Notes From Nan


The truth is that an actor must always feel comfortable and confident in his or her approach and process of working.  I believe that my job is to expose you, the actor, to the methods and that it is your job to find what works for you.  Over time, three distinct acting methods have evolved: one, “an actor must utilize their own real life experiences,” two, “an actor must live truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” and three, “substitution,” a method which effectively serves an actor as a bridge between his or her imagination and his or her own personal experiences.  Often, acting teachers recommend and teach only one method: imagination, real life experiences or substitution.  I disagree with that theory.  Why?  An actor should decide for his or her self what method or combination of methods to use because every actor is unique, every role singular, and every circumstance is different.

notes from nanAs an actor in class, I was always taught a method of “how to act” – but never two important components that a working actor needs.  First, the techniques required to work within the different mediums and the skills required to sustain a career that embraces multiple styles and formats.  The “core of acting” is always consistent, however, the acting techniques of the various mediums and genres are not.  Actors must have a working knowledge of every medium – stage, film and television (drama, comedy, improvisation, etc.) and every genre.  Second, I was never given any information about ‘the business’ of acting on stage, in television, or in film.  As a casting director, it became clear to me that the actors who had technique, a sense of the business,  an ambition to act, who were mentally and physically ready, did their homework, made distinct acting choices and were not afraid to open up – were the actors who had careers.  The ‘right stuff’ that an actor must do may seem daunting, but the process of developing your talent is an exciting journey.

My classes will explore the fundamental acting methods developed by Strasberg, Meisner, Adler, and Hagen (inclusive of script analysis and character development), acting techniques, and new skill sets being incorporated into Los Angeles classes aimed specifically towards television and film.  My curriculum will include auditioning on camera, auditioning with little or no prep time, coping with the lack of time given for rehearsal, multiple takes, shooting out of sequence, working under extreme close-ups, and the art of being in front of a camera “that never lies.”  The class goal will be for you to discover what works for you and to achieve the greatest believability and truth in any given circumstance, medium or genre.

I want to teach you not only how to act, but about the real world of acting outside of the class.  I want to prepare, inspire and nurture you to be the best that you can be, so that you actually work as an actor.