Learning to act means learning how to master your body and voice, tuning your instrument so it is ready to embody any situation or emotion and convey that effectively. Earl Kelly showed the ways my physical habits were holding me back, along with the methods to correct them. So I learned to walk again and talk again. I learned how to enunciate, how to breath and how to relax every muscle in my body. Mister Kelly taught how to observe others to see how they carried themselves, how to imitate their movements. He used two actors together, mirroring each other in different exercises to teach us how to work as a unit, how to give and receive energy, intent, emotion and words.
After months of such training, a select few actors were given some advanced training to prepare us for a sponsored trip to New York City, the heart of American theatre. But this was no vacation, it was a new level of training as we completed dozens of assignments at museums, an authentic Gothic cathedral, plays, musicals, reviews and (on our second trip a year later) a film studio for camera acting lessons. We crammed a weeks worth of activities into three days, sleeping on the plane instead of wasting our precious few hours in Manhattan. Needless to say, downtown Seattle seemed to be moving in slow motion when we returned.
Although I’ve only acted on stage twice and have only done bit parts in films, this training has propelled me towards film making, away from earlier career choices, like musician or artist (although I still enjoy these practices as hobbies). As you read this, I am working on the early phases of a new screenplay which I will produce and show at the most prestigious film festival(s) it is accepted to, but hopefully you will be able to see it in a theater near you.
……….But I never would have been here if I hadn’t stumbled into the Director’s Studio and met Earl Kelly so long ago, and learned the ways of the Jedi.