12th April 2010

Bill Esper is coming to Berlin! From June 21st to 26th, he and his wife Suzanne will teach a full six day workshop, taking actors through the fundamentals of the Meisner Technique, and into Scenework...

Bill runs one of the most highly regarded acting schools in the United States, and prior to that, spent 17 years working alongside Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Following my visit to his studio in New York last December, we have been working to find a time when he could come. His confirmation is a wonderful conclusion to our correspondence and comes at a crucial moment in the development of the studio here too.

As an event in its own right, this is an important opportunity for actors throughout Europe, who have not yet experienced the benefits of this approach to acting.

But it also gives actors who haveexplored the work a chance to compare their experience with the plumbline of a master teacher. Already, in five short years, interest in the Meisner Technique has grown here INCREDIBLY fast - so much that every school, studio or coach claims to offer some form of introduction to his exercises.

It will be fascinating to have Bill here and watch how he lays out the landscape of this wornderful work, and hope that more of our actors catch a glimpse of the potential it holds for their acting...

20th December 2009

Reflecting on our work together, following a fabulously productive year (and a fantastic Christmas Party!) it's clear things are now becoming really exciting.

2009 saw us move into the Actors Space Studio at the Aqua Carré, where we have been able to create a home for the work at last. This fabulous open space gives us the flexibility to offer more classes, so that actors can work on a broader range of core skills. And we have just been offered a longer term rental agreement, so that we can plan further in advance, a great relief!

For the Meisner Technique itself, in February 2009 we commenced the first ten week intensive foundation class, a new training programme for twelve actors, which continued throughout the year and will be a feature again of 2010.

And for those actors, and others who have been working with us regularly, we find ourselves entering a second-year training programme: four regular scene study groups are ready to get working on scenes, emotional preparation, relationships, impediments and particularisations, and leading towards a fully organic view of how to build a character...

This is part of a shift away from the system of drop-in classes which helped us to establish the value of the Meisner Technique here in Germany. It has taken this long to make it clear that this approach is not an additional set of tools for the "Actor's Toolkit", but a radically different way of thinking about acting.

For myself, I just returned from a fact-finding mission in New York, where I was a guest at the William Esper Studios. For ten days, I watched a range of classes, with first year and second year students training exactly as we do here, and with the same excitement at each development. I spoke with the studio manager, Laith, and his assistants about how the school functions, and felt utterly welcomed there, like coming home. William Esper is probably the most widely respected Meisner teacher in the world - a german translation of his book "The Art and Craft of Acting" will be published here in 2010. I am honoured to develop an ongoing relationship with his studio in New York, and personally it represents a fabulous opportunity to enrich my own experience of the work I've been dedicated to for over twenty years now.

Relationships here in Berlin have deepened too, with respected tutors in other disciplines becoming aware of how their work intersects organically with our own. I never wanted to form another school with a formal curriculum where each teacher was independent of all the others. It has taken a while to find the right partners, but in areas of movement, of voice, of accent, and specific work like the Chekhov Technique and Jens Roth's Sourcetuning, we are ready to offer a much broader programme of training, both for professionals and beginners.

I want to leave this entry with a segment of an email I received from an actor yesterday, following her absence from class because she was filming:

"...shooting last week, I had some pretty heavy scenes. But I used our emotional preparation work and I nailed it. All of the scenes. The director was so worried and the camera man cried (!) So thank you so much for prepping me up and giving the space and secure environment to work on that.."

I hope this blog finds you well, and ready to enjoy the Christmas Break. Keep checking in over the start of the New Year to keep up to date with what's changing at the Actors Space. Thank you for your continuing passion and (if the Christmas Party was anything to go by) for the growing feeling of Community among our members.

Mike, Berlin


25th October 2009

Last night I was in Neukölln, attending what I sincerely hope was the first of many presentations called “Scene Bites”. Eighteen professional actors, drawn together by one simple idea, presented an evening of scenes to an audience of over 400 at the Saalbau in Karl-Marx Straße.

Led by Gabriel Merz and his co-organisers, these actors chose their partners, found the scenes, rehearsed alone, organised set and costumes and worked as the onstage crew to support each other's presentations. Scenes included Chekhov, Marber, Reza and Neil Simon; scenes extracted from a wide variety of plays and films, both in English and German.

And what was the simple idea which galvanised all this effort? That actors should at all times be working on their art, and that the only real test of that work comes when you put it in front of an audience.

This takes ENORMOUS courage. The biggest single achievement of the evening is that it happened at all. With no director to guide them, and with nothing to support them except their own belief in their work, these self-motivated actors took a huge risk in exposing themselves to public opinion.

To many onlookers
last night, this might have appearedfoolhardy, and perhaps it even isfoolhardy, if we measure everything in the scales of 'concrete results'. Was everything onstage of the best quality? No. Was everything even the best work those eighteen actors were capable of? I sincerely doubt it, though much of it was entertaining enough. Will it be better next time around? Certainly, if the group takes proper encouragement from their experience and learns quickly what works and what doesn't.


Talking to Gabriel before the show began, he said the galvanising impulse came from participation in Larry Moss' classes here earlier this year. What Larry said during his open seminar and then reiterated throughout his workshop, is that actors CANNOT allow themselves a day without working on their art. Musicians constantly practice, dancers do, even athletes spend more time training than competing. But actors have always had a poor track record in sustaining their development. It was one of the things Stanislavsky complained about bitterly, a hundred years ago. But for German actors,last night's event represents thepromise of change, if its lessons areembraced in the right spirit.


The room is a barn for one thing, much better suited to amplified music than to the spoken word. Some of the actors lacked the stage experience to put their work out beyond the first five rows. Some of the scenes were blocked in such a way as to obscure half the scene from half of the audience. Some scenes apparently were not blocked at all. Some lacked emotional depth, or pace, or occasionally betrayed too slim an understanding of the text. And yet, though some things definitely needed work, overall, in my opinion, last night's event was a huge success.


Why am I so critical if the presentation was such a good thing? Well, it's because it MATTERS. I'm absolutely sure Larry would fully applaud “Scene Bites” as an endeavour, but anyone who knows Larry knows that he would be equally quick and tough with his criticism. It's a question of respect for acting, which Larry learned from Stella Adler; a respect for the craft which takes criticism as meat, not as poison.


So, in the hope that “Scene Bites 2” happens, I would make the following recommendations, to anyone who is interested. Some of these observations will come as no surprise to those involved or who attended, but they're worth stating for the record:


1.        If actors do this, they must do it for THEMSELVES and not for “the industry”. It is an actors' project, for their own development as artists. Inviting directors and casting directors is of course understandable, but no good art comes from trying to impress someone. Experience of this kind of project in London has proven that when the work gains consistently good word-of-mouth, the industry starts to come without being invited.

2.        
There should be an entrance fee. A small one, maybe. Perhaps five Euros. But anyone coming to watch is coming to watch professional actors do their work, and that deserves paying for. At the Berliner Ensemble you pay twenty Euros to watch the Probebühne. Actors working on their own behalf should not undervalue themselves. And they should not have to worry, while they prepare to go on stage, whether the rent will be paid on the room they have hired.

3.        
The most important foundation of last night's impulse, whether the actors understood this or not, was the RIGHT TO FAIL. And if some of them did fail, in one way or another, they are all to be applauded. And they are all to be encouraged to get back up there and do it again. It can be a humiliating experience, and we try to avoid it whenever possible, but the Freedom to Fail in Public must be protected. Without it we would have no Becket, no Pinter, no Williams, no Shakespeare or Goethe or Moliere. Christopher Walken goes often back to work on the stage between big-budget Hollywood films. Hear him talk about a production of Macbeth in which he was catastrophically panned, and you get some idea of how brave any actor has to be to withstand the winds of criticism to which our job inevitably exposes us.

4.        
There MUST be a director for the whole project. Not an Auteur, instructing, bullying, insisting that actors bind themselves to his/her concept, but someone who is prepared simply to be the first audience for each piece as it is being rehearsed. The actor's impulse to take responsibility for working on his art is exactly right, EXCEPT that the actor cannot be responsible for directing himself. Actors need directors, not because actors don't know what to do, but because they cannot watch themselves and do their job at the same time. And maybe this idea could also enable actors and directors to come to a new understanding of their relationship.

“Scene Bites” matters. With their acting at last placed Front and Centre of a public presentation, the strengths and weaknesses of all participants become much more apparent. If taken with a healthy attitude, this will make actors take more account of their need to train constantly, and continue to do something about it.


I fully expect this event to happen again. Actors need such an opportunity, and they need to be part of an ensemble, taking mutual responsibility, and enjoying shared hopes. There will be a quick spread of such events in Berlin, so it will become even more important that the quality is raised.

And then, if Larry Moss' presence here generates nothing more than this event and the events that follow it, he will have achieved more for German actors than all the masterclasses in the world.

 

************************************************

20. Februar 2009

Hi Mike,

I am moving to London in May, and want to study acting, and in particular the Meisner Technique. I would be interested in spending some time in Berlin but I would have to look in to the visa limitations; we can get 2 year work Visa's for the U.K.

I have spent hours on the net researching different schools and classes in London but hadn't yet found anything that really stands out, but I will check out some more places. I'm a bit wary of some of these courses, you can look at all the websites but you really need to get an objective opinion to know if they are any good. I think that it is the same in New York, L.A, and Auckland – There are a lot of schools that seem to be more about recruitment and turnover rather than the quality of actors they are turning out.

There are just two other things I would like to ask you if you have the time. Firstly what's your opinion on the short intensive courses vs. the one or two or even three year degree courses? I am not the sort of person who does things half heartedly and I do want to be a real actor. I know that if I can't become a great actor it will only be because I lack natural ability or X factor, not because of lack of commitment. I love film and I think I always secretly wanted to act but some part of me didn't think it was a realistic/viable career option, "so stupid" (comes from always being told to be a Doctor or Lawyer as I was growing up). It took 10 years and a business degree to realise that I want to follow my dreams, so now I'm chomping at the bit to give it a real go and if I have any talent I know I will fully commit to acting as a career.


So after all that my predicament is – I want to do a course that will make me a real actor, The New York play house course is 1 or 2 years long and there is a guy called Michael Succente here in Auckland who runs a 1.5 year course (one night a week) and then a 1 year master course after that (Michael studied with Sanford Meisner in the 80's and I have heard he is an excellent teacher). The Playhouse, Michael, most higher learning institutions and most of the schools connected to the Conference of Drama Schools (who claim to be a sort of "quality control" on drama schools) would suggest that you can't learn to act in short courses and it takes at least a year. Money is an issue too and some of the 6 or 10 week courses cost as much as the year long courses and I would have to work full time while I study. I don't expect that you would learn to be a Master from one 6 of 10 week part time course – but do you believe that you can really develop enough to book jobs and do you think that might be the best way to start? If I do a 6 or 10 week course and decide that acting is what I really want to do am I going to have to enrol in a 1,2,3 year course to become a proper trained actor?

Second question – What other techniques do you suggest if I can't find a suitable Meisner course? I don't think I want to do the emotional memory style approach and I am unsure about method acting. What about the Adler technique?

I didn't intend to write so much it all just poured out, sorry for taking up so much time. Thanks for your advice.

Cheers,

Alan.


21.Februar 2009
Hey Alan,
Well, these are the questions of the age, and not just in relation to acting. The problem of our times is that success is not really measured by skill or by substance but by popular acclaim and the ability to dodge responsibility. Think of all the third-rate cowboys who call themselves "builders", or "plumbers", and go around wrecking people's homes for a living.
"What does it take to work as an actor?" is a different question from "What does it take to be a good actor?"... Arnold Schwarzeneggar understands this really well, according to an interview I read a long time ago. When he was being pressed for take after take on "Kindergarten Cop", Schwarzeneggar said "I don't do this - Jim {Cameron} does me in two takes, then he makes it work in the editing room. I'm a movie star, not an actor."
Jean Claude Van Damme got his "acting" career the same way. He went into a hollywood agent's office, and did the splits in mid-air between the agent's desk and his chair. It was enough to get a first contract. And the financial success of his straight-to-video action movies was the entire rest of the story. Because Hollywood (and the rest of the business) does not reward talent or training. It rewards popular
(ie financial) success - always has and always will.
So, you have to be clear before you start, what it is about acting that can give you what you really want. If it's simply "to make it" as an "actor" you will get eaten alive whether you work or not. Because you won't know what it's really about for YOU. Success can come to you, or elude you, in so many different ways, that if you don't define it for yourself, you will always be at least vaguely unhappy, however much you work.
My apologies for an unsolicited lecture, but it is a big issue in these days of "celebrity for the least of reasons". And if you are starting a little later than most actors, you will feel like you're running after a bus that already left the station. So your definition of success matters even more, because you will feel time is against you. "Opportunities" to do this or that (often for no money) will feel very tempting, and your objectives will need to be all the clearer.
Still, it is possible to make life as an actor work, if you define it, and want it enough.
And so, more specifically, Actor Training...
What's for certain is that NO one-year, three-year, six-week/ten-week, or ANY OTHER COURSE will make you a real actor. I say that with some conviction as a director, and actor and teacher. It takes time to become a real actor, and not "how much time spent training", but simply time. As does anything worthwhile.
This first and least helpful observation, therefore, is that there are no rules. But it needs saying. I
t's why there are stories of people who just discovered they could act, with no prior training. Bob Hoskins was one. It can happen. Then it's a matter of time, and further interest in learning, and luck and persistence, as to how good you become. And it's how people used to learn their whole trade as an actor. By acting. Being with working actors, working, acting, testing, failing. Whatever training he had, watch Tom Hanks get better and better as an actor as he learns from one film to the next... He was The Boy Next Door. Now he's a real actor.
So the short answer could be to skip training altogether and just go and be seen for things, write to directors, audition for student and low budget films and get yourself started that way. This is a tough route, no doubt, but even with training, life isn't easy.

But then the real challenge comes when you get the role/job/character/scene that you can't deliver from your untrained instincts. What do you fall back on, where are your resources, what is your point of reference for overcoming your difficulties IN the work?
This is when, if you'd had a thorough training, you would feel supported by technical knowledge, and if you haven't had it you will feel you have missed something important. These are only feelings, and feelings often bear no relation to the facts, but they can nevertheless liberate your talent or completely block it all the same.
Then there is the problem of whether the training is any damn good. In Britain this has become a terrible problem. The number of perfectly good drama courses that have become degrees is a tragedy for actors, because they are nearly all academic now rather than practical, mediated as they are by universities, and founded on books and essays. The class size averages 25 to 30. My general advice would be to avoid them.
If you have the money, you might consider a one year course at one of the really reputable theatre schools. The advantage of these is that they remain essentially practical, and that they have a strong reputation, with concrete benefits for your entry point into the business. They have well-attended agent showcases at the end of the year, which can be a vital springboard. Other schools have perfectly good showcases too, but agent attendance is less certain.
But in any case, the real issue is how to continue being an actor after the training (or lack thereof). This is where an actors' studio becomes important. There you have the possibility of constructing a composite training from available workshops, and a place to go to for further training for as long as you like.
Part-time courses can be a good option, and sometimes for practical purposes are the only option. However, I can tell you, at least from my own experience, that once a week Meisner really doesn't do the job. I taught for years like that because the drama schools that employed me were always trying to squeeze the Meisner Technique into a busy schedule. It is better to do at least three times a week for a shorter period, and get it into your bloodstream that way. Then once a week in a drop-in or continuing class can be fine.
Look for options like that, in my opinion. Meisner set up the New York Neighborhood Playhouse as a full time two year course because he felt that was the right rhythm for students to learn what he had to teach.

This does then beg a further question, which you may have to think about a little more - Why the Meisner Technique? After all, as you say, there are other techniques. What is it you want to learn? Have you read the books each of these great teachers wrote? Even though they are now dead, it's not a bad way of familiarising yourself with the possible connection you might have with their techniques. And don't write off Strasberg. In the whole world I may be horribly alone among Meisner teachers in saying this, but there is a lot of rubbish about Meisner versus Method. I can tell you for sure, you will learn a lot more from a good Strasberg teacher than from a bad Meisner teacher. And there are plenty of them around. None of these teachers intended to start a new religion. They just taught acting according to their own gut feeling, and as it happens, they all started together at the Theatre Laboratory under the inherited Stanislavski system in New York. It's all the same stuff, in different language. Find it for yourself and it doesn't matter what it's called.
So you have to make practical choices, and I've sent some not entirely practical replies to your questions, I'm afraid. Don't take it too seriously, because when you're working as an actor, it's about the most fun you can have with (or without) your clothes on. But for it to be sustainable fun, it has to be based on something. That is what you have to find for yourself.
If you think I can be helpful in any way, and you can stand the risk of another long-winded answer, please feel free to get in contact any time.
Best wishes,
Mike






Oktober 19th 2008


Hey Mike!

how is it all going? Getting settled yet? Sorry I missed you in London, hope it was a success?

I am leaving my job in a month's time, so that is scary, but exciting! Want to make more time for myself, acting and teaching, not just mediocrity. Not quite sure whats going to happen, but tell you what, Caravanserai Rocks! Such a great energy and atmosphere and so many different facets, I really like Giles' approach! So hope to be doing some more there, both as teacher and student.

I am writing cause I also have a question about teaching... It's an issue that I periodically struggle with in the Meisner technique and it's coming round again. It is about the "Subjective" or "point of view" Repetition. This appears in a number of ways and with beginners I try to avoid it. But I also know that at the Actors Temple and many other Meisner approaches it's really valued. For example, I'd rather have the person say what is annoying them, eg "you are not listening to me", than saying "I'm annoyed", especially repeatedly. There is also a new book by Bill Esper that says this subjective perspective is one of the first and best reasons to change the text! Which is not what I am doing!

There are a number of different ways it occurs:
1) "You have a nice green jumper." this often happens with beginners and I discourage it because it is as much a statement about themselves as it is about the other. When they really think its nice, it doesn't matter so much, but its often said as a way of being polite/making conversation.
2) "You have lovely eyes" is another. Really tricky, this type of call. For me, I like it, but again it's revealing more of the speaker than the person with the eyes. Yet it can be a nice moment and a risky call!
3) "You are a tosser!" It's ok because the person is expressing their anger in the moment, but it can also be away of pushing the other away, or worse (for me), not actually paying attention to what the other is doing.
4) Another version of this is "you're sexy" which is ok cause sex appeal is hard to define and usually a totally subjective experience anyway.
5) Finally is "I am pissed off with you!" which is again more about the speaker than the other person, but I can empathise with going down that route and sharing that. Thoughts?

Now I am totally okay if subjective calls burst out, but I worry that by giving too much permission to it, people get lazy with their observations and try to talk about themselves instead. I am all for honesty, but for me Repetition is so valuable because it's about training the actor to focus on the other person. Once people are in this habit as a default, then I don't really care what they say if it appears truthful... Its a tricky one and I wonder what your thoughts are on it? Especially as it seems to be an important part of the Meisner approach in other schools.

Lots of love
Ed


20th Oktober 2008

Hi Ed,
really nice to hear from you and good to hear about your new move(s). Giles's Caravanserai Studio is brilliant isn't it? I'll be doing a week of workshops there in the first week of December, which I'm really looking forward to.
Cutting to the chase: as you point out, what's important about Repetition is the following.
a) Where's your attention? And not just your attention but your interest, your curiosity?
b) What are you open to finding out about the other person? If you only ever articulate your "feelings" about someone, you'll probably never develop your specific point of view about them, and it remains too generalised.
c) Are you expressing your truth as deeply as you actually feel it or are you just pushing your partner away with a bit of name-calling?
I love it when people venture to shout "You're a tosser!", or "you're gorgeous," or even "you frighten me", but several things should follow such a moment: the most important being that when the other person takes up the refrain (and he MUST take it up); "I'm a tosser!"; then the first actor should be ready to say why you're a tosser: "yes, you're so bloody pompous!". This is where he can get specific, even if the first call was spontaneous and merely an outburst.
Of course, "pompous" itself, for some, would still qualify as subjective" but my point has always been that the truth IS subjective and acting should be subjective, as long as it's connected to the behaviour of the person in front of you. Whatever the call, the partner should not only accept the refrain, but should actively pursue it: "you're calling me a tosser!" And crucially the first actor must immediately be ready to work off the resulting response: "that hit a nerve", "you don't like that", "now I've really upset you".
Once people are ready to pick up the other person's behaviour as an automatic reflex, it doesn't matter what's being said. If I say, "I don't like your shirt" and you are ready, not just to repeat but to work off that, we might get; "you don't like my shirt?" "no I don't like your shirt, it's too yellow" "you don't like yellow.." "no i hate yellow" "you hate yellow" "yeah you have a problem with that?" "of course I have a problem with that" "you have a problem with that" "yes, you're being bloody rude" "I'm being rude" "yeah. That got your attention"... and so on.
When we think about it, the dialogue we get to speak in scripts, good bad or indifferent, will not be written according to the rules of Repetition, but every line must somehow be spoken meaningfully in that moment, and in adjustment to the other actor's behaviour. That's what we are preparing for. The trouble is, a lot of people miss the point about becoming "good" at Repetition, and especially don't get at the central issue of what "training" means.
Training doesn't mean getting good at an exercise. It means acquiring a habit so deep it serves you at a subconscious level in your work long afterwards. This is one of the main things I'm gradually addressing in my practice here in Berlin.One of the central challenges in teaching Meisner in the UK is the very form in which we have become used to encountering it, the classroom itself,. The drop-in and the once a week class, and even the week-long module, cannot get Repetition to the deeply intuitive place that it needs to occupy, except maybe after years of doing it. And so people are trying to achieve in ten weeks of weekly classes what Meisner was aiming for in ten weeks of daily classes. What almost NOBODY in the UK has experienced, in their contact with Repetition, is the effect of doing it five times a week, in class and out. Do that even for three or four weeks and the impulse to change the text to something more personally felt ("subjective") becomes so strong that it does really pop out as a "need to speak". And the habit of repetition then makes it easy for the partner to work off the behaviour and new phrase ("you're a tosser!") as a gift. So the whole question of "how to do/teach Repetition" soon becomes somewhat redundant.
Your whole email is really full of well observed detail, which proves, in the first place, that you're doing a great job. Poor teachers merely replicate what they experienced in class, without understanding any more about it than what they were taught. And they don't work through the detail of their classes for what they can learn from their own practice.
I fall very much on your side on the general issue, and specifically in about every instance you cite. Don't worry about the differences between your own and others' ways of teaching the stuff. There are some basic reasons why people teach it differently, including the one mentioned above. The other is down very often to the temperament of the teacher. And as often as not it's also because encouraging the actor to throw out subjective provocations is just a cheap and quick route to "drama" in the classroom.
There are some students that need to be encouraged to vent their opinions, point of view, feelings, because it's a means of getting them out of their self-censorship. But this is the real art of teaching anything isn't it? - how to adapt the rules of an exercise, on a person by person basis, according to what the teacher has learned about the student. Any rigidly enforced rules reflect a certain inflexibility in the teacher, or worse still, a lack of imagination.
Note too, that when people leave a class simply because you teach it differently, it means they weren't there to learn anything from you in the first place. In clinging to a previous form, they are really saying they came to compare and judge, rather than to actually learn. Better to let them go eh?
I don't know how helpful any of this is. I have tried to resist telling you how to deal with these different forms of "subjective call" case by case, because I trust you implicitly to find your own way, in accordance with principles you're perfectly aware of.

mike xxx

Oktober 20th 2008

Mike!
That was awesome. I am so thrilled to recieve all that from you - i guess its kinda fun to write about isn't it. Really helpful! I particularly appreciate your putting calls into context of being picked up in the next moment by the other actor, and yes, they do need to pick it up!!! Great stuff. Thank You!

Corr! imagine doing it daily for a term or year? I did it daily for a week in california once which was great, we were doing other stuff too but that was a major "trip"! In a good way...

The other aspect which I find important, if not more so, is the actors availability to hear the calls the other person is making, to keep them "open". I know this is also a tricky term and again, ultimately subjective, thus making it harder to be specific about. Like it doesn't necessarily work for me to say to a student, "Stop being so defensive..." - I'd rather say, "I want you to listen to the other person" - and encourage them to do this without trying to "figure them out". Receiving calls is just a slightly difficult aspect to articulate. But I do love it!

Look forward to seeing you in December, what week is it?

Thanks again and keep me up to date on whats happening at your end. Hope its all well?
Love
Ed



September 24th 2008

We were asked to articulate our philosophy towards actor training and towards the actor's place in the business.. It's quite a challenge. But it starts with a simple enough idea: we believe in the Actor.

We believe in the Actor's imagination. We believe in the Actor's creative impulse. We believe in the Actor's intuition. We believe in reclaiming the Actor's central place at the heart of the work. We believe that Actors should come first, not last, in the creative process. We believe that the Actor knows as much as about the scene as anyone else.

We believe in working at it! Because our art deserves it. Not out of insecurity, but out of love for what we do. We believe in continual training, in constant sharpening. We believe No Actor Should Work Alone. We believe that Actors are NOT IN COMPETITION with one another. We believe in the Actors' Ensemble. The Connection, the Relationship, the exchange of the Moment. We believe in surprising ourselves AND the director AND the writer AND the audience!

We believe the industry wants actors who are free, brave, confident of their choices and able to bring their full humanity to their work.

We believe in an Actor-training that asks not, "How SHOULD you act, what SHOULD you do?" but "Who ARE you, and what do you WANT to do?"