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Everyone Has Their Own Complex Story That Formulates The Way They Function In The World…

In this Masterclass lecture, we open class with a discussion about how life itself will always be the real Masterclass for the actor. Our craft is, always has been, and always will be formulated by life itself. I mean, what else would it be formulated by? Some may say we are storytellers, I say we are storylivers. We are intending to reveal the utmost truth within the story as service to the writer, all those willing to commune and witness that story, and the vast world of the human condtion. So why are we not turning to life itself to understand the work from its orignal source? Within life, in this here and now moment, lives all the answers to all the questions about understanding how people function and how we as actors can use that understanding for the life of our work if the desire to really understand and learn is present. Meaning, the hunger to understand married with a compassionate heart to understand and the intuition to see what may be hiding behind all things needs to be deeply vibrating within the actor’s mind, body and Spirit at all times. There needs to always be questions appearing within the actor’s mind and heart as he, she or they go through the journey of life so he, she or they can keep building that human vocabulary within his, her, or their instrument. It is by doing this, that we come to realize that within everyhuman life, there is a story that has formulated who that person is and how that person functions physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. It even illuminates us into understanding our own center and how we move through this crazy ride called life. If we know this about all humans, why then would we not apply that sameknowledge to understanding and revealing character. When we really understand this fact, it becomes possible for the actor to leave any kind of personal judgment out of the equation so he, she or they can reveal character with all the respect that a specific character’s story is due. It can evenserve in understanding and respecting all those that surround your own life. We can read this or that book about acting or life, but the truth of the matter is that the craft of acting comes from the living, observing, and implementing what life itself has to teach us and offer us about the human condtion. And trust me, life has a delicous limitless rainbow of colors to teach and offer you as an artist. I happen to call it Mary Poppin’s purse. It has everything you need in it! It is crucial for the actor to keep searching for the craft as it will always be mirrored, justified, and validated by life itself. Look for the intentions of people. Look for how people listen. Look for how people behave based on the circumstances that they are in. Look for how people try to find their way out of obstacles. Look for how people try to better their life. Look for how circumstances stimulate people to behave a certain way. Look for how people love or hate and then really question, and I mean REALLY question, what the story may be behind all of it. It is gold for the actor! And you gotta learn to pull and even steal that gold from the very rich, limitless, abundant, and giving account of life! And hey, the life info out there is free! So use it! By doing that part of the work, and it is just as important as figuring out an objective or learning your lines, it gives the actor a very high artistic standard to urge the actor to pursue and reveal only what is truthful in the work based on the circustances of the story that the writer has given. As a result, it obliterates “indication” and it debunks “shmacting” and your not trying to “pull one over on the audience“…who, whether you like to admit it or not, just so happens to know better…and truth be told…ya really can’t pull one over on them anyway. They are way to smart! Life serves as the actor’s guide in the life-long continuation of cultivating craft while also creating a high standard when it comes to being the very best crasftsperson and artist that he, she or they wants to be. So keep going and never settle for mediocrity or any generalizations in the quality of your artistry!
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
Much love,
Mario

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Making The Inner Life Alive & Delicious…

In this Masterclass lecture, we open up the class discussing a very big reality that all humans have to face. And that reality is the fact that all human beings are going to inevitably experience strife and struggle numerous times in life. I know…I know…great news, right?! But to negate this fact negates the common denominator that is present within every story that has ever been told…and will be told. It is all the suffering of the human condition, in its myriad and complex of forms, that gives birth to all drama and comedy alike. It is the reason why we tell stories! It makes our story, and all the stories that have ever been created, yearn to be told and witnessed! It brings us together because there is something innate within all of us about all of our suffering, all of our drama, all of our complicated-ness, that hungers for communion. It makes us not feel alone on this great big winding rollercoaster called “Life“. And the beauty of our work, whether it be through film, stage or tv, is that in some incredible way, it becomes this glorious medicine for the masses to know they are not alone in their suffering. Yes, it is through our suffering, all the pain and confusion, that brings us all together. Imagine that! It is actually quite beautiful when you really think about it. Especially nowadays in a very “me me me” world. I mean, look at any tragedy and see how amazing it is that through those horrible circumstances, hearts begin to open in a much deeper and giving way. There is something about pain, suffering, tragedy and those like-circumstances that wake us up from our own personal slumber and instinctually call on our heart strings to show up for each other. But here is the kicker! As actors, as artists, we have to be OK with allowing our instrument to experience discomfort. We cannot shy away from it for it is that very discomfort that is the exact ingredient to fulfilling the most complex realities of the most complicated circumstances. Our discomfort is pregnant with the substance needed to be utilized in our work. It is part of the answer. It is actually a huge part of the answer. We have to be courageous enough to actually step into all that discomfort as if we are artistic warriors! It is through our instrument that we become the vessel to living the most complex, complicated and even inexplicable essence of the human condition in a very public way. And in order to do that and bring the audience on that journey, we have to strive to execute the most profound truth in our work. We owe that to the audience because they are giving us the most precious thing they have. No, not their coin, but their time here on Earth. Now, in order to do that kind of work and be the kind of actor where the work does not show the “acting“,  we have to accept that nine-tenths of the experiences we are being called to live in the work, we may not have even tasted in our everyday life. So we need to utilize tools that allow our inner world to fill and experience those circumstances so we can live those circumstances in a truthful way for the story and all those witnessing the story. It is through specific tools, using our own personal experiential vocabulary and our imagination and the marriage of the two, that we can stimulate our inner world to actually experience and believe the most complex circumstances so we can then live those circumstances in service for our work. We are living in a day and age where we are being called to exercise our imagination less and less. And that is NOT ideal for the actor. Just like going to the gym, the actor must continue to exercise the imagination muscle and continue to build that inner library. And though the circumstances may be uncomfortable, we also have to remember to have fun within all that discomfort and all those high stakes because we can never forget that we are safe to explore and play in the structure of the givens.
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
Much love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

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Growing Pains…Awareness…Sweat Equity…The “Dream” Breakdown…

In this Masterclass lecture, we have a heart to heart discussion about the inevitable growing pains the actor faces along his, her or their artistic journey. Let’s face it, to do this type of work, and to do it with the level of truth and artistic integrity that this work demands, it is going to ask the actor to look at, examine, feel, explore and then reveal (from his, her or their very being) certain aspects of the human condition that maybe a non-actor may not have to or be keen on experiencing. It is all the trials and tribulations and all the discomfort those obstacles cause, that are the very stimulus to a greater understanding of life and expansion as artists, and quite frankly, as human beings. All that “stuff” keys us into a greater and more compassionate comprehension of the human condition so it can then be revealed with integrity and truth within the work. In order for us to do this, we have to continually work on a greater awareness within our lives to avoid sleepwalking through our everyday. We have to be willing to take things in. We have to be willing to take our-self, our patterns, our feelings and our own behavior in. We have to observe things. We have to do our best to see the story behind all actions and why they occur. We have to care! Our awareness spotlights how we can make more informed choices that contribute to our greatest and highest good as well as the fulfillment of all our artistic endeavors. And a lot of the time this is going to be very inconvenient, difficult, tedious and maybe even heart-wrenching work without immediate payoff. But the more the actor stays on track, the more the actor continues persevere, the more the actor continues to align, refine and cultivate his, her or their craft, the more the payoff will come when that moment(s) is meant to come to fruition. It is about trusting the process. It is about respecting the process. And it is about holding oneself accountable within and throughout the process. As we look at all this through a microscope, we can see that art mirrors life. We can see that very structure in the craft itself as we breakdown the journey to fulfilling the actor’s dream. And by understanding that breakdown from a very personal level, we can then see, feel, understand and execute how we can breakdown the character’s journey to doing all he, she or they can to fulfill his, her or their greatest dream as indicated by the text.
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
Much love,
Mario

#MarioCampanaro

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When You’re Learning The Facts Of Life…

In this Masterclass lecture, we discuss the importance of certain tools that the actor has to help him, her or them dive deep into what motivates and drives the character throughout a given text. Just as a ballet dancer needs to know all the technicalities to do a thousand faute turns and do them so they seem effortless, the actor also needs to have a set of tools supporting him, her or them to do the work. There is no shame in the actor, or any artist for that matter, needing and utilizing tools that will help physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually during the creative process. This is what makes an actor an incredible craftsman or craftswoman. It is the difference between an actor making choices that have nothing to do with the text, and an actor that makes choices that have everything to do with the text. It is also the difference between an actor going into an audition and living the writer’s work, and an actor going into the room and rewriting the writer’s work by making uninformed choices. If the actor truly wants to live in the unknown of moment, he, she or they have to be aware of what is known to do just that. This is what actually creates freedom for the actor in the space. He, she or they have to be so connected to the life essentials of the character so that he, she or they are able to freely live moment to moment based on what is driving the character forward. This is why it is so important for the actor to be able to identify, understandand connect to the unwavering uninterpreted facts as laid out in the text. These facts, otherwise known as the given circumstances may sound very elementary to some, but truth be told, the givens are the very foundation or skeleton, if you will, to the life of a character as specified by the writer. And it takes a very skilled detective to really identify all the givens, especially the most subtle of facts that can easily be skimmed over that influence the full creation of character. Once the actor is able to identify all these essentials he, she or they can then begin to understand and formulate what is the driving force, life goal, and overall dream of the character that specifies all action, motivation, and yes, even listening, throughout the arc of the entire piece. This, otherwise known as the spine, super-objective, or overall throughline is there to guide, support, specify and most importantly stimulate the actor and all his, her or their senses to live fully the life of the character. Once all this is identified, the actor then has the creative opportunity and responsibility to now bring his, her or theirinterpretation based on those facts alive using the totality of his, her or their instrument. And that is when the next chapter of the creatiive magic really starts to happen!
I hope you enjoy this lecture!

#MarioCampanaro

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The Homework…The Rehearsal…The World Of The Text…& Character Dynamics

In this Masterclass lecture, we go into great detail about the importance of diving in and implementing the actor’s process at home…otherwise known as that not-so-appealing word “homework“. Though this word may sound like one has to sit down at a desk to solve some algebra equation, it is quite the opposite. It is a time and space for the actor to get into the “known” of the text so then the actor can step into the “unknown” of the moment. It is where the artist’s sophistication and craft come into play to reveal the absolute truth of the text. It is a private reserved “meditation” where the actor sets aside time to creatively explore, intellectually know, break down, research, observe, daydream, personalize, organically understand, viscerally connect to the material…so the actor can then rawly execute the life of the world of the script that a writer has created. This necessary process really gets the actor’s mind, body, heart, gut and spirit involved in the imaginary world of the text to then make delicious and attractive artistic internal character life choices as well as specificity regarding physicality, history, wants, needs, obstacles, environment, and of course, relationships. It gives the actor the opportunity and support to get specific about the life that the actor is revealing so the actor can bring something quite stimulating to the rehearsal process that can then be dropped and actively pursued moment to moment based on what is genuinely happening in the space with his, her or their partner(s)…and then make adjustments when needed as the process goes on. It is and should be a glorious, fun, imaginative, creative and playful process for the artist! Is it work? Yes, of course! Sometimes it very well can be. But this is the actor’s work! It is the actor’s job! And it is also what separates the professional actor/artist from the hobbyist.
Enjoy the (your) process!

#MarioCampanaro

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Understanding Character…Understanding Humanity…Understanding Survival…

In this Masterclass lecture, we discuss the necessary self-exploration when it comes to approaching character and the world he, she or they reside in. It is not so much about the actor being just a “storyteller” as an instrument for what a writer has created. It is beyond that. It is about allowing oneself to be a “storyliver” in the world of the circumstances. It is also not so much about the actor trying to find a way to morph that writing and that character so it is a “comfortable fit”. But more so, about really exploring within to discover that character’s essence, life and truth within the actor so that character’s life can then be revealed and lived fully and truthfully in the space by the actor. It is a self-discovery process married with awareness, observation, research, taking in all aspects of oneself and life, and of course, the power of how it all stimulates the actor’s imagination. The process can be intimidating at times depending on the circumstances. One that requires the actor to courageously dive deep within. And also one that asks the actor to go about compassionately understanding humanity and how all humans function individually based on one’s own history, experiences, tools and the ability to survive day to day as life unfolds. As the actor goes on this journey, he, she, or they will find that everything needed already resides within so long as the heartfelt commitment to finding the truth is present. This is where transformation happens not only within the actor, not only within the artist, not only within the work itself but also within all those witnessing the moving artistry and truth that the actor lives on the stage and screen.
I hope you enjoy this heartfelt Masterlcass lecture.

#MarioCampanaro

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You Are Worthy Of Bring Witnessed…

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How Generous Are You Willing To Be?…

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A Crash Course On What It Really Means To Be Specific As An Actor…

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For The Purpose Of Art…

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