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Category Archives: Directing

From Fiction to Facts

In my life I am moving and evolving… dancing and flirting with acting,  teaching actors, directing actors,  script writing and now documentary/film making. It’s fascinating. And as I move and shift and jump from fiction to facts, from facts to fiction I realise that it is all the same thing… It’s about sharing truth. Because, like the elements, some things just are. To make a good documentry, just as to make a good show, structure is needed. These are some of the things we look at:

(Silence)
Space
Presence
Tempo
Relation
Rhythm
Conflict
Creixendo
Suspens
Event
Transformation
Space
(Silence)

We are born, we exist, we die. Three act structure. Aristotil  made the connection, he understood about the drama of life…

FARC guerrilla women in Colombia

 

I am about to go to Colombia to shoot a documentary called ‘Process of Peace’. I’ll be talking to ex-combatents and victims of the war that are trying to get back on their feet with the help of the ‘Peace Education Program’.

Here is a link to the trailer of the documentary we made in Ecuador about Gang Members moving from crime to doing social projects

And then, two months later, when I get back I’ll be teaching at The Actors Space on the International Summer Theatre & Film Workshops for actors and directors.

And every time it is new. Fresh, exciting, like every single breath…full of life!

Here are three thoughts for aspiring artists:

1/Learn from the best or from those that feel right to you.
2/Practice your art, experience it!
3/Trust your self and enjoy.

And here is book for those who want to write but don’t know where to start form by Natalie Goldberg ‘Writing down the bones’. I suggest you read it slowly, like eating a good meal, savouring each mouthful. It’s a short, easy to read book and it’s so potent that, like a good session of love making, it is good to make it last.

OK, I am done for today, if you fancy exploring your creativity and learning techniques as an actor or director you can come to The Actors Space this summer. The Screen Acting Workshop is fully booked (waiting list only). Only 4 places lefty on The Directing Performance Workshop. Places available on the other Theatre acting and directing workshops.

Wishing you the best creative life.

Cheers!

Marian

 

What participants have to say!

THE CREATIVE ACTOR: “For me, it was one of the most worthwhile weeks of my life and I certainly plan to return next year”. Sheyla Sly.

SCREEN ACTING: Thoroughly enjoyed the Screen Acting workshop! I learnt so much and I felt I developed a part of me I did not know existed. It has helped me prepare for an audition which I was successful in getting. Fantastic direction from Simon and Marian and an absolutely beautiful place to be learning in”. Tara Hodgson

ART OF COMEDY “The wonderful structure of the course, the intelligent and spot on teaching and the beautiful setting made for a hugely positive time. I really couldn’t recommend it more. Thank you to the Actors Space!”. Anna Brooks-Beckman

DIRECTING PERFORMANCE “My senses were filled, my creativity re-ignited and energised. I discovered skills i didn’t know i had. Marian and Simon create a safe non judgmental, yet growth environment that allows each student to feel they are contributing something. I absolutely loved it”. Janine Hardy.

Find out more…

Our teaching – The Actors Space, Barcelona

Marian Masoliver, teacher, talks about the pedagogy involved in the training.

What I like most about our pedagogy is that it nurtures the creativity of the performer and places the actor at the centre of dramatic creation. What is essential in the training is to get the participant to engage with ‘Le Jeu’ (or ‘Play’). Lecoq defines ‘Le Jeu’- “When, aware of the theatrical dimension, the actor can shape an improvisation for spectators using rhythm, tempo, space and form”.

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‘Play’ is connected with making the most of any particular moment dramatically. It is about rendering the moment fully into life on stage. To achieve this the actor has to train their body, imagination and creativity. We do this by exploring the actors dramatic and comic presence and the nature and dynamics of conflict; The push and the pull, contraction and expansion, crescendo, rhythm, space, event… The work focusses in like a microscope to reveal the essence of comic/dramatic situation. We work with the ‘motor’ of each scene. With this awareness  the actor is free to play.

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Also, we ask the question “What do you want to say”? To develop style with no content is a fruitless act. We encourage  artistic risks to be taken and together we seek poetic depths to be explored. We are after all creating work that mirrors life itself.

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We are practitioners who teach. The techniques we share at the Actors Space have been developed from over 50 years of combined professional experience as actors, directors and teachers. What we offer is hands on physical theatre and screen actor training which at it’s core, is inspired by working with Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris.

Ultimately our aim is to empower the actor to create meaningful work. We do this by developing their understanding of all the elements involved, the writing, direction and acting. We call this the ‘creative triangle’.

To find out about our summer workshops click here.

 

Tell the Truth!

 

Monsieur Lecoq (with whom I had the pleasure to study with at his school in Paris) used to say that there were two important things in his pedagogy: Daily life and the observation of nature. I agree, and today in my pedagogical approach and that of  The Actors Space we continue to encourage truthful observation, leading to truthful performance.

When students play in a way that is not true, forcing things, ‘inventing’ play that is not anchored in any reality it makes me cringe. The audience doesn’t relate. And we need to relate to be interested – tell me a story because this story is also my story… and by witnessing it I can see myself in a mirror, and I learn something and I grow…That to me is the power of Theatre. If it doesn’t achieve that it is just an empty demonstration.

Robert McKee says ‘Write the truth’, good advice and a rare practice these days. As artists, we need to tell the truth. Yes, let’s write the truth and play the truth – the world needs it more than ever.

Marian Masoliver – Co-director/ teacher at The Actors Space

 

Come and learn how daily life, observation of nature and deeply connecting with truth is essential for an actor/creator. Choose the right course for you at The Actors Space, near Barcelona. Our workshops and courses are inspired by our work with Jacques Lecoq and from more than 30 years of experience as actors, teachers and directors of Theatre and Film. 

 

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Simon Edwards and Marian Masoliver, co-directors/teachers at The Actors Space, an International centre for the training, research and creation of the dramatic arts, near Barcelona.

The Creative Actor   16th – 24th July 2017 – With techniques originally developed by Jaqcues Lecoq, this workshop aims to release the creative power of the actor using the body, imagination and play.

Screen Acting  28th July – 5th August 2017 – A practical experience that allows the actor to achieve maximum creative expression within the technical constraints of working on camera.

The Art of Comedy  9th – 17th August 2017 – An adventure in comic creation where the actor discovers his or her own personal ‘Ridiculousness’ and learns how to apply it in both comic and dramatic art.

Directing performance  22nd – 30th August 2017 – Participants learn how to direct actors by giving them freedom within a clear structure, guiding them to create their best work.

Early Bird prices available now!

 

‘Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!’ – The Actors Space

XVIII International Theatre and Film Workshops

…what a pleasure to have been doing these workshops for 18 years and always with great, talented people from all over the world! This time the  residential workshops took place from mid July to mid September and were attended by 53 people from 15 different nationalities. It is always a joy for me to teach for such special workshops. A melting pot of cultures, experiences and creativity! This is The Actors Space.  Marian Masoliver co-director/ teacher at The Actors Space

The Creative Actor “A thousand thank you’s for this wonderful week, full of discoveries, exchanges and encounters -I’ll be back! Clemency” Fiot, France

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more info here

 

The Art of Comedy “When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them, is the best thing that could happen!” Yvonne Link, Germany

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more info here

 

Screen Acting “...I’ve come away with lots of new tools ready to start my degree in acting!…thank you again for helping me along with my career!” Imogen Segrave, UK

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more info here

 

Directing PerformanceProfound, enlighting, awakening, liberating…what a wonderful week! Thank you”. Janine Hardy, Ireland.

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more info here

Some acting tips that you will hear from us when you come to The Actors Space (just some…)

Be subtle, connect with the truth and find the depth… Don’t “act”. Whenever someone “acts” it is visible and the audience doesn’t buy it. Remember to listen to the other character (or the space…), this will CONNECT you inside and outside. And of course, STUDY the scene. Who is this character? What do they WANT? What is the OBSTACLE that is not letting them get what they want? What are the antagonistic forces – let them push and pull the character. Look for the conflicts and let the character live in the uncomfortableness. Put the character in the most uncomfortable position and there will be Drama or Comedy (just depending on the register you will play in, or the Play is in).

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Actor Space

During The Creative Actor Workshop

Less is more. If in doubt do less. Listen. Be in the space. Connect with what is going on. Trust. Don’t “look” for the feeling, the feeling IS there. Trust…

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During the Screen Acting Workshop

Some places still available on these Summer International Theatre & Film Workshops

For more information contact info@actors-space.org

 

Testimonial by Ari Nadkarni

I was 23 when I first got to go to The Actors Space and I belived I already knew a lot about theatre. This was quite sweet and naive. My first two weeks with Marian and Simon during ‘The Creative Actor’ workshop killed a fair part of my ego and opened an entire new world of theatre to me, a world that was not so much based on realism as on magical playfulness. Where other people feel that the play doesn’t work, but cannot properly describe the trouble, Simon and Marian find precise words to explain the irritation and also show you how to avoid this irritations in the future. Their teaching is very much from the heart and at the same time impressively sharp-witted.

I came back a year later for ‘The Art of Comedy’, because I was about to direct a Clown paly in Germany. I learned so much during this course, by watching the play and listening to the teachers and slowly starting to understand, why some play mechanics work and others don’t.

I got back to Germany and our Clown play touched the audience to laughter and tears. I also made a production of Molières ‘Malade Imaginaire’. On the first evening we had about 200 spectators (already a lot for a layman group), on the third and last night there were more than 400! Even guests from Thailand who didn’t understand the words had to laugh at the strong and amusing physicality. I also applied at a public university (Folkwang) for Physical Theatre and got into the finals (then they took oher people, damn it! :0) )

I owe so much of this succes to Marian and Simon. Sometimes I hear myself using precisely their words to describe theatre. The Actors Space is a wonderful place to stay, to learn and to go back to, both in reality and memory.

Ari Nadkarni, Germany.

The Excitment of Simplicity!

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while, just a bit too busy these days, writing scripts, directing shows and teaching Mask work to Actors. I must admit, I am having fun.

The other day I was listening to Prem Rawat at his address in Barcelona talking about Success.

Here is how it goes ( and I am paraphrasing): First you have to have the Thirst, then Commitment comes. From your effort comes Knowledge and from Knowledge comes Understanding. From Understanding comes Simplicity which takes you to Success.IMG_7282opt

Not long ago I was teaching a Commedia Dell’Arte class and I felt that I had reached Simplicity in my teaching. It was a very rewarding experience. In this Simplicity, which comes from Understanding, wich comes from Knowledge, which comes from Commitment, which comes from Thirst, there was Success.

Impro: 2 Characters come into a certain Space. The actors come in and they ‘act’, but have no clue what they are doing and why they are there. They are totally uprooted and panicking, pretending that the Character is panicking but I can see that it is not the Character, but the Actor who is struggling to find the play.

-Stop. The teachers help is needed.

Character 1: What does he want?

Character 2: What does she want?

Ask these questions to the actors and help them make the best desitions (make the wants are as far as possible from each other…He wants to ask her to marry him, she wants to break up!) Voilà! The birth of Drama!!

Simplicity is a powerfull thing and it’s so exciting once you touch it!

The prefect gift for Christmas: A Theater Workshop in Lisbon, Berlin or at The Actors Space! 

What do you want to say?

Marian Masoliver Director/Teacher of The Actors Space

In an era where the ‘do it your self’ is possible and happening more and more, I ask a question to creators of Theatre and Film: What do you want to say? And, does it come across? It is an obvious question but let’s think about it: I am going to be putting a lot of energy, time and money in a project that will be, hopefully, received by an audience. I need to consider them! Is it interesting and is it understandable?

As the late great script writer Blake Snyder used to say “a film script should be understandable by a cave man”, Ugg…!!!

It was a privilege to host Blake when he came to run a Script Writing workshop at The Actors Space in 2008. See ‘Save the Cat’, his practical book on script writing structure.

The question ‘what do you want to say?’ is an important one. And more so these days, there is so much to say!!! Theatre and Film has always acted as a mirror of life itself.  What is going on? What do we need to think about? What are the priorities of a Human Being? Simple but so important…

One cannot separate acting from writing and directing. We call it the Creative Triangle, a powerful principle…

There are only some places left on the International Theatre and Film Acting workshops at The Actors Space

The Power of a Tradition

Mollet del Vallès is a city of 50.000 residents on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Plaça Prat de la Riba

The sweet Plaça Prat de la Riba

The people here are friendly, a lot of the population moved from other parts of Spain looking for a better life during the 60’s – 70’s. They continue to speak Spanish but have also integrated Catalan as a common language and everyone seems to live in harmony.

As I walk the streets of Mollet I am aware of the fun, excitement and passion that is in the air (the Spanish and the Catalans are very good at these!)

In 1984 a local artist created the figure of ‘Carnestoltes’, a being half animal half human they say, that arrives in town during the new moon of February every year.

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The great mirror scene.

He represents the rebellion against all controlling institutions (which locally are called ‘Els Poders- The Powers’), these being the Church,The Bankers, The Politicians and the Army. In 2005 another local artist created this antagonistic characters.

Every year since 1984 the Town Hall of Mollet offers two shows to the community, the ‘Arrival’ of Carnestoltes, and, one week later, the ‘Judgement.’

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The friends of ‘Carnestoltes’ are going to trick the ‘Powers’

Taking the 'Carnestoltes' to be judged

He gets captured by the army guys!

The shows are played to big audiences: 1500 people on the ‘arrival’ at the small beautiful plaça Prat de la Riba’ and 3000 people on the ‘Judgement’ at the big Park Pau Casals.

I had the pleasure to write and direct these shows for the past two years.
It has been great fun. I love this city and it’s people!
To me, it is important to come together as a community and celebrate. I am already looking forward to developing the shows next year!
Marian Masoliver, director teacher of The Actors Space
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Female version of the Pope!

To find out about our International Theatre and Film workshops please Click Here

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