In my life I am moving and evolving… dancing and flirting with acting, teaching actors, directing actors, script writing and now documentary/film making. It’s fascinating. And as I move and shift and jump from fiction to facts, from facts to fiction I realise that it is all the same thing… It’s about sharing truth. Because, like the elements, some things just are. To make a good documentry, just as to make a good show, structure is needed. These are some of the things we look at:
We are born, we exist, we die. Three act structure. Aristotil made the connection, he understood about the drama of life…
I am about to go to Colombia to shoot a documentary called ‘Process of Peace’. I’ll be talking to ex-combatents and victims of the war that are trying to get back on their feet with the help of the ‘Peace Education Program’.
Here is a link to the trailer of the documentary we made in Ecuador about Gang Members moving from crime to doing social projects
And then, two months later, when I get back I’ll be teaching at The Actors Space on the International Summer Theatre & Film Workshops for actors and directors.
And every time it is new. Fresh, exciting, like every single breath…full of life!
Here are three thoughts for aspiring artists:
1/Learn from the best or from those that feel right to you.
2/Practice your art, experience it!
3/Trust your self and enjoy.
And here is book for those who want to write but don’t know where to start form by Natalie Goldberg ‘Writing down the bones’. I suggest you read it slowly, like eating a good meal, savouring each mouthful. It’s a short, easy to read book and it’s so potent that, like a good session of love making, it is good to make it last.
OK, I am done for today, if you fancy exploring your creativity and learning techniques as an actor or director you can come to The Actors Space this summer. The Screen Acting Workshop is fully booked (waiting list only). Only 4 places lefty on The Directing Performance Workshop. Places available on the other Theatre acting and directing workshops.
Wishing you the best creative life.
Last summer was my first time at the Actors Space doing ‘The Art of Comedy’ and it was for many reasons the most magical and constructive experience. In this generous, safe place that Marian & Simon have made, I learned to strip away my judgment and quieten my overthinking in order to really listen and react in the moment. To trust my instinct and to make brilliant ‘mistakes’.
I sometimes find the idea of remembering the joy a little silly, I create because I love to. But actually so often day to day and specifically in auditions since the workshop I find myself actively making the decision to relax, to have fun and to revel in playing. It’s a treat.
The course has given me the confidence to begin to create my own work and further explore my clown. It’s exciting. It has made my approach to working with others far less fearful. The wonderful structure of the course, the intelligent and spot on teaching and the beautiful setting made for a hugely positive time. I really couldn’t recommend it more. Thank you to the Actors Space. Words will not do you justice but you have stayed with me and I will be back.
Anna Brooks-Beckman, UK
I first discovered The Actors Space whilst on The Certificate of Higher Education course at East 15 Acting School. Whilst there I became interested in a more physically expressive approach to theatre, one where the emphasis is on visual storytelling and movement. I was recommended The Actors Space by a friend of mine who is currently on the BA Physical Theatre course at East 15 and who had been on The Creative Actor course the previous year. He praised The Actors Space for being an extraordinary place for actor training and for creative freedom and liberation. Eager to gain knowledge and experience in this newly found form of theatre I enrolled on The Creative Actor workshop. Whilst there, I learnt more about being an artist than I ever thought possible. The Creative Actor course gave me the space to explore my creativity and allowed me freedom to discover new areas of my art without restrictions, whilst in an encouraging and open environment.
Upon arriving at The Actors Space I was taken aback by the picturesque location of the Catalan countryside and the beautiful 16th century farmhouse where I would be creating theatre and living in for the week. Because the workshop is residential, there is a special trust and bond that is made between all the participants, which was essential when creating this kind of collaborative work with an ensemble of actors. Being interested in the teachings of Jacques Lecoq, I was excited that the course focussed primarily on the techniques he developed and that the teachers, Marian and Simon, both were taught by Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris. Marian and Simon nurture every participant to help their individual creativity flourish. Not only is your deepest imagination enriched every day, they guide you on your own artistic journey with their 20 years of professional experience and their passion for what they do. Over the week, they constantly encouraged me to challenge myself, take risks and explore new avenues of creative expression in my art, which in turn allowed me to discover new things about myself and the field I am passionate about.
The course is very intense, but nonetheless, fun. Meaning there was a lot that was covered in such a short space of time. This included Mask Theatre (and mask making during the evenings), the observation and Re-Play of Daily Life to create truth and authenticity whilst on stage, The Child which allowed us to be imaginative and playful to create endless possibilities in our work, which finally developed into devising our own dramatic and comic scenes and situations. Whilst all along finding the poetic depths to our work and asking ourselves, “What is it we want to say?
I was able to take all the skills and techniques I had learnt whilst at The Actors Space back home and put them into practice. The overall experience was empowering and I feel very privileged and grateful for having had this experience. I cannot recommend this course (and The Actors Space in general) enough. For anyone wanting to explore their full physical potential as a performer, learn new techniques and skills or to generally rediscover their passion for acting (and life) – you will not be disappointed and I can guarantee anyone who embarks on their journey here will make everlasting friendships, have the time of their life and will want to return. I know I will definitely be returning again.
Chantelle Oddie, UK.
Find out about The Creative Actor Workshop
Marian Masoliver talks about The Actors Space approach to teaching (excerpts from the website).
Our aim is to empower the actor to be fully free to play. This, to me is the most important thing. Without play there is no need for technique – as then the performance may look good but is just an empty vessel.
Many things are involved in acting; The fun and the freedom that one can experience through acting are essential for the delivery of a strong performance. We know that to get to that place where the actor is free to play we have to cultivate a strong sense of trust and a solid foundation of fun and safety…
Our feedback is honest and truthful, yet always constructive. In this environment the actor feels supported, safe and not judged.
Throughout these acting courses we develop a relationship with each individual, taking them through their own personal journey. Everyone has different needs; we ‘read’ those needs and give each student the necessary tools when required.
This approach gives the actor a chance to try new things without fear and even to get it wrong. Through encouragement, enjoyment of the work and the right techniques, each individual is guided to a place of genuine creation.
Working in this way we have seen participants blossom time and time again!
Find out more about our International Theatre and Film Workshops. Some Early Bird places still available!
Marian Masoliver, teacher, talks about the pedagogy involved in the training.
What I like most about our pedagogy is that it nurtures the creativity of the performer and places the actor at the centre of dramatic creation. What is essential in the training is to get the participant to engage with ‘Le Jeu’ (or ‘Play’). Lecoq defines ‘Le Jeu’- “When, aware of the theatrical dimension, the actor can shape an improvisation for spectators using rhythm, tempo, space and form”.
‘Play’ is connected with making the most of any particular moment dramatically. It is about rendering the moment fully into life on stage. To achieve this the actor has to train their body, imagination and creativity. We do this by exploring the actors dramatic and comic presence and the nature and dynamics of conflict; The push and the pull, contraction and expansion, crescendo, rhythm, space, event… The work focusses in like a microscope to reveal the essence of comic/dramatic situation. We work with the ‘motor’ of each scene. With this awareness the actor is free to play.
Also, we ask the question “What do you want to say”? To develop style with no content is a fruitless act. We encourage artistic risks to be taken and together we seek poetic depths to be explored. We are after all creating work that mirrors life itself.
We are practitioners who teach. The techniques we share at the Actors Space have been developed from over 50 years of combined professional experience as actors, directors and teachers. What we offer is hands on physical theatre and screen actor training which at it’s core, is inspired by working with Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris.
Ultimately our aim is to empower the actor to create meaningful work. We do this by developing their understanding of all the elements involved, the writing, direction and acting. We call this the ‘creative triangle’.
To find out about our summer workshops click here.
Monsieur Lecoq (with whom I had the pleasure to study with at his school in Paris) used to say that there were two important things in his pedagogy: Daily life and the observation of nature. I agree, and today in my pedagogical approach and that of The Actors Space we continue to encourage truthful observation, leading to truthful performance.
When students play in a way that is not true, forcing things, ‘inventing’ play that is not anchored in any reality it makes me cringe. The audience doesn’t relate. And we need to relate to be interested – tell me a story because this story is also my story… and by witnessing it I can see myself in a mirror, and I learn something and I grow…That to me is the power of Theatre. If it doesn’t achieve that it is just an empty demonstration.
Robert McKee says ‘Write the truth’, good advice and a rare practice these days. As artists, we need to tell the truth. Yes, let’s write the truth and play the truth – the world needs it more than ever.
Come and learn how daily life, observation of nature and deeply connecting with truth is essential for an actor/creator. Choose the right course for you at The Actors Space, near Barcelona. Our workshops and courses are inspired by our work with Jacques Lecoq and from more than 30 years of experience as actors, teachers and directors of Theatre and Film.
The Creative Actor 16th – 24th July 2017 – With techniques originally developed by Jaqcues Lecoq, this workshop aims to release the creative power of the actor using the body, imagination and play.
Screen Acting 28th July – 5th August 2017 – A practical experience that allows the actor to achieve maximum creative expression within the technical constraints of working on camera.
The Art of Comedy 9th – 17th August 2017 – An adventure in comic creation where the actor discovers his or her own personal ‘Ridiculousness’ and learns how to apply it in both comic and dramatic art.
Directing performance 22nd – 30th August 2017 – Participants learn how to direct actors by giving them freedom within a clear structure, guiding them to create their best work.
Be subtle, connect with the truth and find the depth… Don’t “act”. Whenever someone “acts” it is visible and the audience doesn’t buy it. Remember to listen to the other character (or the space…), this will CONNECT you inside and outside. And of course, STUDY the scene. Who is this character? What do they WANT? What is the OBSTACLE that is not letting them get what they want? What are the antagonistic forces – let them push and pull the character. Look for the conflicts and let the character live in the uncomfortableness. Put the character in the most uncomfortable position and there will be Drama or Comedy (just depending on the register you will play in, or the Play is in).
During The Creative Actor Workshop
Less is more. If in doubt do less. Listen. Be in the space. Connect with what is going on. Trust. Don’t “look” for the feeling, the feeling IS there. Trust…
During the Screen Acting Workshop
Some places still available on these Summer International Theatre & Film Workshops
For more information contact email@example.com
In February 2016 I was lucky enough to go to Northern Ecuador with my partner Simon Edwards, with whom 18 years ago, we co-founded The Actors Space, an international centre of research, training and creation for the Dramatic Arts, near Barcelona.
In the Andean city of Ibarra, province of Imbabura, we worked with ‘Calle Paz y Respeto’ a collective of gang members who after experiencing real tragedy decided to turn things around – see the trailer of the documentary ‘Peace is Inevitable’ about their change, produced last year in Ecuador and co-directed by Simon Edwards.
Radio Publica Ecuador’s director Giovanna Tassi, was so impressed with their change that she gave them a Nationwide Radio Program to tell their stories and to promote Peace.
Simon and I, in association with The Prem Rawat Foundation, were working with these young people for two months, directing and helping produce their weekly Radio Show ‘Reacciona’, dramatising stories and coaching the performers as we created together radio Theatre Plays aimed at vulnerable young people. These plays are universal stories with a message of Peace filled with drama and comedy.
The experience has been challenging and wonderful at the same time… and so fulfilling that we are still writing scripts and giving feedback on their show from our centre near Barcelona.
The adventures don’t stop! We have an action packed month, filming at the British Film Institute in London and at the end of the month we are going to the Canary Islands to shoot yet another short film.
And of course we are looking forward to this summer’s International Theatre and Film Workshops here at The Actors Space. This is going to be the 18th year of these special workshops, with people coming from all over the world to train and push the boundaries of dramatic and comic creation. There are still some places available.