The Non Method Acting Technique we teach at The Heller Approach is based upon the lessons of the late Don Richardson, author of “Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to The Method“.
Mr. Richardson devised an acting technique that was quite different from the torturous ‘Method.’ If you ever studied ‘Method’ acting, then you know that specific types of acting techniques can be painful, even torturous. Some have said that the acting technique they have used is even worse than therapy. Well, there is an alternative to this. You can learn an easier non method acting technique which has been used for many years by legendary actors!
The Technique offers an alternative to Method acting and teaches another way of arriving at emotions. It further maintains that acting should be fun. Not a self-dissecting experience. This non method acting technique gives you a very simple, structured way of working without making acting a complex, traumatic, painful experience. Furthermore, this non method acting technique will help you learn how to analyze a scene and create the most believable, entertaining characters in a very short period of time. This is required in today’s fast paced Hollywood entertainment industry. Brad Heller of The Heller Approach is widely considered as being the best acting coach in Los Angeles. He is known for providing the best and most effective acting classes available in Hollywood. The basics of the Heller Approach acting lessons include Styles of Entertainment, Believability, Scene Study, Emotion, Comedy, and Cold Read/Audition Technique.
Acting is Like Being an Athlete: A Technique Based on Muscle Memory
Don Richardson taught the principle, Acting is like being an athlete. This statement may seem confusing at first, but after some thought, it is clear how the two are related: an athlete and an actor require the same training, the same principles of preparation, and the same muscle memory execution. In order for one’s acting to be believable and true, the actor must not be thinking about what he is supposed to do next, or be watching himself to ensure he is “doing it correctly.” Don often reminded his students that “the character doesn’t know she’s in the story. To create convincing human beings we must obey natural laws. In life, we do not go around constantly thinking about who we are, and neither should the character.” After our brains have memorized the lines, the rest of the tasks in acting are turned over to our body. Through practice, our bodies can learn to do things without thinking. Just as we learn to catch a ball without thinking about it. The greatest aid in acting is that our body remembers. The non method acting technique used at The Heller Approach relies on muscle memory. Just as a professional tennis player does not think about how he is going to hit the ball on the tennis court, an actor needs to be able to trust his body to remember the preparation done prior to filming. Similar to athletic training, there are two phases in acting: Preparation and Execution. Preparation is the step where you learn everything. Execution is where you let go completely – allowing your body to remember what it learned during rehearsal. Your muscles will remember if you have done the preparation. A professional athlete trains every day in order to prepare for the big match, and once he is on the court, there is no more thinking about what he is going to do – he just does it. In acting, the answer lies in making everything we can a conditioned reflex so that we don’t have to think about it. You cannot criticize and be creative at the same time.
Stage Freight and Anxiety
The issue of stage fright and anxiety is another exclusively addressed issue by The Heller Approach’s curriculum. Once you have understood how acting is like being an athlete, it is important to comprehend the acting industry. Becoming an actor in Los Angeles is like competing in the Olympics. In terms of professional football, it requires the ability to handle the stress and pressure of being the wide receiver who is ABLE to catch the ball when billions of people are watching him at the Super Bowl. Being an actor who is able to leave an audition without regret is the definition of Victory. Knowing he had done the best possible, and that fear and anxiety didn’t impede one’s performance is success. As an actor, your ability to act is the only thing you have control over. Understanding how to handle the fear when it hits you is fundamental to one’s success as an actor. The Heller Approach teaches its students the tools to be able to act under any condition. Students can come through and perform exceptionally under any condition: good feelings, bad feelings, or distracting thoughts. They no longer mess up their auditions due to anxiety causing them to freeze. Students of The Heller Approach acting school no longer leave their auditions or performances with the worst feeling in the world – regret.