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Part-time acting training for school leavers and working actors

Part-time courses can be particularly helpful for school-leavers who are interested in an acting career but need to be absolutely sure before going down the full-time route. A summer school or evening class can be the experience that clinches the decision either way. And if it turns out not to be for you, a part-time course is a much cheaper way of finding out than starting full-time training and then realising you’ve made a mistake.

Ongoing part-time training can help actors keep their acting muscles warm. Nobody learns everything they need to know for a whole career in three years at drama school. Some things may not be covered, while there are others in which the actor might become interested only later.

The industry’s needs change continuously too. At the moment, actor-musicians and those with puppetry skills are in high demand but those who trained some years ago may have had to acquire these skills along the way because they didn’t used to be taught much in the schools and colleges. In another 10 years, it is quite possible that something else, not yet anticipated by drama schools, will be in vogue.

Yet actors are human beings. Their instrument is themselves and their lives, both of which change all the time. Professional development in the form of part-time top-up training helps actors to adapt the way they work.

The UK tends to have a culture of regarding three years of training as the be-all and end-all of learning to be an actor. It’s different in the US, where working actors frequently continue to take classes or one-to-one tuition. Perhaps we need to change our mindset. An actor should be constantly curious about his or her self and the surrounding world. Part-time training can often give an actor the best chance to explore both.

Part-time training is also a useful alternative for actors at the beginning of their career who can’t afford to embark on full-time courses. The performing arts can be expensive to get involved in – the cost of headshots, Equity membership, subscriptions to casting sites and audition travel all add up.

Training part-time can give actors the space they need in their lives to live, work and further their acting career at the same time. It is available to more people who, for whatever reason, cannot access or commit to a full-time course.

TK Stunts Workshops for Young Actors

TK Stunts opened in April 2017 and is the only company facilitating Stunt Workshops for children in the UK.

The Stunt Workshops are all based around films TV. From the start to the end the kids will be put through their paces and will come away with a knowledge of the most dangerous yet exciting industry in the acting business.

Whether it be working in pairs learning and creating their own intricate fight sequence, or as a team listening and looking out for each other while they cover the basics in Bullet hitsThrows and Falls, they will get to take part in a day to remember.

All members of the team are professional actors and performers with years of experience in film, TV and theatre. They will be revealing industry secrets, walking the students through a normal day on a film set and letting them loose on an action sequence of their own. This workshop will give the kids a massive glimpse into the acting industry.

We promise to give your students a day they will never forget. Being informativepractical and character building, the kids will come away with a complete knowledge of the magic behind Stunts 

Mind in Body Methodology for Actors

Mind in Body is a methology for actors in order to integrate as a unity the techniques of Shri Vivek Yoga, meditation and techniques of Tantra. It is a holistic approach that brings all the attention of the mind to observe the body and its needs of expression at all times.

Mind in Body methodology is a very useful tool when only for the moment when you’re acting, but also for our complex lives. And just like everything else in life, the result should come through effort and by the habit we’re willing to create for ourselves. Only through habitual attitude do responsability, trust, gratitude and self-esteem increase.

At the end of the workshop students will have learned to explore the basic integration of the human being : body, mind and energy, and merge it with the needs of the actor’s profession. You will learn to get out of the habit of devaluating yourself and others through comparison and competition. It deepens your self-awareness and self-acceptance. When you see and recognize yourself as you are, then rises a natural instinct of self-concentration and automatically the presence of oneself.

The habit of being ‘mind in body’ gives you as well an automatic effect of saving energy. So you will learn to be nothing more than your actions, as a need that the present demands. It is a very important thing for acting, because it requires discipline and complete presence. With Mind in Body’s technique you’ll be trained to see the parts of your body that require action and the parts that need to be relaxed.

Seeing the causes and consequences of everything you do, is the state of Mind in the Body. As a consequence you’ll increase self-confidence, overcome shyness and stage-fright ; you’ll control your voice, and have a good presence on stage. This is the goad of this workshop as a substantial technique to develop the skills of your acting.

Contact ishat.jgd@gmail.com

Monkeying around at the Arcola Theatre London

Will Self's 1997 novel is a satire on contemporary machismo and also a challenge to familiar notions of what constitutes civilised behaviour. This skilful adaptation by Patrick Marmion captures its blend of shrewd observation, linguistic bravura and shameless puns.

Bryan Dick brings an angsty revulsion to artist Simon Dykes, who wakes up one morning to find he’s in a world run by chimps. At first he thinks he has simply guzzled too many drugs, but soon his longstanding obsession with perspective is being sorely tested. As Simon struggles to adjust to a society in which bum display and voracious public sex are the norm, psychiatrists try to rescue him from the delusion that he’s human.

Indebted to Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift, the story takes an idea that might suit a five-minute TV sketch and extends it beyond absurdity into the realms of madness. Jokes about bottoms proliferate, as do densely scientific speeches, yet after a rather frantic opening first-time director Oscar Pearce maintains a firm grasp on the show’s tumbling craziness.

The cast includes Stephen Ventura as Simon’s critic-baiting gallerist and John Cummins as an Oxford academic fond of quaffing liquid excrement. All the actors are wholly committed to their apish physicality - squirming around on crutches and indulging in a feast of sniffing, whooping, grooming and rutting. The standout is Ruth Lass as Zack Busner, a maverick shrink who focuses the piece’s unsettling interest in modern neuroses and biological destiny.

A Dramatic Approach to Business Training

React was one of the first companies to bring a dramatic approach to business training and have been doing this for over 20 years. They understands the power of theatre and combines this with commercial insight and a positive approach.Their carefully chosen network of actors spans many ages, locations and professional backgrounds. Each member of the team has a talent for bringing situations to life, connecting with people and giving constructive feedback.

React approach is positive, generous and creative. As a pioneer of dramatic techniques in business, they are at the forefront of practice in this field. They have core values, underlying thinking and established techniques that help them help their clients. They recognise the transformational power of positivity. We look for positive ways to approach challenges. They aim to make everything they do fun, memorable and inspiring. By delivering engaging learning experiences, they help people and organisations be successful.

React turns theory into practice and put experience at the heart of learning. They use drama techniques in practical skills courses, full development programmes, coaching, theatre lab work and bespoke projects. We enjoy building long-term relationships with clients and seeing the difference it makes. They help people be successful through creative learning experiences. Clients often describe the results as a revelation, because it involves developing the skills they already have and discovering things they didn't know you could do. The difference it makes – to individuals, teams, departments and organisations – is dramatic.

 

Playwright David Hare on writing television drama for BBC Two

There has been a fair amount of film and television drama about the two formative events of the early century - the invasion of Iraq and the 2008 financial crisis. But of the third great challenge - the waves of migration prompted by war, poverty and fresh persecution - we have seen much less.

As a viewer, I have always loved drama like Cathy Come Home, The Boys From The Blackstuff and A Very British Coup, which succeeded in moving television fiction into new areas. At its start, Collateral may seem to be familiar. After all, it does involve a police investigation. But I hope you will notice the absence of any of the usual apparatus of police procedurals. I can promise you there are no shots of computers or pentel boards. After an illegal immigrant is shot in the opening moments, I am much more interested in exploring how the death of one individual, who has lived out of the sight of respectable society, resonates and reaches into various interconnecting lives.

One of the common paradoxes of our time is that even as we lose faith in public institutions, so our belief in private virtue holds steady. Collateral takes us through various British institutions and, most especially, through our weird and shaky detention system - and asks why so many organizations seem deliberately structured in a way which prevents individuals being allowed to exercise their own judgements and standards. Why are we feeling disempowered?

I have come late in life to writing my first episodic television, but I was guided by two expert producers, George Faber and Mark Pybus. When SJ Clarkson joined to direct, then we began to observe a strange phenomenon. Not a single actor turned us down. We got our first available choice for every role. This seemed to us evidence that if you seek to annexe new subject matter on television everyone will want to join you in the endeavour. By the time Netflix allied with the BBC, and Carey Mulligan, Billie Piper, Nicola Walker, John Simm and Nathaniel Martello-White were foreground in SJ’s gritty, fleetingly beautiful urban landscapes, I was pretty much in TV heaven.

 

International Winter School of Physical Theatre 2018

International Winter School of Physical Theatre is specifically designed to prepare participants for a professional practice, both within the educational context and within the professional development of performers.

Primarily aimed at high-level dancers, choreographers, directors and actors who wish to extend their knowledge and skills through the practical investigations of how to: develop the understanding of the dance and movement, performance and acting, be choreographer, coach, director of movement and dance, create professional performance in a limited rehearsal time.

Practical sessions are designed to enhance understanding of performance making and rehearsal processes, and skills in pedagogy. Winter School is a simple way that can help you formulate your personal unique approach to work with actors and dancers, through the intensive practical training based on the Ostrenko Brothers Method of performer's physical training and rehearsal.

Students may expect to encounter the techniques of such outstanding figures as V. Meyerhold, M. Chekhov, K. Stanislavski and E. Barba. The course is taught by the experienced professional practitioners, experts in performing arts pedagogy, actors’ training, theatre directing and movement research in intercultural groups and projects. 

Teachers are Sergei Ostrenko and Gennady Ostrenko. The working language is English. Deadline is 19 February 2018. Location is Leitring bei Leibnitz, Steiermark, Austria. For all information http://www.iugte.com/projects/lab

 

 

Actors' tips on how to memorise your lines

When asked for audition advice, many actors will tell you, “Know your lines as well as possible. That way you’re free to focus on everything else without holding a script.” Sounds simple, right? But what if your audition is tomorrow, or in three hours? How can you memorize your lines as quickly as humanly possible?

Learning lines quickly is a matter of conditioning; it takes practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Visualize what you’re talking about, rather than focusing strictly on how to say it. If you have very little imagery in the text you’re attempting to commit to memory, flex your imagination. Imagine what the language in the text reminds you of, then picture each thought using as many of your senses as possible to recall each thought (each line). In other words, picture what you’re talking about with as much sound, movement, and imagery as possible. Walk around your room and place each thought in a different spot as you do. This engages sight and your own movement as well, and explains why we learn our lines best when on our feet. The results may astound you.

Others think that actors shouldn’t be memorizing lines. Memorization is not acting. You cannot simply memorize a Shakespeare play and then regurgitate it on stage. You can do that, but no one will come to the second show. Just like in Shakespeare, once you understand the meaning behind the words, then his words flow freely as if they are the actor’s own words. Memorization is also not comprehension. Just because an actor memorizes a sequence of words doesn’t mean they understand the words—that’s why actors can be thrown off so easily in the room when they flub or mispronounce a word. 

Playwright Thomas Eccleshare’s Heather at the Bush Theatre London

The Bush Theatre is a world-famous home for new plays and an internationally renowned champion of playwrights. They discover, nurture and produce the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds, and present their work to the highest possible standards. They look for exciting new dramatic voices that tell contemporary stories with wit, style and passion and they champion work that is both provocative and entertaining.

Brilliantly imaginative and theatrically original, Heather is a short, sharp play about language, prejudice and the power of stories. The cast includes actors Ashley Gerlach and Charlotte Melia. The production runs 6-18 November 2017.

A reclusive children’s writer becomes wildly successful. Her books are treasured across the country. But when a troubling narrative starts to unfold, we find ourselves asking: what matters more, the storyteller or the story?

Thomas Eccleshare is the Verity Bargate Award-winning writer of Pastoral and the co-artistic director of Arches Brick Award winning company Dancing Brick. Heather will be directed by Valentina Ceschi and designed by Lily Arnold.

Watch the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwU9it9ZkbI
Book tickets https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/heather/

Acting Technique: Marking The Moment

Marking the moment is a dramatic technique used to highlight a key moment in a scene or improvisation. This can be done in a number of different ways: for example through slow-motion, a freeze-frame, narration, thought-tracking or music. It has a similar effect to using a spotlight to focus attention on one area of the stage at a particular moment during a performance.

Marking the moment can happen when a scene has been created, and the group decides it's a significant moment in the drama, and they want to show this in some way. At times things happen in a scene very quickly - and yet we know these moments can change the whole direction of a drama. This is when something is needed to emphasize the moment.

The actors are to remain in the same groups and replay the scene but they must decide the moment of highest tension in the scene and mark it. There are several possibilities in marking the moment. But to start with, the simplest way to mark the moment is to freeze the scene, then moving on actors could also add a thought track each, use slow motion or deliver a monologue commenting on the action taking place and how they feel about it.

 

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