television

Anthony Abeson: Acting 2.0 – Doing work that gets work in a high-tech world

Our special guest is famed NYC acting coach Anthony Abeson who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and countless other well known stars.

Anthony’s high school summers were always spent in summer stock, acting and directing along with all the other jobs summer theatre required: stage managing, set construction, lighting design, etc. Even teaching surfaced then; his earliest memory is of writing the name “Konstantin S. Stanislavski” on a blackboard in front of bewildered children’s theatre apprentices.

During his college years at Columbia University he made his off-Broadway debut as an actor and assistant director at the Sheridan Square Playhouse in a repertory theatre whose director first introduced him to Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio. He was unable to attend his graduation having been appointed by the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council to serve as a resident actor and director of the Canterbury Theatre Company, in Christchurch, New Zealand, that country’s first international, professional theatre, where he worked with actors from all over the UK. As a 22-year-old American it was a challenge to direct actors whose previous director had been Laurence Olivier. Anthony’s teaching continued in New Zealand where he also served as director of the Experimental Theatre Laboratory of the Christchurch Academy of Dramatic Arts, the country’s first training academy.

In the late ’60’s he began his long collaboration with Jerzy Grotowski, first as an actor at the Centre Dramatique National du Sud-Est in Aix-en-Provence, France, and later, in the early ’70’s as a participant/assistant in Grotowski’s first “Special Project” in a forest outside of Philadelphia. Further collaboration occurred under the auspices of the Instityut Aktora in Wroclaw and Brzezinka, Poland.

In 1972 he accepted an invitation to join Peter Brook (former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) at his Centre International de Recherche Theatrale in Paris, where he participated as an actor in the Centre’s exploration of the effect of non-linear language on the process of the actor. The research was facilitated by the deliberate inclusion of actors from Japan, Africa, France,etc. with hardly any common language between them. Instead, during Anthony’s stay, the verbal impulse was channeled into ancient Greek and /or bird calls. Texts were supplied by Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath’s husband, a distinguished poet who went on to become the Poet Laureate of England.

During the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, Anthony started a theatre company, the Ensemble Theatre Laboratory, one of whose earliest members was the wonderful actor/monologist Spalding Gray, whose richly entertaining version of their tour to Missouri of their production of “The Tower of Babel” can be found in his “A Personal History of the American Theatre.”

During this time, Anthony continued to be exposed to Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio, becoming one of the youngest people ever to address a special session with Lee.

In 1973 Anthony started another theatre company, this time in Washington, D. C. : The Washington Theatre Laboratory with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the D. C. Arts Commission. Their training program marked the start of many careers including that of actresses Caroline Aaron and Karen Allen. Selected as a seminal archetype of the experimental theatre movement in America, its archival materials are housed in the permanent collection of The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University.

Returning to New York, Anthony studied with Stella Adler at her conservatory and joined the faculty of the Drama Department of the High School for the Performing Arts (the “Fame” school) where he first worked with Esai Morales and Jennifer Aniston, among many talented others. Jennifer, who went on to study in Anthony’s adult classes before leaving for LA, wrote of one of her experiences with him in Marlo Thomas’s book: “The Right Words at the Right Time.” While there, Anthony was awarded the first Manhattan Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Teaching out of the combined faculties of Performing Arts and Music and Art high schools.

For over thirty years, Anthony has been an acting teacher and acting coach in New York City. His work has been documented in the Emmy award-winning episode of the Bill Moyers PBS series “Creativity,” the Ace award-winning Manhattan Cable Television documentary “Chasing Dreams” and the BBC’s documentary “Bus and Truck.” He has been interviewed on E! Entertainment and Shine Television of England. As an author, Anthony has had articles published in The Village Voice, The Washington Star, The Theatre Paper and, in July 2008, the Outlook Section of The Washington Post. He is currently completing his forthcoming book: “Signals through the Flames – Actors Lit from Within.” Many of his acting students have gone on to LA and successful careers in film and television.

Visit Anthony’s website at www.anthonyabeson.com

Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt: Voice-Over Voice Actor

Our special guests are Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, co-authors of Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic. (The Extended Edition).

Yuri Lowenthal, in addition to being a giant nerd, is an award-winning actor of stage, screen and voice-over. He has worked on over 200 video game titles, but may be best known for his work in the popular Prince of Persia video game series, in which he plays the titular prince in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. He’s voiced Superman and Superman X on the Saturday morning animated Kid’s WB show Legion of Superheroes as well as Jinno/Kuma on Afro Samurai. Catch him currently as Ben Tennyson on Cartoon Network’s Ben Ten: Alien Force and as Bobby Drake, “Iceman,” on NickToons in the animated series, Wolverine and the X-Men. Anime fans may also know him from such series as Naruto, RaveMaster, Kyo Kara Maoh, Gurren Lagann, Bleach, Code Geass, and the film, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.

Tara Platt is not a nerd but is proudly married to one. She has performed internationally from London to New York to Los Angeles in film, TV, animation and theatre. In the VO world, she is best known for her work on the series and video games Naruto as Temari, DC vs. MK as Wonder Woman, and Legion of Superheroes as Dream Girl. Anime fans may also recognize her from animated series and features: Digimon: Island of Lost Digimon, Buso Renkin, RaveMaster, FateStayNight, Rozenmaiden, Tokko; Blue Dragon, Bleach, DearS, Boys Be; and in video games: Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Eternal Sonata, Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy, Desperate Housewives, Halo 2 (ilovebees), Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, Persona, and Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria. Tara and Yuri’s production company Monkey Kingdom Productions recently finished their first feature film Tumbling After.

Voice-Over Voice Actor will cover the following information:

Anecdotes

Anecdotes from VO professionals that run the gamut from actors to directors, agents to engineers. Entertaining stories and valuable insider knowledge on topics like: what makes a good demo reel, what it’s like in the booth, how to work effectively with a director, and what an agent likes to hear. Contributions from Wil Wheaton, Phil Morris, Dee Bradley Baker, Vic Mignogna, Liam O’Brien, Stephanie Sheh, Ginny McSwain, Jonathan Clements and many more!

Exercises

In addition to sample scripts and audition copy, you’ll find exercises to create characters, help narrow down your voice type, strengthen your pipes, increase breath control, improve diction and much more!

Audition Techniques

A peek into where you’ll be auditioning, who you’ll be auditioning for and things you can do to  set yourself apart from your competition. From script analysis and character breakdown to relaxation techniques, you’ll discover a multitude of ways to get prepared, stay levelheaded and put your best foot forward.

Marketing

Being the best actor isn’t enough! You’ll have to treat your VO career as a business, find out how to market yourself to agents, managers and potential clients. From promotional mailings to networking, these are the skills that can turn one job into a career!

Creating a demo

Making a good first impression is important and your demo is what you’ll send out into the world to give people a reason to hire you. You want it to be the best it can be, and here you’ll find out how to produce your demo to make it stand out!

Finding your voice

There are a lot of people out there competing for VO work. And key to being competitive is knowing your own voice. What qualities does your voice have? What kinds of products is your type of voice selling these days? And how can you use this knowledge to focus your energy and promote yourself? We’ll tell you!

Different types of VO

What kinds of jobs are out there? Where does VO fit in with the rest of the world of entertainment? From animation (dubbed and original) to video games, loop groups to commercials, let us be your guide through the wonderful world of VO.

Booth/Studio

We’ll give you a peek into the place where voice actors go to work and play. Who’ll be in there with you, how to get comfortable behind the mic and an introduction to all the strange and wonderful equipment you’ll be working with.

Home studio

Technology has brought the power to you, the voice actor, and we walk you through how to use your computer to record quality auditions at home and how to create your own home studio without spending an arm and a leg!

Getting Started

No matter how old you are, where you live, or what your experience, we give you the tools to begin your career in voice over. Whether you’re just curious, starting small or shooting for the stars, you’ll find what you need in this book!

Agents & Unions

Where are they, do you need them, how they can help you, and how to use them to get what you want in your VO career. We make them less mysterious, less intimidating and a lot more accessible.

Vocal Health

If you’re a race car driver, keeping your car tuned up and ready to go is key. In VO, it’s all about keeping your voice healthy and ready to rock, because if you don’t have your voice, you’re dead in the water. We give you tips on how  to stock your pantry and strengthen your voice.

The Warm-Up: CD or mp3 Download

The Warm-Up (your choice of CD or mp3 download) includes in-depth tracks to get you fully warmed-up and ready to go: * The Full Body Warm-Up * The Facial Warm-Up * The Breathing Warm-Up *The Vocal Warm-Up * The Condensed Complete Warm-Up *Additional Vocal Practice with Tongue Twisters.

Visit www.voiceovervoiceactor.com