Training at The Cappiello Studio is designed to guide young artists in the development and maintenance of a strong acting technique and a diversified skill set. Katie’s teaching is grounded in Method Acting: Lee Strasberg’s Stanislavski-based process for creating real life within fictional circumstances. The Method focuses on bringing the actor’s own experiences and personal understanding to character and scene work. Through the exploration and mastery of essential exercises such sense memory, scene and character study, script logic, subtext analysis, and improvisation, the acting becomes 3-dimensional, in-the-moment and rich with humanity and truth. Students move beyond role-playing and performance, and learn to be natural and go through something on stage or screen.
Acting, like ballet, violin, or painting, requires an investment in the study and practice of technique just as it requires creative and imaginative risk. Within The Studio’s nurturing yet intensive environment, young people have access to an array of exciting class offerings that will stretch their creative muscles and fine-tune their artistry. Katie’s custom-tailored teaching allows students of all ages, levels and goals to grow into well-trained, professional-level actors, all while retaining their individuality and raw talent.
Defined as the creation of memories using the five sense, SENSE MEMORY is the key element of Strasberg’s Method. Actors will engage in the re-creation of experiences, moments and events from their lives through sensory exploration. Since it gained prominence in the 1930s, leading actors worldwide including Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, and Kate Winslet, have found sense memory to be an invaluable acting tool because it effectively melds the actor and character. It is not the actor's job to simply play the character; instead, they will become the character, step into the character. The actor will develop their character by weaving in their own understanding of the character's conflicts, relationships and motivations. For example: the actor will not pretend or “as if” the character’s first day of school— better yet, the actor will recreate the memory of their own first day of school and bring those feelings and that behavior to the work. The result: an unmatched level of realism, naturalism and investment on stage or screen.
Scene & Character Study
Through the preparation of material from published plays students will learn to identify and analyze the “Four Pillars” of scene structure and development:
1.) Setting, 2.) Relationship, 3.) Conflict/Situation, 4.) Beginning-Middle-End (the arch)
Actors will also explore the “3 W’s” of character development:
WHO am I?, WHERE am I?, WHAT do I want? (the objective).
Further, this intensive scene study gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively with other actors, implement the basics of stage blocking, learn the importance of trust within creative partnerships, and focus on listening and responding on stage.
Does a person say everything they're feeling? Of course not. And neither do the characters we take on. Students will learn to uncover the subtext in every scene– what’s festering underneath and in between the lines that is influencing what’s being said, or not being said? Why is the character choosing to tell his girlfriend that he loves her when he’s really in love with a girl he just met at camp? Exploring the character’s inner monologue and the motivation behind the lines helps actors crack open the logic of the scene and understand why the characters do what they do!
Improvisation is a second-to-none acting tool for bringing natural quality and in-the-moment energy to any actor’s work. Improvisation allows actors to explore a wide variety of characters and situations without being limited by text. When improvising, actors are required to listen and respond and be spontaneous– something we always want to see on stage and screen. In order to improvise, an actor has to “say yes”, rely on their partners, and trust their understanding of the character and the story. Given its importance, improvisation is becoming very common in the audition room and on set. Students will participate in exciting, quick-moving, team-building improvisation games and exercises.