Sunday, 17 April 2016

Larry Moss Acting: Audit REVIEW

A couple of days ago I went to see Larry Moss, a famous acting coach rehearse with some actors. The company 16th Street hosted the event, where actors apply to rehearse a scene with Larry Moss as their director, and people can come and 'audit' (watch) the rehearsal happening.

I hadn't heard anything about Larry Moss or his acting coaching style before this event, but was really intrigued into watching his rehearsal process and how he worked with actors. It was an immensely fascinating day, and I learnt a lot about how directors can bring emotions and actions out of their actors. Larry himself was hilarious - his broad American accent and baseball cap slightly amused me, but he also had a real knack of making the audience laugh. He also has a real talent of taking an approach to a certain scene or line from a particular play, and stretching it into a more broad concept to follow when working on any text.

He focused on the importance of breath control, knowing and studying the text, slowing down and focusing everything on the other actor in the scene (they were all duologues), which I thought were all vital aspects of rehearsing a text. His dedication to an actor's entire body was really important to understand for the actors working with him, including detailed work on the voice. I also loved his work on really understanding and knowing the text you're working on - including the setting and nationality of the work, and treating the words like poetry. He emphasized the fact that the writer is everything, and they have given you all the tools to deliver the scene truthfully if you really listen to them.

I was a bit overwhelmed at times, because once the actors were invested in the scene, there were a lot of emotional moments including crying and not being able to continue the scene. I'd never seen something like that happen in a rehearsal, and I was shocked by how much these actors were dedicated to their craft. Larry made the actors really in touch with their emotions, and to imagine situations like the ones their characters were in. I saw the development of the actors as the scenes progressed, and I think it was down to those simple factors mentioned earlier. Every actor had such a beautiful relationship with their scene partner and were definitely changed by the end of their rehearsal with him.

There were 8 scenes altogether taken from 8 plays, each was rehearsed for about an hour with Larry and then moved on to the next. I loved most of the scenes a lot, especially the ones set in Ireland (Outside Mullinger and The Lonesome West), as they were entirely about Ireland, the connection to land and a great example of how much work you have to do on a script to perform it truthfully. Stupid Fucking Bird was another favourite (the script was so well done), Laughing Wild was incredibly hilarious but also poignant and The Effect was really unexpected and different, but really interesting. I really want to read the plays and see them performed again. 

This was the set up for The Lonesome West, and the use of the stage in this scene to create tension, humour and violence was brilliant. We were seated inside quite a small room, and there was plenty of audience engagement with Larry and the actors so the intimate environment was perfect. Overall I really enjoyed the day and you can watch this video to see a glimpse of who Larry is. His tips really helped me view my acting from a more human perspective, and I think it was a really valuable experience. 


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