Teacher Spotlight: Edward Stanley

Doug GoldringCommunity, Training

We’d love to introduce you to one of our incredible TBG teaching artists, Edward Stanley! Read our interview with him below…

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

ES: How much time have you got? There’s so much, but one thing I really love about the Beginner track is all the different reasons people decide to take an acting class. I ask my students on the first day, “What made you sign up?” Some know they want a career as an actor, or they’ve been acting for a while and want to build a new foundation. They enjoyed school plays as a kid. Maybe they want to build confidence, or their job is stressful and they need something fun to do, or they want to meet new people and get back out in the world. So many reasons and every one is moving and inspiring. I must say I’m especially fond of older students who’ve always wanted to act but felt they never had the time. Maybe they’re retired now, or the kids have moved out, but they’ve finally decided to take time for themselves and do this. It thrills me to be a part of their journey.

What is a TBG tool you love to use in your own acting journey?

ES: Break The Mood. Oh my god, we get so moody in our work! I call this emotional frosting. Consciously or not, we’ll decide a scene is sad and take a big jar of “sad” off the shelf and spread it all over the script. The audience sees that. They know where you’re going the second you open your mouth so they don’t really have to pay attention. When I stop holding on to a particular emotion and even play the opposite, chances are I surprise the audience and myself. I do one of Cal’s monologues from Mothers & Sons where he talks about his partner who died of AIDS. Of course it’s sad, but when I lean into that it’s predictable and forced. I bore myself with it! But when I try to avoid the sadness I find so many new things and often feel tears coming on. In real life we rarely embrace our grief so why do that with a script? I constantly need to remind myself of this.

What is a project that you’ve been a part of that you are proud of?

ES: We launched a newly-designed Beginner Acting Intensive this winter that I co-taught with Alyson Schacherer. (If you ever have a chance to study with Alyson I highly recommend it.) 60 hours of class time over two weeks, covering script analysis, monologues, scene study, and Film/TV work. It was a marathon for the students and for me as a teacher, and I loved it. More importantly, the students did too! Over the years I’ve also taught our Beginner Acting I in two weeks, and our Beginner Weekend Workshops. I love adapting the curriculum for these different timelines, and I’m always making adjustments to maximize our time together. The energy in the room for these compact courses is incredible. We hope to get another Beginner Acting Intensive on the schedule this summer so be on the lookout.

Also, I just created a new Instagram profile specifically to stay in touch with my students. Yes, this is a big achievement for me! So if we’ve ever been in class together, or if you might like to study with me someday, feel free to connect with me there @edstanleyatc.

To take a class with Edward, try Beginner Acting Class II: Getting Specific starting 4/19, Beginner Weekend Acting Workshop starting 6/1, or Beginner Acting Class I: The Basics starting 6/17.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes!