"I'm not being hyperbolic, but this was the most beneficial thing I've ever done as an actor. Other classes/workshops/plays/on-camera experiences have been beneficial--obviously--but this was different. This class, or Rich, or the technique, or he combination of those factors, provided for me (FINALLY) with a very, very, very accurate "mechanism for me to be able to know when I'm being truthful or not." Prior to this class, I thought I knew when I was being truthful--I genuinely thought I was being genuine...THAT is dangerous. It's dangerous when you don't know what you don't know. But I now know, with clarity and certainty, HOW to be honest and truthful and truly, genuinely, honestly, and proportionally respond to my partner. I used to overthink my work to the death of it, until there was nothing "live" about it anymore--it was just me up there attempting to recreate the work I had done on it--hitting certain syllables with certain emphasis, pausing at certain beats, making something "sound" like it means something, and I lost the feeling of it. I learned in this class how to genuinely experience the given circumstances, and genuinely experience my interactions with my scene partner.
The crazy thing about this class is that it is only Meisner I, and I'm so excited to get into it more and study acting, and Meisner more in depth. This class has renewed my faith in myself that I can, and should be, in this profession. I'm re-energized, but now, I have a technique to back that up. Where I faltered before in skill and technique, I now have some tangible tools, some tangible pieces to my process, that garner results. MOST importantly, I'm having fun again. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun acting. I can't remember the last time I would get "in the zone" in a scene like I did in Rich's class. And I generally always ended scenes with a smile on my face regardless of what happened in the scene because it was fun again, and it fulfilled something deep down inside me as an actor that I had been missing for a long time. I really can't speak highly enough about this class.
Rich is a wonderful teacher. Rich strikes the very difficult, very delicate balance of "guiding" you to where you need to go--not forcing or shoving or directing or telling, no line readings, no "think this" or "think that," just honest, straightforward feedback about what he is seeing in the work--which is sometimes enough to point you in the right direction, but if the pointing out of what is actually going on in your work doesn't right the ship, he guides you to where you need to go--tweaking circumstances, encouraging truthfulness, and guiding any other way he can to get you to where you need to go. Rich is incredibly knowledgeable about many aspects of acting, and is vastly experienced-and this shows up in his teaching. He has a breadth and depth of knowledge of acting-the study, and the business, that is invaluable, but never "in your face." Some acting teachers are pretentious, some want to belittle, some want to just be heard; Rich is not pretentious in the slightest, never comes across as "teacher-y" at all--it more feels like a partner or very astute peer guiding you along in the process. Which really fosters a great learning environment-because it never feels like you're going to be wrong, or disappoint the teacher or embarrass yourself in front of other students--and all of that led to incredible growth in students."
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