‘The actor should never worry about their talent, but rather about their lack of technique, their lack of training, and their lack of understanding of the creative process’ - Michael Chekhov
Whether on set, backstage or in rehearsal; one of the actors greatest challenges is keeping character feeling alive and authentic. Chekhov's technique fosters an embodied, psychophysical acting practice that utilises the actors body and imagination as a means to connect to character.
In these classes we will guide our idea of character development away from a purely rational process into an embodied exploration. These practical classes will offer tools to reframe character as an active practice, rather than a static ‘set and forget’.
How can an actor be expected to transform into a character without a clearly developed image and felt sense of who that character is? Chekhov suggests that ‘the intellect must be turned into a vision’; only then can a character become an embodied, authentic and active practice of discovery, rather than a process of pre-conceived presentation. To avoid ending up only with essays of character attributes, lists of quotes and ‘analysis paralysis’, these classes will enable you to bring physically and emotional transform into character. Suzie empowers the actor to have control and develop this deep practice sustainably and safely.
Meaning you can bring your best work safely and reliably - every time!
Some actors who have used Chekhov's technique in their acting:
Ingrid Bergman, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Marilyn Monroe.
Learning to transform into character through imagination and the body.
Here's how Chekhov's Technique will change your acting
When you are connected to your body you can have more trust in your performance and therefore dive deeper into character. Grounding yourself through psychophysical practice prevents feeling self-consciousness when you're in rehearsal or on stage. By learning these practical and beautiful tools you are not only able to develop good habits but you will also elevate your craft as a whole.
- Connect with your body fully to achieve embodied acting
- Increase access to emotion and imagination
- Build trust in your physicalisation and creative choices
- Create acting that is present and alive
- Develop strong foundational exercises
- Increase stage presence whilst performing
- Get out of your head! And increase connection to your creative soul whilst performing
What the course includes
Throughout the six in person sessions you will explore Chekhov’s methodology by focusing on a particular aspect of his work each class. Each 2 hour session will include work on the floor, experimentation with prompts and psychophysical exercises. The course will include the introduction and group investigation of each of Chekhov's key tools and theories then apply them to text. These tools will be applied to a monologue of your choice and you will work in class with Suzie on discovering and becoming your character.
Who this course is for
This course is suitable for actors with some professional experience, particularly those who enjoy working with their body or who are curious. The classes will systematically breakdown the fundamental elements that make up psychophysical acting technique so that they are more accessible, repeatable, and are able to be integrated into your own personal practice.
Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain
Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain specialises in transformational acting and building actor-character relationships.
Suzie has developed a professional profile in Australia and the United Kingdom as actor, performer, theatre artist, academic and specialist educator. She has worked with national companies such as NIDA and VCA as well as international companies such as: National Theatre of Scotland (UK), BBC Scotland (UK), Traverse Theatre (UK), The Arches (UK), and North Edinburgh Arts Centre (UK).
She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts in acting (UOW), a postgraduate diploma in Performance Creation in directing (VCA), a Masters of Theatre Studies (UNE), and a doctorate (MONASH). She has also undertaken masterclasses with the Michael Chekhov Association (NY), the Royal Academy of Dramatic (UK) and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (UK). In 2015, Suzie master’s solo performance project, Elizabeth Taylor is My Mother (2015) received high distinction and academic acclaim being awarded the Phillip Parson’s Prize for practice-based research in acting (ADSA). She was awarded a scholarship in 2017 to undertake doctoral candidature and is now researching and innovating on transformational acting practices. Her other solo works include: The Disappearing Trilogy (2019) and Celebrity (2023).
Image by Darren Gill
TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST STUDENTS
“I have re-found my passion for acting and truly believe that the technique has really enhanced my acting and also my self as a person/artist. Could not recommend this course and Dr Suzie enough!!!!"
“Learning the Chekhov Acting Technique has completely transformed my perspective and abilities as an actor-artist. Under the expert guidance of Dr Suzie J. Jarmain, these classes offer a safe space to work on authentic character development and gain an invaluable set of psychophysical acting tools.”
“Suzie is by far one of the best acting teachers in Australia. After Chekhov, my acting has become something I never thought I was capable of. Forever grateful to Suzie and her passion for the work.”
"...part of the journey included finding our relationship with the character, and letting the character co-exist with you, this is a complex and beautiful journey, and Suzie brings just the right mix of academia, experience, research and empirical teachings to deliver a highly unique and valuable course for actors.
If you are serious about your craft, there is no doubt, get in touch with Suzie."