I have found that the histories of trainings are
incredibly important, sometimes more significant than the results that they are
trying to achieve in the performer. From
2002-2004 I trained in the Meisner Technique of acting under Michael Saccente
in Auckland, New Zealand. Michael is a
New Yorker by birth and culture and underwent the full Neighborhood Playhouse
training with Sanford Meisner. When he
found himself in New Zealand, Michael began training professional actors in the
technique. These classes provoked the
spontaneity and impulsive behaviour that I was looking for in my performance
work at the time.
However, just as in the case of Meisner’s
teaching, the personality and behaviour of Michael was vital in the way the
training was transmitted to us. His
small stature was more than compensated for by his loud, machine gun repartee
and his neurotic, wound-up rants at anything that got under his skin. His character wouldn’t have been out of place
in a David Mamet play, and as I began to reflect on the classes, I realized
that our acting was picking up Michael’s particular New York state of mind (and
expression) at the same time as we were learning to read each other’s behaviour
Maria, Bryan and I are delighted to welcome three new members to the blog team.
Our new team members enhance the geographic diversity and the range of expertise of the existing team, broadening the blog’s diversity. Our two new editors are Sarah Weston, a recent PhD graduate of the University of Leeds and I-Ying Wu, a self-employed artist and freelance researcher based in Taiwan and Canada who recently completed their PhD at the University of Northampton in the UK. We also have a third new team member, Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, an advanced PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, who will be occupying an Assistant Editor role as she has just moved to the USA for a new post. Continue reading →
Inspired by Jerzy Grotowski but seeking his own pathway as a young theatre director working in Minneapolis, over forty years ago Phillip Zarrilli began a life-long project of exploring an alternative approach to the pre-performative training and preparation of the actor/performer using the techniques and underlying principles of Asian martial arts (taiqiquan/kalarippayattu) and yoga which would move actor training beyond Stanislavsky.
Over the years, Zarrilli developed a rigorous, in-depth, immersive process of training and preparing the actor’s bodymind for performance through the in-depth use of these traditional exercises—applied specifically to acting/performance problems. Continue reading →