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What is our philosophy on actor training?

September 26, 2017

There are a lot of schools, courses and groups available for actors in Sydney these days. They vary in quality. The key for actors is to source the kind of training that will help you develop in a meaningful and positive way. 

First and foremost, our philosophy is that an acting class should offer more than just direction on choices. To gain real value for the actor, a class should focus on your acting technique i.e. the process you have undertaken to prepare for the scene, the skills you are utilising when performing the scene and ultimately the breaking down of your acting craft into it's component skills and the training, developing and fine tuning of those skills. Guidance with respect to choices has it's place, but it represents work on artistry not craft; it is important to understand the difference between those two things. Many actors and directors who run classes focus only on artistry. A good coach who understands the craft will delve more deeply and focus on technique.

 

Specificity is paramount. Being able to clearly dissect the craft and identify specific skills, techniques and processes, and then to be able to communicate those elements back to the actor in a way in which they are easily comprehendible is the difference between an actor learning and growing vs going away feeling confused. (As actors we can all relate to that right? Walking away from a class knowing we got criticised but feeling a bit confused as to why and what to do different!) So the clarity with which your teacher sees your work, the specificity with which they communicate their feedback and their vocabulary and knowledge of the craft become essential. 

 

Passion and positivity. If feedback comes from a place of passion for excellence and is designed help you grow as an artist, then it will ultimately have a positive outcome that leaves you feeling elated not deflated. 

 

Finally, any training in this day and age which does not focus on truth and working from a place of authenticity is simply outdated and redundant. It's not the 1960s. Modern audiences demand truth and quickly smell a fake. Film and TV are our dominant medium nowadays. The quality of the best American content sets the bar by which all other theatrical content is measured. And their best is good. Faking it simply won't cut it. Real emotion, real actions and living truthfully within the moment are the cornerstones of our craft and must be the grounding platform for modern actor training.

 

We offer these thoughts with great respect for all different approaches, schools and groups. These are simply our philosophies. We hope they resonate and make sense.

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