As a teaching artist I want to challenge students and push them out of their comfort zone, whilst still enjoying the process. I tell them the first day: The art of acting and theatre can be a very vulnerable craft. If we are unable to step outside our comfort zones, we don’t get very far. It is not surprising that many young actors rise up to the challenge. Group agreements in my rehearsals and classes are simple: Respect yourself and others, try new things, and have fun. With a basis like this we are sure to have a successful class and process.
I don’t consider my classes to be “just children’s theatre” young actors can do amazing things given the proper tools, because of this, I have high expectations in my classes and expect a lot of my actors. I believe as teaching artists it is our jobs to help them rise to the occasion rather than letting them settle and give them the easy way out. We don’t just memorize and recite lines. We need to believe why we are saying them what our motivation is and what tactics are we using to accomplish what we want? I have used multiple self-motivation tools and exercises to get these actors where I know they can be. In turn it also helps them be more supportive of their peers and gain more self-confidence. This does not mean we can't have a blast in the process! In fact, I believe I'm still a kid at heart and I have a high focus of play and fun.
My approach to teaching is simple. Try your hardest and push yourself to be the best representation of yourself you can be as an actor and as a person. Afterall, I tend to follow what Meisner has said; “acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances” so let us live and connect in the world we are living in whether it be in today’s current society or under a title of the play/musical we are working on.