The Monday Night Acting Lab | Community, work, and hope during Social Distancing | (Virtual)

First say to yourself what you would be, then do what you have to do.

{Epictetus}

About The Monday Night Acting Lab

1.
My collaborative space

I welcome people of all races, ages, religions, political affiliations, genders, countries of origin, sexual orientations, sizes, and abilities into collaboration with me, and the projects I facilitate as an independent theatre practitioner.  The community of artists and students I have collaborated with is diverse, and I hope my community continues to blossom with increasingly diverse voices and perspectives.  For information about my teaching practices, you can download and read this brief.

2.
The Monday Night Acting Lab during the Covid-19 Pandemic

As we all know, with Covid-19 ruling over our given circumstances, it is not possible for us to carry The Monday Night Acting Lab forward in person.  Until it is safe to gather and work in person again, I am conducting The Monday Night Acting Lab virtually, via ZOOM. This is partly about maintaining community and connection as well as we are able, but also about doing what we can to remain productive and inspired during this time of uncertainty. 

3.
The Monday Night Acting Lab: A place to practice

More than a ‘class’ where the curriculum and the learning objectives are decided for you, The Monday Night Acting Lab is a space for training. A place you can practice doing many kinds of work actors do.

This is a place for you to practice your skills with scene study, audition preparation, it’s a forum to brainstorm, daydream, and ask questions, a place to be challenged by cold reading drills, open scenes and impro exercises, and a community in which to present monologues or scenework and get coaching from me, and feedback from the group.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, auditions are often being carried out online. I have also observed numerous theatre companies programming performance projects via remote/streaming media. Use The Monday Night Acting Lab to stay sharp. Participate to play, give and receive support, and grow.  

4.
Schedule

Mondays 7:30 – 9:30P. (Pacific Coast Time.)

The next cycle of sessions is:

7 June through 5 July, 2021.

If you are looking for something, don’t go sit on the seashore and expect it to come and find you.  You must search, search, search with all the stubbornness in you!

{Stanislavski}

5.
Process


The first night of the cycle we’ll introduce ourselves, and I’ll initiate some activities so we can begin to take shape as a group.

The second, third, fourth and fifth nights of the cycle, I’ll initiate some challenges for the whole group to help us all warm up for the evening.

After that, I’ll ask who has work in progress to share and explore for feedback.

We’ll look at those pieces together.

Depending on how many people have work to present, we may have to devise a schedule to help with time management.

I encourage everyone to write and submit weekly journal pages about your experience in The Monday Night Acting Lab. You don’t have to, but it helps me get better at helping you.

Every now and then, I will also send out some reading to help add flavor to our ongoing conversation and collaboration.

6.
How to participate in The Monday Night Acting Lab:

It is very important to me that The Monday Night (Virtual) Acting Lab be highly accessible; I am offering this online forum for $50 (that’s figured on just $10/Monday).  If you would like to participate, you can get hooked up here.  If you have questions, please reach out!

What my students say…

“I’d recommend the Monday Night Lab to people looking for a fun, laid back and personalized place to practice their acting craft. There is no curriculum stating that we will be practicing a specific technique, or anything like that. It’s more about finding out what works for the individual performers. This is also the most supportive performance group that I have worked with.”

Benjamin Rulla
Portland, Oregon

“I would recommend the acting lab to a friend if they are looking for exposure to the arts and a place to show there talents in a safe place for it.”

Sebastian Bjorn
Portland, Oregon

“The reasons for recommending The Monday Night Acting Lab are threefold. (1) Range: there is a broad range of acting skills and levels on display, and one need not be a professional actor in order to take advantage of the training and gems of wisdom ripe and ready to pick up in each session. I personally benefitted as much from my viewing of the different acting skills presented by way of others’ monologues as I did by my own attempt at a monologue. (2) The magic of being simultaneously inside one’s comfort zone and outside it: Jeffrey has been able to strike the most graceful and fruitful of balances when it comes to making sure participants are stretched to their potential, without sacrificing the warmth and guidance that stand as testament to a gifted teacher and acting coach. (3) Plugging in to unplug: Every Monday evening, one begins to plug in not as routine but as ritual, in order to unplug from the heaviness of days and weeks and treat the hours at the Lab sharpening one’s craft, seeing at play the dedication to people’s calling, and finding inspiration in the fellowship that begins to develop. All in all, the Lab is an overall rewarding experience of the practical and the whimsical, an ode to the beauty of theatre.”

Ani Elizaveta
Los Angeles, CA / New York, NY

“Jeffrey provides a space where you can simply exist, reflect, look ridiculous, try new things, and say “f**k it, let’s try it” and see where the chips fall in a space free of blame or shame. There isn’t necessarily a “right” way to do things, just many different options. You learn about the different aspects and driving factors that can influence individual actions, reactions, and choices. You learn about body awareness and how subtle changes can alter an encounter entirely. Most of all, you get to play and be challenged as much or as little as you prefer with a group of truly wonderful, welcoming, nurturing humans. I will absolutely be taking this lab again in the future and I highly encourage anyone interested to just do it, dive on in.”

C.R.
Portland, Oregon

“I went into our first class expecting to hate every single tick of my Rolex until 9:30 pm … but surprised the hell out of myself by wishing my very reliable watch was less reliable.  I came home from class wired for hours.  It happens every class.

When I started the class, I did not speak in public.  But now I’m finding my voice and I’m less afraid of it.

When I started the class, I did not want to be seen.  But now I’ve stood alone on a stage and I can’t wait to be standing on that stage again.

When I started the class, I couldn’t write.  Not a word.  It wasn’t writer’s block.  I could not create … and creativity is everything.  But now I’ve submitted two short fiction pieces. I float in that feeling of lost time and lovely words and running out of toner.  

Acting feeds my need to create – it is addictive.  I want to learn more. I want to do more.”

Nancy Campbell
Portland, Oregon

Any questions?