What this Online Acting Class is About
by N J Howell
What is Subtext?
How to Cry on Cue
One-on-One Acting Coaching
Movies Extra Work
Stephen Tobolowsky on Creativity
This is the course description for the free online acting class offered on at the Wellness Library. Please read the intro page to understand more about my approach to the craft, which is spiritual. The Empowered Spirit Class (also known as the power connection) is based on energetic principles. I have nothing against scene analysis, using beats or method acting done correctly. However, I'm far more in tune with the metaphysical aspects of creating characters such as the aspects tapped by acting legend and teacher Michael Chekov.
I love the story of Michael in a stage performance where his character is supposed to be terrified at seeing a a ghost. Michael Chekhov was so good at connecting energetically with both the reality of the scene as written and the audience that, after the show, several people from the audience described the ghost and believed another actor had come on stage with Michael. In reality, there was no actor playing the ghost; Michael Chekhov was on the stage alone.
The Empowered Spirit Performance Art Course Description
The toolbelt of consciousness tapping processes I use to create believable characters as an actor came about through my personal and intense realization that performance art could serve as a powerful tranformative tool for spiritual growth and healing. These performance art processes address physical, mental and emotional restriction and encourage flexility of the mind, body and emotions.
The freeing energy of performance art, in a metaphysical sense, is additionally powerful for healing on other levels of the actor's life. Although a tortured soul may be able to create memorable, dramatic characters, I find the best actors are healthy actors.
Utilizing spiritual and metaphysical principals to develop acting skills, by it's very nature, first addresses personal areas of restriction and limitation, as ways to free the Creative Genius beneath them. The only acting class I teach online is The Level One, Beginning course. This beginning level serves to familiarize potential students with the basic energy and resonance of my approach. Level one provides exercises to encourage creative excellence through metaphysical principals.
Course Information for Level One: The level one online acting class covers what I consider to be four cornerstones of believable acting: the actor's body, the actor's voice, the actor's emotions and the actor's mind.
Feel free to take this online acting class without ordering the book I am recommending. However, I feel that the work of Michael Chekov and the exercises in his books On the Technique of Acting and To the Actor will not only enhance your acting skills but enhance your life.
Acting Lessons for Level One (Best done in order):
Power Connection Performance Art Intro ....... The actor and the body
The actor and the voice ....... The actor and the emotions ....... The actor and the mind
How to be Believable as an Actor ....... How to nail your auditions
Acting Exercises for Level One (Best done in order)
Develop the actor's voice ....... Develop the actor's mind
Develop the actor's emotions ....... Develop the actor's body
If you are already an actor, you may recognize familiar improv exercises or adaptations of exercises you've seen before. However, keep in mind that the focus of this course is metaphysical so your approach to the exercises will be different if you read the instructions and follow them.
If you are not an actor and just want to take an acting class because you wish to stimulate personal growth, increase creativity and explore your emotional, mental and physical restrictions, the exercises may be a little confusing at first and will require a degree of adventuresome Spirit.
The recommended reading materials would be more strongly encouraged for non-actors taking the course, to provide an understanding of the principals of acting. However, such is not required. If you want to become an actor, one of the very best ways to start is by getting involved in community theatre. This is richly rewarding.