What We Do In Class
We learn by doing. Learn more by doing more.

Memorized Work

Rigorous scene study is the heart of the class. Work as often as you are ready. 

Know it by heart. The purpose of scene and monologue work is to become at ease in your acting. Ease takes work. Know your lines by HEART - in your mind, body and spirit. Do all the work. Use the class docs: Basic Script Prep & What Works. Don’t cheat yourself in the rehearsal process,process,not in your own work or rehearsal with a partner. Have the lines fully, stone cold memorized. When in deep water, become a diver:

  • Make it personal. Find the specificsGet out a shovel & dig in your personal experience. Your most effective preparation will be the work of making it personal. Find where you care. "If you're going through hell, keep going" Winston Churchill
  • Checklist for lift-off: INTENTION, ATTENTION & EASE (breathe)
  • Make sure you're having fun (breathe- especially EXHALE)

Arrive at 6 to pull any items you'll need for your scene from the storage area against the rear stage wall and leave against the stage left wall till your scene
Discussions about how to arrange your set should happen in rehearsal or before class. 

Scenes

  • For the most part, you will choose your scenes & partners - though I  certainly advise. Pick material you are passionate about. Tell me what you've chosen BEFORE you start work so I can understand what kind of growth you're looking for in performance.
  • Scenes should be 3 - 5 minutes.  Actual real world minutes -  Less is more. If your scene more than fire minutes, there won't be time for a re-work/reprise. 
  • Your piece should be from the full text of a play or a film/ TV script so you're working with a story arc. Read the full text. Don't cheat your subconscious. Choose a complete part of the text without cutting and pasting a scene together. Don't chop up the writing. Serve the author's original intent. 
  • Be a warrior:  have at least two scenes in the works at all times. Always be ready to work.
  • Work with a scene that occurs early in the text the first time you work on a piece. We actors like the fireworks, but first finding a character in their given circumstances is the foundation work for the scenes with high conflict.  
  • "Face time" with your partner is essential. Consult the Rehearsal Exercises class doc for some suggested ways to use your rehearsal time. Don't direct each other. Discover with each other.
  • The goal in scene work for class is exploration, not a finished performance. Don't let your considerations about "perfection" stop you. Since you don't have a director, you won't have a "directed" piece but you can have a true experience. In aiming for a final product, you may cheat yourself.                                                 We are learning to work continually in the mode of discovery.
Monologues
  • Find pieces that will make you shine in the marketplace - unless you're “stretching”. 
  • Two minutes or less (which is often more).
  • Nothing self-authored (unless it's the 150 word exercise). 
  • Be ready: have two prepared to perform at any time - industry situations arise. 
Costume:
Take your best stab. Choose items of clothing that affect how your carry your bod especially if it's a period piece. Choose costumes for how the clothes work on your physicality, as much as for your audience.

Props:
Work with what puts you in the scene. Best your partner, your best can be your props.  When rehearsing physical scenes, be safe (only prop weapons).

Bringing back material: 
There is enormous benefit in reprise. Over time, great writing sinks into you, into your psyche, into your body. Acting is experiential. Some dramatic literature is worth the work of years. I encourage you to find material that you want to revisit as, over time, you grow and expand as an artist.
If it's a scene, include your first experience of doing it in class with additional face time with your partner. Forge all that into a trampoline for the repeat performance. 

Your "casting" :
When you hear suggestions for material to work on, make sure someone is writing it down for you. Email the list to me. Keep a running list to revisit and over time, choose what excites you. 

Audition Tech
bulk up your audition muscles - sides on camera 

  • You receive sides from me via email at least 24 hours before the Audition tech class-  as if I were your agent. Please respond asap so I can put you on the schedule and send your sides to a reader. 
  • Come dressed for the part. Bring a stapled copy of the original pdf for your reader & your SD card to record your "audition" for home review.
  • Do the work as if you were meeting someone who can give you a job. As the inspired writer/producer Del Shores says : "Be prepared or be prepared to leave". Audition sides require as much dedicated analysis as scene work (without the benefits of rehearsal with a scene partner). Great discipline allows great freedom. Don't "wing" it. 
  • Reformat your sides. Consult the Reformatting Your Sides doc- type your sides in a way that aids your reading. Rehearse with those reformatted pages so get the eye to the page rhythm in your body. Know the material well enough that you keep your eyes up when listening and really deliver lines you want to land and nail the first and last moments. 
  • Make strong choices with a strong intention (choose a verb). Keep the stakes high. Be brave. Don't worry about what "they" want - serve the material with your insight and impulse.
  • What just happened, what's the relationship and what do you want from them
  • Are you getting it? 
  • Attention, intention, ease.
  • If I send you sides to prepare as a "casting director", just familiarize yourself with the material well enough to read at a good pace with some eye contact. 
  • Email me with your reaction to what you see- what did you learn by watching yourself?                                                                                       

To View Your Work at Home

  • any SD card will work. The higher the card speed, the better the capture. For our purposes, 2 to 4GB
  • Email me with your reaction to what you see- what you learned by watching yourself.             
  •                                                                         
    The Ice Cold Exercise 

    • The purpose of totally cold reads is to celebrate your instincts- to get comfortable with being out of your head and a little out of control- a little dangerous. You & a partner will be given sides you've never seen before to read moment to moment.
    • Ice colds are given out, time allowing,  after scheduled memorized work.
    • I try to hold an evening of filmed ice colds on a regular basis.
    “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” 
     Ralph Waldo Emerson


    Audition Preparation
     "Be prepared or be prepared to leave" 
    Del Shores, producer/writer

    Really, be smart: use the class to help you book the job.
    • Your industry auditions are a priority on the schedule. You'll be first up.
    • Prepare as much as possible before class and then we'll work it so you're ready to rock the room. 
    • Email me the sides so I can do my homework  & send them to someone who will be your reader.

    That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do.   Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that our power to do it is increased.     Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                            Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. 
                                Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. 
                                                Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. 
                                                Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. 
                                                    Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
                    The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. 
     Calvin Coolidge