Seydways Acting Studios is a complete, exclusive professional acting studio designed to equip the actor with the tools, technique and training required to be successful in today’s acting profession. Based on his professional experience as a director and a teacher working with thousands of actors over the last 35 years, Richard Seyd has created specific techniques to help actors overcome the most common obstacles associated with the profession of acting. Our classes are built on a foundation of four goals:
- Being effortlessly in the moment (Trigger Approach) through scene study
- Nurturing the imagination of the actor (Character Memory Work) through in-depth character study
- Expanding the range of an actor (Stretch Work) through personalized scenarios
- Empowering the actor with specific yet practical audition techniques
The nature of this work is very intimate, personal yet practical. Each class is taught by a small group of professional teachers hand picked by Richard. Together, these teachers carry a diverse, strong and legitimate background of working in the industry. Our instructors teach all of Richard’s techniques as well as other classes covering voice work (Fitzmaurice), film acting, commercial acting (Ted Mattison), auditioning, private coaching (Maura Vincent) and acting fundamentals.
All of the teachers at Seydways Acting Studios recognize the personal and vulnerable nature of the actor’s exploration. For this reason, we adhere to the following guidelines:
For this reason, we keep our classes small (12 maximum for ongoing classes). This intimate setting allows each actor to discover their unique voice while exploring the elements and boundaries of their craft while working each week.
Since the primary life journey of each actor is to increase the range of human behavior, we train actors to find the range in themselves to play a wide variety of characters in specific or imagined circumstances.
The obvious challenge with acting as a profession is making it a sustainable life choice. We create a noncompetitive and safe environment in which risks can be taken without judgment or criticism. We define the lines between imagination and reality and profession and passion. The individual work of each actor is then practiced and sustainable.
Our classes focus on equipping the profession actor with practical acting techniques as well as exceptional training with regards to creativity, choices and character. We want your work to begin in the studio and then translate into your professional work. We believe that actors need to understand the rigorous demands of the business in order to succeed. To that end, we explore acting theory but apply it to the practical application within the business of acting.
We offer courses in the technical skill-sets that actors need for their professional work in theatre, film, and television. Throughout each year, we enhance our training with seminars and workshops on audition technique, commercial acting, on-camera technique, business practices, screen writing and much more. These classes are usually offered in a series of ongoing workshops in addition to our regular class schedule. We also offer private coaching on audition taping for our students.
If you have any questions, please contact us here.
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About the Trigger Approach
All actors are told that “being in the moment” is important, but no one teaches the actor how to be in the moment effortlessly. The Trigger Approach is designed to give the actor a working methodology for achieving that performance state. Originally developed by Richard Seyd the approach is a way of breaking down text, thought by thought, to enable the actor to live more authentically and spontaneously in the moment during performance. This is an approach that begins the first time you see the script and continues throughout the performance. Although developed as a way of breaking down theatre scripts and live performances, among our students this technique has proven to be invaluable for film work and on-camera auditions.
To find out more about The Trigger Approach, please read this insightful article written by Richard Seyd for Backstage West: How To Be “In The Moment” Without Really Trying.
Also available for viewing is the Being in the Moment free online seminar, a series of videos in which Richard discusses how actors can be in the moment without really trying.
About Stretch Work
Ever watch a movie or audition for one with the feeling that a certain role was perfect for you? Almost as if the writer had you in mind when he wrote it? The more comfortable we feel portraying certain roles the better we do in auditions, on the set and on the stage. The larger our range as actors the larger variety of roles we feel comfortable playing.
Stretch Work focuses on expanding your range as an actor. The actor and the teacher first agree on what areas of their work the student is weak. All actors have natural strengths and weaknesses. Through very highly structured improvisational work the teacher focuses the actor on his or her own problem areas. Through this work, over time, the weaknesses themselves become strengths, enabling the actor to approach their work with more confidence and to become more fully rounded as a performer. It is a profoundly effective way to continue growing as an actor. Our classes are a safe way to explore the roles you may have shied away from without any negatives repercussions.
To find out more about Stretch Work, please read this interview with Richard Seyd featured in Backstage West: Stretch Work: An Interview with Richard Seyd.
We know that in order to succeed great actors must not only be great in class, but on the set and in the audition. When working on audition skills, the classes focus on finding and preparing monologues that show your full range, cold readings, rules for how to control your own audition and be as comfortable and confident as possible. Time is given (during the ongoing classes) for students who would like to spend class time preparing for upcoming auditions. Time will also periodically be spent discussing how to behave on set and in rehearsal as well as how to develop a marketing strategy for yourself as an actor (dealing with casting directors, agents, photos, resumes, etc).
To find out more about Audition Technique, please read this article written by Richard Seyd and Bobby Weinapple for Callboard Magazine: Auditioning: Prepared Readings and Controlling the Time.
What is Fitzmaurice Voicework? Fitzmaurice Voicework combines classical voice training for the theatre with adaptations of several body-based disciplines including yoga, bioenergetics, and shiatsu. The first phase, called Destructuring, opens the breathing (the energy for voice) and reduces bodily tension, which masks and limits the full range and expressiveness of the voice. The actor becomes aware of vibration throughout the body and deepens the connection of the voice to spontaneous impulse. The second phase, called Restructuring, develops support and focus for the voice so that actors can share themselves fully, without straining with other actor and with audience large and small.
Where is Fitzmaurice Voicework taught? Fitzmaurice Voicework is taught in the MFA Acting programs at Yale and Harvard Universities, at the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre, at NYU studios and in many other training programs throughout the world.
Who is the founder of Fitzmaurice Voicework? Catherine Fitzmaurice studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England where she was a scholarship holder and prizewinner. During the last thirty-five years, she has adapted body-based disciplines (yoga etc.) for voice training and combined with classical techniques to form Fitzmaurice Voicework. Now based in New York, she has thought voice all over the world, including Julliard, Yale, Harvard, NYU, The Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Moscow Art Theatre. Ms. Fitzmaurice is currently writing a book about her work.
In today’s fast-paced and time-pressured world of auditioning, actors need to know that they have the resources and support from which they can generate their best work. Seydways Acting Studios offers extensive and reliable private coaching. Our coaches have proven practices and techniques designed to hone you in on your best, authentic work in any given circumstance. We can meet with you one-on-one in studio, remotely through Skype or on-set (if necessary).