Before working with Sande I had been trained in “Method”; Sensations, substitutions, use of place, etc. had been ingrained in me as necessary tools and I truly thought I had to be WORKING on them to be doing real, vital acting. Though “Method” can be a fantastic technique, this cerebral approach was getting in my way of being free, natural and simple. I came to Sande’s class at the suggestion of a friend. I knew something was missing in my work, but I wasn’t sure what. I remember in my first class being surprised, then incredulous and somewhat skeptical, and then overjoyed; the exercises to prepare were personally psychologically invested as in “Method,” but were liberating, creative and expansive.
I particularly remember one of my first classes where we had to break our own psyches into three major aspects. We did no formal acting that day, we simply had to answer questions Sande asked us about ourselves as we stood in front of her and the class in each of the three psychological aspects. It was amazing to see how people stood, little behaviors, the pitch of their voice, the energy they gave off – each was so different! I remember one girl taking her hair out of her ponytail while she spoke in her ‘artist’ aspect – her ‘business’ aspect, which had just been interviewed wore one but her unconscious obviously felt that her ‘artist’ did not.
Sande’s technique of ‘Transformational Acting’ has also split open my restricted beliefs on what kind of characters I ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ do. Consistently cast as the sad indie film waif, who usually ends up dying, this year I have been cast as three quirky, comedic characters. I couldn’t see that there were large aspects of my psyche that I was ignoring, second-guessing and judging. And as I has a restricted view of what I could see myself doing, nobody else could see me in those roles either. By embracing Sande’s technique, I have vastly broadened my repertoire, and I am sure this will continue to expand as I continue to allow myself even more freedom.
Transforming into character made me realize that acting need not feel arduous or painful – and it need not feel like WORK to be good. In fact, Sande’s technique has truly opened my eyes to the reality that completely the opposite is true. Only when you are in a state of PLAY, transformed into character that pre-exists as one of the many aspects of your psyche does an audience truly feel and enjoy the energy of your work. Sande has truly taught me that acting should not feel like a heavy, painful exercise in effort, but a joyful, freeing experience of sharing creativity while exploring humanity.