Congratulations on enrolling in the Foundation Course
Firstly, thank you for committing to technique-driven training and for bringing your energy and enthusiasm to The Studio. The Foundation Course is a rigorous introduction into the fundamentals of the technique that defines The Howard Fine Acting Studio. The
course has a very steep learning curve, from simple concepts and lessons in the opening classes to comprehensive and advanced approaches to scene work, rehearsal and homework from the mid-point of the course onwards.
The program requires participants to complete several hours of homework each week so please be sure to get some rest in before the class commences. Below you will find important information that will help you prepare for and make the most of the course, and we ask that you please read everything carefully.
COURSE DATES AND CLASS TIMES
For more information on dates and times please refer to the Foundation page.
Please note that as this is a six-week intensive course, missing any classes throughout the duration of the program is prohibited without prior consent as it has the potential to impact on your classmates. It is expected that everyone be prompt to class and be
respectful of each other both in and out of the learning environment.
The full course fee for Foundation is $1750. By this stage of enrolment, you should have either paid your deposit, or the entire course fee upfront.
If you have only paid your deposit so far, please note that two payments of $650 remain to complete full payment for the course. The first payment of $650 is due before the first day of class, and the second payment of $650 is due by the third week of the program.
You can complete by clicking here, selecting 'first payment' or 'final payment' from the drop down box on the righthand side, and clicking 'enrol now' to add the payment to your cart.
All participants of the Foundation course should be aware that there is a degree of pre-course homework that needs to be completed prior to the commencement of the program. Students must read Howard’s book ‘Fine On Acting: A Vision of the Craft’ and ‘A Challenge for the Actor’ by Uta Hagen. Both of these books are available for purchase at The Studio for $35 each (cash only) but please do contact us first to see if there are any copies available. We also sell Howard's book via our website, which you can purchase by clicking here. The book is also available via online retailers such as The Book Depository and and Amazon.
You may also like to familiarise yourself with some of the work you will be doing by watching Uta Hagen's 'Acting Class' DVD. This DVD is also available from online retailers, however it is currently also available on Youtube. You can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Finally, on the first day of class we recommend bringing the following with you:
- Your copies of 'A Challenge for the Actor' and 'Fine on Acting: A Vision of the Craft'
- A notepad, highlighter and pen, etc.
- Any homework Marilyn has asked you to complete before the course begins
- A voice-recorder or phone with room to record notes (optional)
- Water, a snack/lunch (a fridge and kitchen facilities will be available to you)
Below, you will also find a word from your tutor Marilyn McIntyre with some tips on how to prepare for class, as well as some short homework tasks:
Hello HFAS-Aus Actors!
I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at our first class. We’ll be covering a tremendous amount in Foundation: Comprehensive Technique, followed by the Relationship Between Homework and Rehearsal. It’s a lot to cover in a very short time so there are some things that you need to do in preparation for class.
1) Keep an Acting Journal. If you prefer, you can keep a separate notebook for your acting notes. You’re welcome to record the class, but I’m requesting that you also take notes. It’s imperative that actors learn to listen carefully and take notes specifically. This will serve you well throughout your career.
2) Read Howard’s book, FINE ON ACTING: A Vision of the Craft*, by the first class. This is essential so that you’re familiar with it and his concepts. Enter your reflections, responses and questions in your Journal! (*Bring Howard’s book and your Journal/notebook to every class.)
3) As soon as you’ve finished Howard’s book, read Uta Hagen’s A CHALLENGE FOR THE ACTOR*. I strongly recommend that you watch her video, “Uta Hagen’s Acting Class”. It captures her brilliant teaching, her insight, and her wit. You’ll hear her voice as you read her book, which makes it easier and more fun. (FYI – You’ll see me doing Object Exercise #10, Historical Imagination, playing “Charlotta” from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard). You’ll be doing the first two Object Exercises later in class. (#1 “Destination” and #2 “Fourth Side”) so you will be expected to have read at least through the Chapters on “The Exercises” by the end of the second week of class. (*Bring Ms. Hagen’s book to every class, too)
4) Bring a paragraph or two from a novel, short story, or autobiography that is a descriptive, sensorial narrative. This should not be a plot-driven passage, but rather a passage that uses the senses to describe a scenario. Please be prepared to read it out loud and share it with the class. It should be approximately 60-90 seconds in length. Keep it short and sensorial. Read it out loud at home before reading it in class.
5) Bring in 2 tongue twisters, (a copy for you and one for me.) Be familiar with your choices. Google “tongue-twisters for ideas if you don’t already have a couple.
6) Have a good joke to share with the class.
Please come to class prepared, and with all the materials that you need and assignments completed. Please wear clothes that are comfortable and that you can move in easily. No flip-flops, loose sandals or high-heels. Have something to tie back your hair. No big jewellery or belt-buckles. Be prepared to work hard and play hard. “Play” is the important word while you’re in class.
I’m really looking forward to starting this journey with you. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and always remember that each of you will have your own personal experience of the work and of this journey. Bring an open mind and an open heart to class and to your work, and you’ll find that your journey will be exciting, challenging and, I hope, revelatory.
See you in class.
CLASS CONTENT and rehearsals
Please note that in addition to the scheduled class time, there will be approximately eight hours of homework per week to be completed outside of class. This will include reading, journaling, script homework and rehearsals.
The course is split in to two sections:
- Comprehensive Technique
- The Relationship Between Homework and Rehearsal
The first part of the course includes a large degree of solo work. Throughout the second
half of the course you will be doing partnered scene work. It is therefore expected that
you will have some availability outside of class time to rehearse with your scene partner.
STUDIO INFORMATION PACK and rehearsal space bookings
There are various procedures and guidelines in place here at The Studio in relation to the space and how to utilize it so everyone can enjoy a clean and safe working environment. Please read The Studio Information Pack, which includes information on kitchen use, rehearsal space hire, parking and public transport, etc. You can access it by clicking here. Please take the time to read this carefully, as it will hopefully answer a lot of your questions prior to beginning the course.
Please be sure to to read our rehearsal space booking policies contained within the Studio Information Pack, however for future, quick reference, rehearsal space can be booked via the following link: https://hfasrehearsals.acuityscheduling.com/.
STAGE MANAGERS AND PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS
Here at The Studio, we rely on the help of everyone involved in class to help keep classes running smoothly and efficiently. To streamline this process, a student from the class will be performing the role of Stage Manager. The Stage Manager is your main point of contact throughout the course for logistical matters. Some things that the Stage Manager will do include:
- Forwarding messages from the tutor to all participants.
- Requesting floor plans and furniture requirements for your scenes in order to create a class running order.
- Over-seeing the changeover of scenes in each class.
- Making sure The Studio is neat and tidy at all times.
As a participant in class, we will often request your help with certain things in order to assist the Stage Manager. Below we have outlined the expectations of everyone taking part in classes at The Studio. These expectations are put in place for everyone’s benefit and it is therefore greatly appreciated that you adhere to the following:
- Be on time for every class. If, for some reason, you are running late for class, please inform the Stage Manager and, when applicable, your scene partner as well.
- Be prompt in responding to the Stage Manager’s requests, both during and outside of class.
- Be prompt in sending your floor plans and furniture requirements for a scene or Hagen exercise to the Stage Manager. This is what helps decide the running order for each class and aids in efficiency.
- Bring your own copy of your floor plan to give to the Stage Manager at the start of class.
- Assist with set changes between scenes. This is expected of everyone at every scene change.
- Help the Stage Manager at all times when in The Studio. This will often include helping to tidy up the space at the end of each class, putting furniture away, making sure the kitchen area is clean, arranging the chairs neatly in the space, and any other cleaning and tidying that may need to be done. With everyone’s help, this can take a minimal amount of time and goes a long way to helping both the Stage Manager and The Studio.
- Finally, if you are uncertain of anything related to class, contact the Stage Manager first.
PERSONAL BELONGINGS AT THE STUDIO
Given the nature of the work here at The Studio, we appreciate that people often need to bring lots of personal items from home for use in their scene. However, for the safety of your belongings and space restrictions at The Studio, we’d appreciate it if you could take as many of your personal belongings home at end of each class as possible. There is a very limited amount of shelving/storage space available for each scene, and this will be allocated by the Stage Managers at the beginning of the course. We advise that you leave your personal belongings here at your own risk, and The Studio is not responsible for any loss or damage of personal belongings.
OTHER THINGS THAT MAY TAKE YOUR INTEREST
Get to know your tutor a little more before class commences. Marilyn’s website has general information, photos and videos of past work, and lots of other things that you may find interesting. You can also listen to Marilyn’s interview about her work and involvement with the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia here and here.
Also, get to know Howard Fine, the Artistic Director of The Studio, a little more. Watch his FilmNut interview with Jeff Schubert and their discussion on technique, the relationship between homework and rehearsal and some of the coaching work Howard has done.
Finally, if you have any further questions about the course or The Studio in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to welcoming you to The Studio in soon!