Actor/Director Lab 2011 Day 3

Farah Merani – Actor Participant 

There is no industry, you are the industry... a pearl of wisdom that George Perrin, of Paines Plough, dropped on us today. It made me think of a variety of sayings like, there is no I in TEAM and Marshall Mclughan’s gem, The medium is the message.  I wasn’t exactly sure why, but then as I pondered over the statement later on in the day, I realized that there actually is a correlation between the three sayings. One of the things that Kristine has brought up several times over the course of the week, is that the actor is not a solitary creature in the rehearsal room or on stage. There needs to be a continuous exchange between actors, and most importantly, between the actor and the director. The latter is something that this course is really emphasising and illustrating the value of and it’s something many of us actors don’t see enough of in practice. Many directors I’ve worked with don’t always take the actors immediate needs into account, but rather, focus primarily on the needs of their own vision. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as it’s necessary for the ultimate goal of the production. However, it’s really refreshing to work in a completely different way and know that my needs as actor are being directly addressed in a frank and straight forward manner.

Back to George Perrin’s session... it was a very fruitful and informative morning. I appreciated how he took the time to go around the room and ask everyone who they were, what they’re all about, and what they’d like to know from him. Then he addressed almost everyone’s questions as fully as he could and he had some really interesting things to say about the company, his role as a director, the casting process, and general wisdom…it was really great to hear a young director reaching for his goals and working hard to achieve them.”

Emma Sampson - Director Participant

“Are my actors happy? No they weren't… the first thing they said was 'I'm a really bad sight reader' and then they proceeded to read, their eyes glued to the page, never making eye contact and looking very unhappy. You didn't need to be Kristine to see the unhappiness; these were proper frowny faces. So we put the text in a corner and we spent 30 minutes of the precious 45 doing things that made us happy, things we enjoyed. We played and then in the last 5 or 10 minutes we picked the scripts up again. Hurrah! It works! The actors read the script and it was interesting, it was alive, it was 'beautiful'…

There's a lot more to do and the scenes that the other directors prepared this afternoon had moved a lot further and they'd come back to the text quite a lot more. But for me I'm quite happy at the moment just concentrating on 'are the actors happy'. I don't want to get more complicated than that, I just need to keep working on achieving that…

I am so utterly thrilled to be on this course. I’m still pinching myself because I can’t believe that I get to spend a week surrounded by such talented, amazing people, creating such fabulous work. What I’ve learnt about directing and about myself in just 3 days is so mind blowing… indescribable. I can’t articulate how much joy this workshop is bringing me or how grateful I am to Tamasha for the opportunity.”