The Actor Prepares – Teaching Acting
Over the next two weeks intensely reading, no devouring, technical information about all aspects of filmmaking gave me great respect for the amount of work it takes to even get a film started. Once set in motion there are a lot of aspects of film making that take place before actors are even auditioned. It may be many months before actors are contracted.
Accountants often audit “from cradle to grave” i.e. from beginning to end.
Employing this concept I began the first acting class I’d ever taught with the idea of finding a story, and creating a script, that viewers will want to watch, be involved in, be happy they took time out of their day to watch. Over the next three weeks four significant things happened.
Together with these eager students we discovered, discussed, imagined, became engaged in filmmaking. We began talking about creating/building characters for our imaginary script. And the students gave me their confidence.
During these first three weeks after classes I went home and with joyous eagerness immersed myself in three books by the much studied teacher, Constantine Stanislavski:
My life in Art
The Actor Prepares
Building a Character
Thirdly, Sarah D., an actor of immense natural talent, arrived at the studio seeking an Internship. Sarah was fresh from graduating in Theater Arts/Acting from the University of Victoria, BC, and active in the local acting community.
What followed was a delightfully intense study of the art of acting: five hours a day, five days a week, for the next eight months. And we lead a night school class two nights a week for actors wanting to escape their daily routine and office cubical.
I may have been the designated teacher, but it was Sarah who guided both the students, and me, through a pedagogic, psychological, technical course in creating and building a character, making all of us actors, of varying abilities. Many of our students went on to active acting careers, part time. We’re in a small market.
And for myself it’s the old adage: If one wants to learn something really well, teach it to someone else.
The fourth thing that occurred was an opportunity to potentially create a production company. Opportunity was knocking.