An Actor Training Revolution
By delving into the Margolis Method I have deepened my relationship to the art form [of theatre] by recognizing its depth. Conceptually, I understand how arts open into infinite study… working with Kari has etched this understanding into the tangible.
I loved every moment of working on DÉJÀ VU. Unlike other works where I have really loved the costumes or the plot of certain shows, this one I truly loved the entire vision. I think after an experience like this one, it will be difficult for anyone involved to go back to their old methods onstage. It’s because of this I feel it’s important for me to continue my [Margolis Method] training.
Margolis Method is unique because it develops technique for actors to create feelings rather than just pretending to feel things. I think the Method makes it easy for actors to practice their craft and make it their best. Studying the Method this summer will really help me find myself and lead me to understand what kind of actor I can become. My long term goal is to speak to a generation. I want to do something creative and abstract that people can learn from and grow as people. I want to be a Professor in theatre, and through that I want to somehow change the way people look at our world.
Margolis training has given me the most complete and specific ways of sensing, coordinating and gaining command of my instrument…Both in acting and in life, I feel disconnected from parts of myself…Margolis [training] provides me with tools to reintegrate these divorced parts, and makes me feel truly alive as a breathing, thinking, feeling human being in three dimensions.
Working with Kari Margolis on Déjà vu has immensely challenged my original understanding about what theater really is. In the beginning Kari explained that theater is a dying art since cinema is taking over, however, it is the goal of the Margolis Method to recapture the audience’s love for live theater by re-teaching actors how to use their physicality and voices to generate art. By doing so, the actor is training to become a “visual poet” who can speak to audiences everywhere.
Many things about the Margolis Method draw me in to train at the Center. After the workshop, I felt an overwhelming sense of connectivity to myself and a wonderful, deep connection with my work. A deep passion for my art felt as though it had been freed from within me. It had always been there…but there was something about the workshop that let it break free.
As a traditional university student, physical training is lost in the curriculum. It is, in fact, neglected for the sake of book work, and speech training. Although I believe both of these are important aspects of the theatre, so much can be told through our bodies as well. The Margolis Method offers a way to discover storytelling with our physicality, and fine tune our bodies to respond in new ways.
In classes this year, I have begun to establish my connection to my core, but I know I have a lot of work to do. I want to strengthen my core so I have a more solid base to rely on as an actor. By having a stronger core, I will be able to project my acting farther and with more depth than I otherwise would.
I am especially drawn to the mission espoused by Margolis Method of empowering the actor in their craft; both on an artistic level as well as a social one. I feel that as an artist the actor should not be the passive instrument of a director, and physical training clearly empowers the actor in the sense that they are unable to contribute anything they are physically unable to perform. From my experience with Margolis Method at the U of M, I see it as a pedagogy which opens the actor to the immense range of possibilities available to them as bodies occupying space onstage.
The Margolis Method captivates me as a performer, an observer and a human being. The Method provides a vocabulary for an exploration both universal and personal, manifested amongst artists in the collaborative ensemble setting as well as shared in performance. I want to hone my performing instrument. I’m drawn to return to the center because my first experience there was so rich: hours of focused training in a beautiful natural setting with incredible people.
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