Acting Masterclass with Kristine Landon-Smith – Day 2

“I have to admit, I was a bit thrown by the number of games we played on Monday, and today they just seemed to increase! I’ve never been good at any children’s party game, and since regrettably at my 7th birthday party where I made all the winners cry, I’ve excused my dislike for them by telling hapless friends that they’re simply a societal conspiracy created to rob children of creative childhoods and prepare them for the rat race. Kristine kept telling me to make eye contact, saying ‘you’re not PLAYING, Isobel’, and I thought rather grumpily ‘Well of course I bloody am- I’m here aren’t I? And I haven’t tipped all the chairs over or hidden the ball…’. What eventually, by today, managed to permeate, was that not only was I failing to communicate with the other players, I was failing to enjoy the interactions between us. This was confusing until I remembered why I began acting in the first place, before it became a constant negotiation powered by my rapidly inflating and deflating ego… because it was fun.

Without savouring the gifts that another actor gives you, a scene is basically a series of disjointed monologues, and if you’re doing a monologue without the internal acknowledgement of the the effects your words have and the human responses which arrive from them, then it’s a soliloquy, which let’s face it, only happens when you’ve lost the plot and feel the need to have a little chat with yourself anyway… Real life is not scripted, and therefore if art is to even slightly dare to imitate life, then the unknown, the unsure, must be celebrated rather than feared. Kristine has shown us that an audience does not find it exciting to watch “some actors on stage say some stuff”, what fascinates them is to watch as a dynamic develops between the actors.”
Isobel Mascarenhas-Whitman – Actor

“Kristine’s approach has radically shook up my own preconceptions, and it has been such a freeing and positive experience to have that individual interaction with a director to better understand what I can bring to a rehearsal process as an actor. Through play and improvisation, and also through watching the fellow participants I strongly feel that, as a performer, one must always be open and willing to engage to create true and present performances. It’s incredible how much has been achieved in only two days, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what the rest of week will bring!”
Harjoat Bhella – Actor


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