“I’ve had such fun and freedom to try new things. You’re welcome to direct me any time!” Andrea Riseborough
Since forever I have taught acting in the major drama schools, but mostly at Rada where I was Head of Acting until leaving to start Giants Theatre Company in 2007. Many of my students have gone on to have exciting (glittering even!) careers. I have also worked at The National Theatre, RSC, The Guildhall and Rose-Bruford.
What I look for in an actor can be summarised by my 6 ‘Haitches’ …
- Hunger – to learn, and to keep on learning
- Humanity – interest in, understanding of, empathy for … PEOPLE
- Humility – are you really the best?
- Humour – Come on, laugh at yourself! (and at my jokes!)
- Honesty – If you don’t believe in yourself, no-one will. So cut the bullshit.
- H-imagination – It’s a vital muscle, it needs constant exercise, so don’t let it fossilise
- Finally Don’t Hide behind your usual self – take risks and see where it takes you!
And yes, of course there’s technique too. That needs learning and perfecting all the time.
Standing on the shoulders of great theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Michael Chekhov, Peter Brook, Augusto Boal, Doreen Cannon, Chattie Salaman, and many others, I have developed my own way of working which is tailored to the individual actor and allows for real exploration and experimentation.
In my Notes to New Actors I say
‘’ Let’s agree that we love theatre that is thrilling, surprising, dangerous, thought-provoking, risky, hilarious, shocking … and actors who make it look so easy that they don’t appear to be acting at all.’’
On developing character I reckon
” ALL clues exist in the text filtered through your rich, individual imagination, and interpreted by you.”
It would be a waste of your creative talent if your first thought were ‘I know who this person is; she/he is just like me,’ and therefore you pull the character towards you. Imagine that there is a piece of extraordinarily stretchy elastic attached to your solar plexus reaching from you to the character. It is much more fun, more challenging, to try to stretch the elastic as far as it can go: and in any direction.’
To finish on an optimistic note, I believe
“You never achieve the ‘finished’ or ‘definitive’ character. Just as well! As, to be human, is to change, evolve, contradict ourselves continually.”
Individual private coaching:
My sessions for individual coaching usually last a generous hour, although I can work for longer if needed, and usually take place in my home. My fees depend on your work situation.
My standard fee is £80 per session, payable at the end of the session. If you’d like to book 3 sessions in advance I can offer a reduction to £200.
For students and unemployed, I offer a 25% reduction – £60/session or £150 for 3 sessions.
I have moved to Leyton recently: London E10
As I usually give group sessions in a convenient rented venue away from home, fees depend on the arrangement and are negotiable.
Do check out Giants website and Actors Guild for up-coming mastercalsses
Giants Theatre Training corporate training sessions for public sector workers:
These sessions are based on considerable developmental research into company requirements in the workplace and tailoring to meet corporate needs. They usually involve 4 professional actors as well as myself and other members of Giants. Fees are therefore negotiable. For further details please check Giants website and discuss with Giants’ General Manager.
If you would like private or group tuition, please email me to make contact.