Performers Academy – Manchester

Performers Academy – Manchester

Performers Academy – Manchester

The Performers Course is a fully funded intensive course for young British East/Southeast Asians*(16+) based in the North West. There are classes in voice, movement, clowning, improvisation and devising.

With all the recent changes to our lives, we decided to innovate the framework of the Performers Academy Manchester. Instead of the one-week course as originally planned, we are hosting weekly online classes starting Tuesday 12 May until Thursday 9 July. On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 July we hope that everyone will be able to come together for the final sessions.

The course is led by performance artist Stacy Makishi alongside sessions in voice, movement and clowning and weekly lunchtime Q and A’s on a range of topics with industry professionals.

Meet the tutors:

Live Art Social (Distancing) Club: Stacy Makishi

Stacy Makishi is a transplant from Hawaii who found paradise in Dalston, East London. Like a bonsai plant, Stacy is small but old. She has been making art for over 30 years. A cross-fertilization of theatre, comedy, film and visual art, her work is as complex as it is accessible; humorous as it is challenging; visual as it is literate. It ranges across solo performances for stage, large-scale outdoor participatory projects and intimate one-to-ones. Also a teacher, director and mentor in international demand, Stacy believes in art’s transformative power and strives to share her creative process with others in order to put more aloha into the world. Her recent solos for theatre include The Comforter, Vesper Time and The Falsettos, all of which have toured extensively in the UK. Stacy has presented at places including the O2 Academy, Wellcome Collection, Southbank Centre for Yoko Ono’s Meltdown and BRUT: Vienna. She also directs participatory works, most recently with Contact Manchester Young Company. Stacy is the current recipient of the Live Art Development Agency Arthole Award. Her work is produced by Artsadmin.

Movement: Jennifer Jackson

Jennifer is a British/Bolivian Movement Director, Theatre maker & Actor. She trained at the East 15 Acting School. Movement direction includes: Wuthering Heights, Death of a Salesman, Cuttin It, Queens of the Coal Age, Our Town (Royal Exchange), Midnight Movie (Royal Court), The Mountaintop (Young Vic & UK Tour), Amsterdam (ATC, Orange Tree, TRP), Out of Water, Mayfly (Orange Tree), Baby Reindeer (Francesca Moody Productions/ The Bush), Be My Baby, Around the World in 80 Days (Leeds Playhouse) I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough/Tamasha/The Bush), and Parliament Square, The Trick, Philoxenia (The Bush), Paines Plough Roundabout seasons 2018 & 2017. Twitter name @jenoirrenoir

Voice: Gary Horner

Gary trained as an actor at Guildford School of Acting (GSA) before gaining an MA in voice studies from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD). He has taught voice at East 15, Italia Conti, Arts Ed, Mountview and RCSSD. Professionally, he has been a voice and text coach for The Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, Headlong Theatre Company and multiple west-end productions. Gary is currently the Course Leader for the MA in Professional Acting at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and is creator and chair of The Northern Centre for Voice and Movement.

Voice: Sam Malone

Sam is a vibrant voice teacher from Canada. He is interested in the relationship between voice and empowerment/resilience, and voice in performance. Sam is attending the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, pursuing his MFA in Voice Studies, and is currently writing his dissertation. At Central Sam has had the pleasure of shadowing Wendy Gadian – Central’s Head of Musical Theatre. Sam also holds a Masters in Education, and has particular expertise in the influence of shame and vulnerability on learning. Sam integrates this experience into his practice, and works to instil a sense of worthiness in vocal expression.

Clowning: Georgia Murphy

Georgia Murphy is an award-winning director, writer and theatre maker specialising in clown and devised theatre. She trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier and has worked as an associate director with Cal McCrystal, Marcello Magni and the UK’s leading physical comedy company Spymonkey. She creates surreal comedy and joyful family theatre with her company Mouths of Lions which she founded in 2013 and often works with comedians and theatre companies as a comedy director. Aside from professionally finding ways to make people laugh and helping other theatre companies find their funny, she also enjoys teaching. She has worked with The Blue Elephant Youth Theatre, Morley College and has taught clown in numerous workshops across the UK. Her work is fun, silly, comical, imaginative, sometimes tragic, often personal, and always playful. https://www.georgiamurphy.co.uk/press

More details on Stacy’s course is here:

Guest director this year is performance artist Stacy Makishi. She has inviting participants to join her for the new “Live Art Social (distancing) Club!”.

Are you looking to connect in these times of social distancing ? Are you beginning to look like Tom Hanks in Castaway? Well, don’t befriend a volleyball, check out, “Live Art Social (distancing) Club!” 

What kind of things will we do?

Just as social distancing is an oxymoron, (a term made up of contradictions), the following creative experiments, exercises, rituals are intended to flip-flop us out of old thoughts, beliefs, and patterns. The methods used to navigate this ‘social terrain’ may at first feel awkward, uncomfortable, ‘cringey’ and vulnerable. But in the end, we will ‘get real’ and be seen and heard. There’s nothing more rewarding than connecting on this level.

Creativity becomes free and easy when we get out of our own way. I believe we’re all creative. There’s no such thing as “non-creative” people. There’s just people who use their creativity and those who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, suffocated or neglected to death. If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. 

Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.

This workshop won’t be “How To Make Art” but rather ‘What Gets In The Way of Connection.’ I’m interested in the relationship people have with inspiration. How do we keep that relationship alive?

This workshop is open to anyone, from any background. No theatre/live art experience is required. I will especially prioritize those who are stuck. Stuck in self-doubt, stuck making art or stuck in their homes. I’m also interested to reach people who wish to be more creative, but might not identify as artists or performers.

Real connection happens when we drop our armour and ‘show up’ as imperfect, messy and raw. 

Participants will:

  • Find deep connection with others by being seen and heard without judgement, as we are. 
  • Learn to combat self doubt. Comparing ourselves to others and not feeling good enough is what we all go through when trying to make art. You are not alone.
  • Recognize perfectionism as the killer of creativity. It makes starting, persisting and finishing impossible.
  • Learn that if we truly love and want something (like being creative) – we have to be willing to do it badly. 
  • Learn that creativity is our birthright. It’s not just for the ‘naturally creative’. 
  • Learn that the only unique contribution that we’ll ever make in this world will be born out of our creativity.
  • Learn that when we don’t use our creative gifts it comes with a cost to our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. 

Stay connected and keep thriving during these times of social distancing


*British East/South-East Asian: anyone of East or South-East Asian descent living and working in the UK.

Yellow Earth Academy: Manchester is delivered by Yellow Earth Theatre in partnership with: Contact, HOME, Manchester International Festival (MIF) Royal Exchange Theatre, Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) and The Lowry
Supported by: Manchester School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University

The Writers Programme is funded by Esmee Fairbairn

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