Teaching “So You Think You Can Act” at Harvey Milk Arts Center (Spring 2011)

Teaching Goals:

My intention is to provide a safe space to express the bravest of instincts, the boldest of choices; to give students a place to perform with abandon. My hope for each student is that he or she develops a hunger for the stage and to (further) ignite the individual theatrical imagination of each performer. I often begin my explorations with new students by introducing the magical work of RED NOSE CLOWNING, giving each young actor his or her own clown nose, and inviting each participant to cross the line into a more ridiculous state of play, discovery, accessing divine states of stupidity (not cleverness) and finding new points of openness. I find giving students of all ages full permission to fail gloriously and with gusto allows for much of the nerves associated with performing in front of others to dissipate. I work to create an ensemble of generous performers. Not just clowns but actors who bravely dive into the hilarious, the poetically absurd, the deeply human and yes, joyfully eccentric characters we will explore together in class.

My aim in developing performance material always focuses on group improvisations and work created by the students in attendance. I talk with each student about his or her own performance goals, dreams and instincts for play and presentation. I work hard to engage my students and keep their creative appetites piqued. In SO YOU THINK YOU CAN ACT (ongoing at Harvey Milk Arts Center) students play with improvisation, comic timing, we do journaling about our greatest fears and try to stage our memories, nightmares, anything we can’t get out of our heads. I emphasize group work and collaboration and we begin to incorporate elements of text, sound and stylized movement. In FROM SCRIPT TO STANDING OVATION (also ongoing at Harvey Milk) Intermediate and Advanced young actors work with scenes, monologues and One Act plays to deepen their understanding of character, staging, physicality and relationships.

More Info on Upcoming Classes:

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Full Teaching Resume available in quick and easy downloadable PDF form