Acting Techniques Syllabus

Acting Technique 101

Christopher Herlong

Course Description

This class will focus on presenting the Meisner Technique where an action solicits a reaction. This technique requires an actor to be present and aware in the moment, and focused on their fellow actors. This is then combined with characterization, tasks to be completed within the scene, and interaction that resembles real life. Christopher will work with students to help them gain control over their bodies, breath, voice, concentration, and emotional expression. The end goal is to transform students into more confident, expressive, and audible communicators and public speakers.

Course Objectives

  • BODY CONTROL – Students will develop control over their body, face, tongue, lips, and breathe. Students will also work on refining each of the five senses.
  • CONCENTRATION – Concentration is vital and will become their foundation. Students will develop their ability to complete tasks and be private in public.
  • CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES – A simple lesson about commitment, following through, and the consequences that result from our choices.
  • IMAGINATION – Students will develop their brains and imaginations as we work with imagined objects, environments, and scenarios.
  • OBSERVATION – Students will learn how to observe others in order to recall and reenact their speech, movement, and specific mannerisms.
  • CHARACTERIZATION – Students will work with developing both normalized and stylized characters, along with the relationships between them.
  • UNDERSTANDING WORDS – Students will learn how to better understand their words and to speak with a more meaningful and emotional connection.
  • ACTIONS & REACTIONS – Through both improvisational and repetitive exercises, students will discover that actions can result in many different reactions.
  • EMOTIONAL MEMORY – Students will be introduced to emotional memory and recall, and how certain things and events can elicit an emotional response.
  • STORYTELLING – A large focus will be placed on learning how to speak in front of others, primarily taught through storytelling.

Required Materials

  • Journal & pencil

Journals

Students will be required to keep weekly journals. These journals will include the following, as instructed in class:

  • Important notes and ideas presented in class
  • Copies of text to be memorized for use in class
  • Recorded observations of others made outside of class (walking, talking, personal idiosyncrasies, etc.)
  • Events, memories, music, sound, tastes… anything that may elicit a strong emotional memory or response
  • Occasional written recollection of daily routines and activities
  • Occasional written recollection of an event or personal interaction
  • Future assignments (we do meet only three times over two weeks)

Assessment

Students assessments will be sent home, to demonstrate each student’s level of improvement over the course. Students will be assessed by the following:

  • Their ability to listen and take instruction (The one thing actors do most in the theater is not “acting”, but rather listening.)
  • Completed journals/ scheduled class performances and exercises
  • If waiver is signed, emailed video will be sent to show improvement
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