New Zealand. Known as the land of the long, white cloud and with its own unique and thriving film industry, we've often had students make the journey from New Zealand to our Melbourne Studio to participate in our Full Time program or Master Classes. In turn, we've often daydreamed about making the reverse journey to bring Howard Fine's training to our friends 'across the ditch'.
Fortunately, Equity New Zealand recently provided us with the perfect excuse, when they got in touch and asked if Howard would like to make a quick trip to NZ to host a Master Class in Auckland, during his annual trip to Australia in June and July.
Over the weekend of July 14 and 15, Howard took the short flight from Melbourne to Auckland to host his first ever two day Master Class with an ensemble of 16 NZ actors at The Auckland Performing Arts Centre. Having learnt and rehearsed their scenes ahead of time, the actors were ready to make the most of their short time working with Howard, and we were thrilled with their openness and work ethic.
It proved to be an extremely rewarding experience for everyone. Participant Amber said: 'I feel so full and inspired by everybody's passion and craft. Honoured to have been part of this!'
'I will never forget my experience teaching here. Farewell Auckland. I am deeply touched!' Howard said at the conclusion of the class.
At the end of the New Zealand Master Class the auditors and participants burst in to traditional song to thank Howard for his passion and expertise. Overwhelmed by the emotion and intensity of what they had experienced, several actors began crying which led to Mr Howard Fine himself getting a little dewy eyed. Events such as this fuel the work we do and we are extremely grateful for the wonderful reception we received in New Zealand. The actors were fantastic - passionate, talented and hard working.
The event was such a success that we will be reserving several places in our November Master Class (hosted in Melbourne) for New Zealand actors who have already begun applying to participate.
While this was our first visit to New Zealand, we certainly hope it won't be our last, and we would like to thank Equity New Zealand, NZ Film Commission, TAPAC and all the actors and auditors involved for making this unforgettable experience possible.