What is the teaching and Eric Stone specifically as a teacher
have done for you to contribute to your growth as an actor, as an artist and as a human being?
Eric has taken the time to really
listen generously, give of his time and energy to us teaching from
his heart as an artist emphasizing and stressing "atmosphere" and
living "life" from a point of advantage and context vs. content. My
first meeting was that of a friendly openness, a nice clean inviting
energy in a relaxed setting. People were kind and trusting from the
beginning. I have benefitted by being a more relaxed, playful and
daring person in life thus carried over to my acting work. It has
affected people in my life and it carries a kind
of momentum where they are inspired to go for their creative callings.
How has your life changed as a result of the teaching?
more, I think about the value of my time and my person. I am more
relaxed and confident in my day to day dealings. I am also inspired
to go out, do well, make people happy and keep learning. Nothing's
perfect but my will to has not changed to fight the chaotic b.s. of
people's judgments, games and unhappiness and really be myself.
Talk about your personal experience of this approach to acting.
Because the teachings touch on the heart of life as a whole
beginning from a clean place (ground zero approach, so to speak) it
carries over into the acting medium rather fluidly. My approach is
to start in a relaxed way free of judgement and hangups, rackets
etc. And if they exist work them out through a creative process
Eric has taught with various exercises. The discipline of staying
open is the forerunning energy. Concentration and focus to maintain
this approach is #1. I am much happier ultimately, more playful and
What are your accomplishments?
Auditions are not as scary--I feel much more in tune with the vibe
of the session as opposed to my old thinking of "lack" and "self
doubt" based on the repeated focus of atmosphere in our workshop
sessions as of late. Working with partners on scenes is a wonderful
collaborative effort to work the right way and learn. The class
seems to open up to amazing possibilities with the teachings because
classmates are generally buzzy with energy and a need to share (at a
place where they may creatively)which allows for everyone to grow
together yet in their own individual way. Because of the increased sense of "everything is ok--it's ok to be yourself", I have gotten work on some student films which have been great learning tools in the entire process-everything from the auditin to the final day of shooting.
Could you describe to a newcomer what the experience of being a student of Eric Stone is is like
Get ready for a life-makeover for the better. If you REALLY listen
to the heart of the work and are perceptive to atmosphere you will
not only grow as an actor, you will be a contributing person to
society and the world at large. Be prepared to work on scenes,
improvise and grow. Eric will teach you to surpass "actorhood".
You will be left with no choice but to think as a visionary and
behave as an artist giving back to the world. It's no easy feat,
but the series will naturally incorporate and draw from you faith, disipline, determination, drive, a willingness to grow
and be happy working together thus making others happy.
What are the most important benefits you are getting out of this training?
KNOWING that I must integrate my physical, emotional, psychological
and spiritual self at all times in the atmosphere. That I can not
quit. That there are no backdoors. That I am responsible for
everything I say and do and while I learn I teach. That I must
contribute my talents, energy and love for a greater purpose. That
it is more important to work correctly than "get it right"-linked to
my fear of failing especially in scene work. That I have SO MUCH TO
LEARN about everything. That my integrity is on the line at every
moment while I'm alive.
What specific results do you attribute to your participation?
I definitely feel more open and engaged in the work. I listen a lot more carefully to others and I trust myself more. I realize that projects I deem for myself must be met and that it takes a willing conscious effort everyday with specificity and discipline to make it happen. Also--I have learned and am still working on "not acting with the technique--instead showing my life"
What in your opinion makes this coaching unique and distinct from other trainings?
Eric hates divadom and is not in it for his ego or a pat on his own
back. He's mentioned he would rather quit than go own because he's
NOT in it to sermonize. I have witnessed from other coaches the exact opposite which honestly sucks life out of the room and instills fear, gossip, competition and drudgery connected to acting versus the potential for all to grow in a healthy happy environment. Eric cares about getting us trained the right way so that we are examples to the world at large to change it for the better with a higher purpose. He wants partners in us all (basically he's clued us into the "joke") as opposed to underlings who clutch to the provider. His direction is concise, fun, specific and ranged. He demonstrates his direction to provide the actor a wider perspective of greater possibilities. He's a seemingly relaxed guy who's bubbling with generous energy and devotion to his teachings and us. He gives back to us what he learns and inspires me to be a better person.
If you had to sum up how you are benefiting from this training in a couple of strong sentences, what would they be?
I recognize that acting training serves as a template for life. Eric's guidance and direction for me has been about creating an atmosphere that gives us, the actors, inspiration to explore the depth and range of our experience. This venue is a safe arena to actively show others how both beautiful and flawed we all are and that the learning never ceases.