In case you're wondering

Responses to the acting-instruction page.
aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

In case you're wondering

Postby aruffo » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:12 pm

This section of the forum is for you to write anything that occurs to you as a result of reading http://www.aruffo.com/acting.

Whether it's about acting, teaching, communication, or whatever else, all responses are most welcome.

koenig
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:21 am

Postby koenig » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:26 am

Hey Chris, where do/did you teach? Also, are you familiar with the book Impro? It's got some pretty unconventional ideas about teaching in general but specifically acting. It was at the very least an entertaining book and it makes me wish that I had even just one teacher that was willing to go out on a limb and try something different...alas it seems I am doomed to taking notes on boring lectures for the remainder of college.

aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Postby aruffo » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:54 am

University of Florida-- and Impro is an extraordinary book that stays on my shelf along with the very few other books that influence my life on an ongoing basis.

I'm currently at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON, Canada). A couple days ago I had the opportunity to give a 20-minute lecture on how to write a scientific outline. It was great fun-- my style took everyone by surprise, and at the end of the session the class spontaneously began applauding. For a lecture. About writing outlines. Heh.

If I hadn't mentioned already, check out John Holt's books (How Children Fail/Learn) and Gatto's "Dumbing Us Down"-- potent stuff.

(Gatto's Underground History of American Education is available online, and it has its high points.)

petew83
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:55 pm

Postby petew83 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:23 am

I ordered a copy of "Impro" out of curiosity. The author, Keith Johnstone, was influenced by the books of Desmond Morris (eg "The Naked Ape"). The concept of "status transactions" sounds interesting.

aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Postby aruffo » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:59 pm

Status is probably THE most practically useful chapter of the book (and not just for theater). He's absolutely right-- everyone has an innate sense of what it means to "play high status" or "play low status". In the show I'm currently directing, it's been amazing how often, to improve a scene, all I've needed to say "play low/high status" with no further explanation necessary.

koenig
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:21 am

Postby koenig » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:48 am

Maybe I should make a separate thread about this but do you know of any colleges that focus on teaching in an outside of the box kind of way? I'm looking at schools now and it just all seems the same. If I'm going to fork out thousands of dollars I might as well learn something.

aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Postby aruffo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:44 am

You're right. They are all the same. Exactly the same. Although I have only a sampling (Boston University, University of Florida, Indiana University, University of Illinois, University of California Irvine) all these are entirely identical. If you get a worthy instructor it's more dumb luck than the school itself.

There is one and only one reason to go to a school that makes you pay to be there: connections. If you are GUARANTEED to make a career-stepping connection, if the school has a DIRECT connection to actual industry people, that may be worth it (think Yale, Cal Arts, NYU, Stratford training). Otherwise, you can find plenty of schools that will pay you to be there as a teaching assistant, and you can learn technical skills such as voice and movement. Overall, conservatories are probably better than schools because you actually perform for audiences instead of teachers. If I knew then what I know now, I definitely would not have gone to acting school (except of course for having met my wife while there. I wouldn't take that back for the world!).


Return to “Acting and teaching”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest