Gary Condes Meisner Workshop: July 10 – 14, 2017

Gary Condes teaches in Prague July 10 – 14, 2017

We are very pleased to be hosting the wonderful acting teacher Gary Condes July 10 – 14, 2017. Gary will be working with students from 4-10pm on techniques stemming from his deep knowledge in the Meisner training. Gary writes:

My teaching is deeply rooted in the principles and techniques pioneered by the great Sanford Meisner, but also inspired by selective practices from Stella Adler & Constantine Stanislavsky. Standing on the shoulders of these acting giants, I train actors to work from the personal passions of the heart not from the dry intellect of the head, to create acting that is alive and kicking and truly present in the moment. I train actors to be bold and fearless and yet specific and precise in their expression. Artistry combined with technical discipline to create performances that are full with meaningful behaviour is the goal.

It should be a very exciting week of work! To sign up, please email info@acting.cz. Space is limited! The price per student is 6.200 Kc.

Choosing the Right Class for You

Career-FairOne of the most important things actors can do to keep their skills sharp, especially during downtime, is to be in an acting class. Because acting classes are process oriented, they allow students to explore new parts of themselves in a safe environment. You aren’t going to get fired from your acting class because you are trying something new!

But finding the RIGHT acting class is sometimes difficult. There are so many styles of acting and outlooks of teachers that it can be hard to choose. Here are some things to think about to help you choose a class that will take you to the next level.

Continue reading

Fall Acting Class! September 26th

Summer is fading fast and it’s time to start thinking about getting “back-to-school”! This is a great class for anyone who is thinking about starting out with the fundamentals of professional acting. We work on listening and responding truthfully. These skills are not only great for actors, but great for normal humans too! So come and check it out!

Acting classes start again January 7th, 2013

We will be having a new term of the Meisner Acting classes starting January 7th, 2013. The classes, again, will focus on working through the Meisner technique of repetition, focusing on behavior, improvisations and eventually scenework.

Returning students will have the option of attending the scene workshops which are held roughly once per month.

The modules (extra, non-Meisner classes held during the term) for winter will be on-camera acting and monologues.

For more information or to sign up for the class, please email info@acting.cz!

Getting the Energy Flowing

So much of the time, we hold ourselves back. We hold back from emotional or potentially hurtful situations. We hold back from getting involved in other people’s business. We’ve developed strategies for getting back to a “normal” place when things get too out of hand. For some, the strategy is to laugh it off, for others shutting down is the option and moving away from whatever is causing the uncomfortableness.

Of course, none of this is very helpful in acting, where the actor is expected to go through the emotion, not avoid it! So how do you do this?

Something that came up in last night’s class was the idea of getting the energy flowing in order to move past the block that we put up. For one student, even moving in the “wrong” direction (dealing with how frustrated he was about being in his head) ended up being positive because it got him moving. From standing it is almost impossible to go into some connected, meaningful place. But it is possible if you’re already moving in some direction.

Another helpful thing to do is, if you’re working on a repetition exercise, repeat quickly, with equal or more energy than you’re getting from your partner. Once you start repeating quickly (meaning, remove the pause we take to consider what is coming in), it is possible for you to repeat without deciding how to do it. The energy starts to flow back and forth once you get out of your own way. And once the energy starts to flow, surprising behavior starts to emerge. Take that behavior personally and you’re on your way!

Be careful, though. Repeating quickly isn’t the same thing as robotically or by rote. As I said, repeating quickly means take the pause out that comes between hearing the other person say something and you repeating it back. Another thing that will help this is really saying what you’re saying. It doesn’t matter how you say it, as long as you’re really saying things.

Feedback from Nancy Bishop’s 2-day on Camera Workshop

Here’s what some students had to say about the recent 2-day on-camera workshop from Nancy Bishop:

The workshop was amazing and working with Nancy is so much fun. She’s smart, easy-going, and mostly knows the business and what the directors want. I learned a lot from her and she made me believe that that I really have what it takes to audition, play roles in front of the camera and show the casters that I can do it. And if I don’t get a role, I still know that someone might be interested someday 🙂

Her positive attitude gave me the courage to go and audition today in Prague Film School in front of the camera and many people. I did so and I wasn’t expecting anything. I went there just to enjoy the casting and I did enjoy every bit of it though I was a little bit nervous 🙂


On camera workshop with Nancy was fun and mind-opening, especially for a beginner actor like me. I have a different approach now on how to analyze scenes before going to auditions, also understood how important it is to ask the “W” questions to really understand what’s going on in the text. Scanning through her book ‘Secrets from the Casting Couch’ between the 2 workshop days was also supporting and helped me to get the most of it in such a short time. The book is a must-read for every actor who wants to learn how to act effectively in front of the camera as well as learning how to self-promote yourself as an actor. I would love to have another opportunity to work with Nancy in the future, which would be a great way of honing my acting skills.


The workshop with Nancy was a great experience because she guided us through all the stages of casting, she showed us individually our pitfalls and she provided valuable feedback on each and everyones performance !
With the book as reference and the personal training from Nancy I think each actor improved his/ her changes hugely to being succesfully cast !


Nancy Bishop’s Workshop was amazing and I had a great time learning from her! It was really interesting to work with talented international students on different kinds of acting exercises and than watch our performances on TV. We could not only see what we’d done, but we also could hear a comments and advices about our work from the view of the great casting director. I learned a lot about actor’s archetypes, actor’s little acting secrets, and how to make a good impression while auditioning. All the information I learnt at Nancy’s workshop is very important for every actor who wants to know more about the craft and improve his/her skills at auditioning.


I found it out very helpful, a lot of things I used in my monday shooting immedietly and it worked just great. I can recommend it to every actor, who wants to go/be in fron of the camera one day, but I think it can be useful for theatre actors also.


I am very excited about the workshop with Nancy. It was GREAT, AWESOME and threre was very pleasant atmosphere. I am really interested in next workshop with Nancy. It is amazing experience.
It definitely helps you in audition. You get bigger confident if you stand up before a camera next time. Thank you for this!!! I had great time.

Purposelessness

We are starting to look at the concept of Purposelessness in class. It is such a simple concept, but it is so hard to get there. The idea came up as part of our examination of the book “Zen in the Art of Archery” and how that applies to the work we’re doing in class. In brief, the idea means that the student should start work from a place of simply being without a purpose. Continue reading

Over-acting vs. Fully-REacting

There is a difference between over-acting and over-REacting. In every day life, we are trained to not react too strongly to things. We have a band of acceptable response levels, we mitigate our language to lessen the impact of our reactions. “You’re pissing me off” becomes “You’re making me a little annoyed”, “I really care about you” becomes “You’re ok”. Keeping within this band of responses allows us to stay safe and in control of the situation. It doesn’t require as much from your partner and it doesn’t require you to feel more than you’re used to. And it doesn’t do too much for your acting to stay in that band! Playing it safe by not fully expressing what’s going on inside is a form of politeness that won’t make you grow as an actor.

Last night, there were some comments that there was over-acting in an exercise. What does that mean? In my book, over-acting means letting out a response that you don’t actually have. Often over-acting won’t be in response to the other person. Often it’s what we think we SHOULD be feeling or what we think it would be GOOD to feel — either for the drama of the situation or in an effort to make their partner feel better.

On the other hand, because we want to stay in this band of “normal” or “every-day” behavior, it’s nearly impossible to fully let out our response to what the other person is doing. We all have a little voice in our head that whispers “what you’re doing is stupid” or “you shouldn’t be doing this” or “you’re not being fair to this guy”. By allowing ourselves to fully react to the other person we free up our internal monitor that checks on what kind of behavior is “ok”. And that, in turn, allows us to really be touched by the other person. By allowing ourselves to fully react, we open up the world of possibilities of reaction. Any reaction that is in reaction to the other person is “ok” and as it becomes more “normal” to have a response, it will be easier to have that response immediately and substantially. If we’re responding truthfully to what the other person is doing, then it will never be over-acted. It will always be exactly the right amount of response.

For students who are not used to or comfortable with their own true reactions, this full response will look abnormal. It may even look forced: after all, in a repetition exercise, nothing is at stake. Why should we get all worked up over nothing? I’d ask a different question: Why shouldn’t we get all worked up?