Class: Tools for Acting
Cost: 16,000 Yen total for 4 sessions (payment in cash on the first session)
Time: Sundays, 17:00 ~ 20:00
Dates: November 13th - December 4th, 2022
Location: The location address will be sent to those who register. It is close to Yoyogi station, Minami Shinjuku station and Shinjuku station.
Language of Instruction: English
Prerequisite: English Fluency (native English or bilingual proficiency)
Acting sometimes can be quite tricky: even though you have memorized the lines, you must hear every line the other actor says as if you were hearing it for the first time; even though you have read the end of the play, you must not think about it because your character doesn't know what's going to happen next. You have to have your real emotions alive inside of you, even though you know what's happening in the play isn't really happening in real life. Sometimes you have to feel something for the other actor that you don't feel in real life, and sometimes you must express or defend a point of view that you personally disagree with.
Fortunately, there are techniques that train the actor be able to solve these problems. This workshop will introduce the student to Meisner Technique and tools used by the instructor and other professional actors.
Students are encouraged to attend all sessions because the technique is progressive and learning a new tool requires mastering another. Beginners are welcome. Returning and advanced students will also be given more difficult versions of the same exercises, or more challenging scenework or monologues as the class progresses. Acting is a craft that requires continual and ongoing practice, every time you approach an exercise, you will be discovering something new.
Class 1: What is Contact? The key to spontaneity is presence: being in the moment, not thinking of the past or the future, just the present. This class will introduce the student to the concept of contact, which is the connection between the actor and everything else on stage that helps bring them to the present. Contact keeps the actor truthful, spontaneous, and gives the actor's mind something to focus on so it won't be anticipating the next moment.
Class 2: Meanings and Points of View.What makes acting rich is that every moment is coloured by a very personal point of view, and you always have a point of view because everything means something to you. This is also the core of character work, because a character is just someone with a different point of view. In this class, the student will begin to apply meanings and points of view to the contact exercise.
Class 3: Becoming Alive - Part 1. There are many ways one can create an emotion for a performance, but forced and tense emotions, for example, are not aesthetically pleasing. Part 1 is about learning how to do activities on stage that will allow emotions to happen to you in a natural, relaxed way without thinking.
Class 4: Becoming Alive - Part 2. Artists must allow themselves be free to daydream and imagine. Daydreaming is not only a fundamental source of emotions and art, but also an important tool to discover oneself. It is also something that can be practiced anytime, anywhere, and by oneself for the actor's own improvement. For this class, the students will learn how to use daydreams to create emotional preparations.
About the teacher:
Paula Berwanger is a Meisner-technique-based actor who has worked as an actress in theater in New York and in Rio de Janeiro, as well as on national television series in Brazil. She has also worked as an assistant director in television has produced and directed her own work on stage in Tokyo and New York.
Born in Brazil and raised in Japan, she began by acting in commercials in Japan when she was four-years-old and has been studying acting in Brazil since she was eight. She won an award as a child for performing Annie in Annie on stage in Rio de Janeiro. She became a Meisner-based actress in New York, where she studied in the William Esper Studio, with teachers such as Bruce McCarty (Meisner Technique), Nancy Mayans (Unlimited Actor) and David Kaplan (5 Approaches to Acting). She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Film Studies and has completed a Theater Directing program at Yale University, studying under Juilliard’s director of Drama: Evan Yionoulis.
Paula’s acting credits in Japan include the leading female role in the feature film THE INVESTOR to be released this year, a recurring role in NHK’s 「おもてなしの基礎英語」, Hulu drama「白でも黒でむない世 界でパンダは笑う」with Yokohama Ryusei and Seino Nana, Fuji TV’s SHERLOCK: UNTOLD STORIES opposite Dean Fujioka and Takanori Iwata, and a movie pilot opposite Ichikawa Tomohiro.