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THE LABORATORY 

Transformational Identities

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Developed by Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain, this four day in-person training is designed to revolutionise your acting practice through innovative psychophysical investigation.

Exhume the psychological mysteries of Character Transformation

Excavate New Depths of Character Embodiment

Explode Identity limitations

Out of twenty-seven years of professional acting, four formal degrees and seven years of investigative, practice-based research Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain has developed an actor’s process revolutionising psychophysical performance. Grounded in the work of Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Nikolai Demidov and Vladmir Mirodan, The Laboratory integrates the concept of the ‘true actor’ within. By drawing on cognitive science and its partnership with the imagination, this individually tailored training dissolves limiting beliefs, strategically and safely. This is actor-training that interrogates the intimate and often evasive process of the actor’s transformation into character. 


 

After winning an Australian-wide research prize for her interrogation of identity in acting, Suzie brings her innovative approach to form The Laboratory: Transformational Identities. 

She combines acting technique with the provocation of actors disappearing into imaginary characters (sometimes losing themselves) to instigate a unique training. This training is built upon sustainable practice whilst breaking through limiting psychological barriers. Laboratory actors develop existing and new techniques to release their distinctive creative expression, dissolve existing limitations and find the deep, powerful actor within. Most importantly, actors will gain insight into who they are as actors and how they relate to and build a character. Every participant channels courage, builds resilience and empowers vulnerability through active exercises and shared reflections. 

 

This is a specifically rigorous, investigation of the actor-character relationship suitable for professional actors, performers, musical theatre artists and acting school graduates. This training is for the professional craving to take their character acting to the next level of creativity and expertise.

WHAT IS THE LABORATORY?

It is a unique and specialised interrogation of your acting; combining a new innovative approach formatted as a ‘clinical practice’. This training provides consultation and traditional theory-based techniques on transformational acting. Suzie injects specific research findings on acting from a variety of resources, including her published work. Every ‘technique tool’ is designed to psychologically and practically elevate your abilities above old, tired methods. Enabling new possibilities of freedom, deeper connection within character and more empowered creative choices.

How will Transformational Acting change your world?

‘The idea of character leads to a concern with knowing, in the sense of grasping a metaphysical entity in its totality.’

- Vladmir Mirodan

  • Learn how to wholly  embody character as a separate entity

  • Confidently  navigate challenging technical roles and stereotypes.

 

  • Identify and understand your unique 'Actor self'. 

  • Learn how to harness your uniqueness. 

 

  • Develop reliable techniques to cultivate  disappearing into character.

  • Master the process of operating within the imaginary platform. 

  • Eradicate the creative anxiety within  your character acting.

 

  • Learn how to harness your own ability to transform to your potential, sustainably and professionally.

  • Master the process of operating within the imaginary platform.

Who is the Laboratory for?

The laboratory is for actors who seek to step into transforming from the inside out. It is for those who seek to fulfill their acting potential using all of their talents.

  • Actors seeking more detail in the playing of character (With the emphasis on ‘PLAY’)

  • Actors seeking to expand their performance range

  • Actors who search for stability in their practice

  • Any type of performer who wants a reliable and robust approach to transformational acting 

  • Actors whose practice lacks embodiment and ‘aliveness’ due mostly online training during COVID.

  • Musical theatre performers who desire more tools in acting to fulfil their ‘the triple threat’ status

  • Any actor or performer looking for an alternative to  generalised actor training in large studio groups who wants  personalised training to suit their individual needs

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WHAT DO YOU GET AS PART OF THE LABORATORY?

  • A Preliminary 30-minute individual consultation

  • Three Fulltime studio workshop days

  • One-on-one Specialist coaching

  • Research Material packs each week

  • Individualised ‘Acting Observation Analysis’

  • Two-hour debriefing

  • Access to Suzie via email or phone throughout duration of program

  • An invitation to The Laboratory Ensemble masterclass series. (access by invitation only)

COURSE OUTLINE

Session One: The Actor

Key outcomes:

  • Identify what type of actor you are currently. ie. Personality, transformative, blended, affective, intellectual

  • Ways of moving beyond actor ‘type’

  • Locate your key psychophysical habits for you as The Actor  

  • Locate entrance points into your imagination. ie. internally, externally, sensory, psychically, intellectually, auditory, visual

  • Discover how you transform truthfully

Session Two: The Character

Key outcomes:

  • Pinpoint the definition of a character using the work of Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Mirodan

  • Deduce individual character needs, respecting and deepening them

  • Identify ‘default’ characters and stereotyping characters stretching beyond their potential limitations

Session Three: The Intimate Relationship Between Actor and Character

Key outcomes:

  • Experiencing disappearance into characters and the cognitive impacts for the actor

  • Manage, master and direct imaginary affectivity 

  • Pinpoint the signs of identity fragmentation commonly associated with transformation

  • Interacting with imaginary character as an individual, interdependent, intimate identity

Every session includes undertaking advanced exercises to discharge all aspects of character transformation and  realign within our own Actor identity.  

 

Each Laboratory  actor will receive handouts and a reading list to compliment the boutique ensemble  and individual  at-home practice schedule.

MEET DR. SUZIE J. JARMAIN

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Photo by Darren Gill.

Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain specialises in transformational acting and building actor-character relationships. 

 

Since graduating as an actor from the School of Creative Arts (1993) within Wollongong University (NSW), 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 and international companies such as: National Theatre of Scotland (UK), BBC Scotland (UK), Traverse Theatre (UK), The Arches (UK), North Edinburgh Arts Centre (UK), The Performance Space (AUS), Melbourne Theatre Company (AUS), La Mama Theatre (AUS), NIDA Open (AUS), Victorian College of the Arts (AUS), Monash University (AUS), Deakin University (AUS), Australian Theatre for Young People (AUS), Shopfront Theatre (AUS) and Stagecoach Theatre Arts (UK), amongst others. Early in her career, Suzie toured with multiple theatre-in-education companies throughout Australia, wrote, directed and devised performance pieces making her debut on the Sydney theatre making scene with Throttle Theatre company (AUS). Being a scholarship recipient for her early work with PACT Youththeatre (AUS), Suzie went on to tour work to the Adelaide Fringe festival and become  a resident performance poet with 2SER and Bardfly (AUS). Suzie wrote, directed, produced and performed the monologue Lock Out All Undesirable Diseases and awarded by LOUD Youtharts festival leading to her solo debut on ABC Radio (1998). 

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 Non-Celebrity (2023).

Recently, Suzie formed and trained a new ensemble of actors for the project Stevie. -  a work written, directed and produced by Suzie premiering at La Mama Courthouse (2022). She published the article “Acting Dangerously: confessions of Transformational Actor” with ArtsHub (AUS) in conjunction with the show. 

The Laboratory is a culmination of years of research, and ongoing investigations, lived experience, professional observations of actors in practice and a desire to contribute to the empowerment of Australian actors. 

 

www.suziejjarmain.com.au

THE LABORATORY: Transformational Identities

NOV 19th - DEC 10th

SATURDAYS, 11am-6pm

Entrances are made via application

$797   (Instalments available)

$100 Non- refundable deposit to secure place

TESTIMONIALS

“I have had the privilege of engaging with Suzie as she has explored and developed her own distinctive training processes to help both actor ensembles and individual actors find healthier and more sustainable practices to negotiate these formative and transformative experiences. Such training and coaching is sorely needed by actors who often report becoming ‘lost’ and even traumatised because of the burden of expectation to ‘become’ the character no matter what! Suzie’s lived research/practice offers practical support for actors who care about having joyous and sustainable careers and I commend her for such needed service to the acting community.”

- Dr Mark Seton (PhD) Honorary Research Associate, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, The University of Sydney and co-investigator of the Australian Actor Wellbeing Study (2013)

 

“Suzie is without a doubt the best acting teacher I’ve ever had. She took precious time to understand exactly where I was in my process, and then as we began to work, she unpacked all the ways in which I was getting in my own way. She patiently took me back to the very basics of acting technique and taught it in such a fashion that made me question whether I’d ever been trained before – I’m still not sure I’d ever acted until her lessons.” - Connor Morel

“Suzie created an environment where we all felt safe to play, explore our edges, and challenge ourselves to be brave. We were encouraged to build an understanding of our unique creative sensibilities through play, discussion, and experimentation, and every activity was imbued with Suzie’s passion for and extensive knowledge of the craft of acting.”

- Jane O’Loughlin

 

“I completed Suzie Jarmain’s The Laboratory and it was probably the most memorable and practically useful experiences I’ve ever had as an actor, having done lots of training with different organisations and teachers in both London and Melbourne. With The Laboratory, you will deep-dive into yourself. The sometimes unknown “super powers” that you possess and that perhaps have always been at your disposal as an actor, will be realised. This for me was a journey of discovery and awakening, I realised things about myself as an actor that I wasn’t consciously aware of before that now I can use to serve me when I approach any script, screen or stage. Part of our 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.”

- Sam Zawadi

"The Laboratory reached depths of my creativity I knew existed but could never make contact with. It was absolute hard work but Suzie was there every step of the way to guide you and make you get the best out of yourself. It

went beyond expectations, and I found it truly amazing to witness the quality of work that grew as a result of Suzie in a room with a bunch of actors. The time and detail that was provided as part of my participation in The Lab was the kind that exponentially grows your ability; taking your acting into the next evolution. No instruction I've received in the past has clicked more and on such a deep level.

The training I completed with Suzie has transformed my acting forever. 

Not only does she teach you how to harness your presence and link your physicality with your creative centre, she helps you find your uniqueness - and develops it. I will be forever grateful to Suzie for her undeniable expertise, attentiveness and ability to work with actors, her knowledge, passion and her individual take on psychophysical acting. She is a one-of-a-kind practitioner and an absolute invaluable asset to the acting craft. I recommend her and this training unreservedly. Anything she offers in the future I will be first in line!”

- Emma Gough

The Laboratory was an exhilarating workshop delving into the psycho-physical elements of finding character, with a discipline that allows the actor to remain grounded and psychologically and emotionally safe.   Suzie creates such an open and welcoming space making it easy to work and explore.   The Laboratory is a super exciting learning environment for actors to play and experiment with Suzie’s invaluable knowledge and energy that is so freely shared.   Highly recommend.​"

- Sandy Morrison

“Without a doubt, a shining light of the studios this year has been the superb instruction of Suzie J. Jarmain, a performance expert on so many levels, providing inspirational guidance in an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusivity.” - Janine Howe

“Suzie helped me become more comfortable with who I am as a performer and taught me to embrace the ugly side of myself.” - Gabrielle Pearson

FAQS

What if I've never acted before?

As this series involves exploratory practice it is better suited to actors with experience or some training. If you'd like to discuss whether this work will be a good fit contact us!

When does the course start and finish?

The first of the four in-person sessions takes place on Nov 19th and the last takes place on the 10th of Dec 2022. Throughout this time you will have access to your instructor via email and will receive at home exercises. 

 

Is this series suitable for film/ TV actors?

This series is suitable for any actor wanting to establish actionable techniques that allow them to transform into character on a deeper level. Actors will learn how to safely and reliably access psychophysical embodiment - making it suitable for any actor looking to perform truthfully and consistently on stage or screen. 

 

What if I'm a professional actor, will this be suitable for me?

The laboratory is designed to push the practice and understanding of actors who wish to step into the next evolution of their craft. It is designed for performers who wish to hone their existing skills and level up their established technique. Professional, emerging or recently graduated actors will benefit the most with this series.

 

Are refunds available? 

Full payment must be made before the commencement date. This series has very limited places therefore there are no refunds. However, if you test positive for Covid and are unable to take part; payments excluding the $100 deposit will be returned. A positive Covid test must be presented for the refund to be processed. 

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- All photographs on this page are credited to Sav Schulman -

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