FREEDOM TO ACT
January 5-7 , 2018 New York City
Developed by: Belinda Mello and Ann Rodiger
Located at midtown studios in NYC
Join us for workshops, presentations, lively discussions and brunch
The Actor’s Self and Personal Journey
Become a part of our growing AT and Acting community of artists and teachers for the quality of your personal and professional daily life.
Self-Care, Self Knowledge and Living Well
This theme includes preventing injury, working through vocal and movement problems, managing character requirements on stage, and recovering from the mental, emotional and physical demands of performing. The Alexander Technique helps actors recognize their own strengths and habits and provides a pathway to embody growth and change.
Pre-Conference for AT Teachers and Trainees
We will explore how we teach the AT to enhance the actor’s work and training. We will dialogue about how we can best relate the two disciplines in order to be most effective.
2018 PRESENTERS: WORKSHOPS AND BIOS
(alphabetical order by presenters last name or paired with collaborator)
Listen, Expand, Renew
Sarah will lead the group in exercises that develop three empowering aspects of Alexander Technique skills. 1) A physical mindfulness exercise she calls Listening to the Body will show actors how to enjoy tiny impulses emanating from their bodies. You’ll learn to follow those impulses with ease. 2) You will explore how to notice yourself and notice the environment and other actors at the same time. Moving through space expansively builds presence on stage 3) Performers will observe and reveal the habits of performance that restrict the body even before they speak. Then it is easy to shift the thinking to renew balance and freedom for powerful performances. This workshop is appropriate for everyone. We will be moving and exploring for the whole period of time. If actors have monologues they can bring them. Sarah will have easy pieces of text for everyone to play with.
Sarah Barker: A nationally recognized leader in theatre movement training and a respected actor trainer, Sarah Barker teaches at University of South Carolina. Sarah has recently taught intensive workshops for training actors at the New National Theatre of Tokyo, the graduate program of University of Virginia and Shakespeare and Company. She is a guest teacher for schools for Alexander Technique teachers in Japan, Germany, Toronto and North Carolina. Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, and her new DVD, Moving with Ease (both also in Japanese) are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US. See her website at easyalexander.com.
Agnès De Brunhoff
Blossoming on Stage : applying the Alexander principles for an effective partnership between your use and the character.
An appropriate use of the self
1) People introducing themselves to the group: Observation of the way people use themselves, their movements, their breathing. do they really do what they think they are doing ?
2) general work with the Alexander principles, to develop a way of thinking and the proper muscular support we need to warm up, and also to establish a reliable column of air
3) Playing with breathing and voice: Practising silent breathing, breathing and Inhibition, breathing in activities. Making a sound from the whispered « ah »
4) The importance of the rhythm and vowels. Back to the natural « bounce » we had as children, playing with sounds and little percussions.
Application on Text
Let’s read aloud a paragraph of Alice in Wonderland. What can we observe of the people presence, the use of their body and voice while reading. Let’s compare the same reading , this time with the consciousness of Inhibition, and a fluid column of air. Let’s then work at reading aloud only the vowels of the text : how does this affect the text’s sound and its meaning. We can also ask people to tell the story they just read, and see if the embodiment and bounce are still there. The more the people know about their functioning and their proper use, the more they can bring it into a great original interprétation on stage. The Alexander Technique gives us the tools to expand and enjoy even more the extraordinary possibilities of the human being. This workshop is open to all kinds of experience levels, as long as people have already had some Alexander Technique lessons. It will be more a practical workshop that involves people participation, démonstration and explanation will come together with the practice. Participants can bring their own text for application.
Agnès de Brunoff has been performing since the age of 15. As a singer, songwriter and trained classical pianist herself, she has a great affinity for stage performance that she also developed through movies and theater, and a deep understanding of how the voice works. De Brunhoff’s first experience of the Alexander Technique revolutionized not only her awareness of the body but also her approach to music and stage. In her teaching, she draws both on her own performance experience and also her extensive experience as a coach, or a stage director, guiding people step by step, with enthusiasm and patience, to help them develop their full potential.
Contacting the Actor’s Core through Receptivity
The Alexander Technique promotes physical, intellectual and emotional receptivity. For the actor this is the first step in his/her preparation for learning and performing a role. The receptive (non-doing) condition initiates an active deepening process to free movement, voice and character. It enables the actor to touch his core and set free the vibrational resonance which emanates to his audience. Participants are asked to bring a monologue to work on. Actors at any level of experience are welcome.
Alexander Farkas trained with Shoshana Kamenetz in London from 1991 to 1998. Additional study with Patrick Macdonald, Margaret Goldie and Elisabeth Walker. Theater faculty, Hartt School, University of Hartford. Currently at Bard College. Articles have appeared in the Alexander Journal, London (STAT) and most recently in the anthology Connected Perspectives, London, 2015 (HITE). Alex is often a guest teacher in the UK and Europe as well.
Janet Madelle Feindel
Air Beneath Your Wings
The workshop will explore ways in which one can explore the Alexander Technique to embody specific demands of text. The workshop will also explore how these approaches can be integrated into the rehearsal process. We pay special attention to freeing the shoulder girdle and upper rib areas, to allow more expansion and ease. This helps eschew the tendency to pull down and squeeze, pressing the voice apparatus and causing vocal tightness.
The Workshop will emphasize ways to utilize the Alexander Technique in lively and imaginative ways, avoiding rigidity in thinking, (which often results in physical stiffness vocal tension). Participants will investigate how to find the spontaneity and expressiveness in the speaking of text, allowing the motivation and movement of the thoughts to propel embodied sound. Feindel will use methods described in The Thought Propels the Sound, Plural Publishing, as well approaches she has developed since. Her work synthesizes the Alexander Technique with various voice approaches she has studied in depth including the Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Roy Hart, Berry voice/text work, as well as yoga. This workshop is suited to beginners to experienced professional level actors, Alexander Teachers and lay people.
Janet Madelle Feindel, MFA, is a tenured full professor of Voice/Alexander Technique & Dialect Coach at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. Coaching credits include: Theatre for a New Audience/the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival; Stratford Festival; Shaw Festival; Canadian Stage Company; Quantum Theatre; Pittsburgh Public; The Rep. Her book, The Thought Propels the Sound, is published by Plural. Her play, A Particular Class of Women, appears in Singular Voices, Playwrights Canada Press. Feindel has presented/led workshops in internationally. She is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher; certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework; Yoga Alliance; Certified Teaching member of Alexander Technique International.
Presence and Authenticity in Acting: Inhabiting Yourself Globally through Time
Developing the capacity to embody yourself three-dimensionally moment to moment is a mental practice. Because we see forward and move forward, we tend to carry more energy in the front of our bodies. However, if we can learn to be present equally in ALL directions, we are more resilient and grounded. We have the possibility of being tuned in and responsive in the now.
As a warm-up, we will begin with a brief floor lesson to help come to quiet and for our backs to awaken with contact. We will then work with global awareness first in sitting, then in standing and in walking.
The bulk of the workshop will consist of each participant reciting a brief monologue of her/his choice or reading a poem brought by Joan. Joan will work with each individual as s/he is speaking and/or moving about while the class observes. Working with the Alexander Technique principles in preparation can lead both to greater authenticity and greater presence while performing.
All levels of experience are welcome.
Joan Frost received her B.A. in Theater Arts: Dance from The University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975 and her teaching certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1983. She has taught the Alexander Technique at The Juilliard School, Dance and Drama Divisions, at The New School, and at Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, in addition to her private practice and training teachers, she is teaching at the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford in Stratford, Connecticut.
Connect with your Voice – Connect with Yourself
The Alexander Technique provides the structural support that makes healthy vocal resonance, breath support, and effortless articulation possible. But more importantly for performers, The Alexander Technique also provides opportunities to connect with the process, principles, and sensations of effective vocal expression. In this workshop, participants will use the Technique to explore the possibilities of the speaking voice through exercises and text. Ultimately, we will use the Technique to access the physical, mental, and emotional state in which we can best develop our voices and make healthy and honestly expressive vocal choices. Experience Level: Beginner through Advanced
Diane Gaary has a passionate interest in how mind and body use affect the speaking and singing voice. She holds teacher certification in the Alexander Technique, The Lessac System of Voice and Body Training, and The Feldenkrais Method®. Her training also includes an MFA in Acting, classical singing, numerous theatrical voice and speech techniques, and 2 years of graduate level speech pathology. Diane teaches at Temple University, Arcadia University, and Westminster Choir College. She also maintains a studio for private students in Ardmore, PA.
Explorations in Perspection
Perspection is a word invented by Frank Pierce Jones in his wonderful book on the Alexander Technique- Freedom to Change. By perspection he means the integration of introspection (looking in at self) and extrospection (looking out into the environment) into a unified field of awareness.
The process of perspection supports the actor to simultaneously be with use of self, scene partners, and the larger world of the play with ease. We will play with this as a strategy for focusing the actor’s attention/intention, to enhance listening and speaking, sending and receiving, affecting the other and being affected.
Through individual, partner and group explorations, we will apply perspection to various parts of the actor's process; from working on one's own into rehearsal and performance. Kim will also weave in recent discoveries from the fall semester of work with her NYU students.
Kim Jessor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 35 years. She is Alexander faculty at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in both the Graduate Acting and New Studio on Broadway BFA Musical Theater programs. At Graduate Acting Kim is an Alexander coach on productions and collaborates in scene study classes. She is a former Director of the American Center for the Alexander Technique’s Teacher Certification Program and a senior faculty member there. Kim has a private practice specializing in performing artists, and has presented workshops and been on panels at multiple Freedom to Act conferences.
Time and Choice: Creating a Balanced Presence of Mind, Body and Breath in the Acting Process
This workshop explores the conscious use of time and choice, not only as a foundation for self-care, but also as preparation for character development. After awakening relationships within ourselves, our surroundings and time, we will use art museum postcards to stimulate a spectrum of emotional and physical reactions. We will explore and embody opposite emotions as a way of enlivening sensory awareness, opening the door to the infinite range of possibilities when building roles. These processes combined, create a fertile ground for growth and discovery.
Anne Johnson teaches the Alexander Technique to musicians and actors at Temple University's’ Boyer College of Music, preventing injury and improving performance skills. She also enjoys applying the Alexander Technique to develop literary characters in the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program at Rosemont College. She has maintained her private practice in Philadelphia since 1995. Anne merges her knowledge and experience as a teacher and artist with her passion to support and develop the creative potential in all.
Connecting The Part To The Whole: Finding Integration, Freedom, and the Expressive Potential of the Arms
Focusing on the relationship of the arms to the torso and legs, this workshop explores the means for optimal coordination and use of the arms in preparation and performance. Making a comparison to the sister art of music, where faster notes and rhythms are organized in relation to the music’s slower elements, the movements of the arm structure are organized and supported in relation to the body’s core. When our arms function and work in appropriate relation to the whole it is generally true that we find more freedom throughout the arm structure, greater support for our arms, and unlimited combinations and choices in our movement.
Anita King is Professor of Music Emeritus at Willamette University where she taught a course on Alexander Technique and Body Mapping to musicians and actors from 2000-2015. A certified Andover Educator (2000) and teaching member of Alexander Technique International (2002), Anita is particularly interested in artistic text as the catalyst for movement choices and has given her groundbreaking presentation and workshop, “The Embodied Performer: Creating the Foundation for Interpretation and Movement,” at conferences and universities throughout the U.S, Geneva, Switzerland and Burgundy, France.
Creating Your Character's Psychophysical History
Using an Alexander Technique-informed understanding that our psychophysical history causes us to conduct ourselves as we do, I will offer specific ways that I coach actors to develop a condensed creation of the psychophysical history of the lives of the characters. Using the Alexander Technique in combination with rehearsal techniques that amplify the psychophysical response of the actor to the circumstances of the play, actors create a character-based embodied response. A significant aspect of the work we are doing is that most of it is done in connection with both the script and their acting partners. Too often, these kinds of exercises are done separately from the script and the other actors. Because the Alexander Technique demands that you think of the whole person and whole picture, any imagined history must connect to the moment of text and relationship onstage. I will have a very short scene/text for everyone to explore.
Experience Level: Anyone can participate. The workshop does assume a working knowledge of Alexander Technique, although an actor with little experience in the work would also be able to use these processes.
Cathy Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s School of Drama, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle. She is former chair of Alexander Technique International, and teaches workshops for performers, and Alexander Technique teachers in Australia, England, Germany, Japan and Switzerland. She was a Keynote Speaker for the Alexander Technique and Performing Arts Conference in Melbourne in 2012. Her writings include: Integrative Alexander Technique for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy (Intellect 2014); Galvanizing Performance: The Alexander Technique as a Catalyst for Excellence, co-edited with Kathleen Juhl (Singing Dragon 2017). www.cathymadden.net
Daily Practice for Actors: “I prepare to…” What do I practice? How do I practice?
In this session we will integrate to what you are learning from Alexander Technique lessons, classes and workshops into an empowering daily practice. Through restorative floor work and more active exercises, we will practice bringing Alexander Technique into freeing up your breathing, balance and movement coordination. Preparing for improvisation and working with text will be addressed as well. All levels of experience welcome.
Belinda Mello (conference co-designer), MFA (directing), ATI, ATME, teaches Alexander Technique to actors at The Barrow Group, the SITI Conservatory, and at Alexander Technique Workshops held in Spokane, WA and in Toronto, ON. Belinda offers private lessons, weekly classes for actors and intensive workshops at her studio, AT Motion. She is the co-producer of the Freedom to ACT. Her article Cultivating a lively use of tension: the synergy between acting and the Alexander Technique, co-authored with Teva Bjerken, can be found in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal and she is a contributing BackStage Expert. Drawing on her experience with movement, mask and Margolis Method, she provides coaching for productions and auditions. She also offers classes for AT teachers on group teaching, and is a member of the AT Diversity Coalition. www.AlexTechMotion.com
Jenny Mercein and Kyra Miller
High Stakes and Broad Characters:Exploring ‘Extreme’ Acting Choices with the Alexander Technique
In this workshop, we will use texts the participants are already familiar with to explore strategies for actors working on roles that call for high stakes and physically activated choices. How does an actor’s “good use” (as understood in the Alexander Technique) function within the work when the character is under extreme duress? Or when you’re playing a character whose traits include physical injury or pain? What happens to our coordination, to our awareness of our selves within the broader field, when we’re playing someone like Lady M or Richard III?
This workshop will be taught by two working actors who are also acting teachers. Jenny Mercein will serve as the director/ acting coach, while Kyra Miller will provide hands-on Alexander work, to gently guide participants in their awareness of their use inside of a scene. We are interested in exploring integrating strategies that enable actors to develop their permeability, their transparency, and their ease of expression, while fully engaging with and embodying high-stakes situations and/or extreme physical character choices.
This workshop is designed for experienced actors who will arrive with some amount of memorized text (a whole monologue or scene is great, but even a few lines is fine). Some degree of experience with the Alexander Technique is helpful though not necessary.
Jenny Mercein is an actor, teacher, director, and writer currently living in New Orleans, where she teaches acting at Tulane University. Acting credits include "30 Rock," "Blue Bloods," "Unforgettable," "Law & Order" and extensive theater credits spanning the country. Recent directing credits include Dancing at Lughnasa (Tulane), Too Much Water (UCSB), and Heathers the Musical (Santa Barbara's Out of the Box Theatre). Along with KJ Sanchez, Jenny is the co-creator of the acclaimed documentary theater play X's and O's, about football and traumatic brain injury. X's and O's premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theater under the direction of Tony Taccone and awarded the Rella Lossy Playwright Prize by the San Francisco Foundation. Solo shows including Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, Waiting, and pretty. Jenny received her B.A. in Theater Studies and the History of Art from Yale and her M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Washington. www.jennymercein.com.
Kyra Miller is an actor, singer, writer and Alexander Technique instructor living in New York City. She is currently an assistant Alexander teacher at the Balance Arts Center and will begin teaching the Alexander Technique at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in the fall. Her most recent acting credit is Rebecca in Rags at Theatreworks Silicon Valley, and she has worked at Seattle Rep, the Fifth Avenue Theater, A.C.T., Westport Country Playhouse, Southern Rep, and the Pearl Theater Company. In NYC, she has performed her shows Chosen at Joe’s Pub (with Matt Ray on piano), Bless the Telephone at the Metropolitan Room and most recently Bridge and Tunnel Troubadour (about Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, directed by Barb Jungr) at Pangea. She has taught acting at the University of Washington, Montclair State, and Tulane University. M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Washington. AmSAT Certification through the Balance Arts Center. http://www.kyramillernyc.com
Enlivening Text: Learn by Heart, Speak from the Guts
Participants will practice tools for learning, exploring and rehearsing text- both new and familiar. The psychophysical unity cultivated by Alexander Technique provides a strategy to ‘get out of your head’ allowing for a more visceral route to thoughts and images when learning text. With well-known pieces, actors often fall into habitual performance ideas. Alexander’s principles of embodied thought rekindle curiosity and spark a ‘gut-level’ response. For all students, seasoned actors, teachers of actors & Alexander, we will investigate cold readings using breath and imagination. Volunteers with memorized monologues will learn AT skills for rehearsal to enliven connection to known material.
Erin O’Leary discovered the benefits of the Alexander Technique as a MFA actor at the University of Tennessee; all aspects of performance improved and simultaneously years of chronic back pain subsided. She studied with Jed Diamond at UT, trained with John Nicholls & Nanette Walsh at ATNYC, and certified with AmSAT in 2013. She teaches privately in NYC and has taught actors at UT, The Juilliard School and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. www.consciouscoordination.com
Meeting at the Table: An Approach to Table Reading
Discover what (and how) you are bringing to the table. Recognize how you integrate your text and character as you begin interacting with your scene partners. How are you listening? How are you responding? Learn how to use the table as preparation to enter the rehearsal/performance space.
Ann Rodiger (conference co-designer) is Founder and Director of the Balance Arts Center and Balance Arts Center Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course. She has private Alexander Technique practices in NYC, Berlin, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium. She is also skilled in Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, yoga, meditation, and various dance techniques. She produces and co-produces conferences and workshops for the Alexander Technique as it relates to Dance, Music, Voice, Acting, and Writing. www.BalanceArtsCenter.com
Carolyn Serota and Richard Feldman
Speaking the Same Language (Part I): Actors, Alexander Teachers, and the Art of Not Knowing
Judith Leibowitz used to say "Actors and Alexander teachers speak the same language." In this workshop we will examine some of the most basic challenges facing both actors and Alexander teachers and the values they share. How do we as Alexander Technique teachers learn to embrace and embody the concepts of letting yourself not know, giving up the goal, being in the moment, and daring to be wrong? And how do we begin to bring these values to the individual actor and to the acting community? Working experientially in both basic Alexander Technique activities and beginning acting exercises, we will explore together ways of working with actors that are both concrete and philosophical.
Speaking the Same Language (Part II): Responding to Increasing Structure
(Part I is a prerequisite: this year or previously at Freedom to ACT)
In this workshop we will continue to explore the possibilities and challenges of not knowing under conditions of increased structure. Using the same practices and techniques that integrate Alexander and acting, we will move from pure improvisations to situations incorporating given circumstances and text. Some light memorization will be required.
Carolyn. M. Serota has been teaching the Alexander Technique in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School since 1990. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she performed and taught dance before training as an Alexander teacher at ACAT under Judith Liebowitz and Barbara Kent. She was a member of the ACAT Teacher Training faculty 1989-92; The Chatauqua Conservatory Theater Faculty 1994-95; and The Actors Center 1997-98. Since 1991, in addition to teaching, she has joined with many directors at Juilliard to explore the integration of the AT into the rehearsal process. She is married to director and acting teacher Richard Feldman, with whom she has an ongoing artistic collaboration. Carolyn also has a private practice in NYC.
Richard Feldman is the Acting Artistic Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. He has been on the faculty of the Drama Division for 30 years where he has taught Improvisation, Text Analysis and Scene Study, and directed many, many projects and plays. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Yale he studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He has taught and directed at the Chatauqua Conservatory Theater, the Actors Center, and for the past 13 years at NYU Graduate Acting. He has an ongoing artistic collaboration with his wife Carolyn Serota who teaches the Alexander Technique at Juilliard.
Radiant Auditioning: The 4 Key Moments
A great audition can be energizing, allowing you to be present, open and able to show what you can do. In this experiential workshop, we look at 4 “key moments” in auditioning, and learn specific tools the Alexander Technique offers to balance mind, body and breath at each of those points in time that can pave the way for vibrant performance. Participants will explore simple methods to focus energy, calm nerves, and deepen connection to your instrument for more ease and pleasure in auditioning. Performers may bring a brief memorized audition piece, and all participants will have the opportunity to practice the tools in the group. Some volunteers may also work in front of the group.
Eleanor Taylor: Alexander Technique teacher Eleanor Taylor, m.AmSAT, is on the Musical Theatre faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and teaches privately at Union Square, Manhattan, where she works with actors and singers to improve performance, prevent injury and reduce anxiety using the Alexander Technique. She has taught at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. www.eleanortaylorAT.com
Jean E. Taylor
Accepting Your Ridiculousness as a Way to Be Fully Present: Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique
The workshop process is about bringing who you are, and what you already have, forward. It is an opportunity for participants to embrace, through openness and humor, their own unique ridiculousness. The acceptance of the less than perfect helps us bring our full humanity to the forefront and transforms our habits of restriction into skills of open expression. Theatrical clowning develops our capacity for playing in the moment and offers us new perspectives on ourselves as both teachers and performers.
Connections are made throughout the workshop between Theatrical Clown and the Alexander Technique, specifically recognition of habit, positive inhibition, and non-end-gaining.
Conference gathering and performance featuring Jean E Taylor in an excerpt from her original show:
STOP/SLOW (A FLAGGER’S LAMENT)
It’s Maddie’s first day on the job. She cares about being ready. She cares a lot about being ready. But the possibilities of Slow . . . and the mystery of Stop . . . are more than she can resist.
Jean E. Taylor, performer and teaching artist, collaborates on the development of original plays, which have been featured at a variety of national and international venues. Her latest work, Stop/Slow (a flagger’s lament) was presented at Phantom Theatre in VT in August 2017. A trilogy of her work, True Hazards of Childhood, Pants and Skirts, and Elsinore or Bust, was presented at The Barrow Group Theatre in January 2016. Jean is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education and teaches Theatrical Clowning for The New School for Drama and The Barrow Group Theatre. Jean studied clown and movement with Philippe Gaulier, Merry Conway, Ron Foreman, and David Shiner, among others and trained in the Alexander Technique with Joel Kendall. Jean's approach to theatrical clown has been published in Movement for Actors, Allworth Press.
Rachelle Palnick Tsachor
Embodied Listening Through the Alexander Technique
Listening is key to acting truthfully—when we truly listen to our scene partner, we live in the moment. Alexander Technique helps actors free themselves from establish habits associated with listening (such as a way of looking at a scene partner, or reaching towards them with our head) that can actually interfere with registering perceptions. This workshop teaches the Alexander Technique as way to experience what we hear with psycho-physical awareness, so listening is perceived anew and truthful responses arise. “All I want to see is the intensity and accuracy of an actor’s listening” Alan Rickman.
Rachelle Palnick Tsachor (CMA, ATI) teaches Theatre Movement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work explores how qualitative physical choices affect expression. She authored a chapter on "Somatics for Presence and Physical Characterization" in Movement for Actors (2nd Ed. Allworth Press) and is co-investigator in Unique Sets of Movement Characteristics are Associated with and Enhance Specific Emotions and A Somatic Movement Approach to Fostering Emotional Resiliency (Frontiers).
The "undoing motion" that refreshes - Keeping it real in your monologues and scenes
When we get a new idea, a fresh thought - when we react differently than our habit - when someone says something to us that we do not expect, there's a change in our system that others instinctively notice. There's a motion that results which is an undoing of the previously expected or prepared. But with the repeated experience of memorized lines, actions and reaction, actors can unknowingly telegraph out to their audience that they've already planned exactly what they're saying and how they're reacting. There is an "undoing motion" learned through the Alexander Technique that can prevent this and refreshes and enlivens an actor's performance. Come learn to recognize and utilize this simple process!
This workshop is for actors of any level. If you like, come with a monologue or a scene (someone from the class can read the other part) and we'll use a portion of those to explore how to use this undoing motion in rehearsals and performance!
Eileen Troberman has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 35 years. She currently teaches in the MFA Acting program at University of California, San Diego and The Old Globe MFA acting program. She also has a busy private practice in Encinitas, California. Eileen came to the Alexander Technique in 1978 through acting. She did her teacher training course with Frank Ottiwell and Giora Pinkas in San Francisco, graduating in 1982. Eileen also studied and apprenticed with Marjorie Barstow (the first graduate of F.M. Alexander's first teacher training course) for 15 years assisting her teaching in numerous locations nationally and internationally. You can find out more about Eileen at www.AlexanderTechniqueSanDiego.com
Buried Alive: Finding Movement in Immobility
Jessica Wolf’s Experience Coaching Dianne Wiest for Beckett’s “Happy Days”
The central character of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Winnie, is a role only the most daring actresses attempt to play. Winnie is on stage and speaking the entire play. In the first act, Winnie is buried to her waist in a mound of earth. In the second act, she is buried to her neck; only her head is visible to the audience. I collaborated with the set designer to create an experience that supported Dianne’s access to her body, breath, and voice. The subtle shifts we created allowed her to sustain her performance.
Jessica Wolf is an internationally recognized teacher of the Alexander Technique, and is currently a Professor in the Practice of Acting at Yale School of Drama. She founded Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing, and created the first three-dimensional animation of the respiratory system. Jessica maintains a teaching practice in New York City, where she coaches performing artists who appear on and off-Broadway, and in films and television. She travels extensively, giving workshops to teachers, performers, and healthcare providers.