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The Importance of Stating What You Like – Acting Lessons in Portland

By RJ H. - Portland Acting Teacher

It is important for you to state what you like. As a teacher of acting lessons in Portland, I need to know what moves you. In our culture today, more and more people believe they can be a singer, a dancer, a movie star, a top model or an American Idol. And so do I. I believe in fame and fortune for each and every one of the students that I take on -- but only if that's what they want for themselves and they are willing to put in the work to pursue their dreams.

Some people want fame, but many others don't. I teach an acting class for models just about every week and always tell them: "In this world where everyone wants to be a superstar, rather than a farmer or a craftsman, you had better be able to answer any question a scouting agent, director or photographer asks you. And answer i
t with strength." It's important to state what you like; otherwise you're just another one of the other thousand faces auditioning for "America's Got Talent."

Before you can state what you like, you have to actually KNOW what you like. What books, what stories, what chords compel you? In my lessons, I often find myself spending more time coaching students on how to present themselves than on anything else. When I ask a student who wants to be in film, "What kind of movies do you like?" I expect a strong response. And if I do not get a strong response (which happens quite often), that is precisely where my training begins.

I believe it is important for a student to know why they are there, why they are taking lessons with me and what they want to achieve. It will inform every step forward we take together. And if I know the student's passions, then I can chart a course to pursue them. Without passion, there can be no progress. And in the world of TakeLessons, progress is great, but passion is transformational. So here's to your transformation as a performer, and I look forward to seeing you in our next lesson. Sign up for acting lessons in Portland today and let the journey begin!
...
RJ H. Portland, OR

About RJ

Private instructor specializing in singing, acting, and oratory. Conservatory trained theatre maker, with over ten years experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds in both private and group environments. I am a Great Lakes-Midwestern native now living and working in Portland. I have been singing, performing, and making original theatre since the age of three. My earliest musical outlets consisted of the school choir, popular radio, and weekly Sunday services with family. *** Lesson Details *** My lessons provide a safe space for students to experiment with uninhibited presentation and performance through repeated trial, error, and experimentation. I have worked with singer-songwriters, musical theatre performers, storytellers and public speakers, as well as individuals ...

Reviews

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Cory W. December 11, 2012
Singing
Verified Student
RJ is wonderful!

I am a new singer & felt insecure during my first lesson. RJ not only helped me feel relaxed, he also made it fun! The hour flew by and I learned a lot about myself as a singer in a very short period. He made it easy to remember why I wanted to sing in the first place & I found it easy to trust him. I would highly recommend him!
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DebbieE July 8, 2011
Vocal Student

RJ is much more than "just" a Vocal Instructor; We just seem to have had an instant connection, and he truly understands the psychology of what I'm going through, musically (Very insecure about my voice, and stage presents). I feel totally comfortable around him, and I feel that I've had enough musical training (guitar and piano), to feel that I can accurately tell you that he is truly a "gift", mentor, and friend, and I am VERY confident in all of the different aspects of vocal performance! I am learning from him! I can honestly say, that if I had been given any other vocal instructor, instead of RJ, I feel that the Vocal Lessons would just be "surface teaching", and not go nearly as in depth as RJ goes with me! I feel that RJ really cares about my vocal endeavors, and my love of singing, , as well as coming to terms with, and accepting my problems and limitations, with RJ's guidance! He is giving me much more confidence that I've had in years, about my vocal ability, and has made me face the facts that I am way too negative in my opinion of my own voice, and he's also helping me find my own "style", which is very important to me, as well as not "living in the past, as far as my vocal abilities go. You really have a gift, and a true asset, having RJ as a Vocal Coach! He is honestly, a great (an very gifted) instructor!!! Deborah Engle :)
Nathan C. Portland, OR

Acting training based on physicality and voice work, developing character, and learning what process works best to help you get the most out of a role.

About Nathan

Nate has a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Performance from Lewis & Clark College. He teaches with a variety of arts organizations in Portland, specifically Oregon Children's Theatre, Art4Life, and Isinglass (for whom he serves as the Educational Programming Coordinator). He has extensive on-stage and directorial experience, having performed in eleven shows since 2006 and directed seven more. He is currently working as a directing mentee for Third Rail Repertory Theatre. He also has performed as an improviser for five years, and served as captain of Lewis & Clark College's improv team, SCRIPTED, which garnered regional acclaim during his time leading the team. Nate has extensive experience working with physical comedy and fight choreography, and performed for several summers as a clown. He ...

Reviews

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Amy W. November 10, 2013
Theater Acting
Great

Nathan was my director for a show in October 2013. His communication skills as a teacher, director, and collaborator made the process very enjoyable and also allowed me to grow as an actor. He is an experienced professional who excels in working with both seasoned actors and those who may never have performed before. I gained a lot from working with him and highly recommend Nathan to anyone seeking a super fun, informative, and productive acting student experience!
Jena V. Portland, OR

I started acting at a very young age and continued throughout my professional studies. My formal education comes from Portland State University where I completed the advanced acting in modern and classical texts, movement for actors, and received a Bachelor of Music in Voice. My Masters comes from the Boston Conservatory where I was trained in voice, acting and movement.

I approach acting from a semi-method approach. I think it is important to internalize the character you are portraying in order to express them outwardly. We will study texts, proper vocal production, and work on freeing your mind and body with movement.

About Jena

I grew up surrounded by music. Throughout high school, I was involved with choir, band, and musical theatre. After graduation, I decided to pursue music professionally by attending Portland State University where I earned my Bachelor of Music in Voice. Since graduating, I have had the opportunity to perform with Opera Theater Oregon, Portland Summer Opera Workshop, and Opera in the Ozarks where I performed three main stage roles including Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and La Badessa in Suor Angelica, and had the extreme pleasure to perform a master class taught by Metropolitan opera singer, Latonia Moore. I now hold my Masters of Music in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory where I studied under the private instruction of Dr. Rebecca ...

Reviews

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Rachel R. December 12, 2014
Singing · In home
I have had only 2 lessons with Jena but I find she is easy to talk to and she can adapt to whatever the needs of the students are during the lesson. she is very detailed oriented and this has helped me understand why we are doing what we are doing at any given moment . this is important because of the unique challenges i have asked Jena to help me with in the lessons which test a teacher's ability to adapt and develop new technique's during the lessons.

My unique challenge is I was born with the voice of a genetic male and thus to move my voice up in range is going to take extreme patience and a teacher that truly believes in helping me achieve my goals. my goals are specifically to learn to speak and sing in the range of a soprano.

what makes Jena a special teacher is that she is able to help me learn what I need to as we both laugh during the lesson. this unique combination of people skills coupled with her ability to help me learn to speak and sing is a rare gift.

thank you

Rachel
Kristin H. Portland, OR

I have a Masters Degree in theater arts. I have been a director and acting coach for over 10 years in two countries and in four different states.

About Kristin

I have a Master's in Acting and Directing and support fields in Music. I coach singing and acting for a wide range of ages and types of acting from stage to film and all types in between including Shakespeare . I normally take students at my house which is in the 97217 area code or at PSU campus. I would love to talk with you further about your personal goals in regards with what you would like to study. Thanks Kristin *** Lesson Details *** I want my students to enjoy the arts but the music and acting is hard work. My students will be well rounded in their subjects and have the opportunity to cross over if they would like. I pay attention to my students needs and wants. I would like students to be open minded about the work that they are being taught but I also want to take ...

Reviews

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Ralyn M. November 24, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Kristin does an amazing job of meeting me where my abilities and needs are. She listens to what I want out of the lessons, but also challenges me to stretch beyond what I think I can do... and I'm often delightfully surprised. She also teaches me a great deal of music theory as we work through singing which is wonderful. Her guidance in helping me use my "instrument" properly has been so valuable. And she is very patient and intuitive in the process.
Genevieve M. Portland, OR

I regularly book paid work in acting and am able to help you learn a variety of tools to either book an audition or further your craft. I am trained in film, television and theatre audition techniques, Meisner technique, Suzuki and can also work with you on scenes, monologues and a variety of other craft-building techniques.

About Genevieve

I am an actress, artist and writer working in Portland, Oregon. After studying filmmaking at Sarah Lawrence College in NY, I moved back to Portland. In my twenties I wrote, directed and starred in a sketch comedy show, in my thirties I began taking acting classes religiously and studied with Jana Lee Hamblin, Ted Rooney, Tim True and Sarah Lucht. I learned Meisner technique, Suzuki, various scene study and monologue techniques and film, television, commercial and theatrical audition techniques. Since then I have booked an agent and regular paid acting gigs. I also have taken classes in screenwriting and have written several screenplays and television show scripts. Currently I am assisting a student with her senior thesis project, an episodic tv show, and I am also in collaboration with a ...

Johnny V. Portland, OR

I studied acting formally at the Circle In the Square Theatre School in NYC, then worked professionally as an actor for 4 years. Some of my notable roles include Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Arcite in The Two Noble Kinsman (Circle In the Square), and Ryan Redding in Dead Man's Blood (a web-series). I also worked as a stage-combat specialist at the Metropolitan Opera for 2 years.

About Johnny

Hey there! My name is Johnny. I'm an Oakland, CA native and have been teaching acting in classes and privately for the past 4 years. I'm a member of Actor's Equity and SAG-AFTRA. I attended The Circle In the Square Theatre School in NYC, then worked professionally for 4 years. I worked in places such as the Metropolitan Opera where I was a "stage combatant," which means I performed sword fights and stunts on the stage. I was also a performer and teaching artist at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for a full year. There, I played roles such as Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and I also taught acting and Shakespeare classes to local high-school students. Looking forward to working with you!

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