Acting For The Stage

Acting For The Stage

5.0 (9)
1 employee
9 years in business

About this pro

I was born in England and I have studied a classical approach to acting in London and the Meisner technique in New York City. I use both British and American acting techniques in my teaching to give my students a fully developed, well rounded view of how to approach acting.

Experience a FREE 45min introductory class with me and judge for yourself!    

What I love most when working with actors, writers, students, or those that have never been to the theatre before, is providing them with the tools to fully express themselves as never before. My goal is to inspire anyone interested in acting to express themselves in a way that is so genuine, so powerful, it will completely capitivate anyone it touches. That is what I'm here to do!

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Credentials

Oakland, CA 94611
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9 Reviews

5.0

  • Natalie Fay

    Michael is a phenomenal acting teacher. I can't tell you how much I learned about acting from Michael. He is patient, kind, and positive but always comes up with exercises and ideas to enhance your performance and those around you. He gears his approach to each actor individually based on their experience and existing skill.

  • Sharon Gambill

    I have taken several acting classes with Michael. Michael is just brilliant! One of the best.

  • Karen Sellinger

    What stands out for me at first thought is Michaels infectious enthusiasm and devotion to bringing out the best in his students. He worked hard to find scenes to work with that would push a student to stretch past what one thought was ones range and found ways to help that person cross the threshold. Whether I was the actor in question, or observing him work with someone else, I was learning and marveling all at once. His combination of encouragement and challenge certainly moved my acting to deepen and I watched as others responded similarly. It's been several years since I've been in his classes and I still am nostalgic and grateful for his influence on me. i would recommend him wholeheartedly.

  • Jeanne Pimentel

    Michael French is a first class teacher, director and actor. Taking a class from him changed my approach to acting -- for the better of course. He digs deeply into character and motivation, as well as physicality, and combines elements from method acting with more traditional approaches, and is always willing to experiment. Above all he stresses honesty and integrity. His enthusiasm is infectious; he is a very hard worker and expects the same of students but is kind and sympathetic too -- with a great sense of humor..


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

1. I ask them what they think the job of an actor is and them we discuss.

2. I listen to them read a monologue outloud.

3.  We work on relaxation exercises

4. I listen to them read a monologue outloud again

5. We read a 10 minute, two character play together

6. I give him/her an assessment of what I think is their acting capabilities, and then I'd create a road map of exercses and techniques for how they can discover and develop their own style. 


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

1. I studied classical acting in London, England at the Drama School, and the Meisner technique at The Acting Studio in New York City. I won the Ovation award for Best Director for my production of Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story". I've also worked as a professinal director theatre for over 20 years, directing at such spaces as the Young Vic in London, "Here" in New York City, and A.C.T's the Costume Shop, and the Palace Theatre in San Francisco. I am currently a director at The Speakeasy, an immersive theatre experience in San Francisco. 


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I charge $50 an hour and for that price each student gets 45mins of preparation work for each class and a recap and appraisal email with two days of class. I am also available 10am - 5pm, five days a week to discuss any concerns or thougts by phone. 

Experience a FREE 45min introductory class with me and judge for yourself!


How did you get started teaching?

I had formed a theatre company called the Glasshouse Theater Company in London, England when I was 25 years old and started teaching the other members of the company because I could wanted a explore a mixture of American and British styles of acting, which wasn't readily available at the time. An American actor named Steven Wolenski had introduced me the Meisner technique a few years earlier. 


What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with teenagers, complete beginners, and senior citizens. With each group I refused to "dumb things down," but instead, found a language and a way of doing things that demanded the same committment and passion that I would expect from an experienced actor. 


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

When I moved to the Bay Area I didn't know anyone or ahve any contacts in the theatre community. My first play as a director was in a dusty church basement that performed to approximately 25 people at the most and it was terrible experience. Yet, 5 years later and completely out of the blue, the stage manager on that play called and urged me to apply to be the director on a small immerisve play called "The Speakeasy," where she was the production manager. I applied and I got the job as the director. "The Speakeasy" turned out to be a large scale, multi-million dollar production that is about to enter it's third year and open in Chicago. The only reason I'm involved is because a stage manager remembered my work from a tiny production 5 years earlier in a dusty chuch basement. That's how theatre works!    


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Only choose a teacher that is currently working in the real world as a professional actor, director, or acting coach. Be careful of those that earn their living from something outside the theatre world. 


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

1. What experience has the teacher had in working as a professional theatre actor or director?

2. Is it a handicap that English is my second language?

3. Why did they get into the theatre?

4. Which actors (or directors) do they admire?

5. Have they worked as a theatre actor or director anywhere other than America?

6. What's the beggest msitake a young or beginning actor can make?

7. Are they currently acting or directing a play? 


Lessons offered