Director and playwright, Neil LaBute’s recent visit to work with my students at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop (AMAW) gave us many reasons to be happy.
To work on scenes written by LaBute and to have him right there to offer insights was just simply THE BEST! This was one of those rare occurrences where opportunity and serendipity meet and we were all so grateful for the exchange.
What struck me the most was Neil’s intimate knowledge of every scene, every character and every world he had created. He talked with such clarity and passion, I could listen to him for hours. I imagined his mind being a library of worlds and for a few hours we were invited in to take a guided tour with the author himself.
I had the chance to get up and work a scene too, which was admittedly a nerve wrecking moment…but that is one of the things I love about our studio. All our teachers get in the trenches with the students to work on their craft, no hierarchy here!
I got a chance to play and put into practice some of the ideas Neil spoke to the students about throughout the evening… to make choices that are born in the moment, it’s better to “not know” and discover “it” for the first time in the moment… and what inspired me the most, “you get to fill in the blanks – that’s what makes it interesting”.
I walked away from that experience feeling proud, grateful and hungry. Proud of my students and their fearless commitment, grateful to Neil and the “bright light” Althea who made this happen and hungry for the chance to work and weave in all the gold I discovered in this workshop.
Neil LaBute is currently in town working on the new SyFy series Van Helsing