Upcoming NYC WORKSHOP:

Fear & Performance

April 28 - 30, 2017

Relearning responses to Fear, Anxiety, & Stress in Performance

LOCATION: SIMPLE STUDIOS, 134 WEST 29TH STREET, MANHATTAN, NYC

 

Does fear, anxiety, and stress keep you from performing at your best?  In this workshop, Andy offers strategies for dealing with fear so that you can perform with greater skill, power, vulnerability, and nuance. 

THIS WORK HAS EMERGED FROM ANDY'S RESEARCH FOR HIS UPCOMING ROUTLEDGE BOOK   -     THE PERFORMER'S FIELD GUIDE TO APPLIED NEUROSCIENCE.  

Areas of our work will include:

INTEGRATED BODY/BRAIN. Your body/brain integrates feeling, sensing, thinking, + doing.  Because fear affects all of these, our strategies for dealing with it must engage them all as well. It is not enough to only 'think' or 'sense' or 'do' your way out of a fear response. You must learn to understand how your nervous system has learned to integrate all of these responses into a pattern of responses. 

SIGNATURE FEAR RESPONSE. Learning a personal repertoire of responses to fear, anxiety and stress. Each person responds and has learned to deal with fear differently. Our important first step will be to identify your personal "signature" fear responses that include patterns of: thinking, feeling, musculo-skeletal sensation, breathing, seeing, and more. 

LINKING. Your body/brain has learned to LINK fear responses together; we will start to link them differently. Fear, anxiety and stress takes us in waves because our responses are linked, and one leads to the next. For example, we may experience thinking may leading to a feeling leading to a particular pattern of physical tension. Un-linking and then re-linking these responses is early stage work. 

TRIGGERING. We will locate reliable triggers that set off new linked responses to fear, stress, and anxiety. Andy will help students tailor personalized triggers to engage new patterned responses.  

TIMING: PREPARING FOR THE PERFORMANCE MOMENT. Andy will offer different strategies for dealing with fear, anxiety and stress in the day/hours, in the early moments,  before an audition or performance.  

CONTACT: ANDY BELSER

AWBELSER@GMAIL.COM

WORKSHOP TIMES: 

     FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 -  7-10 PM

     SATURDAY, April 29 -  1O:30 AM-1:30 PM  &  3-6 PM

     SUNDAY, April 30 -   1O:30 AM-1:30 PM  &  3-6 PM

PAYMENT/REGISTRATION:

EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT AVAILABLE THROUGH April 15: $275 

After April 15: $300  

Fear&Performance April 28-30

Click the 'Buy Now' button to PAY for this workshop. You will be able to pay with a credit/debit card, PayPal account, or your own bank account. After payment, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with further workshop instructions.


Past Workshops:

Seeing & ActinG -MARCH 10 - 12, 2017

Learning your nervous system's capacity to see imagery as a foundation for acting. 

LOCATION: SIMPLE STUDIOS, 134 WEST 29TH STREET, MANHATTAN, NYC

  • How can you see images and space as constant and reliable scene partners for auditions and all acting work? 
  • How can you begin to rely on tools of seeing images to bring new depth, passion, and freedom to your acting?
  • How can you become free from self-consciousness and distraction in cold reads and auditions?

We will explore how to see imagery, how seeing shapes space for our work, and how seeing engages with breath and text. Learn to bring a reservoir of images into challenging performance situations. This work is particularly useful in teaching actors how to trust ‘doing less’ while filling the stage or film frame with nuance, intensity, and depth.  

THIS WORK HAS EMERGED FROM ANDY'S RESEARCH FOR HIS UPCOMING ROUTLEDGE BOOK   -     THE PERFORMER'S FIELD GUIDE TO APPLIED NEUROSCIENCE. 

Areas of our work include:

Seeing with the whole self.  Developing the practice of seeing as a source of stimulation, and an important engine for action, character, and desire. Working from the understanding that we see with our brain/body (the whole self) we practice seeing first with the eyes, and expand to seeing with the ears, the kinesthetic or felt self, and energy centers.

Image as stimulation: responding from the active image-ination.   Learning to deeply engage with imagery in our bodies, merging with images, and allowing responses our breathing, emotion, thinking, and perception. This work opens new directions for monologues that we often may not otherwise find.

Multi-directional space.  Expanding the practice of seeing from/through the body into the entire space in specific directions. Learn to map image spaces and directions in ways that render a monologue into reliable physical environment. As we learn a capacity to express ourselves multi-directionally, our work gains depth, bringing the unseen and specificity into our work.  We learn to sense the directional energies alive in resonant spaces between our selves and others/things/images/events.

Individual monologue coaching.  Andy will initiate the personal practice of locating the work of seeing, stimulation, sensation, kinesthetic and breath response onto our own work through monologues. This coaching helps each student locate their own personal patterns related to seeing, the breath, and physicality. Each participant should bring a 1 - 1 1/2  minute monologue to work on during the weekend. 

 


 

Embodied Auditions - March 17-19, 2017

Settling the whole self - mind, body, perception, thinking, emotion, attention - in the charged audition space. 

LOCATION: RICHARD SEYD STUDIOS, 4949 HOLLYWOOD BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA

After many requests from students, Andy has added this workshop focused on applying learning around fear, anxiety to the context of auditioning. This workshop will feature plenty of time for students to practice, and receive coaching, for audition meetings and monologues, as well as partnering with a reader on sides and cold reads.  

THIS WORK HAS EMERGED FROM ANDY'S RESEARCH FOR HIS UPCOMING ROUTLEDGE BOOK   -     THE PERFORMER'S FIELD GUIDE TO APPLIED NEUROSCIENCE.  

Areas of our work will include:

Intervening the SIGNATURE FEAR RESPONSE. Each student more deeply understands a  personal repertoire of responses to fear, anxiety and stress. Through coaching, we will begin to shape distinctive interventions to these signature, learned, and very personal fear responses. 

INTEGRATING BODY, BRAIN, & SPACE through ATTENTION.  We will work on where to focus attention, how to fluidly shift attention to without and outside of ourselves. Our wholes selves collaborate with the living audition space. Ultimately, we learn to bring an adaptive 'embodied' self into relationship with the audition space, and those witnessing our work. 

LINKING and TRIGGERING. Your body/brain has learned to LINK fear responses together; we will start to change them through linked interventions. Students will get many opportunities to practice this work in coached audition settings. Students will learn triggers to set off a chain of NEW linked responses to fear, stress, and anxiety.  Andy will help students tailor personalized triggers to engage new patterned responses.  

TIMING: PREPARING FOR THE PERFORMANCE MOMENT. We will address how fear, anxiety and stress affect you differently in the day/hours before an audition or performance and in the early moments of the audition/performance itself. Andy will offer different strategies for each of these questions of when fear strikes, and students will be able to practice these as well. 

 

COMPOSING A CHARACTER THROUGH THE NERVOUS SYSTEM- OCTOBER 28-30, 2016

LOCATION: RICHARD SEYD STUDIOS, 4949 HOLLYWOOD BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 90027

In this three-day workshop, we learn to sense and structure a character’s nervous system to develop flexible, multi-dimensional, and truthful characters. This approach reimagines developing a character by finding points of overlap between the performer’s and the character’s nervous system.  We begin by exploring what the nervous system is, and how we can understand it through the ‘felt self’ of sensation, perception, thoughts, and experiences. This workshop offers useful and easily adaptable skills to help performers develop robust characters.

Some fundamentals of this work include:

Perception

Each person senses (sees, hears, touches, etc.) the world differently. Ten people can experience the same event and tell a very different story because each sees/experiences very different things. Learning the perceptual biases of a person is a useful entry point for learning to map onto a person’s (character’s) nervous system.

Learn to see how a character sees, hears, and feels the world, and you begin to see the world through the filter the experience of that character. We will work with joining our own perceptions with a character’s biased perception of the world that are often different from our own.   

Space + Desire

What we want

is never simple.

We move among the things

we thought we wanted:

a face, a room, an open book

and these things bear our names--

now they want us.

                                                - Linda Pastan

In acting, we often consider our desires (motivations, objectives) as happening inside of us. But, as Linda Pastan eloquently suggests, the world holds our desires and seems to want us in return. Our inner life is but a thin membrane between the world outside and inside of our felt selves. We will work with practical ways of linking desire with environments that hold our longings. We will also work with how language is constantly directing our whole selves (body/brain) through space.  Some key points for working with space and desire:

  • The space of our own bodies is our spatial first home, where our nervous systems first began to learn.

  • We have learned in a second home of the world's spaces and places – environments, landscapes, soundscapes, niches

  • Skin is a primary connector between first + second homes - seeing, hearing, and smell, and many other senses are other connections.

Learning

It’s useful to consider a character as a continually changing person. From birth, humans are shaped in large part by experiencing culture, environments, family situations, traumas, and much more. Of course, humans are also formed by genes, but contemporary research continues to uncover the incredible learning capacity of the human body/brain in relation to environments. The fancy word for this is neuroplasticity, but it’s really just learning.  

Paradox

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out

until they span the chasm between two

contradictions. . . For the god

wants to know himself in you.

                                                            - Rainer Maria Rilke

Human vulnerability resonates perhaps most fully in our contradictions. Alive characters are beautifully stretched between often opposing desires and images of themselves in the world. We will work on practical strategies to access paradox in a character through the structural organization of the body. Becoming aware of the natural paradoxes in human sensing, feeling, thinking, doing is a big part of constructing a theatrical person (character).  We can learn to soften the edges of attention and resistance to contradiction, allowing paradoxical awareness to flourish without excess tension.

The Body and Connective Resonance

We can get into a false understanding that creating the shape or form of a theatrical person, particularly physically, is the goal of composing a character. That may well be a first step, but it’s not the end goal. Our real work is to connect those forms to the felt (lived) self of a dimensional theatrical person. Violin music is made not just from drawing the bow across the string, but from the resonance of that string connected to the player’s felt self and structural architecture. Similarly, when we play a character, we locate and play connective resonances within our whole selves.

Participants should prepare a bit (1-2 minutes) of text spoken by a character in a monologue, or in a scene. Further instructions will be e-mailed to you after registration. 

WORKSHOP TIMES: 

               FRIDAY, October 28-  7PM-10PM

               SATURDAY, October 29-  1PM - 5PM   &    6:30 PM-9PM

               SUNDAY, October 30-   10AM-1PM  &   2:30-5PM

PAYMENT/REGISTRATION

COST: $300  

Please click the 'Buy Now' button to PAY for this workshop. You will be able to pay with a credit/debit card, PayPal account, or through your own bank account. Then, please fill out the form below with your name, e-mail, cell phone, and a message if you'd like. 


FEAR & PERFORMANCE

Relearning responses to Fear, Anxiety, + Stress in Performance

   WORKSHOP DATES: May 20-22, 2016

LOCATION: RICHARD SEYD STUDIOS

                4949 HOLLYWOOD BLVD.

                LOS ANGELES, CA 90027

 

Does fear, anxiety, and stress keep you from performing at your best?  In this workshop, Andy offers strategies for dealing fear so that you can perform with greater skill, power, vulnerability, and nuance. 

Andy will guide students through information from research he is doing as part of his upcoming Routledge book The Performer's Field Guide to Applied Neuroscience. 

Areas of our work will include:

INTEGRATED BODY/BRAIN. Your body/brain integrates feeling, sensing, thinking, + doing.  Because fear affects all of these, our strategies for dealing with it must engage them all as well. 

It is not enough to only 'think' or 'sense' or 'do' your way out of a fear response. You must learn to understand how your nervous system has learned to integrate all of these responses into a pattern of responses. 

SIGNATURE FEAR RESPONSE. Learning a personal repertoire of responses to fear, anxiety and stress.

Each person responds and has learned to deal with fear differently. Our important first step will be to identify your personal "signature" fear responses that include patterns of: thinking, feeling, musculo-skeletal, breathing, seeing, and more. 

LINKING. Your body/brain has learned to LINK fear responses together; we will start to link them differently.

Fear, anxiety and stress takes us in waves because our responses are linked, and one leads to the next. For example, we may experience thinking may leading to a feeling leading to a particular pattern of physical tension. Un-linking and then re-linking these responses is early stage work. 

TRIGGERING. We will locate reliable triggers that set off new linked responses to fear, stress, and axiety. 

Here, Andy's deep experience as a teacher, director, and actor coach will help tailor personalized triggers for each actor to engage new patterned responses.  

TIMING: PREPARING FOR THE PERFORMANCE MOMENT. 

We will address how fear, anxiety and stress affect you differently in the day/hours before an audition or performance and in the early moments of the audition/performance itself. Andy will offer different strategies for each of these questions of when fear strikes. 


PRIVATE tutorials/coaching:

Andy works privately with performers looking for many different kinds of work. Some students seek to deepen their voice, connecting it with acting. Some want to learn to become more present and engaged through a free body and breath. Others seek coaching on audition monologues, solo work, or other scene work. As a master voice teacher and movement teacher with experience in several different modes of learning, Andy tailors private tutorials to individuals, targeting the work at the person's specific questions and needs. Andy's regular rate for coaching is $125/hour, and $175/90 minutes, with the client paying the studio fee. This works out to about $150/hour, or a bit less, depending on the studio. Andy can arrange a sliding scale for performers as needed. In longer coaching situations - i.e. directing/coaching a solo piece, weekend private intensive, or weeklong daily coaching in preparation for a role. 

Location: Andy regularly works with clients in New York City. As needed, Andy is available to travel to work with a client.