…don’t train much.
True or false?
I ran into a friend recently at Freehold who was teaching a class, and she noted that she and I were among the few Seattle actors (stage) who continue training mid-career. Last night I bumped into an actor friend who shared a similar sentiment – Seattle actors don’t train once they are working regularly – while telling me about a summer class she was looking into since some auditions did not pan out.
Now, it’s true, it’s difficult to WORK and TRAIN at the same time. If you, as an actor, are always working, first off, WELL DONE, and second, perhaps this post is not meant for you. But, read on…
I have been acting AND training since graduating from college in 2000. A lot of my “actor education” comes from doing, but plenty more comes from training in a classroom under the instruction of a teacher. In class you get the opportunity to completely screw it all up while working in a safe and supportive environment. In class the risks can be high while the stakes remain low, which makes discovery painless and plentiful. I love training. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come under the tutelage of Larry Ballard, Tom Todoroff, Nike Imoru, and John Jacobsen (to name a few). And, after a completing a course under the instruction of the aforementioned John Jacobsen, I opened a show with Book-It Repertory Theatre, and received the best responses to my work yet. Coincidence? Perhaps…
One thing I have noticed is that Seattle “film” actors seem to seek out training more often than “stage” actors. At least it seems that way to me. Either way, I want to stress how important it is to continue training, even if it means taking a break from the stage or the set for a bit. Sometimes, just taking a break to experience life (take a vacation, learn something new, spend more time with loved ones) is important to recharge the soul and nurture creativity.