So I taught this really wonderful class last night. My friend and I have founded a new class, we are calling it the Singer’s Workspace- and it is really something I am very proud of. The structure of the class is pretty simple, group of 3-6 people, brief warm up, then everyone gets a 20 minute work-session on a song of their choosing based on a theme (or idea) of my choosing. Last night the class revolved around impulses and the Tony’s. And the thought that if you want to win a Tony, you have to stop stifling your impulses and stop saying NO to your inner voice- say a very loud YES! instead and let it fly. I asked everyone to pick what they thought would be their tony song- and sing it fully impulsively, and we started from there.
I was shocked at the way everyone felt the need to qualify their song choice- 4 very talented women in class and each of them felt the need to tell me why this was not their best song choice for their Tony song. What is it about people, that even when we are given the permission, indeed the assignment, to shine- we find it nearly impossible to allow ourselves the freedom to do it. After each 20 minute work session I felt like each of the 4 women had a moment where they followed a distinct and clear impulse without judgement, and allowed themselves a moment to take recognition for being wonderful.
I am convinced this is the first key to success as an actor. to allow yourself to fully and without judgement follow your actor impulse is the first move. Once you have fully followed these impulses you can then begin to mold and shape them into a character, with actions and definable goals- but first you need to give them an impulsive inner life. And you need the tools to do this for yourself.
It is always amazing to me that the same tools that make you a better actor, make you a better person.