OUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Since 2015, Actors Door Studio has been training actors to become better character performers based on the fundamentals developed by our founder and Artistic Director, Fay Beck. Her teaching philosophy was formed during her time studying the Meisner Technique at the Actor’s Pulse in Sydney with Billy Milionis, a former student of Sanford Meisner.
Combined with her academic background in philosophy and psychology, Fay used what she had learnt to develop a more nuanced, more integrated and thus truly unique approach to character acting. While holding the techniques of Meisner in high regard, she felt there was room to further expand the boundaries of characterisation she felt were implicit in her own training as an actress.
From her unique perspective, Fay was able to craft a teaching philosophy rooted in helping actors access their emotions directly. This mode of access enables actors to form an in-depth understanding of their own personality, which can be drawn upon when crafting complexly composed portrayals of fictional characters.
Central to Fay Beck’s philosophy is the idea that character is defined by multiple layers of complex and interactive emotions, formed as a response, and in relation to the external world, to events, people and objects within it.
I don’t believe in talent. I believe in the actor’s curiosity and in their constant application of effort to satisfy it.
Fay Beck, Actors Door Studio founder
As instructors of a system and technique, we see our work as equipping actors with a set of technical tools and know-how that they can apply in their work. We aim to foster initiative in our actors and encourage them to discover their own process using tools and methods.
As an institution seeking to develop ground-breaking talent, we invite actors to discover their own boundaries and limitations without imposing ours on them. We see our function with regards to limitation, as a site offering alternative perspectives. We think is how best we can enable the actor as artist, who is always seeking greater mastery, understanding, love and respect for this wonderful art-form called acting. It can be inferred from that, that we hold the view that acting is a constant journey of self-discovery which is done through taking risks. Our courses can be though therefore, as providing the platform for students to explore their range in safety, with respect and with confidence.
DEDICATED PRACTICE OVER TALENT
We believe an actor’s curiosity to develop their craft comes from a desire to continually improve through dedicated application. For us: innate talent or an instinctive ability to act makes little difference in the end. We hold that excellence in the craft of acting can only be honed through practice and commitment to better oneself in the craft. In many cases describing accomplished skill as mere talent can be used as an excuse to be lazy, or to detract from the dedication required to be the best actor you can possibly be.
As a result, in training actors we value dedication and commitment over success in performance. Consequently, our criteria for selection and advancement reflect the priority we place on those qualities above others. Our absentee policy and our guidelines around lateness and student commitment ensure our actors in training remain focused on their acting training throughout their tuition.
BESPOKE TRAINING IN A SMALL GROUP ENVIRONMENT
Our approach to training actors is based on working in small groups which allows us to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each student. We then put together a bespoke plan of action for each actor that will evolve over the duration of the 2Yr program.
We understand that not everyone starts our courses at the same stage of development and each actor responds to methods in their own unique way. This means students do not all grow at the same rate, which is why our ‘bespoke training in small group’ approach is able to produce such effective and long-lasting results.
CUTTING EDGE LABORATORY WORK
Our work as practitioners and instructor has not ended. BEAT is in a constant state of flux. Fay Beck’s ongoing project is to continuously strive to find better ways to refine her methodology with the aim of making it simpler, more direct and more effective. Using performance and the feedback of our actors as barometers, the 2Yr BEAT Acting Course has been designed to include lab and experimental components testing various tools and methods.
Fay’s work currently involves discovering the neuroscientific and psychological bases of her work. Her supposition is that from there she would be able to deliver a safer and yet more effective program to her students. The other assumption guiding her laboratory work is that it will open up more possibilities to interpret works that originate in different theatrical and screen acting styles.
Actors invited to the 2YR BEAT Acting Course will be purposely selected on the basis of their intrigue and curiosity in this kind of artistic experimentation.