Quick-fire Q&A | Allain + Camilleri on Actor Training

Stacie asked Paul Allain and Frank Camilleri to answer 4 quick questions related to their training and teaching approaches.

1. Can you describe your work in a less than 100 words?

P: Exploring ways of engaging the performer through physical movement and vocal exercises in order to be more energised, receptive, flexible and ready.

F: ‘Very physical’ and ‘auto-didact’ are the phrases I would use. I am the Artistic Director of Icarus Performance Project (www.icarusproject.info) – a theatre laboratory practice that investigates the space between training and performance processes. In the course of my activity in theatre I have developed a way of relating to the work of the actor based on a study of elaboration of acrobatics, plastiques, martial arts, dance, and mime. I have also developed a vocal training process which evolved from the work on physical actions.

2. Can you describe each others work in less than 100 words?

P:  Exploring precision in movement and actor training to focus and release the performer’s full  physical and creative potential.

F: My impression of Paul’s work is that it is more contact-based and ensemble than mine; this includes also vocal work.

3. Can you describe your style of facilitation?

P: I like the work to be precise but playful, fun and energising and to be rooted in shared common objectives and practices from which individual creativity and embodied understanding can grow.

F: I have to be there, physically, with students/actors, doing the work with them, intervening on any individual obstacles/hinderances by bringing my skills to bear on the particular difficulty. (That is, I do not lead from outside or through words.)

 4. Can you explain – in your opinion –  the importance of video as a resource for research in the area of Physical Acting?

P: Video is the future as it allows us to see, hear and understand principles of actor training in a embodied way and without the mediation of words alone.

F: Video provides an immediate ‘how to’ that is more effective (and affective) than text or even images. (On a personal note, the turning point in my personal training was watching the video of Cieslak’s plastiques — I used to watch it almost daily for around six months, sometimes focusing his use of balance, sometimes of his arms, sometimes his stomach to see his breathing patterns, etc.)

Paul Allain and Frank Camilleri

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