Monday, July 25, 2011

The Treasures of Step III: Basic Scene Study by Josephine Hoy

"There's no such thing as nothing." Sanford Meisner

When I first began my study at Freehold, just the thought of walking up the narrow, steep stairs to the theatre was enough to trigger mental paralysis and terror (and not only because I lack all grace and the ability to navigate stairs without tripping).

I felt like a fraud in a room full of, well, people who weren't frauds. But over the course of the three foundation courses (Step I, II and III), I was introduced to acting as "craft"--not just some lofty art form that people are born and perish with or without a talent for, but something that requires dedication, work, refinement, tools…and yet still, even when Freehold became a second home for me, at the end of each course I would beg my teacher to tell me whether I shouldn't just give it all up and concede defeat.

You see (and I'm sure each instructor I've had at Freehold will find it difficult to suppress their knowing laugh), for many of us, understanding a lesson intellectually and physically feeling it to be true don't always occur at the same time.

And that's why I took Step III: Scene Study twice.

Building upon the lessons learned in previous courses, we continue to engage with our scene partners, to remain present and active, to listen and to give of ourselves. We build our relationships, our lives as characters. We learn to treasure 'the moment before'. We learn to focus on the words we are given. And those we are not given. And we learn to treasure the text as a whole, reading and thinking and unlocking the specificity of the playwright, which enables us to 'make strong choices'.

I can't even begin to express how valuable this class was for me (I mean, really, I took it twice) or quantify every lesson I learned. But I can say that at the end of this course, I didn't look desperately at my teacher and ask him if I should quit altogether. Instead, I asked 'what's next'?


Freehold's fall classes will open up for registration on Monday, August 15th. To be notified of our upcoming classes, join our mailing list by emailing us at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freehold's ETI Graduates Upcoming Work

We are very excited for our graduating ETI students and their exciting future plans/endeavors including upcoming shows and more training. See where you might catch them in the future:

Monica Chilton and Phillip Mitchell will soon be attending a month-long Shakespeare intensive at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Lori Evans is in Wonderland with Theatre Simple at different park locations this summer July-Aug Ballard Locks; Bellevue Botanical Gardens; Lake Meridian, Kent; Auburn) and in September starts rehearsing Into the Woods in Bellingham with Mount Baker Theatre which performs Oct 5-9 2011.

Tony Leahy will be performing with his Improv group Safeword for one night only, this Saturday, July 9 at 8:00pm at the Jewel Box theater, which is in the Rendezvous Bar in Belltown (2322 2nd Avenue).

Parker Matthews will be in Tartuffe, with SecondStory Repertory running August 5-28.

Riley Neldam will be seen in Seattle Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Seattle Shakespeare, October 20 - November 13.

Caleb Slavens will be in Anthony and Cleopatra with Greenstage, July 8 - August 13. Free shows!

Kiki Yeung has a lead in a sci-fi film God Machine, shooting in August 19-28, costarring Robert Leeshock star from Sci-fi series Earth-Final Conflict. Kiki is also doing a stage reading at ACT theatre 8/1 with John Jacobson's mentee, Andrew Iseminger called Little Pricks, a pilot episode sitcom.

We look forward to seeing more updates from our ETI alums and all the great work to come!

Photo of ETI students in Freehold's production of PERICLES.