This is probably something most students go through once they’re out of the gate and running, but back when I moved to Vancouver (about 3 years ago) I got into an amazing acting institution called Schoolcreative. The teachers were amazing! I was lucky enough to receive tutelage from such masters as: Linda Darlow, Stellina Rusich, Gabriel Carter, Nathaniel Deveaux, Fiona Hogan, Trish Allen, Kirsten Clarkson and Henry J. Mah.
I did well at school. My teachers were inspiring and knew when to push and when to let go. I even got paired up with Linda Darlow (pictured above) for my level one showcase. The only time in Schoolcreative’s history that a teacher has been paired with a student for a graduation performance.
Unfortunately, since graduating there was the writer’s strike, the economic collapse, and the resulting dollar being comparable with US currency. Not to mention the loss of major tax-breaks, in lieu of hosting the Olympics, so a lot of production companies left for greener pastures.
What I’m trying to say is that back when I was in school I had a place to go almost daily to work on my craft. The future was bright and I was praised for my work. I had the confidence and the backing to tackle whatever the industry had to throw at me. Since then I’ve found it difficult to keep up the good fight.
There is a saying that singers sing, dancers dance, and actors hang out at the bar.
While I have found that to be the case with some, the truth is, it isn’t always beneficial to do the work on your own. As actors we are continually judged, so part of what helps is having an outside opinion.
They challenged us at school, for our own benefit.
We were constantly pushed to work harder, be better, move beyond ourselves and our insecurities. Without that constant help and drive I fear my talents are dwindling.
Ah the good old days, when a scene went just right, when there was another breakthrough – being so close to yourself and your classmates. It’s not the same with one-class-a-week or what-have-you. Being in rehearsals for a show comes close, but even so there isn’t always the time to dig deeper and bring out more meaning.
Working in an office environment day-in/day-out I constantly have to even out my emotions to appear more professional.
The opposite is true in acting school where my instincts were constantly nurtured.
If you want to make a go of being an actor school is essential as far as I’m concerned and when you’re doing it – enjoy the ride, for it will be over soon enough and then you’ll be left to your own devices.