Acting might look easy, but it’s an art. It is 99% hard work and 1% genius. We are storytellers. We interpret character and text. As actors, we always need to go deeper, make specific choices, ask questions. We must know how to do that by using our body, mind, voice, costumes, the text and our heart as our tools. We are the instrument: we have to know how to play all the different parts of ourselves, like a pianist knows how to play the 88 notes on their piano. Nothing in drama or comedy is casual, the stakes couldn’t be higher: it’s all life and death.
As actors, we have the responsibility of learning the laws of our own instrument. What makes us feel alive? What terrifies us? The questions guide us and open us: great acting has vulnerability all the time. While science is about what you can see and measure, art has more mystery: it’s not always knowable. As artists, we are more like detectives. Searching for clues and following the questions that lead us deeper into the process.
We must learn how to relax, concentrate, be in the moment, breathe, live in another character, make choices, memorize tons of dialogue and live in another universe. Then repeat it 28 times like we’ve never done it before and make it believable, and spontaneous. We have to cry, get angry, get high, have a baby, have sex, kill a monster, hit our mark, and do it all on cue, in front of a 100 people. We have to act as if we are alone and no one is watching. We must be able to play any emotion without going for the emotion. We must follow our instincts but not the lines. We must trust ourselves and get out of our own way, then let it all go and be in the moment.
Maybe we should call ourselves jugglers instead of actors.
Acting isn't about showing up, memorizing lines, hitting the mark and hoping for the best. We are in the business of transformation.
what you learn
the art of auditioning
It is your one shot. Lets make it work. Learn the tools of auditioning that help you get the part. Apply the exercises that you lean in class immediately on your next audition. Depend on your craft, not on a miracle.
learn to cast yourself
Learn what parts you can do better than anyone else. Build on your unique strengths to get the part. Build confidence. Learn how others see you. Learn to sell yourself so that agents will see exactly how to market your unique talent.
be your own director
Learn to prepare for your part, create a character and build a role on your own. Learn how to rehearse and make strong, specific choices that keeps you in the moment. These are the survival tools for today's acting world.
dare to be different
Most actors think (and are often taught) that being natural is enough for an audition. It isn’t. The most dynamic actor gets the part.
Lean to make exciting choices. Learn to avoid playing it safe. Dare to stand out. Dare to be different. Dare to win.
Learn to access your character and make choices quickly and confidently, as well as stay connected to your breath and concentrate on your work rather then your nerves. This way you are able to release the part as soon as the audition is over, rather than obsessing for weeks.
These are not exercises for the classroom. You take this work and apply it instantly.
It’s a wonderful feeling — knowing that you did your best on an audition. Whether or not you get the part, you know that you made a strong impression with the casting director. You know they will call you in again for another role.
you work every class
“acting is doing”. You will work at least two hours in every class. Practice relaxation skills, develop auditioning techniques, do improvisational work, learn specific film techniques, and find out how to use sensory work in your acting. Then plug all of that into monologue and scene work.