• Ollie Horsfall

Review: A Masterclass in Success

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Between castings, editing text and videos, and playing the new Spiderman (PS4) game, I have also organised a scratch night that will be taking place in Prague on the 28th October as well as attending a masterclass with Xander Turian. The initial idea was to give people a platform to put on their new writing and get some feedback. Artists thrive on feedback, whether it's good or critical it's all for the bettering of oneself, so I am excited at the prospect of giving people the oportunity to create and bring to life theatre that wouldn't have been made otherwise.

I also took part in a masterclass run by my friend Xander Turian. The idea was to practice our skills as actors, whilst also being given encouragement and advice on how to really get a career going. We were lucky enough, also, to have some guest teachers.

Joy von Salmuth took us through some contemporary movement, it was nice to do some dance, I haven't for a few years now, and the experience of allowing my body to flow into the moves she was showing us, was exhilarating to say the least.

We also had a yoga/voice session with yogi, actor, model, producer, writer (...you name it), Dechen Thurman where he told us about his success, his obstacles and his mantra of moving forward with projects with bravery. You don't know unless you try. He was also a really cool person to talk to, and, as a theatre practitioner, made a point to buy my first play when I told him about it, offering the possibility of putting it on in New York (we'll see, but it's progress and I'll be happy if he just reads it).

Vladimir Hub was our third and final guest teacher, an extraordinarily fit man with years of stage and film combat experience. He took us through the basics and gave us some small choreographic fights to do. This was my favourite part of the weekend, it was nice to do something physical, but also collaborate with a number of successful and talented people.

Finally the guy who brought it all together was Xander. Xander is the type of guy who makes the most of any situation he faces. He works hard and he creates his own success. I have a lot of love and respect for Xander, not only for the fact that he always seems to be doing something to add to his, already prolific, resumé . He's also genuinely looking to improve the lives of others and it was clear that he has an extensive knowledge of how to acheive your goals. He is extremely well read and gave us deeper insight into the power of positive thinking. To do this he lead us through guided meditations, made us look hard at our past, present and future to see how far we've come and how much we're capable of, he also took us to a casting... it was brilliant to see him work. Xander is an adaptable teacher, working towards the goals of people in the room, and willing to listen to ideas.

I had a really good time over the weekend and I felt like the majority of my time was well spent. I left every day feeling rejuvinated and ready to face the challenge of reaching my goals. I saw other members of the class really absorbing what they were being told and recognising that they could make it happen and I even had some revelations of my own but as someone who has already had some success, there was too much talking for my taste. The best parts of the weekend were when we were on our feet doing things and I feel like the class could be adapted into a more practical experience. I would have loved to do some character work, building a persona for myself. Imagining what it was to be ten years older and then meeting all the others playing their older, more successful selves.

Overall though my experience was extremely positive, Xander was a brilliant orator who clearly knew his stuff. The guest teachers were very welcome and I think Xander should be super proud of himself, but should consider how to streamline his message.

(If you're reading this Xander, massive congratulations for organising something like this so well.)


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