Hmmm synicism begins to enter before I’ve even started. Am I right?
Well if you have ever heard of The Actors Temple then I’m sure you will start to sneer. The Actors Temple is an actors training centre that teaches people to act using skills and exercises devised by an american teacher called Sanford Meisner. Sanford Meisner trained in his acting days with other well known american greats such as Lee strasberg, Stella Adler and Harold Clurman.
Now I feel that the actors temple has been given a rough deal. One cannot help the effect they may have on another and should not be put down just because the affected has had the best orgasm of ones life due to the work of the affectee.
Yes I used the word ORGASM to keep you with me. Ok so basically Sanford was really just a kick ass teacher. He not only saw through the bullshit of english drama schools, teaching everyone to use intonation to get the message across but he also had the skills to rework a lesson in any which way he could to ensure that each person in the class could get it. Now he was no martyr or saint, if you were shit and were never going to get it (or for meisner trained eyes-If you were not prepared to address what was there) and i mean really shit and not very self aware or prepared to see what you try to cover up then really acting, wasn’t for you. And he would ask you to leave. Some would say that was harsh, but after being in a few classes with some very self involved bankers, and i do not literally mean bankers i just don’t like swearing, who wasted my learning time as they were not prepared to fully go for it, I wish more teachers would do the same. Learning is not cheap.
So lets summarise as today I feel like nothing is linear or has a proper focus. I have managed to drift from working to three different clothes websites that are in america and incredibly expensive that i will never order from as currently I am saving for a house.
The actors temple has a bad rap.
It has been labeled a cult (probably by some cnut)
Because most people that come out of it start spouting their enlightenment at everyone they meet.
Drama school peeps like to look down at all other forms of training (only my experience, so dont get all crazy rapper intonation angry at me, obviously many of you give the rest a bad name) and sneer at ‘the enlightened’ and meisner based enlightenment.
Other scared actors (non drama schoolites) too scared to go and be told they may be shit at a class sneer at the ‘enlightened’ as they are so incredibly jealous that not only did someone they compete for jobs with went and bettered their ‘craft’ (I do find that phrase so wanky, but is that my jealousy? that I see my skills only certified at hobby level and never to be good enough or worked enough to be called a Craft?) and to top all that off they were blessed with a friggin godly moment of enlightenment? #selfish
Lets move on…Ok, so really its just a really friggin good learning space with teachers that are unrelenting and who encourage you to be your best. They have, with the help and teachings of Ol’ Sanford, passed over to us by Tom Radcliffe student to Mr Mesiner.
Yes, I have been to The Temple.
I even did a two month course. Thats 8 weeks out of the 52. 40 days of my 2013. I loved it. Actually fiddle me. Wait that was to replace a naughty word but now that sounds even worse. I really am going to have to work on better swear swapsies. I had forgotten that I had also completed a weeks introduction before i was allowed to do full training. See they vet you before they accept you to the cult.
I promise I wasn’t holding out on you I just forgot. Not because it wasn’t memorable as it clearly was enough for me to drop more money on the full training but i guess it wasn’t the life changing experience many will have had. The intro week is probably what causes such a stir in most. My intro was full of all sorts. People I mean. Doctors, builders, sales assistants and a few actors. It was exactly like every other acting class to start. Loud obnoxious cankers wanting to be heard. Selfish and desperate to prove how awesome they were. Fortunately that was when all changed and we were all reduced back to basics. We were not allowed to start acting. We had to stop being so arrogant and focused on ourselves and instead start noticing our partner. In doing so, and being honest while doing so, you have to say what you see. Alot of the time people don’t want you to see what is really going on with them. So, announcing what you see can often cause quite a stir. Especially if they arent willing to acknowledge that in the public domain. Where the enlightenment comes in, is when you are forced to accept what it is someone else sees. Doing so infront of others can be quite liberating and thus one feels a sense of relief and joy that they wish everyone could experience.
STOP making them feel bad about it! They were a closed off person who was broken a little and made to realise some shity about themselves that their so called friends were never brave enough to voice. If you are a friend of one of these people maybe you could do with some time at the temple and realise that maybe your not so self aware ducko!
I didn’t feel enlightened. I did learn a hell of a lot. I realised I have another level that I hadn’t been aware of within myself that I can now access for my acting. I got that from the brilliant teaching of Mark Wakeling and Tom Radcliffe at The Actors Temple.
Don’t judge it till you’ve tried it.
p.s-Yes I tried drama school, and no I didn’t like it. My voice didn’t quite fit in.
pps- It is not just for actors, anyone who wants to realise the bs barriers they put up which stop you reacting and noticing other human beings, it may be for you. You never know!