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?”
“I find it important to ask, How am I not like this person? What gaps in my own understanding of the way people work do I need to fill in to be able to play this person?” — Michelle Williams”
The goal of the Master Class is to assist the actor develop that ability. It’s preferable if actors use themselves to create but not make it about themselves. It’s liberating to choose not to limit yourself to your own experience. Develop and make full use of your imagination instead of expecting everyone else to. As the great Russian actress, Alla Nazimova, once said, “First, last and always, a player must have imagination. Imagination kindles the feelings, steers the actor through the character into emotion, enables him to reproduce feelings he himself has never experienced.” So that when requested, the actor can transform himself into an entirely different person on the spot. It’s about conscious observation. About choosing to believe. Whatever necessary to achieve.
Focus, concentration, relaxation, emotional, psychological and physical availability, respect, commitment, and self-discipline! All the necessary ingredients to compete with the best actors in the world AND meet the demands of the job.
The workshop is a judgment free zone. No competition, no working to impress, no showing off. We’re not concerned with results, just work. I believe in a completely supportive, respectful environment. Team players!