WHAT’S MORE EXCLUSIVE THAN A CLASS WITH PETER COYOTE? How about Peter Coyote teaching with an exclusive technique? For Invitational Unmasking Your Infinite Potential: Scene Study Edition, Peter broke out his trademark masks – this time, for work in short scenes. And the results were just astonishing, giving actors immediate access to personas they’d never considered before! The effect is so phenomenal that Peter has written an entire book on the subject… but don’t just take our word for it:
“Mask work is a powerful means for tapping into character. In the mask workshop I met Marla and Veronica, two characters unlike me and unlike each other. I felt I knew them but they were also revealing themselves to me as we worked. Dear Marla assisted me a few days later in an on-camera audition class. She helped me get right where I needed to be at the top of the scene in both physicality and personality. I hope to be able to do more mask work in the future.”
– Amy Larson
“I hate improv… when forced to do it, I get anxious and “in my head”. I had never worked with masks but when I simply put one on and looked at my image in a mirror, a body movement came to me… after I employed that movement and my body registered the effect, it was as if I had suddenly stabilized on a surfboard… I hid behind the mask, became the character I had just instantly created with the body movement and just sort of flowed. It was really nice for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten anything out of improv and I can totally use this technique to help my character development in the future… actually, already purchased my own mask for that very purpose!”
~ Keith Conti
“Peter was able to demonstrate how our perceptions of self get in the way of our ancient, instinctive knowledge about the character we are bringing to life, and wearing a blank mask allowed that knowledge to come out, and improve my acting and character development. The mask also reveals how we “wear” a mask every day, our own face, and what that unconsciously communicates to those we encounter. By considering what our mask is, we change all of our body language, and therein lies the key to freeing our infinite potential. A profound lesson for acting, and everyday living.”
~ Michael Stecher
“…Peter’s approach is fresh, exciting, and very compatible with both Meisner and Practical Aesthetics, as well as all the training I’ve gotten at Voicetrax.. As Peter promised it would, the mask exercise completely liberated me from my self-concept, and made it possible for me to simply be another person–instantly! In the week since class, I’ve ordered some neutral masks from Amazon… I’ve been working on a new monologue for another Voicetrax class, and I plan to use masks (when they arrive) to experiment with performing the monologue through different characters. Thank you, Peter Coyote–the class is aptly named because I do feel infinite!”
“Upon donning the mask, the Self evaporates, and one becomes a tabula rasa, an “original face” – both nothing and potentially anything – forging ahead in the moment on gut instincts alone with a beginners mind’s sense of curiosity and exploration.”
“Once again, I loved Peter’s class. My experience with the masks was just as amazing as last year — perhaps more so, since this time, I trusted that a character would just appear… I also found the exercise assuming different postures very helpful this time around. I liked that we tried the postures in both an exaggerated and a more pulled-back mode. I was fascinated to feel the often subtle differences between exaggerated and pulled-back, as well as to hear the different reactions of my classmates. More than ever before, I feel that I have become much more aware, on a sort of cellular level, of how many “selves” live inside me and how accessible they are. I have been experimenting with reading audition scripts in the voices of several different characters (and in different postures) before I use my “own” voice, and I think it is really waking up my takes.
Peter’s wisdom and humor made the whole day a joy. How lovely to get to have such a good time while learning so much!”
“You’re not who think you are”, is what’s stuck with me most since the class. I suppose you could rephrase that to ‘you’re a hell of a lot more than you’re aware’. There is something magical with mask and the mirror – a gate opened to the subconscious and a welcomed break from day to day self-critiques, limiting assessments & various identity crises. It’s a break I don’t often realize is available. I think Peter’s emphasis here is valuable to any open minded individual in any walk of life, but particularly so with actors. As adults, we’ve interacted with so many different people over the years – all impressing & accumulating some amount of human data into our minds. The mask work somehow summons characters from the stew, seemingly at random but often with fantastic specificity. I also found that afterwards, I felt much more balance, energy, optimism and curiosity. I should really start meditating!
Thanks so much Peter!”