I believe everyone should study theatre. Many of my students go on to have successful careers as performers and I’m thrilled, but that’s not why I teach. I don’t teach to create stars. I heard a celebrity acting teacher recently give a talk in which he said that in each class there are two or three with a “spark,” and he teaches for those and ignores the rest. I believe every student has a spark. I’ve seen it catch and burst out in the most surprising places.
Make no mistake: I am not easy, I am tough. I do not settle for less than the best a student has. If I sense something inauthentic or shallow or trite I will keep pushing until she finds something true. But always, always, I recognize the courage and beauty of what every student is doing. It is terrifying to be an actor, and more terrifying to be an acting student, to put yourself out there in the most vulnerable way possible and actually request criticism. I can’t forget the bravery of the young people I teach. I’m in awe of them.
Of course I am pushing for excellence, but my upbringing was not about competition, it was not beating other people, it was about humanity and interconnectedness and the importance of every single story. My students, over and over, remark in their evaluations that as much as I challenge them, the overall feeling is that above all, I have their backs, I am in their corner; that I create a space that is safe, full of trust, respect, and even love, that allows them to take risks. One of my earliest students wrote,
"Victoria is one of the few teachers who will let me be afraid and who will stand by me while I'm vulnerable. She knew when I was scared to dive in but luckily she made me do it anyway--not by forcing but by persuading. And she didn't leave me alone there--she was with me the entire time. I wasn´t alone searching for something inside me, she wasn't pulling it out from me, we were exploring it together."
As a teacher I use every aspect of my varied experience and training, from my BA in English Literature from Barnard to my MFA in Acting from NYU, where we studied everything from Shakespeare and Ibsen to voice and speech to clowning and commedia. I’ve taught physical theatre to children in shelters and directed NYU undergrads in fully-realized productions. I’ve taught monologues to Australian high school students and On-Camera Audition Technique to professional actors in Chile. I’m now an Acting Shakespeare teacher at the training program at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. As a private coach I’ve helped 5-year olds to 50-year olds book work and land agents. I’ve completed the BPSS New York State teacher training, which teaches educators to reach students who learn in varied ways: aurally, visually, experientially. I’m a proud member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, led by Hugh O’Gorman, head of the Theatre program at Cal State-Long Beach.
I continue to look for every opportunity to teach theatre, because it’s the study of what makes us human. It’s the only thing that matters.
For more, check out my website at www.victoriamackcreative.com.
I always have such a fabulous time with Tory. She's an easy person to relax around which really allows me to explore new ideas and bring out some of my best work. She's diligent with me about personal habits that can be improved and make for a better audition, as well as super enthusiastic about the ideas that I bring into the room. I worked with her the evening before an important audition and she had me feeling very confident walking through those doors the next day.
NYU Tisch School of the Arts MFA Acting
1 session: $85
discounts for packages; just ask!