Nash Arts

Stephanie Nash
Acting Teacher & Coach

Coaching & Teaching 

"As an audition coach, my focus is on equiping the actor with a fool-proof structure (& timing) that will support them while allowing freedom of spontaneous choices. Before the actor walks out the door, he/she will have a 'game plan' for this particular audition, and a structure built in to their work on the scene, that allows them to simply relax & be present and actually enjoy their audition while doing their best work.

As an acting teacher, I emphasize the body-mind-emotion connection truthfully expressed in the present moment. (See: "Tuning Fork" below.) And my goal here is not for a quick 'fix' - but a deep one. I want the actor to internalize the skills and be able to do it without me or even inspite of little or unhelpful feedback (as can be the case in this industry.)

As a teacher, I was interesting in developing a technique that was relatively easy to learn, that would empower the actor to know how to trust his/her own instincts, thoughts, and body sensations -- and use them as we would the control panel on an airplane or any other mechanism that we want to operate -- to give us feedback and guide us through the unstable 'weather patterns' and environments.

The techniques I've developed, which come from my training (Yale School of Drama, Shakespeare & Co., etc.--see: Teaching Bio page) --as well as from my experience as an actress, I believe are powerful ways to quickly touch and access what took myself and many others -- many years of conservatory training to uncover and develop. I do not believe years of study are necessary to make a profound and an exciting change in how one approaches acting to achieve quality results & work as a professional actor."

"The Tuning Fork"

Take a tuning fork and place it at one end of a very large space (like a gymnasium), and take another tuning fork
and place it at the other end. When you hit one so that it rings -- the other one (without being touched) will also ring.

That's what I think good acting is.

It's when we, as actors, allow our bodies and selves to so resonate with truth
-- that it causes the audience (and other actors) to resonate with us.

As an audience, we have all had the experience of watching a performance on stage or screen, where it was just so incredible
truthful and powerful -- that we felt it and also, at the same time, flashed onto and felt, our own truth and experiences --
simultaneously. Those experiences stay with us for all our lives. (We often refer to them as pivotal moments
when we realized something, or felt something a new way , -- or it was just a moment of artistic magic
that we'll always remember and be affected by.)

Almost every actor I know has, at least once, felt a time when they were acting -- when they were "in the Zone".
A time when everything felt connected and they were aware of everything, yet they were relaxed
and even able to explore as each moment unfolded. It's a peak experience of acting.

Just having that experience once -- can and has led actors to lifetimes of waiting on tables,
driving cabs, taking endless classes -- just to taste that again -- and too often in vain.

I believe that that "Zone" should be the norm.

That's the base from which we should be working. Most actors can't begin to do this -- and too many teachers settle for less.

How I work to achieve this 'spontaneous' & truthful acting experience:

a) Get the actor connected to their body. Bodies don't lie. I help sensitize the actor to how to take advantage of the truth of the body, to make their acting more truthful. The experience always 'feels good' to the actor. It sets the stage forthe 'zone' or the 'tuning fork' I mentioned above.

b) Introduce techniques, skills, and structure to help support the actor in staying connected to their bodies & the other character & the story of the scene - always, in any situation. My goal is to make the actor audition-proof, director-proof, performance-anxiety proof and present & behaving spontaneously from the perspective of the character to create real, effecting moments.

c) Sensitize the actor to recognize, appreciate -- and seek this level of open awareness and resonance (i.e. the "tuning fork") to begin to allow it to happen naturally all the time;

d) Text analysis, comic techniques, timing, and generally 'coaching' for a finished presentation/actualization.

Ultimately, the actor owns the technique. It becomes connected to his/her thought process, and manifests naturally."

Classes, Privates & Workshops

For audition coaching, I will try to accomodate most requests (depending on schedule, when your audition is, etc.)
If, by chance, I cannot work with you, I will recommend you to someone to make sure you have the help
& support you need for your audition. I am sometimes available for on-set consultation & coaching.

If you're interested in regular study, I presently teach at USC and a couple of other institutions which are 'closed' classes,
but privately, I usually have a few small classes (sorry, no auditing), in addition to private sessions with actors
to work in more depth on their personally evolving technique. I sometimes will have a regular larger (10-16) class
(depending on my teaching and acting schedule), and at least once a year I offer Workshops.

My workshops are usually specifically focused (i.e. "Introduction to Visceral Acting", "Advanced Technique",
"On-Camera Commercial Class", "Monologue/One-person show", "Acting Shakespeare", etc.)
and will meet once a week for 4-8 weeks.

Unless I'm offering a workshop, I usually recommend actors start with me privately for at least 1-3 sessions
to develop a base from which we will spring to other work. But work with each individual is so totally unique,
that the process varies much from student to student as their progress and needs progress.


Contact me by phone or email if you are interested in setting up a session or an interview.
Phone: 310-994-9039

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