Enriching Lives through Creativity since 1999

Month: August, 2013

Actingworks Intensive: Day Seven

Today Ramin from Toronto Film Extras visited our actors and answered all their questions about the industry. We learned about everything from the film & television union (ACTRA), to hiring stand-ins for stunts as well as specialty music and sports skills. But more importantly, Ramin gave every actor his card and told them to e-mail their headshots/dimensions to him in order to be considered for background work! Of course, working as an extra isn’t exactly glamourous but it’s a first step!

You can learn more about Ramin and Toronto Film Extras at http://www.torontofilmextras.com.

We also finished our choreography for “All That Jazz” from Chicago and began working on choreography for “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray. Below is a video of my sister and I performing the dance – for practice, not entertainment purposes, I hope.


The actors have been dancing a lot each day. We do ballet technique, which is important in order to improve and gain awareness of our bodies. We do musical theatre and jazz style choreography, as many of our actors will go on to audition for musical theatre productions (that’s how I started acting and dancing). In the afternoon we do our lyrical/physical theatre, which is the work that will most closely resemble the show I will be devising with my company, Peanut Butter People. The cast for this show will be comprised entirely of actors with special needs. All Actingworks participants automatically receive an audition for this show, if they wish. Auditions will take place at the end of October. More details will be released in early September. For more information, please visit http://peanutbutterpeople.com/?p=236


Actingworks Intensive: Day Six

Today we welcomed our new assistants, Adina and Monique, to the group, and they brought a whole new energy and excitement to the work. Welcome, guys!

Participants are starting to learn their lines for their comedic scenes; this is wonderful as it means that we can soon begin to block, which is when we really have fun with the humour in the scenes. All the scenes that the actors are working on are excerpts from plays by Canadian playwright Morris Panych. His dialogue is quick and quippy, and his humour is absurd – and is often derived from depictions of extreme opposite personalities forced to negotiate. The majority of the dramatic monologues are taken from Canadian plays by Judith Thompson, David French, Dave Carley, and Jason Sherman, among others.

We started to do some detail work on our physical theatre piece, Meditations on Loneliness, and the changes were absolutely tremendous. I’m hoping to get some of  our progress on that piece videotaped tomorrow. I’d also love to post new footage of the monologues at their most recent stage in development. Stay tuned!

Actingworks – Day Three

We’ve done some amazing work on these monologues since I recorded these clips, but I was very excited (even so early on) about the focus and commitment to the text that every single actor was able to find. We encourage family and friends to offer assistance practicing monologues and scenes at home, as it makes a huge difference in confidence.

So far three actors have completely memorized their dramatic monologue. Everyone is making great progress, and being very encouraging to their teammates. We try to break down the text into small, manageable chunks – learning a few words, then adding a few more words. Really, it’s no different than anyone would learn a piece of text, except it requires a bit more time and patience. But we’re having fun and everyone seems ecstatic about the ways in which they’re moving forward.

This is a piece that the Actingworks team has been devising for two days. We will continue to post updated clips throughout the week.