Actor/Director Lab 2011 - Kristine Landon-Smith

“I have been reading participant's blogs and now want to share my own thoughts. I am so completely flattered by comments that have been posted and so struck by the generosity and curiosity and hunger from all the participants to learn. It’s a tough course but the participants are strong and really want to understand the rigour, the precision and the detail that is required to make an artistic and poetic piece of work. This goes for both actors and directors. What comes up time and time again is that the habits we pick up along the way are not always conducive to artistic creation - how do we keep monitoring ourselves and keep checking that what we are doing is true and meaningful and thoughtful. How do we discern what has been useful in our training and experience and what has not. How do we recognise what is simply received information which goes unquestioned through time but which may no longer assist the creative process. This conversation has been an active and full conversation throughout the week and all of us are questioning our own assumptions all the time.

I ask the actors to think of themselves... their pleasure to play something... I don't ask them to think about character. I ask the directors to look at what is in front of them... not what they think is in front of them, not what they want to be in front of them but what is actually in front of them... and work from there. I talk about the people who have influenced me in my own development: Maggie Gordon, actress and director who taught me when I was an acting student at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Max Stafford Clark, when I worked as an actress in his production of Serious Money at The Royal Court and Philippe Gaulier over many years, studying and working with him in his school in London and Paris.

It was a joyous week and the expanding group of TDA artists engaged in intracultural theatre practice will be a force to be reckoned with!”