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 was 23 when I first got to go to The Actors Space and I belived I already knew a lot about theatre. This was quite sweet and naive. My first two weeks with Marian and Simon during ‘The Creative Actor’ workshop killed a fair part of my ego and opened an entire new world of theatre to me, a world that was not so much based on realism as on magical playfulness. Where other people feel that the play doesn’t work, but cannot properly describe the trouble, Simon and Marian find precise words to explain the irritation and also show you how to avoid this irritations in the future. Their teaching is very much from the heart and at the same time impressively sharp-witted.
I came back a year later for ‘The Art of Comedy’, because I was about to direct a Clown paly in Germany. I learned so much during this course, by watching the play and listening to the teachers and slowly starting to understand, why some play mechanics work and others don’t.
I got back to Germany and our Clown play touched the audience to laughter and tears. I also made a production of Molières ‘Malade Imaginaire’. On the first evening we had about 200 spectators (already a lot for a layman group), on the third and last night there were more than 400! Even guests from Thailand who didn’t understand the words had to laugh at the strong and amusing physicality. I also applied at a public university (Folkwang) for Physical Theatre and got into the finals (then they took oher people, damn it! :0) )
I owe so much of this succes to Marian and Simon. Sometimes I hear myself using precisely their words to describe theatre. The Actors Space is a wonderful place to stay, to learn and to go back to, both in reality and memory.
I have heard so many times that women are not as funny as men. Is it true? Why?
Over the years I have seen many funny women on the stage…sweet, wild and scary female Clowns. All sorts… Also, in my memory, I have flashes of brilliant improv scenes here at the Actors Space performed by women.
Somehow though it seems that comedy is more natural amongst our brothers..(please understand that I am writing this post in the spirit of fun)! Men’s bodies are funnier than female ones (with dangling bits all over the place), they seem a little bit more ‘stupid’ than us, they space out easier, are often late and cannot find anything around the house:
-Darling, where is the butter?
-In the fridge, love…
-I can’t see it…
-Top shelf on the right.
Then we get up open the fridge and sure enough FIRST THING our eyes meet is the butter…!!! Some things don’t have explanations.
Women give birth, bring children up and hope that the men will play their part. We suffer!
I admire men though, because their capacity for pain seems less. Lucky bastards! Everything seems easier for them! The more testosterone the lower the level of intelligence. Nature, being supremely intelligent, has done it that way because men are the ones that are supposed to fight and when you fight it’s best not to think, just feel the rage and go for it!
Nonetheless I have come to the conclusion that women can be very funny, they just need the self-confidence and an opportunity! After all, as nature has it, we are physically more vulnerable and comedy is about vulnerability right?!
Even though I say these things I love men. What would the world be like without you? Just women and little girls, can you imagine? Scary…
This is a trailer of ‘Giulietta’ a Clown show by Pepa Plana (in Catalan).
I would like to open a debate so I invite you to comment. Come on let’s have some fun! We want to know your opinion! Do you know any funny women? How are they funny? and men? How is comedy different for the two sexes?
Here is the link to the 2012 Vienna female clown Festival (starting this December).
The ‘Art of Comedy‘ workshops in Ireland are filling up! Only waiting list available for Cork, some places available in Dublin.
Yupiii! The workshop season has started at the Actors Space. The Creative Actor workshop is in full bloom. 16 participants from Spain, Ireland, U.K, Germany, Australia, Portugal and Lebanon have been exploring the Neutral Mask this week. It has been beautiful. And next week we move into the world of full Expressive Masks, and Half Masks!!! On the break right now and I cannot wait! It will be fun…
This wonderful workshop will be followed by The Acting for Camera workshop, The Clown workshop and the Directing Performance workshop (still places left on that one). Summers in my house become a boiling pot of creativity, cooked and spiced by wonderful human beings of all ages and all places. I feel privileged. Or even more than privileged, it is magical.
This is the trailer for the short Film ‘Sugar Girl’, directed by Bruno Simões. Bruno did the Directing Performance workshop with us along with Alice Cozza who plays the main female part and Jacob Woods who also worked in the film. 3 wonderful creators that met here at The Actors Space while in one of our workshops.
There are still some Awards available for those that need them (which means that you can do this workshops for as little as 510€ for the two weeks and this includes accommodation and food. It is a great opportunity!). If you want to find out about the workshops and what they offer click here.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing have a great summer (and a great autumn, winter, year…life!)
Enjoy the trailer, well done Bruno! Cannot wait to see the whole film!
What the Clown expects is not what happens. Because reality happens ONLY in the now. Expectations are only that: expectations (they have nothing to do with reality)…
And so the vulnerability comes…the Clown is in conflict with everything: his costume, his shoes, the objects arround him, the space, the fly that is bothering him, his own body, the being next to him, his own mind, the world! Literally everything can be a theme for the Clown!
Innocently he tries to deal with “reality” and things get worst..! Does it sound familiar? Welcome to the Human Race… And this is why the audience laughs because we recognise it! The laughter of the audience is a gift and so the Clown plays WITH the audience (not just FOR the audience). The art of NOW, every reaction, every living moment is to be experienced. Delicately the Clown joins with the audience and the audience joins with the Clown!
The wife wants her husband to be a Hero and instead he is a Loser!
The husband (the loser) is an innocent who is doing his best but he is not hitting the mark for her (only if she understood who he really is!, but she is too full of her own ideas about who he should be…!).
This is the premise of Twilight Cabaret by Hart and Punch. I had the chance to see a bit of the working process yesterday. How simple and fun…Directed by Simon Edwards from The Actors Space and played by Caroline Hart and Damian Punch, two wonderful comic actors.
The director is looking for motors of play and antagonistic forces and, as he suggests the scenes, writing starts to happens… The more the actors are anchored in the NOW the more is found. Listening, letting things unfold, reacting to what is there, or not there!
The inspiration comes from reality, a credit card debt, the threat of being fired, one big ultimate problem is enough (from which all others grow), and I find myself laughing even though it’s rather tragic! This two human beings don’t seem to be able to get along and yet they are husband and wife! Cannot live with and cannot live without.