“This workshop is based on principles of the craft of acting as I explain them in my book, “Acting and How to Be Good at It” (The Second Edition) with a foreword by Sydney Pollack. The workshop concentrates on monologues. A monologue is uninterrupted speech by one person. Monologue Power is the name I have chosen to describe the importance of monologues to the actor’s craft. Monologue work is powerful because it releases the actor from dependence on the personality or performance of any other actor and from being victimized by the unforeseen circumstances of auditions, rehearsals, and performances. It forces the actor to be so knowledgeable about his character and so immersed in the character’s life that the character becomes responsible for his own behavior, no matter what happens.”
This workshop requires that you bring two memorized monologues. For teaching purposes, I have five criteria that I impose on an actor’s monologue choices. Here are those criteria and the reasons why they are important to me: 1. The monologue must be in contemporary English. 2. The monologue must be from a published or produced work. 3. The monologue must be spoken to another person who is present, alive, and able to respond, even though, in this particular scene, the other person is silent. 4. The subject and content of the monologue must be important in the life of the character. The more problematic and personal the circumstance is for the character, the better I like it. 5. The monologue must be of sufficient length (at least two minutes) to give the character an opportunity to demonstrate some range of his thoughts and feelings.
This workshop will, of necessity, include some answers to important questions that every professional actor needs answered. In my book, “Acting and How to Be Good at It” I provide the questions and the answers. In the workshop, the actors work will provide the answers.
Basil will be donating some photos from his previous productions to the class.
Each student will receive a signed photo.
Keith West will also be auctioning off photos at the fundraising event the night prior to the class.
Basil Hoffman is best known for his work, often in classic films, with distinguished film directors, including Peter Bogdanovich, Mario Monicelli, Richard Benjamin, Carl Reiner (twice), Peter Medak (six times) and Alan J. Pakula (twice); Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, Paolo Sorrentino, Michel Hazanavicius, Steven Spielberg, Delbert Mann, Blake Edwards, Stanley Donen, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Robert Redford (twice as director); and many others.
A long-time private acting teacher and coach in New York and Los Angeles, he has also been a frequent guest lecturer and teacher at prestigious academic and professional institutions, including (among many others) the American Film Institute, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the University of Southern California, Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and, in Beirut, Lebanon: the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Notre Dame University, Lebanese University and St. Joseph University.
In 2008, he returned to Beirut as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Lebanon to teach acting and directing at the University of Balamand’s Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Lebanese University, Notre Dame University and St. Joseph University’s Institut D’Etude Sceniques Audiovisuelles et Cinematographiques.
He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild and the Fine Arts Advisory Council of Loyola Marymount University. He is an Advisory Director of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He is also the author of the acting textbooks, COLD READING AND HOW TO BE GOOD AT IT and ACTING AND HOW TO BE GOOD AT IT (and The Second Edition) with a foreword by Sydney Pollack.