Actor/Director Lab 2011 Day 7

Sarah Kameela Impey - Actor Participant

"People keep asking me what it was like, and all I can really say is amazing, incredible, wonderful and more. I don't really feel like it will end mainly because the people who have taken part are now so empowered and excited about what we can do together that we will do everything we can to keep that practice alive. I really had forgotten the pleasure of play. Carefree easy play, to do a game or perform a piece without too much convoluted thought and with absolute joy and comfort at being in that space with that person doing what you are doing together. When you find this 'play' you suddenly realise that you can achieve magical things, you have unbelievable breakthroughs and hours seem like minutes as you become immersed in your work."

Haseeb Malik – Actor Participant

““And now, the end is near…” I’m not going to lie to you – I do enjoy starting with a quote! However, at this point I must leave Frank Sinatra at the rehearsal room door. This was to be our last day together after a week of inspiring workshops, talks and performances. I do leave feeling like I’ve added to my acting palette, the extent to which I’m afraid I cannot say just yet. Nevertheless, I’m glad I signed up, threw myself in and as a result – enjoyed the whole experience! That’s not to say it hasn’t been difficult at times, there was a day when I felt slightly self-conscious but that was just the actor in me wanting to ‘get it right’ at the first go. I had to remind myself that I was there to learn and have fun. Sometimes learning isn’t easy, it can take you places you didn’t always consider but provided you can draw positives from it – it’s all worth it in the end.

Working with Kristine has taught me that bringing more of ME into my acting performance is okay, allowed and should be embraced. She helped me access areas of my toolkit (certain ethnic accents/languages) that otherwise would have probably remained under-utilised. The whole group was very open to her approach and produced brilliant work day by day. Everyone seemed to grasp the idea of ‘playing well’ with each other and boy did we play! Who knew you could get so much out of throwing sticks to one another or dancing your way through musical chairs? At the end of every warm up session, I would cut a sweaty breathless figure in the corner of the room but ready to take on the day ahead. Play is a simple but extremely vital concept.

One the final day the group performed two-hander scenes and this was a pleasure not only to do but witness too. The connections between the actors felt natural and genuine, the actors seemed happier and you could see a sense of pride glowing from Kristine. This was all testimony to her great work over the seven days which saw the directors come on a great deal too – developing their instincts of how to get the best out of their actors. As a group we now share a common language and practice, during the process everyone was sincere and trusting – a great collective! Is this the end? Who can say?”

Daniel Naddafy - Actor Participant

“The Actor/Director Lab has been one of the most enjoyable workshops I’ve ever participated in. It will take me time to process exactly what I’ve learnt, but the most important thing was the time spent in a room with a group of inspiring and incredibly talented theatre makers.

Kristine made the directors question and justify every one of their choices, and really got some of the actors to open up- this was all very interesting to observe. As a group we worked tremendously freely and engaged with one another very early on - I rarely worried about making mistakes or failing. Kristine created an environment where this freedom could flourish through games and exercises. I made some good relationships from the course and am sure we will continue to work together as an ensemble - who knows where this will lead...”

Actor/Director Lab 2011 Day 6

Sarah Kameela Impey - Actor Participant

"Bijan Sheibani has an incredibly inspiring CV, and yet remains an amazingly open, relaxed and care free spirit. He involved the group immediately and in discussing his process showed us how easily he engages a group of actors and directors. By looking at the character lists of a few plays we understood how to use them to initially understand the play, of course the writer includes everything for a reason. How are they described, what are their relationships, what clues does it give about them and why did the writer include that information. I have never dedicated so much time to that page of a play before, but now I will do it with everyone I read.

I now know it doesn't matter if the director does not work in the same way, this course has affected my approach, I have seen what I am capable of and it has restored a belief in myself that the character is there to fit me and not the other way around. No one has the same personal experience as you, no one can draw such deep emotion and reality from your centre as you can, as long as you connect with yourself first, attributes of you that allow you to be free and play."