I hear you screaming, “it must be a cult” but how is that possible…
Personal experience accounts for a lot of why we do and don’t do a myriad of things. For example, the acting courses we choose to attend are based on others and ours experiences, positive or otherwise. And at the end of it all it determines our success of otherwise. We are shaped by these experiences and they absolutely affect our acting in the future. What I have found is there are a lot of acting teachers out there making money when they absolutely SHOULD NOT be. They are poisoning the minds of innocent and well-trained actors sharing their knowledge and experience in their effort to make an extra buck when times are tough. I have been lucky though.
Something happened for me. Recently I was waiting at BBC for a feature film audition to commence and in walked an English girl carrying a huge suitcase. She looked incredible. She was buzzing. I said hello and we started to chat informally. It turned out she had just flown in from LA where she had attended the Bernard Hillers Masterclass. She couldn’t get enough of it and said it was life changing. A week later another actor friend of mine, Felicity
, mentioned the course was coming up, and then in the same week Carrie
(yes another actor) from NY emailed me to say Bernard Hiller was coming to London and he was supposed to be awesome. Lesson learned. I don’t need to be told a fourth time. I enrolled immediately for an audition to his workshop.
Lessons over, the pizza of love has been separated, and life is set to return to normal. So why is it that I don’t feel normal? In fact, I feel the opposite. I feel on top of the world, like I’m walking on a cloud of silver feathers and won’t fall one single centimetre. I am blissful.
So for those readers out there who are momentarily confused by my excitement and elation let me explain. I just spent a stupid amount of money (yes lots!!!) on a course that gave me so much pleasure I thought my heart would burst. Last week I took a whole week out to attend the Bernard Hiller Masterclass here in London. And I am sure I should have spent this money on attending his course much much sooner. Who was keeping this secret from me? Was I keeping it from myself?
It is a wonderful thing to be surrounded by 30 talented actors for 4 days and an even more wonderful thing to be moved by each of them individually over the course of those 4 days as they give their whole hearts to the experience, as I did to them. And it doesn’t stop there. This is just the beginning. This is a movement of little pink elephants who are proudly marching around London, Scotland, Germany, Poland and even further afar spreading the word of what acting is really about. Spreading love and passion as far a field as their collective voices will allow.
I have gained so much personally from the experience I can’t stop smiling. And even when I finally stopped smiling for a second on Saturday night after the course finished, I got onto a red London bus and sat upstairs, and within a few seconds a random stranger asked a guy with a guitar (Paul Sweeney) to play a tune. Within moments a full busload of Brits on their way home were whistling and cheering to his fabulous song. And I’m hoping he’ll put his song in one of my movies down the track. Now that only happens when you have been moved!
If you are serious about acting, then be serious about attending this course. And you may even find if you are really sensible that you will want to attend it more than once. Some actors go back 10-15 times. I hear you screaming, “it must be a cult” but how is that possible. It can’t be a cult if I leave feeling I’m a better person then when I arrived, as well as being happier, more enriched and freer than I’ve felt in years. No, this is no cult. This is simply an acting lesson for those actors who are deadly serious about their craft.
I guess you realise now that this course meant a lot to me. It has propelled me forward with an excited fury that I intend to carry forward into every aspect of my life, not just with acting.
So finally, if you want to move the world with what you do first learn how to be moved. Find a teacher who inspires you and takes you to a new level. Find a teacher who offers you new choices and tells you when you are being a total idiot. Invest in courses that offer you diversity, and that absolutely challenge you, and that don’t involve some silly idiot just wanting to stand at the front of the room and sprout rubbish to you.
And on a personal note, spend every day looking at flowers. They are so much prettier and much much smarter than us (a little Bernard lesson from our class).
You’re a b.a.b.e.
If you want to know more about the course check him out via Bernard Hiller.
And feel free to email me if you have any questions. The lovely Skills4Actors
team arrange the courses that take place out of London. Get in touch now.
And another great interview with Bernard can be found here.