QUOTE OF THE MONTH: "I don't know what is better than the work that is given to the actor – to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself." … Sir Laurence Olivier
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"ACTING IS EASY. I RECKON I COULD DO IT. I WOULD LOVE TO BE AN ACTOR." Really? …read on…
In most professions; a course of study and practice over a period of time is required if one is to master his/her particular skill. Depending on the occupation the period of time and effort required to achieve mastery of one’s profession will vary. For example: A student studying ‘dentistry’ will be required to undertake a course of study for several years then follow up with ‘on the job training/experience’. It can take up to ten years (more if you specialize) to become a fully qualified dentist. I would not trust a dentist knowing that his/her training period was for a few months yet; it amazes me, after almost thirty years of teaching actors, how many ‘wanna be actors’ are walking around believing they are ready to jump into the acting profession (yes it is a profession) after only a few short courses. They believe that their passion and ‘love of acting’ is enough to make them not only good actors but successful actors. My dentist was put on this planet to be a dentist. For him it is not just a profession but a vocation. He LOVES his profession. But love and passion alone did not make him the great dentist he is. It took YEARS of study and practice. I hope the message is getting across. No dentist, after a few short courses, would even contemplate doing a basic filling. So why is it that actors or ‘wanna be actors’ assume they can get up on a stage or in front of a camera and ‘act’? If you see a great circus tight rope performer two hundred feet in the air performing with out a safety net – you marvel at his courage and skill. You appreciate and can see that it must have taken years of practice to achieve that excellence. So why is the acting profession seen differently? Why can we not see that to become a good actor requires the same amount of training and consistency? The answer to this question I believe is this: We observe actors – good actors – on stage or screen and because they are good actors they make it look easy and we say to ourselves: “That looks easy, I reckon I could do that. In fact I would love to do that!” Here lies the problem. Unlike the tight rope walker the actors craft/skill is not visible. The good actor makes it not only look easy but makes it look like he/she is not doing anything at all. It’s the ability of the good actor to ‘conceal’ his technique (which has taken years of consistent study and practice) that makes him a good actor. There are no short cuts folks. I am reminded of a quote from the great actor/teacher Sanford Meisner, which he borrowed from Goethe which says:
“I wish the stage were as narrow as a tight rope so that no incompetent would dare walk on it."
Here – below – are a few Video Clips of actors in our classes at different phases in their training. Their journey continues. The artist's journey is a Continuum; A never ending journey of refining. Never quite 'arriving'. So here are a few samples of our students performing a scene – yes – But more importantly when I look at these scenes I see actors working, refining and LEARNING. To all the student/actors in these video Clips & our students not in these clips. May your consistent hard work bare fruit Remember:
“Our reward for all our hard work is not what we get for it, but what we become by it.”
Peter Sardi …Melbourne Australia
playing the character of "Gloria"
playing the character of "Annie Wobbler"
To view more Video Clips of our Actors performing click on any of the pics below.
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