Hi, my name is Martin Condon and I am an actor living and working in Irealnd.
I first went to study and play at The Actors Space in 2009 and have returned every year since. Testimony in itself I think of how incredible the place is.
I use the word ‘play’ becuase it is through the principles of ‘play’ where the work truly comes alive. And this is possibly one of the most important principles I have learned at The Actors Space, beacuse whether it’s a heavy dramatic scene or a ridiculously fun clown piece, if the actors stay within the spirit of playfulness the truth of the work cannot but emerge. I think this is one of the greatest pitfalls that many actors succumb to and something that kills all creativity. There are many reasons for this such as, trying to hard to get it ‘right’ and forcing it , taking ourselves and our work to seriously and forgeting that we are ‘playing’ and it’s only when we are open and free do we alow the magic to hapen. This is the number one thing that I now always try to remember when I approach a new piece of work. This is what Marian and Simon religiously teach at The Actors Space.
Another invaluable principle I’ve learned is a concept called ‘The Gap’. And this concept works in may diferent levels: 1. In releation to oneself (as a character), 2. In relation between a character and another character, 3.In relation between the actor/character and the audience. It has to do with allowing a ‘gap’ to exist pre and post an event which allows for an emotional journey that an actor can live and experience. For example, it is so important that prior to an event happening the actor isn’t already ‘full’ of an already exisiting emotion or state of beeing which prevents him/her to experince it or go any further with it (happiness, sadness, anger etc) after the event takes place. This is equaly true in relation to the artist and the audience, if the chacater is already feeling and ‘showing’ everything to the audience it leaves them cold and unaffected because they are prevented from embarking on any emotional journey themeslves, as the actor is already doing everything for them. There is no ‘gap’ for the audience to taste and experience. If you think about it t is a very self indulgent practice for the actor to engage in. It makes the whole experience about them and not the audience.
Another remarkable thing I’ve also learned and experienced at The Actors Space is what wonderful and incredible work can happen when the actors are given the space and encouragement to just be free and play. I have witnessed time and time again work that has been so powerful, funny, heartbreaking and ‘real’ on a scale that would match a lot of times trump and rehearsed pieces that are considered polished work in many other places. It amazes me what can be achieved when the right principles are put into action and how easily the ‘work’ becomes when we don’t interfere and think we need to fix things, be it over zealous direction by well meaning directors or even the actors themselves trying to force a piece of work.
These are just some of the invaluable lessons I’ve learned at The Actors Space. I know in my heart I am a much stronger performer now (and as a result have received a lot more job offers) on account of my time at The Actors Space whch funnily enough are also some of the happiest memories in life I have. The Actors Space really is a very special, one of a kind place where ‘work’ and ‘play’ fuse into one. I always come away from The Actors Space with a renewed vigor for acting and bubbling with an excitement to get working creatively that I’ve never received from any other acting classes I’ve taken.
The Actors Space in Vic Barcelona truly desrves the right to use this name.
Martin Condon, Ireland.
Martin Condon is one of the most talented actors I have come across. I have seen him apply these principles over and over again at The Actors Space, in what it seems effortless acting… yet the results are astonishing, leaving the audience with an open mouth, such is the power of his performance both in drama and comedy. The principles that Martin talks about in this blog are some of the basis of all our workshops.
Marian Masoliver, director/teacher at The Actors Space, Vic (Barcelona)