Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toronto, Mississippi Featuring Laura Sturm

After writing my first ever full length screenplay many years ago, I realized the importance of taking some structured acting classes to improve my skills should I ever decide to step on to a stage or in front of a camera. I also wanted to network with actors who could appear in my plays or films as well as learning as much as I could about every aspect of the process to take dead words on a page and bring them to life so that I could better understand what I could or could not do and what I could expect from others. After looking over a few acting schools, I came across the Actors' Center Of Chicago. I read through the biographies of the various instructors. I was impressed by all, but what ultimately made me certain that ACC is where I wanted to study was reading about instructor, actor, and director, Laura Sturm. She received her MFA at the same school I received my BA. I had not a clue whether Laura would like me or even want to work with me, but I needed to go to that school and hope, pray, and beg to be let in and study under Laura. I did not understand why I felt so passionately and so sure that I needed to study with Laura, but I just knew I had to start classes. Sure enough, after my initial interview, one of the school's owners, with whom I met, felt it would be best for me to be placed in Laura's Beginning Scene Study class. The owner felt that since I had received my BA at the same school and same time as Laura was working on her MFA, she and I could find some common ground and bond. Laura met with me in person and was so excited as a result, I was even more certain I had just met a special woman who would help me discover my artistic voice. Over time, I was lucky enough to have some spectacular acting teachers whose guidance and influence still shape me today. Laura Sturm is the one who made the most impact as she did the impossible and helped me break down most of my physical, mental, and emotional barriers to help me tap into my voice, talent, and sexuality as an artist. One of my favorite moments from the very first production in which I appeared and starred was having Laura attend a performance and state that she was in tears from the opening moments of the show because not only was the show which I wrote a powerful one, but that I allowed myself the freedom to do anything and everything on stage while embracing Laura's famous line, "I have no apologies." After the years Laura invested in attempting to pull it out of me, I was finally displaying my abilities. I had taken a class as late as two months before opening night of the production being discussed and Laura said I was showing a freedom in the performance which I had not shown as late as that class two months prior. I was so overwhelmed with emotions knowing I made Laura proud of me and of her work with me. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I love Laura Sturm as an instructor, artist, and friend.

The wonderful, talented, amazing, beautiful, and sexy Laura Sturm can currently be seen in Toronto, Mississippi written by Joan MacLeod in Chicago at Mary-Arrchie. November 11 to December 19, 2010. Thursday through Saturday at 8p.m. and Sundays at 7p.m. For more information log on to:

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