PHILOSOPHY

Most of what I teach is from a working actor's perspective, and many of my insights and my approach to training actors are based on the technique and terminology developed by David Rotenberg over the past two decades.
      This style of the acting is a genre that has come to be called "cinematic naturalism," which borrows heavily from Zola's earliest influence on silent films and on the literary term Strindberg defines in the foreword to Miss JulieNaturalism has evolved rapidly since cinema has been an art form; however, we can clearly see this genre/style grow from the late 1930's "talkies" to present day, where Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy and Marlon Brando show us performances that still resonate with modern audiences, even as the film around them "pretends" or may be "dated" by its style of storytelling.
      Today acting on stage and acting on-camera have almost become different skill sets.  TV audiences are more informed and sophisticated now than they have ever been, even as a large portion of the North American population has never read nor seen a actual stage play.  (This might seem a strange thing to ponder as a resident of Stratford, Ontario.)
      What has become "good TV", what is plausible and real to the average audience member, is held to a much higher standard -- when it is a fictional, dramatic performance.  Reality TV is a different animal entirely, and is perhaps definitive proof that audiences require something "better", something more compelling.  Unfortunately, what is "real" to us has now been skewed by this abomination, which is glorified voyeurism, and requires no actual talent to produce.  Reality TV is scripted, pretended life sold to us as documentary, and must not be confused with actual documentaries, which capture life in it's rawest and sometimes most compelling form.   canon xl2
     As a result of Reality TV's influence and the gaming culture that now dominates younger generations, audiences and actors alike have been led to believe that acting is "supposed to be easy," and that a talent lies within each of us in a set quantity.
     With this I take exception: Talent is only one aspect of an actor's success.  Acting remains a great craft, a worthy pursuit, which requires discipline, self-understanding, imagination, life-long commitment, and, of course, luck.
       "You have to be good to be lucky" is an expression that resonates for me as an actor and performer.  The reason to come to class is to practice, so the hit-ratio and the bookings increase.  Too many factors are involved in casting a film or TV show.  We must stay simply with what we can control: be prepared, be grounded, come in with compelling choices, really see your reader, and of course, play!  
 

Many of the acting concepts and terminology Marvin Hinz has referenced above are © David Rotenberg.