Erika Christensen Talks About Acting Classes at The Acting Center



The way that things are done at The Acting Center is drastically different from any class that I’ve ever taken because in The Acting Center the parts that make up the whole of the skill and the art of acting are all broken down and drilled separately and drilled for you, for your own sake, without anyone else’s interference on what is right or wrong and in that way you end up kind of expanding beyond what you thought your range was and you find that the thing is that where your faults or your weak points they just kind of smooth themselves out because you don’t have anyone pointing them out and making you feel bad about yourself and less inspired about it. It’s just a completely inspiring experience where you get to progress through all the parts of it at the pace that you like.

In the last six months I noticed a big change which is funny – I’ve been acting for 15 years and all of a sudden – I’ve felt at different points in my life “Oh now I get it,” but I had another one of those where I had a little breakthrough and I felt like “Oh now I get it” because I was applying these principles toward my auditions and there were a lot of them in succession so I got to really work on applying it and applying it and not thinking about it, just doing it, and finally it was to really understand the distinctions between these characters and treat them as real people with the respect that you would give a real person. The way that someone does a bio pic and really wants to do that person justice is I feel the same way about all of these characters from the way that I’ve setting in this class.

I personally have an interest in finding humor in things – that’s a part of acting that I’d like to develop in myself and I found that happening with this.

I used this technique for the first time in its full capacity at work and when I first started taking the class I went to work and I tried it and I was like “Wow, this is new and interesting” but then I’ve been in class a little bit longer and went to back to work – I really noticed last year on this movie that I did it was extremely emotional – a very emotional character and a very emotional storyline that she had and I noticed that I didn’t have to contrive any of the emotion or manipulate it which is fascinating to experience and really exciting because I felt like every – at the beginning of every scene it was like stepping off a cliff and I just had to trust it. Because normally there’s something that an actor has in their back pocket to kind of just in case and it’s some horrible experience or some hypothetical horrible experience or biting off the inside of your cheek or whatever it is – I just decided to let everything go and just trust the character, trust here to live truthfully through those moments and it was wild, it was really wild because like I said it was like stepping off the cliff but it just worked every time and it was such a distinction between her and I that I wasn’t upset by it, she was very upset by it, and back and forth between action and cut, she was upset after “Cut” I was thrilled because I was having a great time and it was all working and a lot of people commented like “How did you just do that? You were just crying and now you’re not then you were not crying and now you are. What just happened there?” and I was like “The best way that I can explain it is she’s upset and I’m not.”

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