Joyful Acting With Ralf!

Joyful Acting With Ralf!

5.0 (6)
1 employee
7 years in business

About this pro

My work is unique because I don't believe one learns to act. We are born learning to act, but adulthood can make us forget. We don't learn to act, we remember.

I love giving people permission to feel stupid, which is where most joy lives, and I feel is 80% of the job of being an actor, I love helping actors to learn to identify and solve storytelling challenges, and I love introducing actors to their silly, openhearted, uninhibited side. 

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Brooklyn, NY 11236
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6 Reviews


  • Jones

    Ralf is super attentive to his students and is really good at explaining any idea to any kind of person! He really knows his stuff, and he's really funny. He always made me want to learn more and push myself. Definitely super good teacher.

  • Marianne Bayard

    I have worked with Ralf as a fellow teacher, and as a actor under his direction. Ralf brings years of training and experience to his teaching, meeting the student at her level of comfort, while challenging her to push beyond it. He is creative, energetic and committed to his students and all that he does.

  • Kita P

    Ralf is holistically invested in art and creation. He brings that to the table every time. Whether he is teaching or doing, I think the biggest takeaway is how invested he is to making the art be a vulnerable reflection of the world and/or himself. Lastly, he knows the language when it comes to the sensitivity of someone learning the craft and trying to be free within their art.

  • Jonathan Kaplan

    He gives his entire focus, knowledge and creative ability to you and treats the work with extreme care and investment. His passion is an immeasurable value for anyone's artistic growth.

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

I talk to the student about the kind of work they are interested in, what kind of work inspires them, what makes them laugh, so we can find common a language.

Then we ease into games games that get them okay with feeling silly, which is essential to acting. Next we begin to break down whatever piece we are working on into what's fun, what's funny, or unusual about that piece, and use that as a doorway to explore the piece in depth. 

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

I started acting when I took an improv class in high school. I received a BFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art & Design, apprenticed with renowned clown performer, Eric Davis, and studied with Yale Physical Acting & Clowning teacher, Christopher Bayes. I completed programs at The People's Improv Theater, and Dance New Amsterdam. 

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

I charge each student $70 per hr for my services, but I'll offer a discounted rate.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching in 2006 when I came on as assistant director for Savannah's AWOL Inc. youth theater program. In this program which focused on arts education and mentorship for at-risk youth, I helped create material and direct the students in their devised theater revue.

What types of students have you worked with?

Currently I teach improv comedy, clown, devised theater, and Shakespearean acting at Brooklyn College to their BA's and BFA's and I teach clown at Columbia University MFA.

I’ve taught as an drama teacher in NYC public school afterschool programs, for Educational Alliance, The Leadership Program, Puppetry In Practice, CUNY Creative Arts team. These were inner-city students from New York, NY, including many to whom english was a second language. Some of my students have been at-risk youth from tough background. I also work as an acting coach and an improv coach.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recently did a successful run of my one-man show ”What Should Be the Fear” in Savannah, GA. The show chronicles true story of my year long tour of the United States on my bicycle, performing solo Shakespeare on the streets. My collaborator and I have been laboring over this project for seven years. People responded really strongly to it, and we are very proud of it.

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

New York is a deceptively tough place to find an acting teacher because teacher-student relationships tend to become a bit co-dependent over time. I think there is a new approach that is less self-serious, that takes into account the new ways that actors work, the change in our tastes, our senses of humor, and our relationship to media. I’d advise you to work with a teacher who is firm, but builds you up, not tears you down. No one teacher is going to make or break you. It’s up to you to decide how far you are willing to go.

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

What are your goals? What is your timeline? How willing are you to fail? What makes you laugh really hard? 

Lessons offered

Acting Classes Improv Acting Classes Film And Tv Acting Classes Film Acting Classes Scene Study Classes Shakespearean Acting Classes Speaking Voice Training Spoken Word Lessons Theater Acting Classes Stage Performance Training Child Acting Lessons