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© Jeffrey Marcus, 2015 | Site implemented by HEAVE
25th of January

Should an actor study with more than one teacher at a time? (from a question posed to me by ‘Backstage’)


Not necessarily more than one acting teacher at a time however…

First of all, I am heartened by this question. The thought of someone caring about their craft enough to want to work with numerous teachers already lets me know that the actor is not only disciplined, but aware of the motto “knowledge is power”.  To have true power as an actor necessitates that you know your craft.

 I heard one popular audition ‘teacher’ in Los Angeles poo-poo technique, made the class laugh at Stanislavski’s photo, and mocked ‘knowing your objective (i.e. your paycheck! Ha ha.).  If you took ‘cold reading’ from this poseur, you would be getting mixed messages when you study with a real educator.  I think there are teachers for one-line-day-players, and teachers for actors that play complex roles.  There are no shortcuts to great acting.  Mediocre acting can be done by many – great acting by very few.

Take an acting technique class.  If you have the time and money – take a voice class (yes, Scarlett, even in movies and TV where you are mic’d).  If I had a STARmeter point for every time I’ve heard that an actor’s inner work was good, but it wasn’t reaching the camera due to a lack of vocal vitality – I’d be Ryan Gosling.  Take a movement class (Feldenkrais, Alexander, Yoga, Martial Arts, Dance, Movement for Actors, etc.) to release the tensions in your body. It is important to be supple vocally and physically for the deep emotions you’re feeling inside to be expressed. Take improv to free up your impulses and trust the moment.

Choose classes that enhance the acting work, much like a Conservatory.  Only… you get to pick your teachers, your hours, your course of study and you don’t have to live on campus or build sets!

The various classes that you choose must enhance one another.  Meisner and Strasberg technique are fantastic for your tool belt, but they don’t always compliment one another. Cold reading is another tool in the belt.  I love Chinese and Italian food – I don’t want them on the same plate.  Also, don’t confuse “workshops” with classes.  “Workshops” are to get you in front of casting directors, not to teach you to act (with a few exceptions who happen to be friends of mine!).

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31st of December


The rest of the world is beginning to catch on to what we, as actors, have always known…it’s not about the “resolutions”, it’s about the “intention”.  If we can set an intention to be, rather then the resolution to do – we tend to manifest what we want (and have a better time in the process).  This year, instead of setting “resolutions” that aren’t followed through; let’s set an “intention” of our soul’s purpose!  Our intentions cannot be stopped by bullets, nations, or Hollywood producers. Our soul’s purpose will not stop for depression or laziness or aging.  It allows us to co-create with something larger than our own petty egos. 


When we set a clear and positive intention we become aware – all things conspire to assist us.  Make your intentions big and bold!  I intend to be courageous, more loving, patient, creative, joyful, committed, disciplined, compassionate, playful, conscious, sober, and healthy.


The world (and our families!) tend to judge us for our actions not our intentions – we are not afforded that luxury as actors.  It’s our job to remain open-hearted.  So never judge your characters by their actions – let your intentions speak louder than words.

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