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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

SLC Acting for Film Class, Starting Jan. 21st


All right, Salt Lake folks! I'm doing something new here. We're putting together a class up in your neck of the woods. It will start on January 21st and run for six weeks, meeting each Thursday. Tuition is $185. This is an Acting for Film, but it's a little different than some of the others I've done in the past.

First, this class is open to those who haven't taken my Three C's of Acting before. So, if you've never taken a class from me, you can still participate in this one.

Second, we've got several directors taking the class. They're amazing filmmakers wanting to take their work with actors to a new level by putting themselves in our shoes. So the makeup of this class should be fascinating.

We'll start by learning the Three C's of Acting, which is my unique approach to the craft. It's a method of training that gets right to the core of how you can become compelling and charismatic in your performances, while still maintaining fantastic technique. Talk to anyone who's taken the class before. They'll let you know. It's an approach that works.

We'll be meeting at Avrec Art House (320 South, 300 East, Suite 201 in SLC) on Thursday evenings. Depending on enrollment, we will either be doing 7-10pm, or splitting into two groups. If we divide, one group will meet from 6-8 and the other from 8-10. You will be able to attend all four hours if you would like, but will only perform with your own class. Please make sure and give yourself time to find parking in the area.

If you're a member of Avrec, you are welcome to audit the class for free. You won't be able to perform, but you can sit in and observe as often as you'd like.

The class will start off by doing short monologues from films or TV, so please have a piece selected and memorized for our first class on Jan. 21st. We will be taping these monologues, so you can go back and see your progress. We'll also be taping scenes for the latter half of the course.

The tuition for the class can be paid here.

If you're not able to pay the entire amount right this moment, you can secure your place in the class with a non-refundable deposit, payable here. The balance is due when class starts on the 21st. That balance can be paid online, or in person with cash, check, or credit card.

Not able to make that full payment before the 21st? Contact me (actingwithoutthedrama gmail com) with a payment plan, and I'll see if it's something I can work with.

My refund policy is the following. If something happens before class starts, no biggie. I will keep $35 as your non-refundable deposit (although that can be applied toward another class) and refund any remaining balance. If you have to drop out after class has started (you book a gig, etc.), the full balance is still due, since you took a space that could have been filled by someone else. However, I will prorate any remaining classes, and hold that as your deposit for my next round of classes.

Please plan on attending all of the classes. There will be no prorating for missed classes throughout the course.

Any additional questions? Please reach out and talk to me at actingwithoutthedrama (at) gmail (dot) com. I look forward to working with you!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Three C's of Acting class in Provo, starting Jan. 11th



Okay, actors! I'm starting up a class starting January 11th, and I would love to have you join us!

This class will meet on Mondays from 7-10pm. The course runs for six weeks.

It will focus on the Three C's of Acting, which is my specific approach to the art of acting.

For those who have taken the Three C's class before, you'll know that it's gentle, but never comfortable. It does well for actors who are just starting out, as well as those who have been working and studying for a long time. I enjoy having a mix of experience levels in this class, as it enhances the environment for everyone.

The class will be happening in Provo at 308 East, 300 South. It looks like a house, but it's got several different spaces inside. The one we'll be using is what was once the garage--take a right as soon as you walk in the front doors, and go through the kitchen and the door on the right that leads down the stairs.

To sign up, please go above to the PayPal drop-down menu and either select the Three C's full amount or deposit option. Full payment is $165 for the 6 week course. The non-refundable deposit is $35. If you make a deposit, the remainder of the payment ($130) will be due on or before the first day of class.

Once the classes have started, the entire amount of $165 is due, regardless of the number of classes you end up attending. If something happens during the course (for example, a show or film) and you need to withdraw, talk to me about it. I can pro-rate the remainder of the classes and use it as a deposit for my next round of classes.

For those who might need some flexibility on payment, contact me (actingwithoutthedrama -at- gmail -dot- com) with a payment plan already thought through. I'll let you know whether or not it's something I can work with.

Enrollment is limited (I like to keep the classes small), so make sure and sign up quickly! Your deposit insures your place in the course. Don't worry. If the classes fill up, I'll refund your deposit fully.

A note on tuition: you are signing up for the entire course. If you have to miss a class, you won't be refunded for that day. You're encouraged to clear your schedule for the entire 6-week course.

Once you sign up, make sure you find and prepare a one-minute monologue (have it memorized and ready to perform for when the class starts). That will be the first thing we'll be working on. If you've never looked for a monologue, email me (actingwithoutthedrama gmail com) for tips and places you can start looking.

I'm excited to work with you, so let's get started!

SLC actors, I'm looking to start an Acting for Film class on January 21st that will run on Thursdays for six weeks. If you're interested, please email me (actingwithoutthedrama gmail com).

Friday, August 28, 2015

Three C's of Acting and Voice/Bodywork


***Please note: The Three C's of Acting class is now full!***

IMPORTANT STARTING DATE CHANGE FOR THE THREE C'S OF ACTING CLASS! The Tuesday (Three C's of Acting) Class will now begin on Sept. 22nd. It will start at the normal location, but then move to the Echo Theatre after the first week.

It's that time again! I'm starting up two more classes starting mid-September, and I would love to have you join us!

One will meet on Tuesdays from 7-10pm, the other on Saturdays from 10am-1pm. **The Tuesday class will start on September 22nd, and the Saturday class will begin on September 19th.** The course runs for six weeks.

The Tuesday class will focus on the Three C's of Acting, which is my specific approach to the art of acting. The other is a new class, and one that I'm very excited about. It's a Voice/Bodywork class, which is designed to help with vocal clarity, resonance and ease of use for the actor, as well as working on alignment.

For those who have taken the Three C's class before, you'll know that it's gentle, but never comfortable. It does well for actors who are just starting out, as well as those who have been working and studying for a long time. I enjoy having a mix of experience levels in this class, as it enhances the environment for everyone.

For the Voice/Bodywork class, we will be using elements of the Alexander Technique, specifically geared toward alignment, but modified and refocused to build your "presence," "charisma," or "personal magnetism." In addition, we will use Linklater voice exercises, combined with some other innovative approaches, to get to your natural voice... your own, specific, powerful instrument.

So, Three C's on Tuesdays 7-10pm. Voice/Bodywork on Saturdays from 10am-1pm.  The Voice/Bodywork class will be happening in Provo at 308 East, 300 South. It looks like a house, but it's got several different spaces inside. The one we'll be using is what was once the garage--take a right as soon as you walk in the front doors, and go through the kitchen and the door on the right that leads down the stairs.

The Three C's class will start at the same location, but will move to The Echo Theatre (15 North 100 East, Provo) on the second week.

To sign up, please go above to the PayPal drop-down menu and either select the Three C's (or Voice/Bodywork) full amount or deposit option. Full payment is $165 for the 6 week course. The non-refundable deposit is $35. If you make a deposit, the remainder of the payment ($130) will be due on or before the first day of class.

For those who might need some flexibility on payment, contact me (actingwithoutthedrama -at- gmail -dot- com) with a payment plan already thought through. I'll let you know whether or not it's something I can work with.

Enrollment is limited (I like to keep the classes small), so make sure and sign up quickly! Your deposit insures your place in the course. If the classes fill up, I'll refund your deposit fully.

A note on tuition: you are signing up for the entire course. If you have to miss a class, you won't be refunded for that day. You're encouraged to clear your schedule for the entire 6-week course.

For those already signed up, make sure you bring in a one-minute monologue (memorized and ready to perform) for the Three C's class, and dress in comfortable clothes designed for movement for the Voice/Bodywork class.

I'm excited to work with you, so let's get started!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Three C's and Acting for Film Classes Starting July 7th and 11th!


**IMPORTANT!! This is an update on this post to reflect new start dates!**

Well, doing the Three C's and Acting for Film classes concurrently worked well last time, so let's try it again. I'm going to be holding two classes, one on Tuesdays from 7-10pm, the other on Saturday from 10am-1pm. **The Tuesday class will start on July 7th, and the Saturday class will begin on July 11th.** The course runs for six weeks. Note for the Saturday class (the Acting for Film one)--we won't be having class on July 4th, so the class will end on the 25th of July.

The Tuesday class will focus on the Three C's of Acting, and if you haven't taken a class from me before, I recommend you take that one. The other is for those who have been through my Three C's class and are looking for more specific instruction on how to modulate a performance for the camera.

For those who have taken the Three C's class before, you'll know that it's gentle, but never comfortable. It does well for actors who are just starting out, as well as those who have been working and studying for a long time. I enjoy having a mix of experience levels in this class, as it enhances the environment for everyone.

For the Acting for Film class, I like to work with those who already understand the way I work. We go deep and specific as fast as we can, and having a baseline knowledge of the Three C's is important. 

So, Three C's on Tuesday evenings. Acting for Film Saturday afternoons.  The classes will be happening in Provo at 308 East, 300 South. It looks like a house, but it's got several different spaces inside. The one we'll be using is what was once the garage--take a right as soon as you walk in the front doors, and go through the kitchen and the door on the right that leads down the stairs.

To sign up, please go above to the PayPal drop-down menu and either select the Three C's (or Acting for Film) full amount or deposit option. Full payment is $165 for the 6 week course. The non-refundable deposit is $35. If you make a deposit, the remainder of the payment will be due on or before the first day of class.

For those who might need some flexibility on payment, contact me (actingwithoutthedrama -at- gmail -dot- com) with a payment plan already thought through. I'll let you know whether or not it's something I can work with.

Enrollment is limited (I like to keep the classes small), so make sure and sign up quickly! Your deposit insures your place in the course. If the classes fill up, I'll refund your deposit fully.

For those already signed up, make sure you bring in a one-minute monologue (from TV or film for the Acting for Film class, from plays for the Three C's Class) memorized and ready to perform! :)

I'm excited to work with you, so let's get started!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Three C's and Acting for Film

So, this time we're going to do something a little different. I'm going to be holding two classes, one on Tuesdays from 7-10pm, the other on Saturday from 12-3pm. The Saturday class will begin on May 2nd, and the Tuesday class will start on May 5th. The course runs for six weeks.

The Tuesday class will focus on the Three C's of Acting, and if you haven't taken a class from me before, I recommend you take that one. The other is for those who have been through my Three C's class and are looking for more specific instruction on how to modulate a performance for the camera.

For those who have taken the Three C's class before, you'll know that it's gentle, but never comfortable. It does well for actors who are just starting out, as well as those who have been working and studying for a long time. I enjoy having a mix of experience levels in this class, as it enhances the environment for everyone.

For the Acting for Film class, I like to work with those who already understand the way I work. We go deep and specific as fast as we can, and having a baseline knowledge of the Three C's is important. 

So, Three C's on Tuesday evenings. Acting for Film Saturday afternoons. The locations will be announced, but both will be located either in Provo or in south Lindon. *UPDATE* Looks like the classes will be happening in Provo at 308 East, 300 South. 

To sign up, please go above to the PayPal drop-down menu and either select the Three C's (or Acting for Film) full amount or deposit option. Full payment is $165 for the 6 week course. The non-refundable deposit is $35. If you make a deposit, the remainder of the payment will be due on or before the first day of class.

For those who might need some flexibility on payment, contact me (actingwithoutthedrama -at- gmail -dot- com) with a payment plan already thought through. I'll let you know whether or not it's something I can work with.

Enrollment is limited, so make sure and sign up quickly! If the classes fill up, I'll refund your deposit fully.

I'm excited to work with you, so let's get started!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Of Walls and Blankness

Why would you do that? What did the page ever do to you?

So, I thought it might be time for a little weirdness. Weirdness is always good, right?

I talk a lot about connection. If you've been following along (and maybe even experimenting with it yourself), you might have discovered that we human beings shy away from connection.

Yes, we crave it. Seek it. Need it. We also avoid it like the plague.

Raw connection is uncomfortable. We feel exposed and vulnerable. Like anyone looking at us can see all of our deepest pain, fear and shame.

And we're correct in that feeling. They can.

This is my calm face. I'm cool like that.

That probably isn't where you thought I was going with this. But don't panic.

At least that's what I'm told...

The caveat to that statement would be that while they can see it all, they generally have no idea where it's coming from. They see all the ugliness, but the only thing it causes them to feel is that we can understand them. Because they're feeling all of those same things, too.

No human is immune. We all experience varying levels of hurt, terror and humiliation. And we don't want anyone to see them. But when we make those bugaboos visible, rather than chasing other people off, it draws them to us. Weird, but true.

To avoid connecting, we erect walls around ourselves. Those walls have texture and size--you can actually identify them in space if you want to. Do this experiment with another person. Move your hand closer and closer to their face until you see their expression change. Sometimes, you can even feel their energy shift. It's subtle, but it's there. Their own personal bubble.

Oh, now I get it. Thanks for that.

Most of us have LOTS of walls. Some are hard, some are soft, some are fuzzy. They can be foggy or slick or slippery. There are probably as many kinds of walls as there are kinds of people. They all have personalities (I told you this was going to be weird).

The hard, brittle walls are the easiest to spot, and also the easiest to deal with. Sort of. Once we realize that they're present, we just have to soften them. ViolĂ  and presto! We open up and connect.

The issue with the hard walls is that it can feel impossible to soften them. Like we're about to step off a cliff.

The soft or fuzzy or slick or foggy ones are even tougher. We have a tendency to miss them. They're much more passive aggressive (or sometimes just passive). They're tricky. Once we identify them, they want to slip away from us, or just fog up the whole process so that we forget about it all. Just go to sleep... drift away... erase it all...

One solution for those is to find a focal point. Something to hold onto. Direct the attention and imagine that the fog is dissipating. Again, it's a softening process, but it's one that asks us to show up and be present.

Lately, I've discovered another kind of wall. This has been the most challenging of all. It's a wall of blankness. Rather than fuzz out or fog up or slip away, this one just goes... blank. It's almost like a disappearing act from a really good magician.

When you think about it, magicians are just CREEPY.

But like any magician, it's not real. It's just sleight-of-hand. When I start to feel blank, that means that I'm really feeling a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF. Stuff that I don't want to deal with. So, rather than deal, I just go empty for a while.

It's misdirection at its finest.

Now, you may at this point think that I'm totally insane. I get it. Really, I do. If this stuff didn't work, I'd think it was crazy, too. Actually, I went through a lot period of time where I fought it tooth and nail.

Nothing weird happening here. Move along.

But if you've somehow made it this far and are still paying attention (and maybe even thinking that there might be something to all of this), here's the idea I want you to take away. When we feel that desire to disconnect, no matter what form it takes, the answer is to lean into the discomfort. Instead of trying to get rid of the bad feelings, we bring them to the surface and dig in. Allow ourselves to feel it completely.

If we do that, our discomfort will start to speak to us. For some, it's as clear as speech. For others, it's impressions and ideas, or even just feelings. But we'll start to figure out where the disconnect is coming from. And then we can let that go and reconnect.

We are designed to be connected to each other. And when we do, amazing things happen.

But that process requires something of us. It requires that we be willing to face our darkest selves and stay present through the discomfort of it all. That we acknowledge our disconnect and soften around it. That we stay kind and loving, both to ourselves and to those around us.

Lean in, soften and stay present. Simple.

Not easy.

But SO worth it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Of Gurus and Mentors

Do gurus all have long, nasty hair? If so, I'm screwed.

You may or may not be aware of it, but I use this blog to figure stuff out. Most of the time, when I'm talking about a topic, it's because on some level, I'm struggling with it.

So when I talk about how to deal with fear, I'm afraid. When I talk about connection, it's because I'm feeling disconnected. When I talk about community, I more than likely feel alone.

Just in case you think that somehow I've got it all figured out, I want you to know that I don't. I have some good ideas, and I've been fortunate enough to have amazing teachers and mentors who have helped me to see things in a different light. But more often than not, when I say something, I'm talking as much to myself as to anyone else.

Heh. It's funny because it's a DOG.

There is, I think, an important idea there. There are times, when we're learning from someone, we do one of two things.

The first of those two things is that we put our instructors up on a pedestal. The teacher becomes more than human, the repository of all wisdom, the sage who sits on high and through whom the dews of heaven distill upon the lesser beings who sit at his or her feet.

The problem with this way of thinking is that our mentors are human. They will fail us at some point. Perhaps by saying the wrong thing, or because of a misunderstanding, or even through some moment of human weakness in which their fear or their pain causes them to lash out and hurt us.

Does that mean that the rest of what they've taught us is invalid? Or is it, perhaps, that they are shining stars that were hidden for a moment from our view by some passing cloud?

A good teacher challenges us to be our best selves. They point us in the right direction and then set us loose. And it's our job to take the best of what they have and to forgive and let go of the rest.

Good idea. Maybe extinguish the fuse first, though.

A teacher's job is to put themselves out of business, at least when it comes to individual students. I want my students to progress to the point that they will no longer need me. Not that I don't want to continue to stay in contact. Quite the contrary. I just want that relationship to turn into one that's shared between colleagues who want the best for each other.

The second issue that comes up with teachers is sort of the mirror image of the first. We look at our teacher and think, "Well, if what they're teaching actually works, why aren't they more successful? Can I really trust them?"

Now, I'm not advocating blind devotion here, but if I'm any kind of example, a lot of what teachers teach is based off mistakes they've made. I do that all the time. All. The. Time.

Who can say where the fault should land?

Early in my career, I had the opportunity to audition for Angel (a Buffy spin-off, in case you're unfamiliar). I was reading for the part of a vampire, a nice chunky role, and I was stoked. I had a shaved head and a beard. I had kind of an "evil" look. Right up my alley, right? So, I prepared the bejeebers out of those sides. I was going to knock the casting director's socks off.

Here was the problem. If you're familiar with Joss Whedon's stuff, the villains (aka monsters or vampires in Buffy and Angel) are just normal people. Not your typical Hollywood "bad guys." So, when I went in and gave my first read, the casting director was like, "Okaaaaay.... um. Have you ever seen Angel?"

That was the first sign that, perhaps, the read had not gone all that well. I, of course, was a big fan of the show. And I told her so. Her next comment completed the popping of my bubble. "Well, see... in the series, the vampires don't really talk like vampires. They're just guys. Can you read it again?"

Fantastic note. Thanks for that.

She was great... so generous and accommodating. Here was a new actor she was testing out, and she was giving me an opportunity to fix what I had gotten wrong.

But I was so filled with shame that I had screwed up, so crushed that my preparation had been so misguided, and so over prepared, that I didn't really take in the direction. I think I stumbled my way through the next reading and rushed out as fast as I could.

Who would want to take lessons from that guy, right? Except, that's just the thing. I can now help others to not make the same mistakes... and there were many. I didn't take into consideration the feel of the series when I prepared. I wasn't flexible enough to listen in the moment, and I was so utterly freaked out that I wasn't really present in the room.

And I now know exactly how to help anyone else who might find themselves in the same circumstance. Which, in case you didn't realize it, is pretty much any actor who's new to the industry. Those mistakes I made are mistakes that so many of us make when we're staring out. But they're not necessary. Not if you're learning from someone who can help you navigate the tricky spaces.

We're going to screw up, students and teachers alike. But when we do what we can to stay connected to each other, those mistakes don't have to define us. They simply become lessons that point us to the even greater heights that are to come.