If you've been following us for a while now (or if you scroll down the posts here), you'll know our brand name has just changed. Why the change, and how exactly did we evolve into Method Campus?, you may be wondering.
Well, put it simply: we felt that our approach had moved beyond simple acting coaching. Possibly even beyond Method Acting.
A Safe Method
What nowadays is known as 'Method Acting' was and is taught in various different sauces through the approaches, techniques and methods of famous and less famous coaches and teachers. It all started with Stanislavskij, back in the 1800s: indeed, it all started with the boom of Psychology. The general idea of Method Acting being that we learn how to embody the character by learning, studying and training our own emotions and experiences. We find the character within us, we don't simply use 'technical' tricks (so to speak) to achieve a believable portrayal of an emotion (e.g., moving your shoulders and breathe brokenly to simulate sobbing); we actually try and go to the source of that feeling and we try and evoke it into us, so that it feels real. And, with a certain amount of body and voice 'technique', it will instantly reach the audience and feel very real. That's what we call Truth, and it's what we strive to achieve as Method Actors.
As previously mentioned, this can be done in a plethora of ways (knowing your emotions and reactions consciously; letting them bubble up from the subconscious without analysing them; using imagination and sense memory; using affective memory; writing the backstory of the characters; etc.). Some of these ways, depending on your coach/teacher and the technique/method in question, are not always the most effective for each one of us, or indeed the safest or healthiest way to work.
We believe that Mental Health has, and should always have, priority in the training and the work of an actor. Alas, many schools and courses lack this very important aspect.
We always taught actors, artists and freelance how to take care of themselves, how to handle rejection, how to take feedback, how to do their best and then forget about it, and obviously, how to use Method Acting in the safest and healthiest way.
To us, Actors are (and should be) experts in human behaviour.
This means having an interest in everything that's typically human: history, philosophy, psychology, spirituality, politics, emotions, art, culture, environment, human rights, etc.
This means looking at yourself, with honesty, flaws and all.
This means constantly striving to be better, but always with self-care and self-compassion. We are not machines.
This means learning and accepting that Art has a role in humanity's history and culture: our point of view is that Theatre's purpose is Healing: it's a ways for society to look at themselves in the mirror, and grow. (Read the 'Better Humans' section on the 'Method' page if you want to learn more on this)
This means that Actors are not just here for your entertainment: Actors have a mission.
In our courses, we look at the mental, spiritual and ethical implications of training and working as Truthful Actors, and Writers, and Directors (3 professions that work intertwined to each others, which is why we've always liked these figures to mingle in our space).
In other words, we don't just teach Acting, but also Personal Growth & Development: Our mission is to have you GROW, and this is both as an Actor and as a human being.
We have a holistic approach to the Method: what does this mean? It means that your growth happens simultaneously on more levels: personal, professional; your own, the character's; physical, energetic, mental, spiritual, ethical; and so on. It also means that we take care of the body, the voice and the spirit; we take care of the human, not just the actor. Because, to us, they're one and the same.
We always strive to run a safe space, we ensure that we have enough check-in and check-out time in each and everyone of our sessions. We encourage actors to be brave and free and honest, we teach them about vulnerability, about finding their own unique self without prejudice or self-judgment, but we give them the time and space to proceed at their own pace in this journey of self-discovery.
Better Actors, Better Humans
Through the years, we have received outstanding feedback from our students (see Testimonials here). Sure, we have had people thanking us because of their incredible growth as Actors; but also people kept coming to us because of how they felt during class: free, happy, themselves, honest, safe, brave.
We have now witnessed growth that has exceeded our initial expectations from when we started out on this Method Acting coaching adventure by founding the Campus. Many times, we felt incredibly proud and inspired by what we saw. We believe that vulnerability and empathy have the massive potential of saving us all. We believe in being inspired by, and helping, others (hence why, for example, we teach everyone how to give and receive perceptive and cognitive feedback).
This is our Method. It is our own Method: a mix of various disciplines, techniques, exercises and games, all with the goal of having you heal and grow.
Hence, we'll keep doing what we do best and what we love, and we want you to also do just that.
So here it is. Welcome to the Method Campus: Better Actors, Better Humans.