Acting Classes and Teachers Part 1
More recently, I've had several other actors approach me with two questions: “Are you in class?” and “Who are you taking with?” So for today's post, I'd like to dedicate some time to address an instructor I have found thus far to be beneficial to me.
I'd like to do a series of posts on this subject, so consider this the first of several articles on acting teachers.
Warning: the following instructor is by no means the end all be all of acting teachers. There are a lot of acting instructors out there. You have to decide which ones work best for YOU. For me, this guy has been quite helpful. And no, I am by no means receiving any commission for posting about this teacher. Although…if they wanted to throw a few dollars my way………..
Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah, acting teachers.
Douglas M. Griffin. Refer to his IMDB page for more information and credentials. Doug runs a 4 week acting class that meets once a week at his Uptown studio. Termed “Acting for Film Program”, his classes are 6 people at max and usually meet either on Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon. One of the things I like about taking class with Doug is that his classes are small. You get more time to work specifically on your scene rather than watching 15 people do their scene and only getting a few minutes of coaching yourself. And yes, it is beneficial to watch other actors make mistakes and succeed. But 15 people is too many for me to sit through.
His prices differ, so I'd get with him on that.
Typically, Doug assigns you a scene partner and you pick a 2-3 page audition scene from a film. I like to find a scene from a film I'm familiar with, yet haven't viewed at all or in a long time. On class day, you and your partner perform the scene a la audition style (partner is the reader and camera frames you from head to upper chest). You receive coaching from Doug on topics ranging from camera technique (eye lines, clean audio takes, etc) to understanding the context of the scene (where am I, why am I here, etc) to basic character understandings and choices. You have the opportunity to perform the scene about 3 times. Another reason I love taking class with Doug.
When all 6 of you have performed, you view the scenes. It is here where Doug challenges you to discover what you did wrong and what you did right. Always leading with how you felt about the “audition”, Doug then goes on the offer his advice/opinion of your performance. His critiques are never fruitless quips like, “well that sucked,” or “that was just awful”. He offers sound observation and encourages you to look at elements in a way you never considered. In a way, Doug is like a director in the class. Never line readings, just clues to help you get to where the scene is best served.
I highly recommend Doug. His approach to natural acting and delivery has done wonders for me and others alike. He's a dedicated actor and a patient teacher. His good humor also goes a long way when you wanna rip your hair out because you're just not getting to where you wanna be in a scene.
Also, slacking and being unfamiliar with your scene is no good in this class setting. There's no yelling or gnashing of teeth, you'll just look like a fool/bad actor next to your fellow classmates who have all prepared accordingly.
So this concludes the first in a series on acting teachers/classes. Below is Doug's website information. The guy does book a good bit of work, so classes are subject
to his working schedule.
Next time, I'll talk about a new teacher to the area, Jim Gleason. Caught a workshop last weekend and was really excited about the approach he is bringing. best pokies to play
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