Online Movement & Acting Master Classes

“The reality is that our professional lives are halted, but not our artistic growth. We can read, study, practice, learn… and our disconnection from the public is neither complete nor permanent.”     -Kamal Khan, Conductor

“Acting Bigger”: 90 Minute On-line Movement Master Class

A particular challenge for presentational forms of performance like Opera and Musical Theatre is “making things bigger”. Directors are constantly saying, “I loved what you were doing in rehearsal. It was intimate and connected and truthful…but now we’re onstage and I need you to be bigger.” Suddenly everyone starts to mug, or they begin moving their arms around as if “taking up more space” was the way to “act bigger.” The director sees this messy action that is no longer truthful and says “oh, well, singers can’t act” and they give up.

The 5 Movements of Pure Thought
* Psycho-physical dynamics and rhythms: Visible Dramatic Action
* Making the invisible visible without “acting it out”
* The rapport between the degrees of Muscular Intensity in a gesture with its Duration and Speed to create clear meaning, no matter what language you are singing.
* Muscular Intensity is synonymous with Dramatic Intensity

There is a logical sequence of actions one plays to make the invisible visible. Performers must break down all of their work into this logical sequence of specific actions.

One cannot play an emotion, only an action. Actions come from Verbs. It doesn’t matter if you feel these things…the audience has to see it so they can feel it. 

What is “Moment to Moment Acting” and how to do it?

Role Preparation Master Classes

1) Textual Evidence for Creating Character and Action: 90 Minutes

A simple 6-step technique to mine a libretto for clues to create Character and Action.

We train actors to read a script not simply for storyline, but for Character and Action. Reading “the story” is like me having a complete orchestral score in front of me and only reading the melody line. I am missing a huge percentage of the orchestration. It is the same with the libretto of an Opera.

“An actor must behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”

We want to create Theatrical Truth on stage and not necessarily Factual Reality. We are also looking for ACTION and not DESCRIPTION, and that action must be theatrically compelling, designed to move the story forward and to reveal the characters to the audience.

2) Creating the World of the Opera through the Given Circumstances: 90 Minutes

The Given Circumstances are everything that you know about your character from the information provided by the libretto. We detailed much of this with the Textual Evidence Worksheet from the previous session.

They also include the detailed biography that you create for your character to fill in between the lines.

You need to make strong, clear, specific choices about your given circumstances based on the Textual Evidence; choosing ones that have emotional resonance for you and that allow your character to make discoveries and realizations during the course of the action.

Another simple 6-step Technique, combined with 3 Pairs of Opposing Environments, will allow you to create THE WORLD OF THE OPERA in specific detail.

My often quoted statement, “It is not the day nothing happened to boring people” directs you to dig deeper into the social and political world around the characters, and helps you pivot in the moment when a director’s vision might not require a traditional presentation.

3) Creating Action: 90 Minutes

This Master Classes addresses how to use the Textual Evidence and Given Circumstances discovered in the previous sessions to create Action while working with a Director.

“Objective, Obstacle, and Action” are familiar Acting Terms. Most singers can define them or even describe them, but not actually USE them.

This Master Class takes the mystery out of Acting and makes it “easy as pie” to generate a logical sequence of actions you can play moment to moment, rather than trying to “play an emotion” that might interrupt your singing.

4) Mentoring Stage Directors: 60 Minutes / 90 Minutes

Group Master Classes / Private Sessions

Each 90 Minute Master Class can be arranged as a Stand Alone Session or as a Series.

“I just wanted to thank you for what you’re providing to the Athlone roster. Not only is it a time for all of us to be thinking more in depth about all this while we’re a bit mentally freer (in some ways!), but the content is really good. “ – Sonja Tengblad, Soprano

Contact Chuck for more information and to arrange your Master Classes today.