Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Teach, Apparently.

The lovey folks at Dragon*Con have inveigled me to teach an acting workshop in Atlanta this year.  I have never been to Dragon*Con before so this should be very, very interesting.  I think this will be my chance to really get to know Slave Leia this year. 

Below is all the info on the workshop.  You will be stuck with me for like 8 hours each day and for that I apologize!

DragonCon Acting Workshops 2012

     DragonCon is pleased to offer a unique acting workshop over a two day period by acclaimed actress, director, and author Amber Benson.  If you are interested in a career in acting either on the stage or screen or just want to polish up your professional skills, here is your chance to gain insights, learn skills, and gain insights from the successful. talented, and knowledgeable Amber Benson.
Amber Benson is a writer, director and actor.  She currently writes the CALLIOPE REAPER-JONES paranormal romance series for Ace/Roc and her middle grade book, AMONG THE GHOSTS, came out in paperback this past fall from Simon and Schuster.  As a director, she co-directed the Slamdance feature, DRONES - which was picked up for distribution by Phase Four Films - and directed (and co-wrote) the BBC animated series, THE GHOSTS OF ALBION.  Her acting work includes the Steven Soderbergh film, KING OF THE HILL, and the indie feature, RACE YOU TO THE BOTTOM, for which she won the Best Actress Award at Outfest.  She spent three years as Tara Maclay on the television series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

Two Day Workshop with Amber will include:

Dragon*Con is pleased to offer a two-day Actor’s Workshop with actress and director Amber Benson.  A veteran actress with over twenty years of experience, Amber most notably played the character Tara Maclay for three seasons on the hit show Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  As a director, her films have played at various film festivals (including the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City) and her latest film Drones is available on Netflix streaming and on Showtime.
This two-day workshop will include:

We will talk about the business aspects of becoming an actor.  This will include ‘Getting an Agent’, ‘The Audition Process’ and ‘New Media: Using YouTube and The Internet To Create Your Own Celebrity’.

Good Improv skills are imperative for any would-be actor. Learn to listen to and interact with your fellow performers by playing Improv Games that bolster your confidence in your own instincts and help you to relax and enjoy the process of being creative.

Learn to create a back-story for your character.  This also includes developing accents, physical characteristics, etc. that can give you a real insight into your character’s internal motivations.

Breaking into pairs, you will work on two character scenes that will then be performed in front of your fellow workshop participants.  Each participant will also receive a copy of an ‘audition scene’ or ‘sides’ that we will work on together during the course of the workshop.  On Sunday afternoon, each participant will have a ‘mock audition’ that will be recorded on video and then watched and critiqued. (After the workshop has concluded, participants will get a copy of their audition tape via email.)
And a chance to get personal advice and ask your questions.

The Workshop

The workshop will take place on Thursday, August 30, and Friday, August 31, 2012 from 9AM to Noon and then from 1PM to 5PM.  The cost for attending the workshop is $250 per student.  This is a separate fee from Dragon*Con Membership (also required) and will cover the cost of the class.  Space is limited to twenty participants.  No videos of the workshop will be permitted.  Space is limited for each workshop.  First come, first served.  Dragoncon will keep a list of those who have applied for admittance once it is filled in case any later choose to drop out.  Accepted attendees are asked to please notify Dragoncon if you find you will unable to attend.
If you have further questions, please contact David A. Cherry at dcherry88@tx.rr.com. 


  1. I think your class will be excellent Amber as you are incredibly talented and will ahve much wisdom to impart to your students.

  2. Joe aka AmberAddictJuly 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Wow those students are going to be very lucky indeed they couldn't ask for a better teacher! I mean that sincerely your course sounds really interesting. I always wanted be actor. There was something in me that wanted to entertain people and the idea of wanting to be someone else for a while appealed too. Does that make any sense? I never had the courage to try it's too late for me but I'm betting you really help someone to make their mark in the future. I hope you enjoy teaching Amber and I wish I was in your class!

  3. So Amber, what's next? A job at RADA? :-)

    To be serious for a minute... the best story-tellers are often the best teachers..... and combining the two would be kinda cool....

  4. Oh, how I wish I could attend. I was at the last three Dragon*Cons, but I won't be there this year. Good luck with the class.

  5. Ooh, that'd be awesome! Unfortunately, there's no way I could afford that - don't have that kind of money, and can't take that much time off from work.

    I was in drama for four years in high school, and loved every minute of it! Even getting typecast in my first role.

    One year we did a tribute to Dr. Suess, and I was the grump in "Green Eggs & Ham" to open the show (It was a stunt night, so there were performances from the community, as well) and then played Max, the Grinch's dog, at the end. Everyone who came up to me afterwards told me what a fantastic dog I was, but hardly any of them realized I opened the show! And I was the very first thing they saw when the curtains opened, sitting in a chair in the middle of the stage reading "Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine" as Sam I Am paraded by.

    Good luck to those lucky 20 people, and have fun, Amber! This sounds like it should be a fantastic learning experience for everyone involved.

  6. I'm quite excited for this class. Thank you for the opportunity.

  7. Joe: Burt Mustin didn't start acting til he was in his 60s.

    Personally, while I have some real knack for it, I'm basically too inhibited and self-conscious/self-conceited to really do it effectively, plus I know I could never love it enough to do the dues-paying aspect.

    But if you ever do a film using Italian social-realism style casting and need a middle-aged fanboy type, call me.