Weekly Actors’ Evening Course – Week 1

Paul Raymond – Participant Actor

The strong narrative of the workshop meant having clear basic principles to apply to our monologues, and how to play the text – play being key. Kristine trumps playing well, playing as the actor rather than the character. Openly enjoying being within the skin of a role, not becoming a different character may lead to purer, more honest performances.

The games promote quick-thinking and natural reactions, trusting your instincts, they show us a framework of rules, and within them is room to play. If you pretend to play, you lose. Actually commit to playing properly, and your audience is captivated, you have fun, and you make your partner/team have fun.

We then used extensive improvisation to help open us up and feel natural with our monologues. We channelled concepts of ‘playing well’ with text and your scene partner in particular in this part of the workshop. This produced some incredible performances of monologues and improvised scenes.

Japjit Kaur – Participant Actor

This is my third time in masterclass with Kristine. Having only attended the first session so far, I am reminded how very easy it is to fall into traps of bad habits, old patterns and things that can very quickly block you up if you are not careful when you are “away”. However, once you do step back into Kristine’s space, layer by layer starts to fall off and you feel free to play again! My question to Kristine just at the beginning of session 1 was: How can I still be amazing when you are not there? I look forward to finding the answer and applying it to my practice in the future.

(We started off with playing some games and by the third exercise, my stomach felt different. I knew I was a bit nervous but hadn’t realized how much till then. And it wasn’t just me, it seemed everyone had relaxed a lot and come together – sharing a common playground. Later whilst working on a contemporary monologue Kris got me to try out an accent I have never attempted before. I didn’t think I could do it (or at least not without feeling a little silly) though I was willing to try. To my surprise I felt really good after the imitation exercise Kris had set up for me. It was scary to start with but very liberating in the end. It was funny and I really enjoyed it!)

This keeps on happening for some reason. I unknowingly keep putting boundaries on what I think I can and can’t do and when I work with Kris, I am surprised by how much I can do. Last time she made me brilliant at performing Woody Allen and now she is bringing an American out of me!

Jamel Rodriguez – Participant Actor

Kristine led us through a series of games and improvs that gradually led to scene work. In the games, we were encouraged to be fully present and to fully play using tactics. By bringing one’s cultural context wholeheartedly to the scenes, from watching classmates and experiencing it as guided by Kristine, it felt like effortless work. I felt as if I was out of my own way and just working in response to the moment, my impulses and other actors in the scene. As this was only day one, I look forward to what the other four classes have to offer!

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