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Acting Workshop for Producers and Directors

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School (AH Account)

About the Course

This course is for experienced practitioners who want to deepen their ability to communicate with actors as well as emerging or first time makers who need to find an approach to working with actors. It is a two day practical workshop for all content creators with actress and dramaturge Nadia Townsend on the language and process of acting. Nadia’s recent projects using this technique include Secret Daughter, Brock, Ready For This, Soulmates and Mad Max Fury Road.

What You Will Learn

Over the last 17 years of working as an actress, dramaturge, theatre director and more recently a filmmaker, Nadia has developed a unique process of distilling the art of acting from a mysterious, ungraspable craft to something very practical, discussable and approachable. Working with small ten line scenes the students will investigate simple concepts of acting and be led through a process that will give them a first-hand experience of what it is to act. Developing a greater ability to communicate with actors and get the results you want, without interfering in the actor’s personal process.

In the same way that a director will have a disjointed and frustrated dialogue with their crew if their understanding of the processes of filming or their cinematic language is limited, so too can filmmakers experience this with their actors.

The outside (filmmaker) experience of a scene and the inside (actor) experience of a scene is often very different this course is designed to help the film maker bridge that gap. Understanding what the actor may need in any given moment and using effective language to communicate your ideas can make or break your scene.

This course will give any producer, writer or director the tools to better identify the actors process and the language in which to engage in it.

What is ‘being in character’?, and the art of pursuing an objective
Moment to moment work, an introduction to behavioural repetition in the tradition of Meisner and David Mamet
Script analysis, overall objectives, scene objectives, action and ‘as ifs Identifying an
objective - giving your actor a clear do-able direction.
Tools to assist the embodyment of the scene.
Identifying your rehearsal process - what do you currently do and how can use the time you have with your actors more effectively

Scene Work -- The afternoon will be spent working on short scenes putting in to practice the mornings work. Script analysis, personalising the text, putting your attention on the other person, being present in ‘the moment’ and the importance of breathing.

Behavioural and Active Repetition - the art of subtext
Moment to moment work - finding the scene/relationships in the physical
Emotion - what is it?, where does it come from?, how can we locate it and respectfully use it to serve a scene?

Scene Work - the afternoon will be spent working on the remaining scenes and further identifying a process that resonates with the maker.


Student feedback:

‘Even though I am a writer and not a director, I found it absolutely valuable and useful for understanding the dynamics of a scene and the acting process. I definitely learnt and experienced a lot and found Nadia to be supportive and knowledgeable.’

‘I learned more in two days than in three years I studied performance. It was sharp, intuitive, insightful, practical & revolutionary in regards to my directing approach.’


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