THTR 1003-004, or Acting 1, is an introductory level acting class that is offered to students of all majors at CU Boulder. People from all interests, fields of study, and levels of experience line up to take this class. The current teacher, Niki Tulk, has an incredible background in movement and performance, and she teaches her classes a wide variety of concepts. Here are 5 basic concepts that you can expect to learn in this class.
1. Productive Rest
This concept is similar almost to meditation. It focuses on tuning in with your body, understanding how you’re feeling inside and out, and grounding yourself. This is important for performers to do often so they can use their bodies more productively in performance. Often, in class, we start this process by lying down and scanning each part of our bodies. The teacher will usually guide us as we do this. It can be nice to engage in this activity after a stressful day.
Tulk teaches a lot of movement-heavy exercises in her class, so if you’re really opposed to exploring body movement in an abstract way, this class is probably not for you. The class will play a large variety of games that have to do with movement, sound, and coordinating the two in different ways. Moving your arms, legs, and even eyes is a much more important aspect of performing than people think it is.
Dialect refers to how we use our mouths and voices to create meaning in words. Many of the games that we play in THTR 1003-004 have to do with movement at first, but often they’ll transition into exploring different ways we can talk or say lines. Tulk teaches the class how to explore tone quality, pitch, and consonant enunciation.
4. Stanislavski Method
This is the most popular method of acting in America and is also known as method acting. This involves diving into the objective, personality traits, and emotions of a character in an authentic way. More intense training in this method usually involves drawing from your own personal emotional experiences to get yourself on the same level as your character, but this introductory class walks through more basic ideas.
5. Scene Work
Once all of these aspects of performance have been explored, the teacher will break up the class into groups and help them learn about how to work in a scene with two or more people. These scenes range from funny to dramatic, and from improvised to fully scripted. They also incorporate aspects of the other core concepts in the class.
THTR 1003-004, more commonly known as Acting 1, is an incredibly fun class to take at CU Boulder. No matter how interested in acting you are, this class can teach you about body movement, meditation, and even public speaking in ways that can benefit you no matter what your major is.