Each class is five and a half to six hours in length Everyone works individually in every class, doing an instrumental exercise, a monologue, scene or scene parallel. The first two exercises are done by the whole group; the preliminary exercise which consists of relaxation (eliminating all the tension) using specific techniques for doing that, which is followed by “sensitizing” elevating the accessibility in all five senses, which is also done with specific techniques created by Eric. The third part of the preliminary preparations is called “personal inventory” which is done audibly or semi audibly asking ones self “how do I feel “and responding emotionally to that question. The actor must include his distractions, commentary and awarenesses while responding to “how do I feel.” The preliminary group is designed to 1. eliminate tension (tension is the actors arch enemy) 2. To elevate the sensitivity and accessibility of all five senses 3. to find out where the actor is emotionally so that he or she then can select the next exercise or preparation to prepare to address dramatic material.
The second group exercise is a craft involvement. Using one of the approaches indigenous to the process. Usually there is a different craft exercise each week, although some craft approaches may be repeated a number of times. There are a huge number of exercises that are part of the craft process, besides getting selflessly involved with the other actor by doing “observe, perceive and wonder in relation to each other, they might use one of the many choice approaches like imaginary dialogue, endowments, imaginary monologues, Imaging etc. (all of these techniques are explained and taught in the classes. After the first two group exercises which take the better part of an hour we move into the body of the class which is very exciting.
Eric asks the group what anyone brought into the class like an “SRI” Self-Regulated-Instrumental or and “SRE” a Self-Chosen (Craft) Exercise, a monologue or scene or scene parallel. For those actors that do not volunteer to do an SRI or SRE Eric has a complete lesson plan with exercises that deal very specifically with each actor’s obstacles, blocks, dependencies, fears, tensions, concepts, ego issues etc.
The last class of every month is a scene class and everyone must bring in a rehearsed scene or scene parallel in order to work in that class. However every actor can do a scene in any class throughout the month. The work has proved to be life changing in freeing the actor of life long obstacles and problems which allows him or her to learn how not to act but to become “Professional Experiencers”.