I am constantly being told about, or noticing, new learning opportunities of various sorts ranging from a one day tasters to full-blown full-time vocational courses - and all stations in between. Of the many whose details have reached me this week two providers have particularly interesting offerings.
First is next week’s Audition Boot Camp at The Actors Centre (there’s one this week too but the details reached me too late to tell you about that). It’s an intensive five-day course for ‘those who are considering a career in acting and want to prepare and hone their audition technique.’ During the week (24-27 August 10.30am-5.50pm), which costs £350, you get workshops with experienced tutors, directors and performers. The promise is that you will emerge with ‘a practical understanding of text and character, basic vocal and movement skills, the art of improvisation and at the end of the week you will walk away, armed for auditions with two polished speeches, one classical and one contemporary, and plenty of tips and techniques to keep you relaxed in audition situations’ Quite something if it delivers what it says it does.
The course is open to anyone with ‘commitment and determination’ and class size is restricted to 12. Further details are on the Actors Centre website or you can email email@example.com or call 020 7632 8002.
I am also impressed by what the Advanced Performers Studio (APS) is offering. It runs regular evening and weekend workshops and masterclasses for professional actors and singers. Workshops run in 5-week courses throughout the year with a maximum of 12 participants who have to audition.
In the past acting workshops have covered Method, Text, Scene Studies from Contemporary Plays at the Royal Court theatre, scene studies, Laban/psychological gesture, Shakespeare, voice, film/TV while singing workshops include
weekly singers’ performance classes with West End musical directors and masterclasses with directors of West End shows.
Naturally APS is keen to tell you that past workshop providers include Big Names such as Hugh Grant, Lindsay Posner, Melly Still, Dominic Dromgoole, Dan Bowling, Joel Fram, Greg Arrowsmith and David Grimgrod. And sessions are held in prestigious venues such as The Royal Academy of Music, Jerwood Space and the Royal Court.
If you are interested APS wants you to send a covering letter and recent photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or there are more details on its website. Failing all that try phoning 020 7381 8569.
There’s a new development at APS too. In January it starts its new three-month intensive course entitled Music Theatre Studio.
The plan is to run this twice a year ‘for 12 exceptionally talented singers, who have the potential and ability to become principal artists’ - effectively a link between training at musical theatre schools and the profession.
The first course will run three days a week plus two evenings from January to the beginning of April 2010.
‘The course will focus on developing and refining the singers’ existing vocal, acting and dance skills, whilst developing stamina. And singers will absorb a wide variety of ideas through our eminent teaching staff,’ an APS spokesperson told me.
It includes weekly individual coaching sessions with a singing teacher and a repertoire coach (West End musical directors) as well as ballet, jazz (focusing on musical theatre routine), Pilates and Laban work along with acting sessions to include method, improvisation, text and psychological gesture. The second half of the course features masterclasses with prominent artistic directors, musical directors, agents, casting directors and performers.
Admission is by audition only and there’s a £40.00 fee. All the details are on the website and/or use the APS email and phone number given above.
As ever, if you want to try training, get into training or retrain there’s probably an opportunity out there somewhere to help you decide what your next step should be - even if it’s only the (valuable) experience of an unsuccessful audition.