Movement 3: The Suzuki Method
Physical simplicity is the mark of a seasoned, well-trained actor. This is incredibly difficult to achieve, and takes a great deal of training and work on your physical instrument. Great actors are able to strip away all of the unconscious, pedestrian, and habitual physical patterns that clutter the clarity of a character. Anything that is an impediment to your ability as an actor to be simple, but also free and experientially alive must be eliminated from your work.
The Suzuki Method is considered one of the most vigorous and powerful training methods for actors, challenging and instilling in them strength, physical simplicity and presence, three essential qualities to any serious actor. Developed by renowned Japanese theater director Tadashi Suzuki and The Suzuki Company of Toga, The Suzuki Method of Actor Training looks at the actor’s use of breath, the center of gravity and energy to develop power, presence and precision both physically and vocally.
Physical and Vocal Energy
Suzuki believes that acting begins and ends with the feet. His work incorporates stomping, squatting, and statue work to help the actor connect to the earth. It was an integral part of the training at NYC’s renowned SITI CO, and is often combined with Ann Bogart’s Viewpoint technique, which our students receive in Movement IV. This rigorous physical discipline borrows elements of traditional Japanese theater (Noh and Kabuki), Greek theater, ballet and martial arts. The physical vocabulary of these basic training forms hones an actor’s physical awareness, imagination, vocal power, will, and strength. Actors trained in The Suzuki Method develop rich and resonant voices and cultivate powerful physical and vocal energy.
This 12 week, 24-class semester is the culmination of the physical training at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Building on the freedom and release that is developed with the Williamson Technique in Movement 1 and Movement 2, and the dynamic physical behavior created with The Viewpoints in Movement 3. This movement class for actors challenges the student to work for physical release, ease, strength and simplicity.
Resonant Voice and Solid Technique
When combined with a resonant voice and a rock-solid acting technique, our students are fully capable of producing vivid, fully realized human behavior. Any artist must master their instrument, and for the actor this is the totality of you. Physical training is at the core of the Maggie Flanigan Studio conservatory, and we believe it should be a priority for any serious actor. If you are looking to compete at the highest level of this art form, you will be auditioning alongside actors who have been working on their bodies and voice for years. You will need to possess the ability to showcase range and dimension. Fully transformational acting requires a mastery of the actor’s instrument. This is the work that will make this a possibility for you.
“Movement III not only created a safe space for me to fail, it helped me discover and learn that within failure itself lies the compelling, interesting behavior and choices just waiting to be discovered. Tina’s energy, passion, and mastery of her craft made me an instant Suzuki fan. Run(and stomp!), don’t walk to her class!”
“Movement did wonders for easing my terrible, terrible nerves before auditions and performances. Many issues that came up while doing the work in the core acting class were solved in this class. The skills honed in this class apply to all areas of the acting craft.”
“Movement 3 was the most important class for my instrument as an actor. This class gave me the tools with which to diagnose the tension in my body and in a way that cracked open my work as an actor.”