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"Whether it is being applied to a fictional person or a real person, the word “character” means precisely the same thing: What a human being is willing to do in order to achieve those things which they want, and the grace they are able to demonstrate in the face of the obstacles which will invariably arise along the way.

 

Writers get to tell us what their fictional people want, but we must decide what we want, ourselves. The Actor’s Gym exists in order to help actors build “character” in both senses, onstage and off."

 

- David Perlow, Studio Director

 

GYM CLASSES

Classes at The Actors Gym meet once a week, every week, on a monthly basis. With class size limited to twelve actors, scenes work for half an hour, speeches for fifteen minutes, and all material is assigned based on each actors artistic desires and needs. 

 

ONE-ON-ONE

One-On-One sessions with David allow you to dive deeper into your material, whether it's for a specific audition or for private training on a consistent basis.

 

A graduate of the NYU Tisch Drama School, David began his career as an actor, making his Broadway debut in the TONY winning 2010 revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, before appearing in over 1000 performances as the role of Fiyero in WICKED. As a director, he has been on the teams of five Broadway productions, most recently serving as Associate Director of the TONY winning revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. As a teacher, he has worked with the drama departments at NYU Tisch, UT Austin, and many other universities across the country. 

CONTACT

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STUDIO POLICY

New enrollees! 

Please read this through to the end as, in addition to important information concerning payment and attendance, it expands on matters of preparation and approach which will see you on the path to achieving your full potential for creative growth at the studio.

ENROLLMENT
  • All enrollment must be processed through the website enrollment form. This ensures that all information which the studio needs (Selected day of the week, Venmo handle, Email, Choice of speech or scene) is on file, and readily accessible by the studio.

PAYMENT
  • Payments to the studio must be sent through Venmo: @TheActorsGym. Cash is also accepted as long as it is paid by the due date.

  • The deposit is required in order to secure a slot for the month. An email indicating ones intention to enroll will not result in a confirmation of enrollment, nor will completion of the online enrollment form without completing the subsequent Venmo deposit request. Only once an actor's deposit is processed will that actor receive an emailed confirmation that their slot for the month has been reserved. 

  • All deposits are non-refundable. After the due date on the first class of each month, enrollment fee balances are non-refundable, and non-transferable.

  • The balance of an actor's monthly enrollment fee must be processed by the start of their first class of that month regardless of the actor's attendance to that class. If an actor arrives to their first class of the month without having submitted the balance of their enrollment fee, they will be asked to do so before class begins. If, by their first class of the month, an actor has not communicated any extenuating circumstances to the studio, has not submitted the balance of their enrollment fee, and is absent to that class, that actor forfeits their slot for the month and will be replaced by an actor on the wait-list.

PREPARATION
  • All material rehearsed at the studio is assigned by the studio based on each individual artist's need and preference. This, with the understanding that the studio reserves the right to decide what to assign based on its determination of what would most benefit any given actor's growth. The studio will do all it can to accommodate material requests, but asks that actors trust that if a decision is made to go in a different direction, that the studio has the actor's best creative interests in mind.

  • If an actor has not taken the opportunity to communicate to the studio whether they would prefer a scene or speech by the time material is distributed for the month, that actor forfeits the opportunity to choose, and must work on what the studio has assigned them.

  • When material is distributed for the month, included in the email is this passage:

    "Each month, once this material is sent, you are accountable only to yourselves and to your scene partners. The responsibility of navigating one another's rehearsal availability, class attendance and any other collaborative obstacles you may encounter is an essential element of the studio process, and lies exclusively in your very capable hands. Please communicate with one another early and often about any planned absences in order that your partner will have sufficient time to request and prepare a speech to work on while you are away."In other words, once material assignments have been distributed for the month, the studio must put its attention elsewhere, and accepts no responsibility for navigating actors' individual availability issues. This is especially true as it applies to scene partners' availability to one another. If scene partners make the determination that their conflicts do preclude them from collaborating with one another on a scene, the studio will be happy to assign those actors speeches upon request by email.

  • All material rehearsed at the studio must be memorized. The studio believes that there is very little room for an actor to grow while placing conscious attention on word retrieval. There are so many variables which arise during the work that are out of the actors control, knowledge of ones material should never be one of them, and so the studio asks that the actor prepares thoroughly.

  • Scenes at work in the studio will not be permitted to have anyone on book for them during the second two weeks of each month. By then, actors will have had their material for at least four weeks, more than enough time to have harnessed it with confidence. 

  • The studio welcomes communication from all of its artists. However, actors are encouraged to make all decisions about the work they are to present on their own, and without first emailing the studio for guidance or approval prior to class. 

APPROACH
  • The Actor's Gym's speech and scene study classes occur in a decidedly non- commercial space. For example: The studio does not hold mock-audition style workshops, as it believes that the objective of such workshops is to simulate an environment of fear. It is the philosophy of The Actor's Gym that the artist must have a workplace set as far as possible from the distractions of commercial settings in order to create the room they need to achieve their full potential for artistic growth. The studio's objective being that its actors then return to their commercial responsibilities armed with an emboldened sense of confidence in their artistic abilities, an expanded awareness of previously unrealized creative potential, and therefore, of having become naturally more relaxed in commercial environments. The Actor's Gym chooses to simulate a positive, and professionally demanding live rehearsal environment. Rather than directly simulating commercial fear in the hopes of improving actors' ability to be creative while afraid, The Gym's approach is based on the belief that commercial success is achieved indirectly, by first unburdening the actor of their commercial cares, in order that they may return to them with greater confidence in their ability to thrive as artists.

CONFLICTS
  • While the studio understands that actors' schedules tend to be difficult to predict, it must be said that The Actor's Gym is not a come-when-you-can studio. The studio takes pride in distinguishing itself by attending to actors on a very individual basis, and cultivating an atmosphere closer to a dedicated theater company in which actors become reliant on one another. The studio therefore asks that actors make the decision to prioritize their work in class each week, which begins by being present, and being prepared. In exchange for this investment, the studio guarantees its actors that they will receive the attention they need in order to reach their full artistic potential, and that from their colleagues, they will reap all of the benefits of a strong, supportive studio community.

  • If an actor has a conflict which prevents their attendance on the day for which they have enrolled, their scene partner will email the studio requesting a speech to rehearse in their absence, and the scene will lose that day of work. 

MEMBERSHIP
  • The Actor's Gym's Vocal Performance Seminar is held during the second two Wednesdays of each month, and is available only to actors already enrolled in monthly speech and scene study classes. The studio prefers to ensure that an actor first invests in building a strong foundation in acting before applying that foundation to their work on songs. Any and all commercial questions are welcomed in the VPS, as we spend plenty of this time discussing audition technique from song selection to execution.

  • The Actor's Gym believes in providing actors with the time required to develop new and enduring strategies to sharpen their creative processes from the ground up. Therefore, at a minimum, scenes will work for a half-an-hour per class, and speeches for fifteen minutes.

  • Most Importantly: Each enrollee receives a free The Actor's Gym water bottle!