PALM BEACH ACTING
Live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances of the moment.
At Palm Beach Acting School we take the position that everyone holds
the key to his or her own success. The goal of the artist is to supply
truthful feelings under given circumstances, and to translate dialogue
into behavior and action. Acting is the art of self-realization, where
art expresses human experience. The degree at which the actor will be successful
is directly related to the degree at which he/she can make up meaningful
situations that touch the heart.
In the training at Palm Beach Acting School we will always be working
with imaginary circumstances when we act. Never at any time will you be
asked to disclose something personal about your past or present life experiences.
Acting is not therapy and should not make you sick. However, if you are
working correctly, there is a good chance that you will feel emotionally
exhausted at the completion of a good exercise. Learning to act is about
finding the truth of the moment, and connecting with your partner on a
Acting is not intellectual. It is not pretending, learning how to hit
your mark, talking, doing "cold reads", or simply crying. The emotions
that an actor feels must be the result of doing something for real!
Acting is spontaneous and instinctual; connecting with your partner,
and living truthfully under the imaginary circumstances, moment to unanticipated
moment! Acting is expressing exactly how you feel during each and every
moment. Acting is not how you say the lines; it is how you behave emotionally
while saying them.
Learning to act is much like building a house. First, you put down a solid foundation. Next, you add onto that foundation layer by layer. The approach at Palm Beach Acting School trains you to become a whole and complete actor by laying an unshakeable foundation of the fundamentals all good actors share.
Pay attention to humanity.
No one can give you talent. Your talent is revealed when you exercise
your ability to be affected by the other person on the stage. Don't be
an actor. Instead, be a human being who works off of what exists under
the imaginary circumstances. Bring your understanding and truthful feelings
to everything that you do. Pay attention to humanity and see people as
they really are in life. Don't give a performance, let the performance
Musicians, dancers, athletes and actors all share some things in common.
They must all be disciplined, and they must all train in order to accomplish
anything professionally! People with a natural acting talent are fairly
common, but when that talent comes into contact with serious training it
has a chance to cultivate and blossom. To become great at anything it takes
practice and hard work. The training at Palm Beach Acting School requires
that you rehearse between classes with your partner if you plan to progress.
You simply work on the exercise that we teach, and bring the completed
work to class. Little by little, over time, students make steady progress
through correct practice.
THE BEGINNING WORK
To remain connected and work spontaneously, moment to unanticipated
At Palm Beach Acting School you learn to tell the difference and train
the way that all good actors work. The first step in this training is to
be introduced to someone whom you may never have met before, the other
person on the stage! Perhaps unfamiliar territory for some people. An entirely
new situation has presented itself to you. What do you do at this point?
You start to build your acting by taking the attention off of yourself,
and by listening to and putting all of your attention on your acting partner,
so that you may discover what "being connected" can do for you emotionally.
The very first thing you will learn in the training at Palm Beach Acting
School is how to listen. Actors are taught first to listen in order to
pay attention. By putting all of your attention on the other person you
are able to stay connected. We begin with a repeating exercise in order
to keep students from thinking of something to say. By repeating what you
hear you become spontaneous, and work on impulse. Listening allows the
actor to remain focused. You learn to listen to be more natural and human,
and live moment-to-moment.
During this exercise, each repetition is always off of the last moment.
There are only two ways to change this repetition exercise. A true feeling
the other person causes in you, or a real change in the other person.
Always be in search of the truth. Both specifically & emotionally.
Once an actor learns how to listen, he/she is asked to RESPOND TRUTHFULLY.
At this point the actor answers specifically and personally in a way that
is truthful; in the moment. Since acting is done on impulse, actors are
taught to give true responses, and feel real emotions. The training at
Palm Beach Acting School demands that you never have a predetermined feeling,
or planned out way of doing something. Don't be logical, or conventional,
and take time to express each and every moment. An actor's language is
his/her emotion, and an actor's faith is the ability to believe in imaginary
circumstances of the moment.
PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW:
To give your true gut response, or say nothing.
After the actor learns to LISTEN AND RESPOND TRUTHFULLY, he/she is permitted
to have a PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW. You have to have a point of view when
you act. If not, then all that is left for the actor is to fake, force
or indicate how he/she feels. The actors who train at Palm Beach Acting
School have to abandon their everyday politeness and the practice of hiding
their real feelings. Always permit your real personal point of view when
you act. Always give your gut response, or say nothing. The actor now has
something truthful and human to build on. You train to take everything
personal and express how you feel about the given circumstance on a human
level. The actor who is the most human will always get the part over the
actor who is just emotional and a real point of view enables his/her humanity.
Be a detective of the other person's behavior.
This is what allows you your freedom when you act. You should want to
become a great detective of the other person's behavior. You should never
want to be accused of not noticing the other person on the stage. Now that
the actor knows how to LISTEN, RESPOND TRUTHFULLY, AND HAVE A PERSONAL
POINT OF VIEW, he/she learns to NOTICE THE BEHAVIOR OF THE OTHER PERSON.
You are building a foundation at this point. This is how everything stays
connected, and the acting remains spontaneous. This is how we train at
Palm Beach Acting School.
The training at Palm Beach Acting School demands that you be specific
about the other person's behavior and how it makes you feel, so that the
conversation is not just black and white. How does the other person's behavior
make you feel? You won't know if you don't notice it. How do you feel about
what you see and hear? Remember, people function differently in life, they
lie! Be specific. Don't say, "You make me feel bad". Instead, you might
say, "You break my heart". This is more specific and to the point. By always
being in adjustment to the other person, and permitting your true emotions,
you are able to let out something of your real humanity when you act. The
exercise now begins to take on the structure of a scene.
Just be truthful.
When you act you are always DOING something, or coming to get something
from another person. What ever you do at this point it must be truthful.
Really doing something is very important in acting. There is feeling that
comes out of really doing something even in imaginary circumstances. Every
aspect of acting has the problem of doing something for real. You train
to do something under those imaginary circumstances but you do it as if
it was real!
THE REALITY OF DOING:
Simple human truth always works!
Live it out for real and the emotional life will follow. Emotions come
out of what you are doing. Simple human truth is what makes emotions work.
They are the root about the imaginary circumstances, and having a free
use of what exists and how you feel about it.
DOORS & ACTIVITIES:
Help you find the truth of the moment.
These doors and activities must always be rooted in a human truth!
There must be a struggle to bring you to life.
This is where we add what we call a totally independent activity to
the training at Palm Beach Acting School. The activity is a physical project
to complete. It must be totally independent from everything else going
on in the moment. Really DOING the activity should fill you up emotionally.
The activity must be difficult; the person performing it must have a strong
emotional reason for doing it, and have a time limit for getting it done.
All this generates behavior and places the student in a tough spot. A struggle
to complete the activity should cause a frustration and bring you to life
under the imaginary circumstances. Where there is struggle there is life.
The struggle of really doing something for a strong imaginary reason is
what scenes are made of.
Doors and activities help you find your way through a part by exercising
your humanity. They are meant to clarify how you would feel in a particular
circumstance. Always fill in for yourself so that it gives what you say
meaning. Let your talent and instincts take over. Never do the activity
at the expense of working off of the other person.
Find something that means the world to you and build the activity around
it. There should always be something hanging in the balance. Like a reward
for completing it, or a penalty if you fail at it. How you feel about your
success or failure with the activity will come across in how you relate
to your acting partner as you work moment-to-moment.
Having a strong emotional reason for coming.
While one partner performs the activity, the other partner is coming
to the door. Just like the activity, the person coming to the door must
have a strong imaginary reason for being there. The training at Palm Beach
Acting School gets you doing what you will always do in every acting job;
living out a meaningful imaginary circumstance. The person coming to the
door comes for something specific, a physical object that belongs to the
other person and cannot be gotten elsewhere. Also, like the activity, the
object he/she is trying to get must be totally independent of everything
else going on in the moment. He/she must have a strong emotional reason
for needing this object. You don't think about your reason, rather it's
something you feel strongly about.
WORKING OFF THE OTHER PERSON:
Taking all elements and building them into a single habit of working.
Working off the other person takes all of the elements previously described
and turns them into one fluid, organic, truthful, human action. Working
off the other person means to listen, notice the behavior of your working
partner, allowing what you see and hear to affect you emotionally, then
freely responding, in the moment, permitting your personal point of view
and truthful behavior. That's quite a lot to do, and it takes quite a lot
of practice to do well. But with those characteristics as your foundation
when you act you stand out above the actors who merely indicate or fake
The purpose of the exercise is to practice working off the other person.
While this exercise is going on, by working off of the other person very
specifically and on an emotional level, students turn every exercise into
practical experience in acting. The exercise gets students working moment
to unanticipated moment, noticing the behavior of the other person, freely
responding and permitting a personal point of view, all at once, organically
and humanly. That's a lot to build into a single habit of working, but
when actors do those things something truthful will happen every time they
work. This is what makes a scene play out like a real event happening.
You will always be required to bring a strong reason for coming to the
door, and a strong independent activity to each class. As you progress
through the training at Palm Beach Acting School, your reasons for coming
to the door and your activities become more difficult, and more emotionally
demanding. Always invent meaningfully around your imaginary circumstances,
having a personal reason for doing everything that you do on stage. This
sets a habit when you act, the same habit that all great actors share;
to make the scene personally meaningful.
THE INTERMEDIATE WORK
A self stimulation of your emotions.
Emotional preparation demands that you strengthen your imagination.
This is a self-stimulation of your emotions, where you are required to
use all of your senses when acting. We teach this so that the actor will
show up on stage totally full emotionally. In some circles this is called,
"making an entrance". Emotional preparation makes clear that you've just
come from someplace meaningful to you. Ironically, emotional preparation
has nothing to do with what is coming up in the scene; it only ensures
that you're prepared to be emotionally responsive to whatever you encounter.
By practicing coming from someplace specific and meaningful, to someplace
specific and meaningful, the actor is trained to be 'on' from the start.
At Palm Beach Acting School many actors find that this is a turning point
in their training. After taking an emotional preparation class, many people
discover that they can't wait to get up and be in the moment emotionally.
From this point forward, every time that you get up to act you will prepare
emotionally. (Emotional preparation is basically only used for the first
moment of the scene or exercise.)
When people go to a play, or to see a movie, they get caught up in the
moments that move them emotionally. They might not remember the actors'
or director's names, and they may not remember everything that was said.
But, most people remember how the experience made them feel!
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP:
Must always know who, what, when, where & why ... but never
how you will act!
While doing these exercises, a relationship between you and your partner
is required. Who are you to each other? Are you husband and wife? Are you
boy friend and girl friend? Or, are you brother and sister? Do you have
a painful past history? Whatever the situation, it must have a strong emotional
What ever is happening in the moment is always more important than any
story or set up. Always know who, what, when, where and why. But, never
know how you will act in a given circumstance. How you will act must always
be spontaneous and moment-to-moment.
You must know specifically how you feel towards your acting partner.
You must know if the last time you saw each other was a good experience
or a bad experience. This affects the way you feel and behave when you
see your partner for the first time. You must always know the situation
and it must be, like all elements in acting, specific and meaningful.
Silence is absolutely golden.
What you say means far less than what you feel. In fact, without feeling,
what you say when you act is meaningless. You will learn that there is
no such thing as "nothing" on the stage at Palm Beach Acting School. Silence
always has a meaning. Sometimes it is what you don't say that makes the
situation meaningful and truthful. The training demands that you explore
different things to discover what affects you and in what ways. Every great
actor has developed a powerful imagination. The truth of the situation
will always dictate the depth of emotion and meaning the actor is required
to bring to life. The discovery of what is emotionally meaningful to you in
your imagination is a powerful tool, which will be employed every time you act.
Always pick material based on how it makes you feel emotionally.
The exercise you learn in the beginning work evolves into an improvisation
that is used in problem solving at Palm Beach Acting School. Every scene
presents a certain problem that the actor must work out on a personal level.
Additionally, the director may ask you to do something in the scene which
you may not understand, so the improvisation is used to find a personal
way of bringing meaning to that which you have been directed to do. The
dialogue is there to support the action of the scene, or the "doing".
Scene work and auditions begin with a first readings or "first rehearsals".
Everything that you learn up to this point will be needed when you begin
your first readings. First readings, also known erroneously as "cold readings"
must be fully, artistically executed. This is what you do in all of your
auditions and with every acting assignment. Getting the actor to bring
a clear, fully understood performance to the writers' text, from the start,
takes practice and lots of it.
Always pick scene material based on how it makes you feel emotionally.
Fill in the spaces between the lines where the acting takes place. Find
the reality and truth of the scene. Let the circumstances unfold and play
moment-to-moment as the playwright intended. The spontaneous unplanned
feeling is best when we do scenes. The behavior must be supported by the
words. Let the dialogue ride on top of the emotion. It is never about the words. All scenes must
be done with a real point of view of what it is about. The scene is not
made by being emotional; it is made by being human!
IMPROVISATION TOWARDS A SCENE:
To clarify for yourself how you feel about each moment.
This is a technique at which the actors have already done their first
readings, and are now ready to work on the scene. This is to find out how
you feel about a scene. The IMPROVISATION is set up much like a regular
exercise, with a strong situation that is in parallel with the scene. Improvisations
should take you in one direction and the scene in another.
In the improvisation, once connected and working off of each other,
the actors are asked to throw in the dialogue, or even make it up. Doing
a scene in your own words will help clarify each moment and how you feel
about it. What is the human aspect of the scene? This clarity will come
out when you do the scene with all the writers' words. The idea is to maintain
the emotional depth and behavioral responsiveness of the exercise while
listening to and answering with the authors' words. When the actor is freely
responsive as a matter of habit, bringing the text to a state of truthful
human behavior is nearly automatic.
The approach at Palm Beach Acting School asks you to get in touch with
what is inside of you and to bring it out for everyone to see! There is
nothing more personal than how an actor relates to a scene. Give yourself
over to the reality of the situation. Fight for the right to make mistakes,
and give yourself permission to fail. This is how you learn. Who ever learned
anything by getting it right every time? It is in this spirit of experimentation
at Palm Beach Acting School that leads the student to finding his or her
own personal artistic understanding to every acting assignment.
THE ADVANCED WORK
Live out your dreams & desires on an emotional level.
To end up someplace you have never been before. Like rising up out
of the ashes and saving the world!
Further into the training at Palm Beach Acting School we will work on
FANTASY exercises. This is where you have the chance to live out something
fully. A fantasy is something so personal that you may never perform it
in real life. Fantasies come from your dreams and desires. Living out that
fantasy opens you up artistically in a way that no acting exercise can.
The circumstances are personal to you, which you must make in every scene.
They're real to you, which you must make in every scene. They emotionalize
you, which you must make in every scene, and they're really happening to
you, which again, you must make come to fruition in every scene you're
ever asked to do.
Fantasies are sometimes used to prepare for the emotionally demanding
What separates the amateur from the professional...and if you can
do these, you can do anything!
SPOON RIVERS refers to a book of poetry written over a hundred years
ago by Edgar Lee Masters, title The Spoon River Anthology. These poems
are all spoken by people who have since passed on, and sum up their lives
from the unique perspective of being able to see their lives as whole and
complete. Some are angry, some desperate, some elated, and others reveal
the depth of depravity in the human condition. All are deeply felt, as
these speeches are the stepping off point to heaven or hell as the case
may be. By tackling a large section of dialogue then living out fully,
and emotionally, the human truth of the circumstance of these people's
lives and deaths, the actor learns how to handle a speech, or "monologue"
in a way that is personal, artistic and imaginative. This part of the training
is what separates the amateur from the professional actor!
Spoon Rivers are done so that the actor is more interesting and believable.
Every moment must have absolute clarity. By always having one clear point
of view from beginning to end, the actor knows who he/she is talking to
and why. Every speech must be filled with emotion, and is a human experience
that must be lived out fully.
At Palm Beach Acting School, this is where you learn to do character
work which comes from how you feel about something, and how you do what
you do. A character is anytime that you alter your straight behavior. Don't
try to be the character. Instead, you create a living human being in all
the complexity of his/her character and behavior. Once you get to the life
of the speech, it always comes out better than just memorizing the lines.
When you talk out a speech for yourself, and make it your own, it becomes
Like Emotional Preparation training, many actors consider Spoon River
studies as a major turning point in their training. Like scenes, Spoon
Rivers are performed with everything you have learned up to this point.
They require the very deepest emotional preparations to perform. Most actors
find it as the hardest part of the training. However, it is what every
student works towards...becoming a fully trained actor! If you can do the
Spoon Rivers to the degree demanded of you at Palm Beach Acting School,
you can do anything!
To stand head & shoulders above the rest!
Everyone learns at his or her own pace, and there is no time limit involved.
Students who work with this much acting intensity are usually very supportive
of each other. Rehearsals with classmates between classes are mandatory
if you plan to become a professional actor. Talented people are immediately
drawn towards this type of acting awareness. Others are disinterested when
they discover that the training requires discipline, and hard work, and
that the actors are having true experiences with real emotions. Many just
can't go there. The program at Palm Beach Acting School guarantees that
you will either learn to act to the very best of your ability or that the
real demands of acting are not for you.
This is how most professional actors work. Students who have trained
this way stand head and shoulders above the rest!
Finally, as a performer you will want to be recognized for your achievements.
Those who see your work, do so for the theatrical experience. They will
remember how you made them feel!
Therefore, create a performance which deals with human emotions, and
heartfelt stories. People will want to learn and grow from being exposed
to your work...and to become better members of society!