Thoughts on Teaching Acting

I have been an actress( Theatre, Film, TV)  and a Director of Theatre for many years and never really thought about the merits of it until I started teaching acting classes.  Why we do what we do and does it really matter or does it matter that it matters etc.....Until one day, I was teaching an acting class, when I had a particularly challenging student in front of me and I had to stop and re-think my approach; what was I going to tell this actress...she was just not very good no matter what I tried to get her to do, she was stiff in her body and her speech and she didn't get what was going on in the script at all, etc.  So I decided that I was simply not going to try to help her be an actress but instead I was going to try to help her be a bit more aware as a person...a bit more sensitive and compassionate toward others and a bit more    self- aware and aware of her surroundings. Magic, she actually stared to have fun and be affected by those around her.  That day my teaching changed soooooo much, I now look at each student and ask myself, "what can I give to this person before me right now, in this moment, what does this person need either as an artist or just as a person standing in front of me"... It gives my teaching so much more life.  That student did a huge favor for me by teaching me a big lesson.

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