The heart of the work…
Raw Moments is an “exercise” (for lack of a better term) that is derived from Sanford Meisner’s Repetition exercise. Raw Moments, as they were taught to me by Andrew Benne, are the foundation of everything that follows. Students will be introduced to the work of PLATFORM by exploring Raw Moments. (I say exploring rather than learning because there really is no correct or incorrect way to do Raw Moments, but doing them can certainly reveal some profound actor stuff.)
At PLATFORM, Raw Moments are used for:
- getting actors out of their heads and into their bodies
- listening, really listening (the most important thing an actor can do and also the number one thing actors forget to do, or think they are doing but aren’t doing!)
- getting in touch with and trusting impulses
- truthfully behaving in an organic, instant relationship with a fellow actor
- developing and strengthening POINT OF VIEW (so crucial for actors!)
- getting a better sense of how others view you
- revealing emotional life through behavior (without relying on text)
- learning how to connect and emotionally process experiences in human relationships
As stated above, Raw Moments are a great introduction to the work, but they continue to prove valuable as a warm up and also as a tool to get actors connected in improv work and scene work.
It’s not what you think…
The kind of improv work you’ll see in a PLATFORM acting class is nothing like a typical comedy sports troupe skit that might come to mind when you hear the word “improv”. Although sometimes class improvs turn out to be comedic, that is not the point. The improv is used to give actors the opportunity to practice emotional preparation and full commitment to imaginary circumstances.
April specifically crafts the circumstances of the improv according to whatever the actor might be exploring emotionally, or if an actor needs to have a breakthrough in a certain area. Like everything in this class, all work is tailored specifically to each individual student. Every actor is unique, therefore every assignment and all teacher feedback is always specific to the student.
Undirected, unrehearsed, moment-to-moment…
Rarely, if ever, is a scene expected to be “performed” in class. Class isn’t about being good. It’s about finding what works and building your own personalized toolbox. Actors learn how to find clues in the script to craft their own preparation, make the strongest choices and then let go and work off their scene partner with total availability to the moment, all within the discipline of using a script (in hand, memorization is rarely required). Some scenes are a one-off cold read, while others turn into a 2-4 week process if students and teacher agree there is value in further exploration in a particular scene. Again, all work is fluid and individualized depending on the student and where they are in their actor journey.