re in business, Video Marketing is critical to your success! If you’re not using it you are already behind the curve and it will only grow worse.  For instance, a good video on a landing page can increase conversions over 800% more than print or online ads.  Poor video production values or performance skills can hurt your cause.  And it could leave you feeling like trading places with Tom Hanks on a deserted island…if the volleyball let’s you! That’s why I am passionate about teaching “how to” Video Marketing for strategy, scripting, production, and performance skills on camera.  In a time of media proliferation, the whole world is a chorus of critics.   And so, I offer personal mentoring, group training days, Boot Camps, Google Hangout coaching webinars, and full-service “done for you” video production training and shooting in my Los Angeles studio.  I also have a new online academy for people who want to learn at home.

One of my favorite events is the upcoming Superstar Marketing Seminar. It’s a live 2-Day event which will be held Feb 13-14 at the Westin LAX in Los Angeles.  My co-host, Debbie Allen, is a brilliant business & brand strategist.  This is going to be an info-packed event and people will walk out with the latest marketing strategies and skills to grow their business and stand out from the competition.  It’s all about creating your own Celebrity brand which will help make you a go-to-authority in your niche.  We are also thrilled to announce that fellow actress & entrepreneur Susan Blakely will be our Celebrity Guest for the VIP Red Carpet reception.  She’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories and her secrets for achieving Superstar success in one of the world’s hardest industries…Show Business.

LA-STORY: You instruct media executives, entertainers, captains of industry, first time entrepreneurs and change seekers in the art of public and on-camera speaking…any noticeable differences between these pupils?

BN: They say fear of public speaking and/or speaking to a camera is the #1 fear in America! I call it the Great Equalizer because no matter how great you are in your field of expertise, communicating your message in an effective way is a very different skill…and performance anxiety hits everyone!  I work with clients who want to makeover their personal image & increase communication skills.  Nowadays it’s essential to present yourself well.  In today’s competitive marketplace, not doing so can be a deal-breaker. It can make all the difference in gaining clients, closing sales, or even standing out in a job interview.

LA-Story: This can be funny, touching or otherwise, what’s the most memorable experience you’ve had in helping people find their ”next evolution” and “Star Power” as you like to say?

BN: When I speak at events and teach my Unleash Your Star Power!™ system, I include live coaching of audience members. I ask for the most frightened person in the audience (the one who is crying at the thought!) to trust me, raise their hand, and let me coach them to have a breakthrough.  It has never failed that within ten minutes my volunteer is crying tears of joy instead of fear, and the audience is giving them a standing ovation after witnessing their instant Star Power makeover!

How can that be? I believe that just beyond your biggest fear is your biggest gold.  What I’ve discovered is that those who have the most fear of speaking are usually the ones who are going to be the very best at it.  I think it’s because they have a huge message inside that needs to get out, but they are blocked – paralyzed actually – and don’t even know how to start.

I make it a safe place to try, literally holding their hand as I guide them through the process.  I teach simple techniques for handling nerves, structuring their message, and show them how to get out of their ”head” and connect heart-to-heart with who they are talking to…be it a person…an audience…or a camera lens.  Once I help them get out of their own way, they are off to the races!  They even change physically as they find their “voice” & step into their authentic Star Power.  The joy in watching that transformation is the best thing about what I do.  It’s life changing for me too.

BN Superstar Mktg Seminar

 (Click Image for More Info/Registration)

Good news for fans of Barbara Niven…she’s as nice and kind and grounded as you might of suspected.  She could easily revel in her well-earned, on-going success as an actress, but her passion for making dreams a reality doesn’t stop with her…and that means a whole lot of starpower is going to find its voice.

BN Dreams

Author: Thom Rafferty

Share This Post On