One of London’s foremost and longest standing Meisner Technique teachers, Scott Williams, is returning to Australia this August to continue his passion for training the Australian professional actor.
American born Williams is an international teacher and director and is currently the Artistic Director of the UK-based Impulse Company. Scott trained with Sanford Meisner at New York’s famous Neighborhood Playhouse in the 1970s, and relocated to London in the mid-1990s following a San Francisco-based career as a teacher, director and Artistic Director for The Hillbarn Theatre. After his move to London and the founding of The Impulse Company, Scott has continued his multi-dimensional schedule of teaching and directing across four continents for 35 years.
His list of associates and alumni stretches far and wide over the U.S., British, European and Australian Industries and includes such local talents as playwright Hilary Bell (Wolf Lullaby, The Splinter) and actors John Batchelor (Red Dog, Sea Patrol), Marika Aubrey (Matilda the Musical, South Pacific) and Matt Minto (Shortland St, The Blue Rose.)
We grabbed him for a couple of quick questions about his upcoming book, his thoughts on the Australian actor and his take on the Meisner Technique.
1. What made you decide to write your book, ‘After Meisner: A Twenty-first Century Acting Technique? (Due for release in summer 2016)
I decided to write a book about my work because there’s nothing on the market that reflects my approaches to the techniques based in Meisner’s work. I keep seeing these incredible, truthful results in my classes — even in a 5-day introduction — and increasingly feel that the simplicity and power of this work isn’t communicated in other books, good as they are. So my book is an attempt to put on the page the miraculous things I see in the studio. And it’s all contained in 5 straightforward and simple exercises! I constantly marvel at that.
2. What do you notice about working with Australian actors?
I’ve been teaching in Australia over the past decade, and have come to realise that Australian actors combine the upbeat, can-do attitude of American actors with the technical rigour of the British actor. It’s a heady combination, and I think the impressive list of Australian actors who have successfully conquered Hollywood, London, and the International scene is testament to how well it all comes together in the Australian performer.
3. What do you see as the most beneficial aspects of the Meisner technique?
In a word – simplicity. Since our most distinctive value is, “what happens to you as an actor doesn’t depend on you, it depends on what the other person does to you,” the primary effort is honing an actor’s ability to observe and linking that to a freedom of response. It’s why we’re called ‘The Impulse Company.’ All of our work has boiled down to this idea, and in the course of a 5-day class (or, more beneficially, a year-long training), we work on only five exercises, all headed towards one vision for the actor, that acting is living truthfully under a given set of circumstances.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. It’s fun! There’s a deep satisfaction in authenticity, and I find my acting classes specialise in that quality. We laugh a lot, in between a lot of other feelings, because the joy of acting is a nearly unparalleled experience.
INTRODUCTION TO IMPULSE:
The perfect course for the actor who wants a complete immersion in “Living Truthfully under a Given Set of Circumstances.” An intense and in-depth exploration of what it means to Act on Impulse. During this 5 day intensive you will develop a series of simple, practical exercises that will give you a taste of how this technique allows you to connect to emotional truth, living moment to moment on stage and screen and access the impulses that this type of work creates.
DATES: 12-16th August (Sydney) or 22-26th August (Melbourne)
COST: $720 Full Price, $650 Early Bird ($100 deposit by 15th July)
For actors who have worked with these techniques before. This 4 day intensive gives you the chance to deepen your experience of aliveness in acting by in-depth work on the founding exercises of Meisner-based training, and experiencing first-hand how this work transforms an actor’s relationship with text.
**Admission into this course is by application.**
DATES: August 7-10th (SYDNEY ONLY)
COST: $550 Full Price, $500 Early Bird ($100 deposit by 15th July)
For bookings and enquiries contact: