The workshop takes you through the process of creation. From the initial reading of the script to the realization of any given character’s emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical, sexual and sociological world. You will learn not only to think for yourself, but also to take and incorporate very specific direction. Bottom line! You will obtain the tools you need to develop into an actor with both the ability and the confidence to make the impression necessary to get the job.
Every moment of every day, whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’re making choices. Our lives are a reflection of the choices we make. The same can be said about our work. Our work is a reflection of the choices we make in the process of creating a character and his/her world. The Master Class focuses intensely on the choices that best serve the actor in the professional workplace.
An actor’s job is to create characters. In other words, to create people. Different types of people. To create the things that differentiate them from their characters and not simply project their own personality, character, nature, etc. onto their characters. I often hear actors say, “They’re (casting directors, directors, producers) not looking for an actor, they’re looking for the person!” To which I reply, “Maybe their experience has led them to believe that most actors aren’t capable of creating other people. What are you doing to change that perception?”
This workshop is designed specifically to allow the actor to focus entirely on building his given character and the world he inhabits for the purpose of production.
Each actor is assigned a one person play and over the course of the four weeks works to create that one person. Works to create a life so secure that on opening night he can step out onto the stage genuinely prepared to live and breathe as that person. Knowing who he is and where he is as that specific human being. A person prepared to live the experience.
From the initial breaking down and analyzing of the script, through the myriad exercises necessary to create sense and logic, form connections (i.e. relationships) to every person, place and thing mentioned by and/or dealt with by his character, through the mandatory receiving and incorporating of specific direction to the seemingly endless repetition of dialogue and actions to achieve the illusion of spontaneity.
I believe that “constructing” a character benefits from first taking the time to “deconstruct” the script. Not unlike a mechanic who takes apart an engine to know how it’s put together. To build something you must have materials to build with. For actors those materials exist in the form of information in the script. Scripts are loaded with clues. Pieces to a puzzle. A puzzle that when put together creates a world. Creates life. A life the actor is meant to live in a world he’s meant to inhabit.
“Actors are investigators…Actors are responsible to the people we play.” — Philip Seymour Hoffman
I have had the great privilege of seeing some of the most extraordinary performances of Shakespeare’s plays ever produced. What made them extraordinary? The fact that the actors on stage weren’t “playing” Shakespeare. They weren’t focused on a “style” of acting. They had created real, flesh and blood, people who were simply speaking to each other in their mother tongue. Not “Shakespearean” language.
Actor John Douglas Thompson (who recently starred as Othello in NYC) said he prized “the actor’s ability to make antique language sound contemporary, just like they are speaking to us right now in an everyday conversation. It still contains meaning and urgency, but it’s delivered in such a way that our contemporary ears say, ‘Oh, he’s speaking to me.’ ” This is achieved, Mr. Thompson said, when actors bring “a certain amount of irreverence to the text.” He doesn’t mean improvising, of course, but that actors can stiffen up when they “follow the iambic pentameter religiously. When you follow rules like that rigidly, you can become a rigid performer.”
Manufacture des Abbesses
Contact: Sophie VONLANTHEN
March 7 – April 1 Master Class
May 9 – June 3 Preparation for the Actor
July/August dates TBD Master Class
November/December dates TBD Preparation for the Actor
Lexington Youth Theatre
4 E 3rd Ave
Lexington, NC 27292
Contact: Nita Jarrett @ email@example.com
ACT YOUR SONG
(4th thru 12th grades)
Far too often young musical actors are directed to simply hit their marks, sing well, and do it faster and funnier. I have heard again and again people say, “It’s just a musical,” which suggests there’s no need to do any more than that. But what about creating characters who have real lives and are dealing with real situations and circumstances? When you choose to create the people singing you approach their songs entirely differently. Because you know what your relationship is to what you’re singing about, thus you know what you think and feel about what you are singing about and to whom you’re singing. Songs in musicals are the characters’ form of communication, and that requires thought, and actual acting.
THEATRE 101 FOR KIDS
(K thru 5th grades)
A fun filled intensive for kids who want to develop skills in acting, performing, build their confidence and think more creatively. To act is to play and we believe that students excel most when learning in a relaxed environment where they receive positive, constructive, reinforcement.
Institut fur Schauspiel, Film – und Fernsehberufe
an der VHS Berlin Mitte
Telefon: +49 (0) 30-9018 374 43
Fax: +49 (0) 30-9018 374 86
INTERNATIONAL CASTING WORKSHOP
April 4 – 8
Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:45pm
Over the course of this 4 week workshop actors have the opportunity to work with different casting directors from different countries to gain a broader perspective of the casting process and to develop their ability to adapt to the different ways people work. Different environments, different demands.
Pott Cast NRW
Contact: Dirk Hermann & Lesley Higl
Tel: 0157.37 16 52 79
The workshop provides professional actors an opportunity to exercise and fine tune their preparation skills. When actors feel secure in their ability to create whatever the job requires, they can breathe freely and focus on what their characters are focused on. They arrive confidently in work mode, not fear of judgement mode. Practice may not make perfect, but it does contribute to developing one’s craft and professionalism. Actors have job requirements, they must accept that there are expectations involved that they must meet. The ability to create whoever, wherever, whenever takes work. Over the course of the five days the actors will be assigned assorted scenes and monologues to prepare, as well as be called upon to improvise, achieve specific emotional reactions, sing and dance. A very full five days spent preparing as very busy, very successful actors do.
The Actors Centre
1a Tower Street
Reception: 020 3841 6600
10am – 5:30pm
A fun and energizing two-day workshop designed to help you prepare for the mental, physical, emotional and technical demands of working on a TV or film set. HOW WILL IT WORK? – From breaking down the text, through rehearsal and filming, Jordan Beswick will take you through the preparatory process that has helped actors maximize their on set experience for decades. Knowing who you are, where you are, and what you are dealing with ‘in character’ whilst simultaneously hitting your marks, dealing with green screen, imagining specific worlds off camera, sight lines, sound levels, continuity, etc. is key. WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF IT? The goal of the workshop is to become an actor who is focused, flexible, has a fertile imagination and is able to multi-task.
Piedmont Players Theatre
213 South Main St. Salisbury, NC 28144
An Actor, Director, Playwright, Casting Director, and Teacher.