Classes + Coaching

“Working with John over the years, both privately and in class, has been (as John would put it) “a blast”. His approach to a scene or character is always with a sense of curiosity, and humour, using his knowledge of life and work to lend empathy and insight. He has both deepened and brought a sense of ease to my work and how I approach it. I believe learning comes through doing; coaching with John provides the forum to explore a scene a variety of ways, providing me with options, layers, and the readiness I need to go into any audition or set feeling prepared and ready to play.”  -Natalie Brown/actor (The Strain, Cracked, Sophie)

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COACHING

Private Coaching with John Gordon
$80 + hst/hour

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NEW session 5 offerings:

Online Scene Study Class w/ John Gordon

$225 inc. HST (early-bird rate $195 inc. HST)- 4 classes

Mondays, 1-4pm, September 14- October 26 (no class on Thanksgiving, Monday October 12)
What am I responsible for bringing to my acting and what do I leave to inspiration? These questions never end, they are different for every actor on every day and it’s a teacher’s job to help an actor with these questions as they prepare to be on set, on stage or in the audition room. In these classes, actors will learn their strengths and what they need to work on in front of the camera. Points of emphasis will be: seeking out visceral objectives; the belief that an objective is attainable; finding compelling obstacles through both character and in-depth script analysis; and learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable while working in front of the camera through breath and physical awareness  on existing film and television scripts.
This is a class for working film and television and theatre actors.  Maximum number of students: 6
All classes will be held by video via Zoom conferencing.
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Shooting On Location Scene Study Class w/ John Gordon 

$350 inc. HST (early-bird rate $300 inc. HST) – 4 weeks

This new offering will allow actors the unique opportunity to shoot a scene outdoors on Tuesday and then 2 days later, talk-back what they shot on Thursday (via Zoom). You will act in 3 scenes over 4 weeks. The extra week will allow for shooting schedule changes due to inclement weather.

This is a class for working film and television and theatre actors. Maximum number of students: 4

Requirements:

  • Students must be able to attend a shooting session outdoors on Tuesdays (11am-3pm) each week and a virtual talk-back class on Thursdays via Zoom (1-4pm).
  • On Tuesdays each student will act in their assigned scene and will also shoot the other pair’s scene.

** Covid-19 Precaution: John will be assigning scenes that do not require physical intimacy – the partners will be able to maintain 6 feet apart while acting.

A list of possible shooting locations:

  • Patio in front of The Dirt Underneath Actors’ Space (636 Pape).
  • Backyard of residence near Dupont/Spadina
  • Nordheimer Ravine under Spadina Bridge
  • Baldwin steps at Casa Loma
  • Christie Pits park (Bloor + Christie)
  • Ramsden Park (Avenue + Davenport)
  • High Park
  • Jimmy Simpson Park
  • Evergreen Brickworks
  • U of T campus

Options for Classes (all Tuesdays 11am-3pm, all Thursdays 1-4pm):

  1. 5A: begins Tuesday September 15, ends Thursday October 8 (4 weeks including make-up week)
  2. 5B: begins Tuesday October 13, ends Thursday November 5 (4 weeks including make-up week)
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Self-Tape Audition Study w/ Shaun McComb – Fee $140 (includes HST) for 7-day session

Self-Tape Auditions is a forum of acting like no other. These week-long sessions break apart the self tape audition process from call to submission to find the most effective approaches, practices and execution for you. The goal of the week long course is for the student to become better at self-directing and to feel more confident during the self-tape audition process.

Options for classes: 

  • Week 9 – September 14-20
  • Week 10 – September 28-October 4
  • Week 11 – October 19-25
More details:
  • Actors will work on one scene for the week and are given a choice from The Dirt’s expanding database of material.
  • Two Self-Tape submissions to be reviewed by SM.
  • Two 2.5 hour Zoom meetings, Monday & Thursday afternoons.
  • A one-to-one video call or email exchange with SM to review 2nd self-tape submission.The teaching focus will include: recreating positive audition energy, improving the environment (likely in the actors’ home) to enhance lighting + camera placement  during self-tape filming, and honing self-direction.

Requirements:
Actors must sign in five minutes prior to class, and stay for the duration of the class.

Weekly Schedule:
Friday before the start of class – You will receive a bundle of scenes to choose one from to work on for the week, and all the prep instructions for Monday
Monday – Afternoon Zoom meeting, introduction to exercise, discussion lead by Shaun
Tuesday/Wednesday – Taping your scene and uploading an edited version to the class’ Shared Google Drive Folder; Shaun is available for online office hours
Thursday – Afternoon Zoom meeting, discussion and notes
Fri/Sat/Sun – 2nd take submission followed by a one-to-one with Shaun on Sunday

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CLASSES – In-person at The Dirt  [NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS] 

On-Camera Scene Study Class w/ John Gordon

$475 (includes hst) – 6 classes  [*early bird pricing $425, students must be paid in full by e-transfer 2 weeks before the session starts]

What am I responsible for bringing to my acting and what do I leave to inspiration? These questions never end, they are different for every actor on every day and it’s a teacher’s job to help an actor with these questions as they prepare to be on set, on stage or in the audition room. In these classes, actors will learn their strengths and what they need to work on in front of the camera. Points of emphasis will be: seeking out visceral objectives; the belief that an objective is attainable; finding compelling obstacles through both character and in-depth script analysis; and learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable while working in front of the camera through breath and physical awareness  on existing film and television scripts.

This is a class for working film and television and theatre actors.  Maximum number of students: 10

 

MASTER CLASS On-Camera Scene Study Class w/ John Gordon

$475 (includes hst) – 6 classes [*early bird pricing $425, students must be paid in full by e-transfer 2 weeks before the session starts]

This is a class for actors who are working regularly in film and television and theatre or who have studied with John for at least two terms.  Maximum number of students: 10

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On-Camera Scene Study w/ Shaun McComb

$400 (includes hst) – 6 classes  [*early bird pricing $350, students must be paid in full by e-transfer 2 weeks before the session starts]

The Cycle: This on-camera scene study is inspired by John Gordon’s amalgam of acting concepts. Much like John’s classes, a new scene is worked each week and shot with a two camera set-up. In addition, a different weekly theme is introduced, a particular tool to keep in mind for that week’s scene study. The aim is not to transform the Dirt’s ideas into a finite system, but to cycle through the concepts, exploring their usefulness. 

Shaun remains a student of John’s, in the advanced stream, and his developments as an actor are transparent and continue to be examined throughout the work done in The Cycle. Therefore the concepts that are discussed, tried on, thrown out, and practiced are done collaboratively. While in practice, ideas such as “good/bad’ and “success/failure” are effectively replaced with risk and fun. 

Maximum number of students: 10

 

3 thoughts on “Classes + Coaching

  1. Tracy Rankin says:

    Hi John, remember me?
    Itook your class a few years back. Last week I was working in a TIP film and chatted with an actor who told me that you are now teaching on your own now.
    I would love to apply for a class in the new year as well as audit one if possible. I’ve had to take a step back from acting for a few years as I’ve been in school but miss it too much!

    • Cynthia Chan says:

      Hi Tracy. Thanks for your message. Yes – you are welcome to audit a class in the next session beginning Nov. 11 – please check out the Audit page for more info and our schedule. The early bird deadline for Jan/Feb 2020 Session 1 is December 27. If you want to send John a message directly, you can reach him at john@dirtunderneath.com – let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers, Cynthia (admin for The Dirt)

    • John Gordon says:

      Hi Tracy, of course I remember you! Feel free to come audit. There’s 5 classes remaining in the term, this week and next.

      Hope you’re well!

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