In this very uncertain time, a lot of performers will be trying to keep up their training at home. I always try and draw something positive out of a negative situation and try and grab opportunities to learn and develop. I hope I can share some of the ways I have been keeping up my remote training and help people who are looking for online classes to take.
There are so many online classes at the moment and this time is a good chance to work with new teachers you wouldn’t normally get the chance to be taught by, and who may in the future be the other side of the panel when you are auditioning in the industry. It is such a great opportunity to learn from them, learn how they teach and what their style is like.
If you are looking for your ballet fix, I would highly recommend tuning into Charise Renouf’s classes or Paul Farrell, Insta live classes. They are for all levels and for me personally they have been helping my technique and strength grow. Bethany Huckle teaches a jazz, body conditioning and tap classes weekly on Facebook, they are a chance to keep up on all aspects of training. There are also many other teachers who have classes in a variety of disciplines. ‘Magnetic Movement’ on Instagram is a great place to look. Each week they collate classes from many industry professionals into one timetable. You simply just log onto Instagram and search for their page to watch their live video at a specified time.
As well as dance, I have been doing lots of fitness classes. I am particularly enjoying barre fitness at the moment. I started doing barre fitness about 4 years ago and love its total body conditioning effect. Barre combines the technical aspects of ballet and Pilates to improve alignment, range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Barre fitness is great for dancers to keep up strength in between classes and likewise fab for non-dancers to feel that burn! I have been trying Blok, The Barre Boy, Gabby Cocca and Psycle for barre. I have also been doing other workouts and general body conditioning to keep myself fit. Barry’s classes on Instagram are live several times a day and they do a lot of really great full body work outs but be sure to bring a towel because you will sweat! I have found all of these classes really useful especially as I hope to train in some form of dance based fitness teaching in the future.
I have been regularly attending Stephen King’s ‘F the C word’ seminars for performers in vocational training. Vocal coach and vocal health expert Stephen has brought together a group of teachers offering lessons on zoom. They are on a wide variety of topics, ranging from singing technique, vocal anatomy, acting through song and branding yourself as a performer. You can find the links in the ‘F the C word’ Facebook group.
At the moment I am finding the most productive way of working on myself as an actor is watching plays and different kinds of theatre. I am also working on monologues to add to my repertoire which I think is very beneficial as I wouldn’t normally have the time to do so.
I have also been doing lots of research into companies I like and perhaps want to audition for in the future and I am gaining lots of inspiration. For instance, I attended a virtual interview with Gecko’s artistic director, Amit Lahav and got the chance to ask him some questions myself. I am also attending Jasmin Vardimon company’s zoom Pilates and stretching classes. I am loving taking these classes in the evenings after a busy day and having a good stretch to cool down. I also got the chance to talk to one of the dancers in the company one evening when the class was fairly quiet. It was great to chat about her training and how she came to the company. Another company I would recommend looking into is Matthew Bourne’s ‘New Adventures’ who have been running weekly ballet and contemporary classes on their Instagram live. You get taught by their company dancers as well as learning about the company.
In my spare time I have been working on other areas of fitness not covered in classes, broadening my singing rep, and I have watched some musicals online. If you are a performing arts student, the chances are you are also really missing going to the theatre. There are some great online sources to watch theatre including NT live on YouTube and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. This time out of training is a good opportunity to watch theatre you may usually never choose to see. To break up the days I have rest breaks to do other activities not related to training. Going for a walk or cycle perhaps is a good way to get out of the house. Cooking or baking and spending time with people around you is also great for taking a break from training from home.
I hope that by sharing some of the things I have been doing to keep up my training, I have given you some ideas to think about. Please share this with anyone you think could benefit from some tips on remote performing arts training. Stay home and keep training!