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  • amowarner

My first two months into a MFA

I've been an actor for many years. I'm a performer, writer and teacher, however, nothing prepares you for a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre. What I mean by that is, well, you're not on your feet singing and dancing. You're not running lines with your scene partner. And you certainly aren't in a dressing room with nervous energy. Instead you are sitting at a computer reading about all the greats in theatre; Stanislavski, Meisner, Bogart and more. Reading all the Pulitzer Prize winning plays such as Topdog/Underdog, Fairview, and Anna in the Tropics. It's not about you anymore as an actor. You must know what came before you, and what you must add to what's to come.

Usually I visit a book store or library once a year, to be honest. In August at the start of my MFA program I had a pile of books and scripts on my dining table, which has now become a desk. I don't think I've seen that many books outside of a store. Daunting. Overwhelming for sure. I learned I need to carve out exactly 90 minutes a day on reading. Some days more. Yet the time goes by fast. I also learned that I'm a very visual person. That means each book has its own board, vision board as some know it. That way Anne Bogart has a board with pictures in movement. Meisner has a board with exercises, and Michael Chekhov too.

The exciting thing about this program is that I get to put the last two months studying to work. I'm jumping into a couple projects soon and I will lean heavily on my Viewpoints board. And I can't forget the playwriting analysis which will be incredibly clear as I open up this new libretto.

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