‘THE ALCHEMY OF SCREEN ACTING‘
SUMMER SEASON 2016
Alchemy 107: 17-21 October 2016
Alchemy 108: 14-18 November 2016
Alchemy 109: 5-9 December 2016
Fee: £600 (no VAT)
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GETTING IN ON THE ACT
“With TV producers unwilling to take a chance on unknown faces, actors must be able to make an instant impression,
writes Nigel Barrett:
Screen auditions can be an actor’s worst nightmare. They are often made to perform like monkeys in a broom cupboard with a runner trying to figure out how to switch the camera on… There is little way round it but there are ways to cope. I went on a course run by a TV director, Andrew Higgs. His ‘Alchemy of Screen Acting’ course was born from his frustration at seeing good actors not doing themselves justice at auditions. The pressures of TV schedules did not allow him enough time to coach and so the job always went to the actor who was reassuringly closest in their audition to what they could do on set. In response to this, his course encourages actors to take the initiative, no matter how scant the script or direction.
He believes that actors should redefine themselves as “self-directing actors”. And this is crucial. If, as an actor, you bring your own ideas to the performance, building a world for your character – even if you only have one line – instead of waiting for advice from an overstretched director trying to get through a room full of auditionees, you’ve got a much greater chance of getting the gig.
Ultimately, however, it’s up to the industry if it wants to use is to our full potential – but, by taking a leaf from Higgs’s book, actors can display the technical wherewithal and confidence to embrace the lives they have been asked to portray. And there won’t be a monkey in sight.”
Broadcast (10 December 2004)