We’d love to introduce you to one of our incredible TBG teaching artists, Mike Giese! Check out our interview with him below…
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
MG: It’s been said that teaching is the final level of mastery. Now, I’m no master, to be sure, but teaching has clarified my understanding of the craft of acting to an unexpected degree. That is due in no small part to the pedagogy with which we teach here at TBG. It has simplified something that tends to mystify folks. Finally, of course, I enjoy the students whom I’ve learned from, laughed with, been moved by, and with whom I’ve had the privilege to share and create.
What is a TBG tool you love to use in your own acting journey?
MG: I often tell my students there must be a reason that “Do Stuff” is the first tool in An Actor’s Companion by Seth Barrish. It’s incredible how much relaxation comes from engaging in simple activities. It often seems counterintuitive, as though having an actor doing a physical activity would distract from the script, but as I’ve seen countless times, it brings clarity and subtext to the story, making it more impactful, and brings spontaneity and freedom to the actor’s playing.
What is a project that you’ve been a part of that you are proud of?
MG: It’s been an exciting past year and a half. I’ve continued doing motion capture for video games, which I’ve done now for over a decade and is always such a blast. I shot a commercial this summer, a couple great short films, and have a feature in pre-production with a longtime collaborator. But, recently, I had the greatest creative experience of my life to date; our production here at TBG of fellow instructor Scott Organ’s brilliant play 17 Minutes in the winter of 2020 just before the world shut down. That was, of course, until this past August when we remounted it with the original team and brought it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Anyone who has worked in theatre knows how exceedingly rare it is for a show to be firing on all cylinders. Where the playwright, designers, actors, director, and everyone involved are at the top of their game. Add to that the fact that we’re all friends who love and respect each other dearly and you’ve got a recipe for something magical. To think we all experienced it twice, and that it only had more depth and meaning the second time around is incredible. It is my fervent wish to be involved with 17 Minutes in future productions whenever they arise.
To take a class with Mike…check out Beginner Acting Class III: Film/TV starting 11/12.
You can find TBG’s full schedule of classes here.