I was taking issue with being accused of being paid for a sincere appraisal of my experience. That is my point.
also check out www.adlerimprov.com
rooted in Spolins work
without the dogma or the commitment
there's a scene study class
and a 4 week intro class
I just wrapped up taking Larry Drake's class. I got everything I expected out of the class and more.
Coming into the class, I was very insecure about my acting technique since I had little formal training as an actress. In the class, I learned many tools and skills that I can apply to any kind of acting job. I also developed a self-starter mentality of continually applying what I've learned to improve. So even though the class took 2.5 years to complete, you don't come out of it dependent on the teacher to coach you. You can coach yourself through the required preparation for any kind of role.
The biggest gains I got were from getting out of my head and developing a more expressive and free instrument. Since taking this class, I've gotten feedback that I come across much more comfortable in my skin. That's because the real learning in class happens on the floor. Most classes you'll be expected to get up and perform multiple times on a given night. The time spent on "book learning" is only a fraction of class time and is only used to cement what you've already been learning through direct experience. As a kinesthetic learner, this was the way to go for me. Learning and exploring the technique first hand helped me understand the concepts quickly and completely in a way that reading the book alone never would have accomplished.
I suspect most actors are also kinesthetic learners which makes this the ideal class for any actor looking to develop a rock solid acting technique.
I recently completed the 2 1/2 year curriculum with Larry Drake, and can definitely look back to the beginning of my time in the class and state definitively that I'm a much better actor now than I was then. I've had a fair amount of stage, tv, and short film experience, so there were times when I had my doubts about whether I needed certain sections of this class, but ultimately, I'm very glad that I did it. There are tools here for every skill level, but it is pretty comprehensive when you do the whole class. I'm not schilling, just sayin'. There really aren't any short cuts to learning the craft of acting. You are your instrument, and everything you do to expand, grow and evolve it is only going to be a good thing.
I learned a lot about the craft, but more importantly about myself. One of the best things about the class is the approach of self-assessment and not being dependent on the teacher's or any other anybody's else opinions about whether the work was good or not. It's important to make your own decisions, given the right tools, about how well you've achieved any given acting challenge. Isn't that what we're always doing anyway? When you depend on other people's opinion of your work it just leads to a sticky and dysfunctional place when you're never sure of yourself.
If you want to own your craft and have confidence in what you're doing then I'd highly recommend the class. I've been through plenty of other classes over the years and this was a breath of fresh air in terms of not having to play mind games with the teacher or other students to try to massage my own ego. It's about the work of acting, and if you're interested in that, then do it. If not, then you'll find your way some other way. If you want to explore the whole range of your emotional pallette, then do it. Of all the classes I've taken over the years, it's the one that's given me the most consistent set of tools I've had in my acting career. So, ponder it, but until you try it, how will you know?
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