Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Great Communicator: Amy Louise Sebelius Joins SCR’s Adult Acting Program

Amy Louise Sebelius is a not a new name in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory.  She has been an instructor in the Kid and Teen Acting Program for five years.  But this summer she branched out, adding an evening adult class—Basic Skills:  Act 2—to her schedule.

The response was overwhelming, with one student summing it up by saying, “Amy Louise is a great communicator, and there’s never a dull moment.”  The praise went a step further, with another student declaring, “Amy Louise is the best instructor I have had in my acting career.”

Why all the enthusiasm?  Maybe it’s because going from teaching young people to teaching adults is nothing new for Amy Louise.  She has taught adults and college students for seven years (previously at Santa Ana and Santiago Canyon Colleges, and presently at the Los Angeles Theatre Academy).

“It takes a different set of muscles,” she says, “and I enjoy working on material that’s a bit deeper, perhaps darker, which I tend to gravitate toward in my own work.  Also, teaching adults means dealing with all sorts of awesome literacies of life:  teachers, lawyers, chefs, grandmothers, artists at various stages of development.  It’s an honor to be of service to them in their journey.” 

The honor is mutual, as expressed in a plethora of student praise:
  • “She was so supportive—and so positive.”
  • “She taught us to understand the basics of acting and improve upon them each week.”
  • “She offered wonderful feedback.”
According to Amy Louise, “The goals of the class are laid out pretty clearly, and I think everyone appreciates that.  We do a monologue and we do a scene.  We start every class with warm-ups, and because I come from an improv and classical theatre background, my warm-ups are really high-energy.”

To say the least!

Almost all of her summer students talked about the energy level, not just of the warm-ups but of the whole class. Yet she also teaches lots of the basics of acting. According to Amy Louise, “These include accepting and valuing the input from your partner, listening and responding with the entire instrument—and realizing that it’s called a “play” for a reason. So don’t take yourself too seriously, but take the art seriously.  Who said that?  Stanislavski?  I know I didn’t just make that up—it’s too good!”

Obviously, a sense of humor also helps enliven Amy Louise’s class. “Fun” and “funny” were adjectives that peppered the remarks of students in her summer program.

Maybe all that fun is because, as Amy Louise says, “I LOVE working at SCR. I grew up in the area, and it was always my dream to work here, and I’ve never stopped feeling that way. I look forward to growing with this department for many years to come.”

Clearly, that’s good news for future students.

Find our about our Theatre Conservatory classes.

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