Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Brian Timoney's 3 Day Acting Bootcamp

It's a path less travelled for many. Imagine being welcomed whole heartedly to express your anger, your
fears and your happiness about the life you have lived so far. We're so conditioned by society to keep these emotions to ourselves and even when someone has a meltdown we're unable to console them convincingly. We were told to throw that out of the window on Brian Timoney's 3 Day Acting Boot-Camp. Spanning Valentine's Day weekend, I was relieved at the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something I wanted to do ever since I was a little girl. To be honest it beat the idea of stalking out happy couples on social media trying (and winning) to depict their lives as a Disney fairytale. I was finally with people who were on the same wavelength as me.

I was so involved in the weekend, I didn't have a chance
to take many photos! 
The course was held at London's 3 Mills Studios and we were given a crash course in 'method acting' which is based off Konstantin Stanislavsky's 'The System' which was developed into 'The Method' by Lee Strasberg. Technically, over 80% of 'Best Actor' Academy Awards have been won by Method Actors over the past decade. Essentially speaking, it's defined as A REALITY OF TRUTH BROUGHT INTO A PERFORMANCE, BRIAN! Immediately I was placed out of my comfort zone. There was a dance-off. Let me repeat. There was a dance-off. In front of everyone. The one thing I hoped he wouldn't make us do. But guess what? I did it. I ended up doing some weird ballroom/salsa combination with an Italian guy from the opposite team...but hours of gratification outweighed those five second of insecurity. Massive deal. I also had to lay on the floor and 'touch myself'- really connect with my body. And no I didn't take it literally. Did I want to? Well when you lose all inhibitions, you'd want to. We also closed our eyes and we were placed in front of someone of the opposite sex who we had to touch. Me and my unknown partner went for it, pulling back into a friendly hug when we opened our eyes- 'I'm sorry,I'm married,' he whispered. 

The second day, we worked on a scene with a partner. I was partnered with a handsome model by the name of Roger Frampton who taught me the importance of feeling important and smacked me with the realisation of not judging a book by its cover. His charisma ensured a thankful rapport between the both of us and we jumped into doing our scene from a play called 'The Bachelor'. His character Charlie was annoyed that my character, Helen was pregnant and he couldn't look past the financial difficulties that would ensue in the future and his desire to travel to Niagara Falls. We recited the lines many ways- how we would naturally do it, placing our hands on each others hearts (oh not too low!), physically fighting each other (I wacked my own nose by accident) and with our backs to each other (you definitely need emotions staring back at you to react off!) 

The next day, we performed the scene in front of Brian himself. Once we had done so, Brian used analytical factors and emotions in the scene and back-story and took it into a completely different route. Whereas we had practised the scene sitting down and a little bit annoyed with each other, we were told to forget the lines and improvise. It was more about the feeling. Only 7% of communication is verbal, 93% is how you do it. I was told specifically to think about a time when someone left me and I didn't want them to. Immediately, the feeling had changed and we re-did the scene, but this time we were storming around the room, grabbing, pushing and cursing at each other. I actually wanted to cry. It was difficult but I persevered. That just validated the fact that there's at least 50 different ways to create a scene.

Oh and we also transformed into the animal kingdom, portraying the characteristics of a wild animal. I was a lion, out looking for my prey. I also gave someone a lap-dance. An invigorating experience. The next morning, I was back at my office desk. I wanted to roll around on the floor and jump out in-front of the woman who's mean to me for no reason. But I need a job right now. Hopefully soon it'll be one I'll love waking up to!

To get a better sense of 'method acting', check out some incredible acting advice from Robert De Niro


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