I’ve taken a lot of classes along this road to becoming a working actor: scene study, on-camera, Shakespeare, movement, casting director workshops, etc. But, somehow, I’ve never taken an audition technique class. I know. So when I heard about this one-day workshop led by actor-teacher Aaron Craven, I thought I’d give it a whirl. It just so happened that his next workshop was the day after my final play closed (after a string of non-stop plays since November) and my first weekend day free in six months. I had no excuse. There wasn’t a more productive way I could spend my Sunday. Sure, why not.
His workshop was a solid 7 hours (minus a 30min lunch break) with a tight-knit group of about 11 diverse actors. I didn’t really know what to expect, just went along for the ride– and I got one alright. We began with some discussion about auditioning itself- our fears, problem areas, etc. This led into a moment-to-moment exercise. And then finally, we got into our scenes (which were assigned to us a few days ahead of time). These were taped and redirected by Aaron for as many times as we needed.
What people will gain from any audition technique class is going to be different, of course. But I can tell you that my main “takeaway” from this class was to not be afraid of the sides. Meaning…taking control of the sides, and not the other way around. Using the bits that are helpful (via action lines and parentheticals, etc), throwing the rest away, and letting the script itself be a part of the scene. I feel like I’ve been told this before, but Aaron has a special way of communicating certain concepts to make them click. There was a lot of “clicking” happening that Sunday. Some other click moments were, if you do the scene as you, you can’t help but be unique and to take the idea of perfection out.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday. I believe the next workshop is next week? It’s worth checking out.