2015 Advanced Actors Academy: November 2014 Launch
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2015 brings aspiring actors (18 and older) the chance to undergo a 5 month training programme facilitated by industry professionals with some VERY exciting opportunities…
My ambition for starting this Actor’s Academy in Johannesburg stems from two needs that I have identified over recent years as a coach and as a director – one is that our actors are sorely lacking in skills that keep us competitive and on par with international standards and two, that actors have begun to suffer from an acute development of apathy and disheartenment whose source, most often, comes from lowered ambitions and poor self-esteem.
For several years I have trained actors not only in terms of developing their crafts and skills for the industry but also in terms of themselves as human beings; I have coached in areas of self-development and studied the psychology behind personal blocks in the hopes of liberating actors from their fears, beliefs that have a direct impact on the quality of the art that each actor is capable of creating. By addressing limitations associated to the Self, I have found that the impact on the Actor-Self becomes markedly better. Indigo View will be offering this half-year acting programme alongside some of the best practitioners the industry has to offer. The other element to this programme brings actors closer to themselves and to their art in the areas of self-development and personal growth. Let’s make 2015 the year where we raise the bar and dare to confront ourselves. – Steven Feinstein, Indigo View Director
The free seminar date:
Wednesday 19 November, 16:00 – 20:00 at UJ Campus.
Sylvaine’s character workshops have become synonymous with the discovery of the clown within each of us, bringing out the delicate balance between tragedy and comedy in the face of our own narrative as individuals. Her workshop entitled “From the Outside In” promises a wonderful journey toward excavating a character, crucial to devising one’s own work and invaluable to approaching a character through text.
Indigo View is raising the bar and re-inventing training for actors in South Africa. Never before has this uniquely holistic approach to our craft been available to performers: a training course that incorporates the classical foundations to performance with the ongoing art of knowing oneself, as the two inseparable qualifications crucial to becoming an honest, versatile, confident and resourceful performer. It is such a rare privilege to teach what I love alongside the top experts in their field.
Screen acting is perhaps the one of the most misunderstood and under taught fields of study in SA. It is also a mysterious and fascinating discipline that requires equal dollops of art and craft. It is only when you learn to take yourself with you in your screen acting that you will have success, in my opinion. It’s about an alignment between yourself, the character and the camera. We will explore both the craft and the art of acting for the screen.
In the ‘Comedy’ workshops we will be looking at all genres of comedy, however we will only touch on some peripherally and spend more specific time on the comedy genres that are more popular today, such as Farce, black or dark comedy and romantic comedy amongst others. It is interesting and beneficial for the actors to look at more stylized comedy as well such as Noel Coward and to understand the different styles and disciplines. We will also look at comedy timing and understanding the ‘mindset’ that is required for performing comedy on stage and on camera. The students will also have the opportunity to work on texts to cover the different styles.
I am very excited to be working on these workshops with Indigo View as I feel it is very important for performers to understand how to play the different styles and genres of comedy, as comedy is so deceptively difficult to perform. The only way that students will be able to really get to grips with comedy is to actually perform it and to feel what is required in order to ‘be funny’. With that in mind the practicality of the workshops of Indigo View will be fantastic for the students and an invaluable experience in moving forward as professional actors.
Acquiring new skills and knowledge is essential for an actor in order to keep abreast of developing styles and techniques that emerge. Apart from the obvious honing of technique new ways of looking at what ‘acting is’ also enhances range and helps to stimulate creativity. Aspirant actors benefit from coaching and exposure to Master classes on various disciplines. Many agree education is a powerful tool that can change the world – and the more of it you have by inference the more powerful you can be!
The initiative of Indigo View sparked my interest as it seems to be committed to providing workshops and tuition in a variety of disciplines within the arts sector that will be useful to both established and aspirant talent.
As an actress, working in SA and abroad, I have played different roles, exploring styles, genres and approaches. I developed and devised a methodology of acting and vocal coaching, and founded the Speakeasy Vocal Academy in 2005. I specialized in accent and dialect and worked as a dialogue coach for film, television and theatre. I recently obtained my MA from Wits University on a theses dedicated to accent acquisition.
The thrust of my Masterclass is an overview of vocal apparatus and mechanisms of phonation, verbal and non-verbal communication tools and skills, cultural roots of voice and accent and how the voice can enhance characterization. Speakeasy claims ‘you are what you speak!’
It has become progressively more obvious that the training that performers receive has holes in it. We simply aim to fill those holes with useful skills and information. As Noel Coward put it: “Thousands of people have talent. I might as well congratulate you for having eyes in your head. The one and only thing that counts is: Do you have staying power?”
That staying power isn’t like talent. It is made up of a myriad of little tricks and fixes. What I will be teaching will focus on improv and character, but what my students will learn is staying power and, if they listen during the boring bits, a few things on how to make an audience laugh.
Training at Indigo View – with some heavyweight “in service” industry stalwarts prepared to share their expertise and experience, I cannot imagine any aspiring actor would want to miss out on this opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of artists who have actually made a living in this volatile, challenging, insecure industry. There is no short cut to becoming a professional. Acquiring skill, discovering technique, understanding the craft – all take time. Probably a lifetime. But the initial groundwork is absolutely essential.
When the actor enters the audition room, he needs to remember that he wouldn’t be there at all if he wasn’t at least reasonably talented. Talent may get your foot in the door. Unfortunately, it isn’t the only criteria for getting the role. The Casting Director is expecting to see something well prepared but without also seeing all the cogs going round. I want to feel confident about you. I want to know that when you walk in, you have done the best preparation that you could do and are eager to give this audition your best shot. I don’t want to hear any negatives -I want to be intrigued, captivated, entertained, maybe even surprised. I also want to get to understand something about you – your commitment, your professionalism, your ability to sell yourself. Of course you will be nervous. It’s how you handle those nerves, channel them into useful adrenalin, that will make the difference. If you think you want to be in this for the long haul, you have to understand that this isn’t an easy ride to fame and fortune. And most experienced actors will tell you that this audition business doesn’t get any easier with time. There are many things that need to be remembered outside of the actual audition scene (“sides”) that must be incorporated into the audition scenario. Stepping into “the room” may be where an audition begins and the only sense of control of this somewhat unreal situation that an actor may have, will be anchored in all the consistent homework that is done – every day, not just for a specific audition. What’s of value on offer here at Indigo, is that advice coming their way will have been distilled out of real experience of what works for people who consistently work in the entertainment industry.
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