with Guest Teacher, Jessica Blank
Dates: Wednesdays, March 6th, 13th, 20th, 2019
Time: 7PM - 10PM
Location: AGR, 15 West 28th Street, 9th Floor, NYC 10001
$299 (ELEVATE member OR SALE)
*multiple discounts cannot be combined
Limited to 12 students
More and more great roles are being written for women, especially on TV. The range we can play is expanding: we get to be military captains, political leaders, detectives, deans and CEOs; women who hold power in their families, their communities, and their workplaces. But as a coach, director and on-camera teacher, I've noticed that a lot of actresses have trouble stepping fully into these roles--and it's not because of any flaw in their acting or lack of access to their own personal power. It's because in the world of auditioning--especially as women--we're taught to make sure people like us. And there's still a lot of voices out there that say if we fully express our power, people might not like us so much. So when we get asked to play high-status women, we unconsciously inhibit our own power, not wanting to be seen as a "bitch"--which gets in the way of fully playing the scene. I've been there-(according to Jen, my type is "power bitch"!)--and it took me a long time to feel fully comfortable playing that, even when the material asked me to. It was only when I learned to drop into power in a scene without inhibition that I started working regularly. Since then, I've coached and directed countless actresses into connecting with their power and inner authority. In this three week class, we'll work with material that asks you to step into your power and tap into that authority. We'll talk through how to get used to playing power while still being an open, easy-to-work-with collaborator, and we'll work with the specific kind of physical life and grounding that enables you to drop into your power on camera.
WEEK 1: STATUS. Each actor will be assigned sides in which she plays a high-status character, and we will work the sides on camera with an eye to how to understand status in your script work, how status lives in your body and voice, instant adjustments to raise your status in a scene, blocks and fears about playing status, and more.
WEEK 2: ANGER. Each actor will be assigned a scene that taps into her power through anger---and we'll get through anything that's keeping you "nice" in the audition room. We'll look at how to drive a scene (and how to tell when the scene requires you to drive it), and also talk about how to make sure any anger your sides require doesn't bleed into your interactions with the CDs and producers in the room.
WEEK 3: Each actress will bring back sides from one of the previous weeks, with an eye toward going deeper into the work and fully prepping the sides so they are ready for use in workshops.
Ages 16 and up are welcome!
You may cancel and receive credit up to 7 days before the start date of the class. However, within 7 days of the start date of the class, no credit will be issued. Due to the nature and structure of this class, you will not receive credit or be able to make up any portion of this class for any reason if you cancel or miss a class after the start date.
Please note: You will not be able to schedule a make up date if you miss one week of a multi week class! Please only register if you can make all of the class dates.
Jessica Blank is an actor, writer, director and producer. With her husband Erik Jensen, she is author of THE EXONERATED, a play based on interviews they conducted with over 40 wrongfully convicted death row inmates across the United States. THE EXONERATED won Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Ovation, Fringe First and Herald Angel Awards; it has also received awards from Amnesty International, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Death Penalty Focus, and Court TV, and was listed by the New York Times as "the number 1 play of the year." It was made into an award-winning movie adapted by Jessica and Erik, starring Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Aidan Quinn and Delroy Lindo. Their documentary play AFTERMATH, directed by Jessica, opened New York Theater Workshop’s 2009-10 Off-Broadway season to rave reviews, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, toured internationally for two years and was nominated for two Drama League Awards. Their new play, HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC (based on the writings of Lester Bangs), under commission at CTG, was workshopped at the Public Theater and the La Jolla Playhouse and recently completed a sold-out run at the Kirk Douglas Theater and South Coast Rep, with Erik starring and Jessica directing.