Introducing the faculty and Guest Speakers of The Other Acting School.
ACTING | VOICE & MOVEMENT | CROSSPOINTS
Stephen Atkins is an actor, teacher and director whose main focus is interdisciplinary performance. After receiving his BA and MFA degrees in Canada, Stephen continued his training internationally.
His studio-training background consists of multiple methods including the Meisner Technique, Practical Aesthetics, Meyerhold’s Biomechanics,
Suzuki Actor Training, The Viewpoints, Chekhov and Grotowski-based techniques as well as contemporary dance forms.
Stephen’s project portfolio features a diverse range of works including devised theatre, musical theatre, film, TV, performance art, interactive technology and digital media.
I’ve been a teaching artist for 30 years and have developed a keen interest in methods that foster creativity and collaboration. One of my key educational philosophies is “polyfocal conspectus.” It means having the flexibility and patience to allow several methods or theories to “speak” at the same time. In short, you use whatever works for the situation because it’s both practical and applicable. It is especially rewarding if the theories appear to contradict each other.
Background & Interests
I graduated as an actor, but quickly found my feet as director and teacher. I concentrated on Film during my MFA and was a co-founder of the Tooba Physical Theatre Centre in Vancouver, BC. I later formed a BC-based performance art collective called Human Theatre which I directed for 10 years.
I have been working with performance groups and film directors internationally since 2005, developing an integrated acting system called The Crosspoints. Practice-based research outputs include directing 20+ full-length plays, 4 devised performances and 3 performance art installations.
Awards & Reviews
2018, Teaching Excellence Award Capilano University.
Mary Overlie: “Stephen Atkins has assembled a multi faceted actor training suited for the demands of new and postmodern performance. Building on his extensive resources in actor training methodologies, Atkins’ technique is one of the first cohesive acting training systems to incorporate the framework of my theory, the Six Viewpoints. I have formed a tight bond with Atkins over several years based on his unique ability to understand the depth of the Viewpoints and discuss the practices and philosophy, extending my own understanding of my work.
STORYTELLING | IMPROV | WRITING
Daniel Will-Harris is a writer, designer and performer who has taught and performed in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, China, and Japan.
His synthesis of writing, design and performance gives him a unique perspective on helping creatives produce detailed, emotionally rich characters and stories.
As well as writing, Daniel has acted in feature films, television, stage, and on the web, both scripted and improvised. This background helps him understand an actors’ process and communicate with them in ways both artistic and practical.
Background & Interests
I have degrees in Literature, Journalism and Theater from San Diego State University. My diverse background provides me with the unique ability to help writers hone their narrative voice, clarify their structure and discover a deeper sense of story. At the same time, writers can see with a Beginner’s Mind to ensure their message is clear and compelling for the reader.
I work as a writer, developmental editor and writing coach. As an editor, I help authors get published by getting to the heart of their work and finding passion in their projects. Genres include: literary and commercial fiction; non-fiction, technical, business, health, history and memoirs. I also provide a variety of editorial tasks, including proposal writing and analysis, manuscript consultation and editing, as well as ghostwriting.
I understand the myriad aspects of publishing from material to marketing. I have over 25 year’s experience in book publishing with Parallax Press, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, and many independent publishers. I’m also well-versed in print-on-demand indie publishing and the web, I have done many projects converting self published material and blogs into fully developed traditional books.
As well as writing, I’ve acted in feature films, television, stage, and on the web, both scripted and improvised. My stage training includes BATS, San Francisco’s resident improv company. This background helps me understand an actors’ process and communicate with them in ways both artistic and practical.
Awards & Reviews
I’m also known as an accomplished designer. My unique wristwatches are currently sold at the Guggenheim and MoMA, who calls me “a computer graphics pioneer,” and my work “truly unique.”
You can see my most recent watch designs at Projects Watches.
I have been teaching in many forms for over 30 years and given my unique Write in the Now workshop around the world.
My workshop helps actors deepen their characters and discover stories they can use for performance background or to create their own content. I strongly believe that actors can no longer wait around for someone else to cast them, they have to create opportunities for themselves and other creatives.
My method is intuitive and incorporates “design thinking,” which is about challenging assumptions and redefining problems.
A lifelong teacher, I’ve taught both in person, and via tele and video conferencing. My series of bestselling books and online tutorials are about design and technology. Together, they’ve taught hundreds of thousands of people how to use design, typography and computer design tools.
CHARACTER & RHYHM | TAP | MOVEMENT
Heather Cornell has spent a large part of her career directing and performing. Her projects push the boundaries of tap dance as music. Known for her deeply musical approach to the art form, she has been called one of the world’s most innovative and creative tap artists. With the home base of Manhattan, Heather has worked with some of the world’s greatest jazz and “world” musicians.
Ms. Cornell began her career in apprenticeship to six of the first generation American tap masters. She had the honor of performing frequently with Buster Brown, Eddie Brown, Harriet Browne, Cookie Cook, Steve Condos and Chuck Green. She’s been awarded choreographic fellowships from the NEA, NYSCA and NYFA. Heather was the first tap dancer ever to receive long-term choreographic “B” grants from the Canada Council (1987 – 90).
YOGA FOR ACTORS
Clare is a London based actor/musician and yoga teacher. Having discovered yoga during an MA in acting at ALRA she realised how it can not only bring you more connection and presence in life, but also professionally as an actor.
Bringing in the tools of breath, mindful movement and play she creates a space for actors to grow, develop and really inhabit the body. Clare is a 200 hour RYT and teaches classes with an emphasis on expression and exploration that can be taken off the mat and onto the stage!