Alison Mead Actor, trainer, director
Alison has taught drama and acting in many colleges and schools from further education (BTEC; A Level and GCSE) to drama schools. She is currently at Rose Bruford College teaching Meisner Technique; before this she was at Identity School of Acting also teaching Meisner as well as Classical theatre.
A brief spell at Dand B school of Performing Arts led to more directing projects and some Adjudication. And at Canterbury College, she taught Acting for Camera for BTEC students.
At Arts Ed, London she worked as second year tutor for acting techniques and theatre workshops as well as directing projects such as Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Added to this, Alison was Academic Co-ordinator for the school of Musical Theatre, overseeing assessment for all year groups.
She says “A student once asked me what is the most important thing for you about acting? And I had to think for a moment as all of it is. But I answered: “It is telling the truth. That is what theatre makes us see.”
For a better illustration I take the liberty of quoting from David Mamet: “…players move the audience ….so much so that the audience fear for their soul. That seems to be something to aim for.” (True and False 1998)
And you can find another Mamet quote on the Politic Man page. (I'm a bit of a fan!)
Sanford Meisner had similar ideas.
Q: What else apart from good diction and bodily grace makes for good actors?
A: The actor’s chief instrument is himself. When we think of characters in a play, we think of them in active terms.
And George Bernard Shaw knew a thing or two about theatre:
“Self betrayal, magnified to suit the optics of theatre, is the whole art of acting”
Self betrayal. The pure unadulterated, unselfconscious revelation of the actor’s most inner and most private being. A big ask. That’s where technique comes in.
Q: How do you do that?
A: Practise. Practise. Practise.
Below are some of the techniques and practices I offer:
Audition Technique for Drama School Entry
Choosing and Performing Audition Speeches
Effective Sight Reading
Dealing with Nerves
The Acting Business: The Tools of the Trade
CV's and headshots
Agents and Castings
Auditions Techniques (see above)
Equity - The Actor's Union
How to use Reviews
Performance Skills for Group Work
Improvisation skills: How to tell stories; how to find dialogue; how to be spontaneous without fear; how to maintain reality and interest.
Vocal expression: How to use your voice effectively. Sustaining the breath. Being heard: projection without pushing. Finding the right tone, inflection, pitch.
Character development with text: Analytical or instinctive? Funny or serious? How to lift the words off the page and make them live in the moment. Searching for clues: The journey of the character. Giving life to the character.
Performance skills; Theatre Games; Comedy and Tragedy; Physical and Vocal Work; Sight Reading; Focus; Devising skills…..and more….
Sam. Rose Bruford Masters entry 2021
" You were without doubt a most enthusiastic and compassionate tutor who clearly loved her work.
It was through your private audition tutoring that I was able to successfully gain a place on the Master's course."
Mia. Rose Bruford Foundation Acting. 2021
"I was so impacted by your class. I learned so much.......you made it a place where I could take risks, step out of my comfort zone and be supported.I absolutely loved your teaching style......commanding and captivating, kind and lovely to all of us. You have been an amazing teacher."
Paige. Rose Bruford Foundation Acting. 2021
"Thank you for what has been one of my favourite parts of the course. Your lessons have taught me so much......and your classes remind me why I adore acting. I hope I can do your teaching justice in my portrayals in the future."
Jade. Awarded place on P/T acting Rose Bruford College. 2020
"Alison was instrumental in setting the wheels in motion for my finding the right piece or audition.
After going through different monologues, we landed on Mariana from Measure for Measure
With her guidance and direction, I felt comfortable and ready for my audition.
Pleased to say, come audition day, I got myself a spot on the course!"
Alice. Awarded place on P/T acting Rose Bruford College 2018
"I would highly recommend Alison to anyone looking for some audition guidance- thank you so much for the time, effort and expertise that you put into my sessions!”
Katy. Awarded place at Drama Studio, London.
“You have been a constant source of encouragement, knowledge & guidance. My lessons have provided me with an invaluable core training resulting in a place at drama school”
It is true to say that teaching what you love is the best of both worlds and Alison is available for private tuition, group workshops and directing theatre.
Just go to the contact page and put "Drama Training" in the heading.