Today I am chatting with Clare Elizabeth Dea. Clare is the Creative Director of Acting Studio – Meisner Melbourne. She is also the host of online talk show 'The Actors Process' and just published her first book 'Transforming Shame into Beauty.' Clare has been professionally performing for over 16 years as a dancer, singer and actor and her passion is to teach artists how to perform with truth and integrity.
Hughesy – So, you have been the Creative Director of Meisner Melbourne for 4 years now! What is the Meisner Technique?
Clare – The Meisner Acting Technique was developed by famous New York Acting Coach Sanford Meisner. He had been coaching actors and performing professionally for 20 years and felt there had to be a way to get performers to be more believable and connected. So he developed a range of exercises to get his actors to be more present and learn how to truthfully work moment to moment. These exercises teach you how to listen with your body, respond organically and be alive in whatever song or scene you are performing.
Hughesy – Where did you do your training?
Clare – I trained for 2 years in Melbourne at The Actors Playhouse. However, my teacher got pregnant and closed the school down so I moved to London to train full time in The Meisner Technique at The Actors Temple. I had always known something was missing for me when I sung and performed scenes, however I didn't know what it was. As I went deeper into the training I realised what was missing, ME. All of me. My authenticity. Doing this work really empowered me in London and I knew there wasn't this kind of training in Melbourne, so 4 years ago I opened up Meisner Melbourne.
Hughesy – Who else teaches at Meisner Melbourne?
Clare – Well last year we introduced a One Year Professional Actors Program. In this course we introduced Voice, Singing, Movement, Dance, The Alexander Technique and Screen Acting. So even though I could teach all of these subjects, I wanted to have the best faculty possible. So we introduced Vocal Coach Tim Smith who has worked on many major musicals and is the vocal coach at the moment on Lion King. He is also the creator of Vocal Alchemy. We also have an amazing Voice and Alexander teacher Chris Falk. She is extraordinary. I feel so blessed to have both her and Tim supporting the school.
Hughesy – You're offering a Summer Meisner Intensive in January. What does that involve?
Clare – Yes this is a great opportunity for performers to learn the foundation of the work in a 5 day workshop. It is being held between the 19th – 23rd January, 10.00am – 5.30pm. This is a great workshop for singers, dancers or actors. It doesn't matter your experience because everyone needs to learn the technique from the beginning. However, when I say that, it is a challenging and stimulating course for everybody. The technique really is life changing. It totally made me look at performing in a new way. I can't recommend this course highly enough for performers who are wanting to have that edge that makes them stand out.
Clare – Yes in February and March we have 8 week courses. We have classes running Monday – Thursday evening and Wednesday day time. Performers can email [email protected] for more information. We also have a website www.meisnermelbourne.com.au
Hughesy – How else can performers keep up with what you are offering?
Clare – Well my online talk show The Actors Process is a great way for performers to get free advice about the industry. I interview coaches, actors, directors, voice experts from around the world and we are currently offering a $10 000 Mentoring Scholarship. Performers can like The Actors Process on facebook to be kept up to date and check out www.theactorsprocess.tv for the episodes.
You can check out below Clare interviewing one of Leonardo Dicaprio's Acting Coaches Jean-Louis Rodrigue.