Newsletter April 16th

At the South by Southwest film festival, that has just been held in Austin Texas, three of our students participated in films.  Angie Cepeda who has studied with me and my wife Susana for the last eleven years was the romantic lead in the film “Night in Old Mexico” opposite Robert Duvall.  Angie is a very famous actress in Colombia and in all of South America and Europe.  She did a television series in Madrid for two years and has recently returned to Hollywood and back to class and the Intensive.  “Starry Eyes” is a horror movie in which two other of our students, Marc Senter and Natalie Castillo appear.  Marc has been training with us for quite a number of years and both he and Natalie are regular participants in class and in the Intensive.  Susana worked with Marc and Angie thoroughly with their characters in every single scene and they have both had incredible reviews.

            A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the graduation of the actors of Intensive 2013.  I was invited to watch their scenes and monologues that they had spent the whole year working on.  Their work was awesome thanks to the incredible work and dedication that Susana put in through the whole year.  The Intensive is a once a month weekend workshop.  Susana works with them on the interpretation of the material they are assigned and the development of the character and the obligations that they need to address and fulfill.  A single weekend of work often ends with twenty or more hours of intensive work.  I come in on Saturday and teach the components of the craft while Susana works in the application of the process.  I have often said to people that one year of the Intensive is like taking four years of classes.  Inviting people into the Intensive is not favoritism or politics in any way, it is totally dependent on an actor’s readiness to deal with the obligations brought forward into the work.  Understanding the Eric Morris System is important to be able to approach the work we do there.  Susana starts them out with her “First Impressions” of the material that they are assigned.  “First Impressions” is Susana’s creation and her forthcoming book on the subject delves deep into what it is and how to use it in the actor’s journey.

            In June we have scheduled the “Major Jamboree” which takes place at the UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead.  We do three Mini Jamborees and one Major Jamboree each year.  The “Minis” are three and a half days long and each of those deals with a specific “megaproach” of the work, while the Major Jamboree covers all five of the megaproaches.  In every Jamboree each participant is assigned a monologue and a scene to do and everyone also does instrumental exercises depending on their specific instrumental needs.  The Jamboree’s are always an incredible experience for everyone.  The environment of Lake Arrowhead is totally conducive to the creative process.  The Conference Center at the lake is high in the San Bernardino Mountains almost six thousand feet high and the lake is beautiful surrounded by hundred year old pine trees and hiking trails.  Everyone receives five star lodging and three gourmet meals each day.  There is a hot tub, a beautiful swimming pool, tennis courts and a couple of hours each day to enjoy the facilities, since the work we do takes up twelve to fifteen hours each day.  The wondrous thing is that in spite of the amount of time each person spends working every day no one ever seems to get too tired to enjoy it.
            “My Hollywood Stories” is in the editorial production state and should go to the printer in the next couple of months.  Susana’s book “The Universe Within” is being written and should be out next year sometime.  My next book “A second Chance at Life” which has been outlined and has an introduction already written will probably take a couple of years to finish.

            I hope all of you that have signed up for the Newsletter will be working on the preparations and the craft that I talk about in the videos that you receive with the newsletter.  Remember preparation is ninety five percent of your ability to act, and if you are not prepared you cannot act!
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