Mike Giese: Small Rooms

Doug GoldringCommunity

Ask any actor and they’ll tell you that some of the best acting they’ve ever seen has not been on screen or on a stage, but in small rooms.

A play reading in a living room. A scene study class in an out-of-the-way studio space. Sharing a monologue in some intimate crevice of a bar or coffee shop.

These rooms are where we humans gather to tell our stories and build empathy and call out to one other for connection and support. Where we search the dark corners of the human experience and shine a light there so as to be seen and help others feel seen, as well.

Sometimes an actor, myself included, will take one class and think, “Okay, that’s that, where’s my exponential growth? Where’s my agent? Where’s my series regular role? When’s my Broadway debut?” Forgetting that it’s the compounded interest of brief moments of growth seen, shared, and experienced in these small rooms that can be just as fulfilling as being on set or being awash in applause in front of the footlights.

As I entered my third decade culling together this career in the arts, such as it is, I realized that it is essential to find enjoyment in the process. To realize that the “work” is play. It is our job to have fun. To embrace the unknown in our playing and allow the results, whatever they are, to come when they may.

And it’s in these small, sacred rooms where we create together, feel awkward together, learn, laugh, cry, and inspire one another, where we realize that the unknown is the seed of possibility and a source of great joy for those us who have the privilege of experiencing it.

– Mike
IG: @giesestreet

Upcoming classes with Mike include Intermediate Scene Study I: Introduction to an Approach starting 3/25, Beginner Acting Class III: Film/TV starting 4/7, or Professional Film/TV Acting Class II: On-Going starting 4/7.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes.

Mike Giese has been a member of the Barrow Group community since 2001. He is an award-winning actor who has been seen on television, in multiple short and feature films, and in numerous national commercials. He appeared in Grand Theft Auto V as Fabien LaRouche and has been seen on stage regionally and off-broadway in various short and full-length plays, including at The Barrow Group, most notably in Scott Organ’s “17 Minutes” (also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) as well as a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy Of The People” by TBG’s own Seth Barrish & K. Lorrel Manning.