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Performing Artist and Media Professional Workshops:

Extreme Behaviours: Freeing up play physically and socially
6 hours, or Multi-session 2×3 hours (Festival Edit) 2x7 hours (Full Version) Max number of students: 16
Student experience level: Intermediate, Advanced

Getting out of your head and getting into truer physicality through exaggerated expressions, gestures, and conviction. If people have social issues off stage they tend to take them onstage, too. Looking for the actors default expressions and features and grossly aggrandizing them, working opposite them, or randomly altering them. Using work from trance mask traditions with the actors face as the mask. Also looking at nuanced play and minimalistic expressions in the extreme. Breaking through taboo topics and behaviour to get racy themes and mischievous or even downright bad characters on stage with consequence. To get improvisation out of safe trivia and into dipicting relevant issues with conviction.

 Gotta Have It: attitudes, wants and mantras. What drives character? Truthful behaviour?
6 hours, or 2X3 hours (Festival Edit) 2x7 hours (Full Version)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience level:  Any level

Working with objectives, emotions and attitudes in relationships and scenework. Looking at character driven scene work to strengthen the togetherness and presence of relationship in scenes. Getting truthful behaviour out of scenes that wants to achieve its objective while emphasizing emotion, silence and focus over verbal cues. Encouraging scenes without overt argumentation or contention to simply allow the audience to project and reveal more layers in the relationships and therefore in the scenes. Can be good as work for filmic acting.

 Modern Lazzis
3 or 6 hour sessions (Festival Edit) 2-3x7 hours (Full Version, also performance modules)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience level:  Any level

Looking at the Commedia del'arte tradition and finding fresh permutations on the great comedic constructs. Over the years I have collected a bevy of scene conceits that can be improvised over and over with a side effect of building skills of timing, problem solving, character clarity and witness work. This course will take a journey through these conceits and do team creation exercises to discover the groups own/new lazzis will also be used to see if we find our own new classic.

 Using improvisation to develop filmic scenes/narratives

6 hours, or 2×3 hours (Festival Edit) 2 up to 5x7 hours (Full Version with film projects)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience Level:  Any level

This workshop breaks into the techniques and codes of fimic acting and simple narratives creating improvised film work, sketches, vignettes and scenes.
It is course that I often run for the Alternative TV arts school at Bauhaus University to get some easy-to-do interdisciplinary work to create short films (primarily with phones or iPads). A course that explores how to team create and examine strengths and weaknesses of a series of images, attitudes and behaviour and how the story is hidden in these. Working together to uncover these and capture them on camera then edit and apply sound or music to them to create great little improvised films. Another focus of this course is to get as much value from scenes as possible and knowingly make choices to do this. Working to get the mix of exposition, narrative and transformation that the scene needs to have a strong effect on the viewers and players. This course is also valuable to improvisers if creating a film is not the focus.

 Emotional Palette:  Revealed and Concealed

6 hours or 2x3 hours (Festival Edit) 2x2.5 hours (online version) 2x8 hours (Full version)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested Student experience level: Any level

This workshop gets you into the finer parts of expressing, interpreting and containing emotional gestures, and content in scenes. Emotions determine the quality of our lives, they are what motivate our every move. They can override what we think are basic fundamentals like food, partnership and survival itself. Most people want to appear balanced, unchanged but inside so much can be going on. Other times we use emotions to misdirect, or defend ourselves overtly. These are our emotions revealed and concealed. Audiences know this inherently. Like most people they want to spend more time feeling positive emotions than negative ones in day to day life. However, the theatre is the place where they very willingly experience anguish, fear, disgust, anger, envy as excitedly as joy, revelation or contentment. Because for them it is a safe confine for exploration. That is why us actors have to ensure them that the stage is a vulnerable and dangerous space. We will look at suppressing feelings or exaggerating them, painting with them for affect. Looking at the mimicry, physicality and tonality of emotion to heighten our self-awareness when they arise. To call on them somewhat consciously. Understanding how varying behavioural responses works to create harmony or dissonance. To make things obvious or more mysterious. Responding to and heightening our awareness of other emotional cues and states and being more vested in your partners and your relationships. Then using all this information to transform. There will be lots of practical exercises to access emotional tools and expressions. Establish vocabulary both universal and for individual actors on their independent expressive blueprints.  Also significant relationship based scene work with specific personal feedback.

  Relativity:  Using Time in Scenes

6 hours or 2x3 hours (Festival Edit) 2x7 hours (Full version)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested Student experience level: Any level

Time is on your side and passes in various ways this a workshop that looks at ways to stretch and sculpt tension, meaning and content into scenes through duration.
You are in a scene, you feel like your heart and mind grow frantic. Maybe you’re racing to find out what’s happening in the unknown future, or to solve the mystery of the scene that you’re playing? So much so that you begin to endlessly invent offer after offer ending in fragments of an unrelated puzzle. You feel like you’re working hard, growing desperate and the scene, all involved, especially the audience, are suffering in ambivalence. Time is relative. When actors are afraid time can seem like an enemy. Maybe the fix could be how to spend it wisely. This course brings practical exercises to the actors to play with how time passes in scenes. It looks at the affects of slowing or hastening time and applicable things to do this with. It looks at the tension, secrecy and dramaturgical effects that it can have. It makes apparent the tool kit for actors to get on stage and operate to create a variety of scenes and open up the possibility to truly feeling and observing so that perhaps discovery and revealing might replace desperate inventing. The participants will spend a lot of time in exercises and on stage, receiving clear constructive feedback during the work on stage.

 No guts, No Glory: Boldness in the face of failure

3-6 hours, or Multi-session 2×3 hours (Festival Edit) 2x8 Hours (Full Version)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested Student experience level:  Beginner, Any Level

I didn’t fail 10,000 times, I found 10,000 ways that did not succeed. This training is about your relationship to failure. Do you struggle with your fear of being bad in scenes? I think at times we certainly all do. This course looks to find alternative ways and techniques to trick yourself out of being scared or heightening your expectations for performance. It is heavily influenced on traditional clown and comic training and breaks down the moment and activities on stage. It works to reappropriate the actor’s focus on to the relationship with the audience and the other actors. The methodology explores demystifying the expectations that the actor has and provides a more playful, truer understanding of what the actor actually does. It provides immediate constructive feedback for what works and what doesn’t. It will examine ideas of timing and duration, physical stature, verbal acumen, and relationship all the while understanding how extremely important it is to fail with as much joy as you succeed.

 Breaking Routines, Manias, Obsessions & Extremes (a variation or excerpt from the Extreme Behaviours Course) Freeing up play physically and socially

6 hours, 8-16 participants, or 2x4 hours.
Suggested participant experience level:  Any level

If people have inhibitions, fears or social issues off stage they tend to take them on stage too. This is normal, but it does impact some of the variety of choices we make to represent lives on stage. Getting out of your head and getting into broader range of physicalities and voice through exaggerated expressions, gestures and commitment. I will start with your default expressions and features and we will begin to grotesquely aggrandize them, working opposite them, or randomly altering them. Using some of the traditions and techniques from trans mask with the actors fac using some of the traditions and techniques from trance mask with your own face as the mask we will begin to coax out other characters that are residing in there. We will cover some of the spectrum. Also looking at new wants to play and minimalistic expressions all the way to the extremes. With these new characters come new wants and convictions and they bring with them the baggage of taboo topics racier themes and even downright bad behavior on stage with consequence. This course will give you tools to get your play out of safer trivial areas into depicting relevant issues, through exciting and unique characters with conviction.

 Ensemble Play for group mind, movement, narrative, collective fantasies & realities

3-6 hours, or Multi-session 2×3 hours
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience level: Any level

This training is about how you can work as an ensemble.
Do you feel like the attentiveness and cohesion between the actors on stage sometimes a challenge? Or simply the ensemble has worked a lot together but has grown to understand a certain routine or expectation from others. Part of the great value the theater work and improvisation in specific is the audience being able to watch people together enjoying their collective work. The adventuresome spirit. The latent understanding and unspoken union, the mesmerising coincidence that could not be scripted. This training works to strengthen this bond that can exist between people. My philosophy is several characters but behind this the actors can act as one beast. This training looks intensely into exercising the ensemble. Working the collective mind. Group risk and problem-solving mixed with ideas physical, verbal, musical and emotional. This training will consist of exercises that get groups to operate, react, listen and fulfill in varied ways. From creating physical spaces to improvising music videos. The course will be able to focus on different areas where the group needs more attention. This is a great workshop for groups that want to spend a joyful hard-working day together or those looking to expand vocabulary of the ensemble elements of their shows. Much of the work will help to improve rhythmic understandings, arrhythmia, musicality, physicality, and spatial relationships for the stage. The work done here can also overflow into scene work with a lot of fundamental theater skills built-in to the workshop. Be prepared for a very active physical experience with lots of clear, to the point verbal feedback. This workshop can specifically focus on physicality and imagery, spatial relationships and staging, musicality and movement, and narrative.

 Taboos, Misbehaviour and Challenging Themes on stage

6 hours (Festival Edit), or Multi-session 2×8 hours
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience level: Intermediate, Advanced

This training is about putting riské or unsavory behavior on stage with consequence.
Do you feel like improvised shows often rehash the same types of scenes over and over again? Do you ever leave them after either playing or as an audience member without the real ability to remember what it is you saw or why you saw it? This is in the cards. It’s part of working unscripted. There is a strong argument to be made for very light entertainment. Still, the stage is a dangerous place. It should not lack consequence. It should be dangerous to the characters. This is theater’s unique, great power. The audience buys a ticket to see others struggle with things that they see and experience too. Theater has a great chance to reflect versions of realities and fantasies that the viewers know, understand and are tickled to see others suffer. This course is about making risky choices. It is a course that wants to turn up the temperature on risk and relationships. It is a course that wants to embolden actors to bring pressing questions about people and our times to the stage. There will be numerous exercises examining the skills on how to get piquant or pressing topics out in the open and examined. It will look at how to play informed characters that champion philosophies or feelings quite the opposite of your own. It will look to define technique that can put controversial or troubling content on stage while handling it sensitively and poignantly. There will be a strong mix of group and do exercises eventually leading to focused scene work or even simple formats for plays. Very interactive workshop that will be sensitive to everyone’s views and understanding. It will be very technically driven with a lot of practical work and stage time. It will certainly include a lot of candid constructive feedback.

 Relationship & Game

6-8 hours, or Multi-session 2×4 hours (Festival Edit), 2x8 hours (Full Session)
Max number of students: 16
Suggested participant experience level:  Intermediate and up

Maybe you are a bit like me? I want the audience riveted, moved or even unbridled, hurdling through the galaxy when they see a scene. I want them talking about one another after they have left the theatre.

What makes the audience move closer to the edge of their seats? What makes them squeal with anticipation? Roar together with laughter? What makes them sigh in unison? What makes them look for each other’s expressions? Maybe this is ambitious? The good news is, it is often the same exact thing that makes playing the scenes such a joy and feel like every moment is fluid and obvious. It is what makes the work theatre. It is what gives the work a chance to be art. This workshop will look at all the components of a scene and particularly what the characters are involved in, do, suffer and solve: Game and Relationship, the two mechanisms we actors discover that can be separate and autonomous operating the scene alone or they can work in beautiful harmony combined accentuating, aggravating or foiling each other.

This workshop will work on the skills to strengthen work on game and relationship in scenes. Identifying the differences and similarities, and when the two blend seamlessly into one. Through very practical exercises and scene work the course will explore how to let the game become something you and your partner can obviously discover and joyfully heighten. Through scene work and exercises we will explore the ease, focus and confidence necessary to allow relationships to unfold. Being committed and vulnerable together for the audience will give them characters that lure them in and make them care.