Beginner's Acting Workshop with Doppo Narita by The Actor's Studio Academy @ KLPAC

I have at least three news to share, one of it you'd have already known if you've followed my facebook or instagram - I have graduated from Beginner's Acting Course!! Yay!! 

Second news is, I did my first TV Commercial last month and it is airing now. However, I am just an extra, so after all the edits I only appeared for about ~1 second lol.  

Third one, I am invited to Deliver Us from Evil (2014) premiere screening. Thank you, Nuffnang

I know haven't been blogging in several days because I am preoccupied with various other commitments and still is... but that doesn't mean I'll go on hiatus, will be a little slow on updates.

Will blog about them some other day but for today,
I am writing about my 2 months acting course!

** This post is not complete, will edit again at a later time **
** Sorry, not much photos/visuals for now **

This would be the first post about my learning and this is, ultimately, my self-reflection on my acting lessons and own interpretations of what have been taught or shared in the duration of 2 months at my theatrical kindergarten!!

Course Overview
Intensive, 8-week course provides fundamental concepts and techniques of performing for budding actors. It involves acting exercises, scene studies, monologues, theatre games, reading, text analysis, and processes for creating character. Participants in this workshop will be led through a series of theoretical and practical exercises that seek to introduce basic tools that will strengthen mind-body connections to both the technical processes, as well as the creative processes that inform basic theatrical performance.

Mr. Doppo Narita
Doppo Narita's main discipline is acting and has been a stage performer for over 20 years. Prior to receiving his theatre education at the University of Tenessee, Doppo had graduated from Nihon University, College of Law in 1991 with a Bachelors of Law. Doppo has also been educating for 7 years now. He is a licensed educator with the Japanese School system which focuses on a “homeroom teacher” concept; where one educator guides the students throughout the schooling year. His style of teaching focuses on creativity and imagination, developing problem-solving skills and practicing critical thinking.

On the first day of 2014
Revelation hit me. Found out that I want to be an actress, so much more than a film director so I have roughly planned the things I want and must to do in the next 3 years. 

One is, I began searching for acting schools that provides weekend short courses. That's how I ended up in The Actor's Studio Academy at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center!

Theatre acting and screen acting are different, but both can be related and helpful so it's great!

Week One
All the world's a stage and all the men and women are merely players.

For the past Saturdays, my schedule is almost exactly like this; music lessons in the morning, acting lessons in the afternoon, driving practice right after the acting class, etc. ^^"

My parents has been really supportive but my mother complained that I have been exhausting myself, taking multiple courses at a time as well as skipping grades amongst others.

I always felt I have wasted too much time, that's why I sort of like fighting against time!
Always sleep deprived but I have no choice.

"Great things do not happen. They are made to happen." - John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the USA.

Anyway the day before the first class, I was overwhelmed by excitement until I couldn't focus my music theory exercises, ended up just revising a little. I couldn't even sleep. ._.

But I am not tired at all because I am so happy that all that tiredness went away!

I feel blessed that I am able to do something I like and am honored to be a student of Doppo Narita. He is a professional Japanese actor and I'll refer him as Doppo-san throughout this post!

What I've learned on my first day of class?
The passion of acting is always in me since childhood but it is also something foreign to me as I did not realise it until this year. I have learned that I need to relax more to overcome my nervousness. Doppo-san told us that even though he has been a professional actor for years and have acted on hundreds of stages, he still felt some kind of nervousness every time. It is normal.

I always know it is okay to feel nervous and audience usually can't tell that but I am still not that great at controlling it so I must work harder.... D;

My acting instructor also emphasises on space and harmony. He advises us don't be a stubborn actor or actress, we must always work and harmonise with the scene and other casts!

Another one, I don't like to keep an eye contact with guys. This one not really found out, always knew that I am bashful, not comfortable or not used to be with guys. Pfft.

This is bad and I must change if I want to be a professional actress! T_T

"Acting is not acting. Acting is reacting. And listening is most important in acting." - Doppo Narita.

PS. Couldn't agree with him more that listening is most important. I don't have much photos to share because I really focus in class. That's also why I am able to write this post up lol.

What did we do on the first day of class? 
Well, since it's the first class, we did light activities or "play" in his words :D We played theatre games like finding and feeling the centre of body, walking and running to feel space and people, focus exercises such as pass the ball, clap pass and jumping and trust exercise which is...driving? 

In a group of two, one is the driver who controls the car and the other is the blinded car. Doppo-san will be the one who decide the speed and no one stops unless he said so! Can you imagine the one who's acting as the car being controlled and runs across the studio with eyes closed? 

We also did scene creating activities, each of us would be randomly given a first dialogue and last dialogue in a pair and individual acting utilising the door, creating our own role and scene.

One of my coursemate, an Italian man, acted as a train passenger in everyday life which is really strong and stands out! I still remember it until today and I liked his acting! Acting vs. Realism!

I wasn't sure what to act but I acted as a thief in the end, breaking into fashionista's home inspired by Bling Ring. Doppo-san said I need to visualise more and feel the invisible jewelries!

Don't know what else to write already so week one ends here ^^ 

Off topic: Deda, the academy's admin is kind and helpful. =P

Week 2
Several more joined us in class but our class is still small. My Saturdays have been a pure bliss because I am always having fun. It really feels like play time to me. ><

On this week I remember one of us asked our acting instructor "Is Acting Healthy?".

I don't remember every word Doppo-san answered him but I think it depends. He said actors must know how to release the character and don't hold on to it, otherwise we might feel depressed or end up mentally tired because always cling to it, unhappy or something like that.

He also said if we happen to always get a certain role only, don't feel sad about always getting the same role. We also must know how to control it or it'll be unhealthy.

We did pretty much the same things as the last week but I did something I never thought I could!

This week I acted as a refugee wife and I cried for one of the scene. It just came naturally lol. I always thought I couldn't cry in front of people because I never liked showing my emotions.

And when I actually sobbed hard during the scene, I feel like bursting into laughters as I was amused by myself but fortunately I manage to hold myself from laughing haha. *-*

Week 3
This week our acting instructor introduced more theatre games to us. They were really fun. Loved the trust game, which is fall and catch!! It feels so good and we also managed to lift each other up by just using our fingers. No kidding. Lifting one person's body into the air, by using only fingers!

I particularly liked the walk slowly and don't lose eye contact activity because it helps me to become less bashful in maintaining eye contact with people!

Another game, vocal related, we needed to make noises, whatever noises ... I didn't know which noise to make so I meowed all the time and I swear I never meowed this much my whole life.

For the scene activity, I learned that I should move more. Also, to create more impact, we must set feel to the setting, don't rush to start or into scenes, said Director Sesha. ^^

Week 4
My favorite position because it look like cat position haha.

This week our acting instructor taught us vocal exercises and it is hilarious because there are many unusual positions. ;x I also cried this week but this time, it is real, pure crying tears.

He asked all of us to prepare a monologue. Something angry or sad but must be own experience. I don't get angry easily so I choose to present sadness.

I don't really want to talk about it because I might just cry again but it is about loneliness and always being on my own.

I never tell anyone about what I told him on that day before so I couldn't hold my tears and cried but fortunately it didn't stop me from presenting my unscripted, impromptu monologue.

Doppo-san praised that I am already an actress as he can really feel the loneliness in me. Hopefully not out of comfort as I am crying lol. He said he liked that when I cried, I didn't stop talking (I just told him whatever is in my mind) and he said it was really natural but I wasn't acting. *-*

In the end, he also told me that actors are always lonely. I guess I kind of understand so... actors and actresses have to be strong.

What I have learned and reaffirmed? Don't show or reveal your true emotions in front of people. I always believe in staying low profile and keeping personal life private. ;)

Week 5
I don't remember what's on this week but below are my personal notes.

Lots of experience
Channel
Use imagination
Project it

Free ourselves
Reading week
Only put in actions afterwards

Staring/Use emotion/Feel it
Be natural 
She looks like a queen/authority/princess
Feel the drama. Its beautiful.

I find myself emotionless when I stare into people's eyes but sometimes hilarious, all sorts of emotion if I manipulate myself or be imaginative.

Sometimes also go in sync with people's facial expressions.

My acting instructor is really good at acting. Hope I can be like him someday.

:D

Week 6-8
William Shakespeare's Complete Plays. 

Stay calm and perform.

Unfortunately, this post is incomplete... Initially I want to write my 2 months acting lessons in a post but now I am unable to due to hectic/random schedules >< I really enjoyed this workshop, met amazing people, learned a lot and it was certainly one of my happiest days in 2014... Thanks for having me!! *Will try to post the last weeks if I can...*

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