"Working from the Inside Out" was the theme this year for the 40th anniversary of the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory 2016 Summer Intensive, and it was a resounding success, with reservation lines ringing off the hook. Committee Co-Chair Michael D. Cohen shared, “For me, the theme resonates with the need for us as actors to know ourselves, to know our instrument and how it works so that we can tap into a greater range of expression and bring more color to our auditions and roles.” One member also added, “As an actor, you have to know what is going on in the inside to be able to have an effective output. There were so many good reminders of things that need to start with me before the marketing, the classes and the auditions.”
Instructor Bob Bergen
Fifty-five workshops, panels and classes took place at the American Film Institute campus in Hollywood from July 15–17. Members of the Conservatory kicked off the weekend by attending a panel coordinated by committee member Lee Garlington, featuring Los Angeles acting teachers Cohen, Yonda Davis, Jason George, Joseph Pearlman, Jamie Rose and Suzanne Whang, who discussed the development, discipline, magic and maintenance of an actor’s instruments.
The SAG-AFTRA Conservatory Committee presented a weekend filled with industry professionals, casting directors, teachers, working actors and coaches offering their insight, experience and inspiration to the more than 600 conservatory members in attendance. Subject areas included audition techniques, the “biz of the biz,” tools to improve your craft, commercials, voiceover and comedy/improv. Committee Co-Chair Kevin McCorkle remarked, “As I walked through the halls of AFI or peeked into the doors of packed classrooms, there was an air of creative energy, purpose and collaboration.”
Registration for the Summer Intensive is always limited to SAG-AFTRA Conservatory members. Other benefits of membership include the opportunity to sign up for various educational programs throughout the year as well as eligibility to audition for first-year AFI student projects that are covered under SAG-AFTRA agreements. According to Tim Powell, a committee member since 2012, the Conservatory exists "to provide a low-cost opportunity to work with coaches, casting directors and industry professionals who are at the top of their game and who can help members advance their careers, artistry and education.”
For more information about the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory, click here.
Conservatory Committee member Tim Powell