Friday, July 23, 2010

To Those Who Teach

I've been taking an acting class called Committed Impulse, and it has totally put my head in such a wildly wonderful spin. It's like when you're a kid and you stand on your head to get a different perspective, or you look through a kaleidoscope. You see things in a different way...

This class has made me aware of acting habits - good and bad, things that work and things that need to be retooled. I've become especially aware of this as I've been going on a lot of auditions lately, because that's where all this stuff comes into play. It's like finding more pieces of a puzzle, and I feel like things are coming together in an exciting and unexpected way.

I just feel more open to the ride which is seriously cool.

And it's made me think about all the teachers throughout my life.

I was talking about this with my brother a few weeks ago, and we both agreed that there are things a teacher will convey to you that may or may not take hold for weeks, months, and even years later. But the seed has been planted.

True, some of those seeds may not really work for you and need to be weeded out, but I think, with anything, you find what works for you.

And with that, I'd like to give kudos to my teachers, from my parents and friends to my grade school teachers like Mrs. Borden in kindergarten and Mrs. Cloyd in Jr. High who saw my potential as a writer and performer and helped me break through all sorts of barriers. Mrs. Cloyd and I are still friends to this day.

 Wynne Hammond was my first voice coach, and she helped me prep for my first professional gig in "Annie" at San Bernadino CLO. She was an incredible lady who had been one of the singers for The Munchkins for the MGM film "The Wizard of Oz." Her stories about Old Hollywood were amazing!

Krista Elhai, my high school drama teacher, was awesome for her wild-card casting. Dennis Anderson also broke the mold by casting me as a tiny Audrey to a super tall Seymour for "Little Shop of Horrors." They both gave me such unique opportunities to hone my craft. 

Carol Fox Prescott
in New York taught me about "acting on the breath and seeking the joy of your own experience." Chas Elliott, a brilliant opera singer, helped me increase my vocal range and open my mind to music I didn't even know about. Thanks, Chas!

VP Boyle's musical theatre and pop rock workshops absolutely rocked my world and sent me soaring! VP is still a great source of inspiration.

Karen Kohlhaas' work at the Atlantic Acting School is absolutely revolutionary! Her monologue and cold reading classes got me out of a rut and reignited my excitement to keep reading plays.

It's something I loved to do as a kid - just hunker down in the theatre section of my local library and dive into a play. I've been doing a lot of that this past year with absolute revelry! Living next to the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts helps immensely!

It was at the Atlantic Acting School that I heard about Josh Pais' Committed Impulse Actor Training, and I am so glad I started taking his class. Such an incredible workout!

Kudos also to my brother, Sean, who is a drummer, and used to teach drumset to everyone from little kids to doctors. His counsel on the artistry of rock and roll and modern art has been invaluable!

We share the wild rollercoaster ride of art, and it's a comfort to do that together!

I am also so thankful for my husband, Rob, who is a master comedian and has helped me with every comic role I've ever done.

And my friend, Tina Sams, helps me stay motivated about the business side of show business.  Thank you, Tina!

There are so many incredible teachers in our lives, people who appear just when you seem to need them. I've been working with a round-table forum of musical theatre folks lately, and we have a blast helping each other fine-tune our audition material. We all have our strengths and insights to help each other out.

I look forward to learning every day and sharing what I've learned along the way!


Marcia said...

Laura: Youthful wisdom surely beyond your years in 8th grade with talent that simply could not be consealed.Brilliant star,wild mermaid, move forward through the star-studded path the universe has designed just for you, your gifts and the remarkable insight to know how to share yor gifts with all of us; we need you and your exceptional talents. YOU are the brightest star in the universe with others unable to pull away from all you give and all you are as a person, professional and friend. You have treasures waiting for you and, how nice that we all benefit from your willingness to share your friendship, talents and gifts. Love, your friend and teacher (my first yr. teaching no less) Marcia

Marcia Cloyd said...

And, your LIGHT is still shining on me and all who know. Love you Dear Heart! Marcia