Discarding the impossible premise : creating an empathic approach to actor training: criteria leading to optimal skill development in a safe learning environment

dc.contributor.authorJevne, Clayton
dc.contributor.supervisorBaxter, Laurie Rae
dc.contributor.supervisorHogya, Giles
dc.degree.departmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Programen_US
dc.degree.levelDoctor of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe current premise maintains that the qualities that characterize the relationship between verbal and nonverbal expression displayed by the actor, while speaking scripted, memorized text, will be naturally, and spontaneously, influenced by the circumstances inherent in the text, just as these qualities would be influenced by circumstances inherent in comparable “real-life” situations. My research demonstrates that the current implied premise underlying actor training theory - geared towards acting with scripted text - is flawed and, as such, jeopardizes skill development in a safe learning environment, through its inability to accommodate conditions found necessary through this research for both practical skill development, and the development and maintenance of empathic student/teacher relations A narrative telling of my personal history in training and professional work will preface my research finds and argument. This narrative will then be used as reference during the course of the argument, which will use research studies from the behavioural sciences to support the logic behind the narrative developments. Evidence strongly indicates that the claim for the equation in the current premise for actor training is unfounded. When this equation is removed experimentally, it becomes apparent that the criteria used in various training procedures are limited solely to the training exercises, and cannot be applied successfully to the final product. When training and performance situations do not share circumstantial similarity, and comparable criteria, the basic conditions for practical skill development cannot be fully met. The absence of transferable criteria to the performance situation also inhibits the development of an empathic relationship between student and teacher, a relationship deemed necessary by my findings for optimal skill transference as well for ensuring a safe learning environment. Under the current premise, exercises are used which have an actual final goal other than that for which they are ultimately directed. This poses a potential threat to the safety of the student. Without empathy the teacher’s discretion in determining the appropriateness of these training exercises is compromised. In this dissertation, I propose an alternative premise, that recognizes the inherent circumstantial difference in “real-life” and “scripted” reality, exercises are offered that share both criteria and circumstantial comparability with the performance situation. This will guarantee the conditions necessary to both skill development and the growth of student/teacher empathy; thus ensuring a productive and safe learning environment.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.titleDiscarding the impossible premise : creating an empathic approach to actor training: criteria leading to optimal skill development in a safe learning environmenten_US


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