5 November 2011

Masterclass with Ralph Fiennes

Ralph  Fiennes Master class

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend an acting ‘Masterclass’ with Ralph Fiennes.
It wasn’t so much a masterclass the usual terms(where you work with the tutor and they give you tips on technique etc) but it was really a talk.
It took place in the theatre where Ralph is currently performing The Tempest – which has an amazing set. Ralph was interviewed by the Head of Central School of Drama (I didn’t catch his name).
The interview was rather hilarious as though the Head of Central tried his best to create leading grandiose questions diving into the depths and mystery of acting, Ralph was quite blunt about his techniques (I don’t really know), and his method of getting into a character (I start by memorizing my lines)!

Here are a couple of great points he made that I wanted to share:
¨               Every project carries a different spirit of truth

¨               I don’t really know what my technique is. We were exposed to many things which was great and you just take what works for you.

¨               I guess I just use my imagination.

¨               Script – learn the lines, and latch onto certain lines that are important to the character. These help unlock the charater.

¨               What is acting? What is truth? Ralph explained his year at RADA were exposed to everything, all different types of teachers from different disciplines.

¨               You need to find a way to effortlessly slide into the truth. Which is part of letting go of the work and forgetting it once you get into the audition or the show.

¨               On directing: “Its natural, youre involved in so many things creating the piece it just seems to be natural progression”

¨               On how you keep going and keep creating in this industry. “You form these bonds, these connections - its important and sometimes things happen.” I thought this was really pertinent to the various meetups and networking events especially UK Actors Tweetup. Its about meeting your fellow collaborators and working with/alongside them. It also helps you stay connected to your truth and “keeps the hunger going”.

¨               Working with Anthony Hopkins taught Ralph “he works in immediate truth. No big discussions on character, its all about right now.”

¨               We are all in a constant state of learning.

¨               Asked about watching/performing to different language shows. “It is about the skills of actors but Im interested in the spirit of actors. Especially with non English speaking audiences.”

¨               “A performance that happens on stage no on can edit”

¨               Asked about Doubt: “Every actors wrestles with doubt. Fear of failure or fear of self belief – but you can bounce off of it. I have it in my head. Everyone has doubts and fears and if they don’t they’re suspect. Use support of other actors to help you. You can be very lonely so doubt surfaces – so community is very important.”

¨               Asked about advice for young actors:
Keep the Energy Alive
Don’t Drop the Ball

So that's it - it was lovely to hear such a great actor still talking about imagination, fun and  just getting back to the basics.
Hope you enjoyed reading it too!

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