INTENSIVE 

PHILOSOPHY AND PROTOCOL

 Welcome!  The adventure begins…

1.   THE WORK - "DISCIPLINE AND WILLINGNESS"

Our code of conduct is based on four deceptively simple yet powerful agreements, as per

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, they are:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

This philosophy promotes joy and freedom and avoids needless suffering.  This syllabus is updated often.  Refer to it continually and learn the contents herein. 

Developing your voice and speech is essential to your growth as an actor.

VOCAL FLOOR EXERCISES to be performed daily, am & pm.

Fifteen minutes on your back with your hands on the lowest part of your abdomen, your shoulders are free, your neck is relaxed, moving back and up:

    a) Release a voiceless hissing sound, as in the consonant "S" for 5 minutes.

    b) Release a voiced humming sound, as in the consonant "M" for 5 minutes.

    c) Release a voiced sighing sound, as in the vowel "AH" for 5 minutes and allow your free

        voice to reach the ceiling.

READ OUT LOUD daily for 20 minutes.

Practice yoga.

The 3 basic TENETS OF ACTING are:

RELAXATION – CONCENTRATION – IMAGINATION

The 4 VARIABLES OF VOICE & SPEECH are:

RATE – INFLECTION – PITCH - DYNAMICS

The 15 GUIDEPOSTS  (12 Original Guideposts can be found in Michael Shurtleff’s “Audition”, plus the final three Guideposts, created by Tom Todoroff and sanctioned by Shurtleff)

  1. RELATIONSHIP
  2. CONFLICT   (What am I fighting for?  How am I meddling?)
  3. THE MOMENT BEFORE
  4. HUMOR
  5. OPPOSITES
  6. DISCOVERIES
  7. COMMUNICATION & COMPETITION
  8. IMPORTANCE
  9. FIND THE EVENTS
  10. PLACE
  11. ROLE PLAYING & GAME PLAYING
  12. MYSTERY & SECRET
  13. MISCHIEF
  14. VULNERABILITY   (Am I revealing?  Or am I concealing?)
  15. ARCHITECTURE

The 6 VIEWPOINTS  (the perceptual landscape of the audience and the inner field of focus of the performer)

TIME – SPACE – SHAPE – MOVEMENT – STORY – EMOTION

Monologues are limited to two minutes in length and scenes must run no longer than four minutes.  If your text requires a complex physical set up, be sure to recruit class members when you arrive for your "load in" and "strike”.  Dress for your script, as you must be ready to work within two minutes of your name being called. 

First Time Performers (those who have not yet performed and have not yet been personally coached by Tom):  We recommend preparing a monologue for the first time you work with Tom.  You may also choose to practice your audition skills by working on a cold read audition.  Please choose from the Recommended Monologues Lists within your Welcome Package email. (If you are working on a cold read audition, this is not necessary.)  Please email your text for approval BEFORE working on it!

Returning Performers (those who have previously performed and have been personally coached by Tom):  You are welcome to work on a scene or a monologue.  We will do our best to find you a scene partner, depending on who else is enrolled and available for scene-work.  You are also welcome to sign up with a friend.  You may choose from our Recommended Lists or you may choose a piece by one of the 250+ authors listed within this Syllabus.  If you choose a piece that is not from our Recommended Lists, please be sure to email us a copy of the title, author and the text for approval BEFORE you working on it!

In addition to your primary piece, (scene or monologue) please choose 2 backup monologues from our male / female recommended monologues that are good casting for you!  Please note, you will not necessarily work on this back up material, but it’s best to be prepared.

Always bring a printed (non-digital) copy of your script with you to the Intensive.

Please note:  The point of the Intensive is to learn to act, not to get through your scene, monologue, or audition piece.  So please know that if Tom stops you before you’ve reached the end of your performance it’s because he’s more interested in ensuring you know how to work specifically, truthfully, and with relaxation from moment to moment under the given imaginary circumstances.

Stay in the theatre for all of our time together.  The lobby and parking lot are not where your growth lies.   If invited to comment on someone's work, please be sure that your remarks are brief and limited to positive (non-directorial) observations.  Your words must be an addition to what's just been said, not a reiteration.   As this is your artistic home, pick up after yourself when the day is done.

Give up addictions.  Avoid anesthetizing your sensitivity and intuition (talent).

Take notes.  Have someone take notes for you during critique of your work.  Learn the prologue to "Romeo and Juliet" and eventually, the five prologues to "Henry V".  These are not required for you to have prepared when you first begin with us, but something to work on independently to further your growth.   Come prepared with materials for taking notes.

Photos and footage may be taken during the course of the Intensive.  Please let us know if you prefer not to be photographed.  It’s understood you’re fine with this unless we hear from you.

There are several recommended reading lists below.  We recommend you read (or at least scan) the first three books (Audition, The Four Agreements, and The Mastery of Love) prior to the intensive.

2.   RECOMMENDED READING LIST (in order):

  • AUDITION by Michael Shurtleff – it’s good to know the 15 Guideposts numerically – refer the Guideposts / Reminder Sheet within your Welcome package email.
  • THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • THE MASTERY OF LOVE by Don Miguel Ruiz

3.   YOUNG ACTORS:   (ages 11-17)

Take a look at Monologues for Young Actors” as well as “Scenes for Young Actors”.

Both are written by Lorraine Cohen. 

4.   RECOMMENDED PLAYWRIGHTS

(See APPENDIX A)

5.   RECOMMENDED READING LIST

(See APPENDIX B)

6.   ATTENDANCE

Attendance for the entire Intensive is mandatory.  The only excusable absence for any part of the training is that you are gainfully employed in or auditioning for theatre, film, or television.  If you must arrive late or leave early, please let one of the producers know before the Intensive begins.

7.   SCHEDULE & COMMUNICATION

Please check your email regularly for communication from the Studio and from your scene partner IF you have one.  If you are not hearing from your partner, it is your responsibility to notify the Studio immediately. 

You will be emailed the location and schedule details approximately 3-5 days before the Intensive.

There will be brief breaks between each piece and we will have a working lunch, so plan on bringing your lunch with you to class as well as any snacks and water you will need for the day that you will be able to enjoy BETWEEN scenes.  

8.   STUDIO FEES

We encourage all students to pay by credit card and/or debit card.  Fees for the Intensives are charged to the card number you have given the Studio upon enrollment.  You may also pay online at www.TomTodoroff.com.  If you have requested to pay by Money Order, please refer to your enrollment form for the mailing address.  Please notify the Studio when your payment has been sent.

Don’t miss out on your training because of “lack of money shame”.  Communicate.  If necessary, we will do our best to work with you in this area.

9.   SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the premise.

10.   VISITING

Producers, casting directors, agents and managers etc. are encouraged to visit, as they can assist you in your career.  Please clear this with the Studio producers beforehand.  In the interest of maintaining our safe space, all guests must be approved.

11.   QUESTIONS?

Raise your hand.  The only “dumb” question is the one that remains unasked. 

See APPENDIX C for contact information.  The Studio producers are happy to help you with any questions or concerns that may arise.  Please do not hesitate to approach them.

Please keep Tom apprised of your breakthroughs, concerns, triumphs, etc. by emailing him directly at: TomTodoroff@mac.com

12.   UNDERSTAND AND COMMIT TO MEMORY:

  • The 15 Guideposts
  • The 6 Viewpoints
  • The 4 Variables of Voice and Speech
  • The 4 Agreements
  • The 3 basic Tenets and the 3 Techniques before you take the stage

PRIOR TO YOUR PERFORMANCE:

  • Work on Voice & Speech exercises described within this Syllabus daily, from the day you enroll in the Intensive.
  • Create flash cards to help you learn the fundamentals above.  These terms and concepts are described in the three recommended reading books.  
  • Learn your text (Best to be off-book and performance ready)
  • Dress for your role (no general street clothes)
  • And be prepared to create “place” SPECIFICALLY with furniture and props.

To  “try” is a lie, it makes you cry and then you die!

If you “try” to do it, you’ve already departed from it…

Thank you for your passion, your commitment and your contribution.  I'm glad you're here!  You are not alone on your journey to your true self.  Your authentic self is also searching for you.  Burn bright.  Revel in your time.  The adventure continues…

Love to you,

TOM TODOROFF

www.TomTodoroff.com

APPENDIX A -  RECOMMENDED PLAYWRIGHTS

THE GREEKS (463 BC- 400 BC) “Poets of the world’s grief”

AESCHYLUS
Agamemnon, Oresteia

EURIPIDES
Medea, Electra, Trojan Women 

SOPHOCLES
Oedipus, Antigone

17th CENTURY: RESTORATION AND JACOBEAN TRAGEDY

CONGREVE, William
The Mourning Bride

FORD, John
Tis Pity She’s a Whore

JONSON, Ben

MARLOWE, Christopher Tamburlaine

MIDDLETON, Thomas & ROWLEY, William
The Changeling

MOLIÈRE (aka Jean-Baptiste Poquelin)

PYLE, Howard

SHAKESPEARE, William
Romeo and Juliet, Othello, etc.

SHERIDAN, Richard Brinsley
The School For Scandal

TOURNEUR, Cyril
The Revenger’s Tragedy

WEBSTER, John
The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi

WYCHERLEY, William
The Country Wife

19th CENTURY: VICTORIAN ERA AND THE BIRTH OF REALISM

SCANDINAVIA

IBSEN, Henrik
A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler

STRINDBERG, Johan August
Miss Julie

GREAT BRITAIN

COWARD, Noel
Private Lives, Design for Living

DICKENS, Charles
The Frozen Deep, Great Expectations

SYNGE, John Millington
The Playboy of the Western World

WILDE, Oscar
The Importance of Being Earnest
An Ideal Husband

RUSSIA

BULGAKOV, Mikhail
Peace Plays: Adam and Eve, Zoya’s Apartment

CHEKHOV
The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard

DOSTOYEVSKY, Fyodor
Crime and Punishment

GOGOL, Nikolai
The Inspector General

GORKY, Maxim
The Lower Depths

OSTROVSKY, Aleksandr
The Tempest, The Poor Bride

TOLSTOY, Leo
War and Peace

TURGENEY, Ivan
A Month in the Country

FRANCE

DUMAS fils, Alexandre
Camille, The Natural Son

SARDOU, Victorien
Fedora, Les Merveilleuses

SCRIBE, Eugene
Night of the National Guard

GERMANY/AUSTRIA

GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang Von – Faust I

MOLNAR, Ferenc
The Devil
Liliom-became the musical Carousel

SCHILLER, Friedrich
Mary Stuart, William Tell

SCHNITZLER, Arthur, The Comedy of Seduction
Professor Bernhardi

WEDEKIND, Frank
The Awakening of Spring, Pandora’s Box

Note:  Example plays are included to intrigue and inform you of a playwright’s more famous work.  It is not in any way a restriction, but rather a starting point to investigate their texts and discover what speaks to you.

20TH CENTURY – PRESENT: A NEW WORLD  (C=Canadian authors)

ACKERMAN, Joan

ALBEE, Edward

ALLEN, Woody

ANDERSON, Sherwood

ANDERSON, Jane

ANOUILH, Jean

ANTHONY, Trey (C)

ATHAYDE, Roberto

AUBURN, David

AYCKBOURN, Alan

BABE, Thomas

BAITZ, John Robin

BALDWIN, James

BARRY, Philip

BECKETT, Samuel

BEHAN, Brendan

BELBER, Stephen

BELL, Neal

BERKHOFF, Steven

BERMAN, Brooke

BISHOP, John

BLANK, Jessica

BLESSING, Lee

BOGOSIAN, Eric

BOLOGNA, Joseph

BOLT, Robert

BOLTON, Guy

BOND, Christopher

BOYCE, Amy Rebecca

BRECHT, Bertolt

BULLINS, Ed

CHAMBERS, Jane

CHAYEFSKY, Paddy

CHURCHILL, Caryl

CLARK, Brian

CLARK, Ron

CRISTOFER, Michael

DELANEY, Shelagh

DENKER, Henry

DORFMAN, Ariel

DURANG, Christopher

DÜRRENMATT, Friedrich

EDSON, Margaret

ENSLER, Eve

FEIFFER, Jules

FEYDEAU, Georges

FINDLEY, Timothy (C)

FOOTE, Horton

FORNES, Maria Irene

FOSTER, Norm (C)

FRASER, Brad (C)

FRAYNE, Michael

FRENCH, David (C)

FRIEL, Brian

FRINGS, Ketti

FRY, Christopher

FUGARD, Athol

FULLER, Charles

GAFFNEY, Mo

GARCIA LORCA, Federico

GARDNER, Herb

GARONZIK, Elan

GAZZO, Michael

GENET, Jean

GERSCHE, Leonard

GIBSON, William

GILBERT, Sky (C)

GILMAN, Rebecca

GILROY, Frank D.

GIRAUDOUX, Hippolyte Jean

GLASS, Joanna M.

GLASSCO, Bill (C)

GLOWACKI, Janusz

GOLDMAN, James

GOLUBOFF, Bryan

GORDONE, Charles

GRAY, John (C)

GRAY, Simon

GRAY, Spalding

GREENBERG, Richard

GREENBLATT, Richard(C)

GRIFFITHS, Linda (C)

GRIFFITHS, Trevor

GUARE, John

GURNEY, A.R. Jr.

HAILEY, Oliver

HAMPTON, Christopher

HANLEY, William

HANSBERRY, Lorraine

HARE, David

HARELIK, Mark

HARLING, Robert

HARRISON, Paul Carter

HART, Moss

HARWOOD, Ronald

HAUPTMAN, William

HAVEL, Vaclav

HAYES, Alfred

HEALEY, Michael (C)

HECHT, Ben

HEGGEN, Thomas

HEIMEL, Cynthia

HELLMAN, Lillian Florence

HENLEY, Beth

HIGHWAY, Thompson (C)

HIRSON, David

HOROVITZ, Israel

HOWARD, Sydney Coe

HOWE, Tina

HWANG, David Henry

INGE, William

IONESCO, Eugene

IVES, David

IZUKA, Naomi

JONES, LeRoi

JORY, Jon

KANIN, Garson

KAUFMAN, George

KAVA, Caroline

KEMPINSKI, Tom

KESSIER, Lyle

KIRKWOOD, James

KONDOLEON, Harry

KOPIT, Arthur

KORDER, Howard

KUSHNER, Tony

LABUTE, Neil

LAURO, Shirley

LAZARUS, John (C)

LEE, Leslie

LEIGHT, Warren

LETTS, Tracy

LEVITT, Saul

LI, Anna

LINNEY, Romulus

LOGAN, Joshua

LONERGAN, Kenneth

LUCAS, Craig

LUCE, Claire B.

MACARTHUR, Charles

MACDONALD, Anne Marie (C)

MACIVOR, Daniel (C)

MACLEOD, Joan (C)

MANN, Emily

MARBER, Patrick

MARGULIES, Donald

MARTIN, Jane

MARTIN, Steve

MASTROSIMONE, William

MAURETTE, Marcelle

MAY, Elaine

MCDONAGH, Martin

MCGUINNESS, Frank

MCINTYRE, Dennis

MCKAY, Gardner

MCLAUGHLIN, Ellen

MCNALLY, Terrence

MEAD, Julian

MEDOFF, Mark

MELFI, Leonard

METCALFE, Steve

MEYERS, Patrick

MICHAELS, Sidney

MILLER, Allan

MILLER, Arthur

MILLER, Jason

MILLER, J.P.

MOORE, Edward J.

MURELL, John (C)

MURRAY-SMITH, Joanna

NAJIMY, Kathy

NASH, Richard

NELSON, Richard

NICHOLS, Peter

NIGRO, Don

NOONAN, John Ford

NORMAN, Marsha

O’CASEY, Sean

O’NEILL, Eugene

OATES, Joyce Carol

ODETS, Clifford

ORTON, Joe

OSBORNE, John

OVERMYER, Eric

PARKER, Dorothy

PARKS, Suzan-Lori

PARNELL, Peter

PETERSON, Don

PETERSON, Eric (C)

PINTER, Harold

PIRANDELLO, Luigi

POLLOCK, Sharon (C)

RABE, David

RATTIGAN, Terence Mervyn

RAVENHILL, Mark

REDDIN, Keith

RENATTA, Janice

REYNOLDS, Jonathan

REZA, Yasmina

RICE, Elmer

RIVERA, Jose

RUDNICK, Paul

RUSSEL, Willy

RYGA, George (C)

SANDLER, Susan

SANTEIRO, Luis

SAROYAN, William

SARTRE, Jean-Paul

SCHISGAL, Murray

SCHMITT, Eric-Emmanuel

SEARS, Djanet (C)

SHAFFER, Peter

*SHANLEY, John Patrick

SHAW, George Bernard

SHEPARD, Sam

SHERMAN, James

SHERMAN, Jason (C)

SHERMAN, Martin

SHINN, Christopher

SHUE, Larry

SILVER, Nicky

SIMON, Neil

SLADE, Bernard

STEIN, Joseph

STEINBECK, John

STERNER, Jerry

STOPPARD, Tom

SWEET, Jeffrey

TALLY, Ted

TAYLOR, Renee 

TEICHMANN, Howard

TESICH, Steve

THOMPSON, Ernest

THOMPSON, Judith (C)

TREMBLAY, Michel (C)

VAN BUREK, John (C)

VAN DRUTEN, John

VAN ITALIE, Jean-Claude

VAUGHN, RM (C)

VOGEL, Paula

WADE, Kevin

WALKER, George F. (C)

WALLACE, Naomi

WARD, Douglas Turner

WASSERSTEIN, Wendy

WELLER, Michael

WELLMAN, Mac

WHITE, Jane

WHITEMORE, Hugh

WILDER, Thornton

WILLIAMS, Tennessee

WILSON, August

WILSON, Lanford

WOLFE, George C.

WOLFF, Ruth

YOUNG, David (C)

ZINDEL, Paul

ZOLA, Emile

* Not DOUBT by John Patrick Shanley

02/18/18

Note:  New or original texts (or works by writers that do not appear above) are acceptable and encouraged, providing a copy of the text is submitted to Emily at emoulton@TomTodoroff.com (or via text 310-980-4504) for review before you begin working on it.  Work on scenes and monologues that are derived from entire play scripts or screenplays (as opposed to anonymous speeches from monologue books).

APPENDIX B - RECOMMENDED READING LIST

 1.  Anne BOGART & Tina LANDAU     The Viewpoints Book

 2.  Cicely BERRY                                Voice and the Actor & The Actor and the Text

 3.  Peter BISKIND                              Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

 4.  Richard BOLESLAVSKY                  The First Six Lessons

 5.  Bernie BRILLSTEIN                         Where Did I Go Right?

 6.  Linda BUZZELL                             How to Make it in Hollywood

 7.  Simon CALLOW                            Being an Actor

 8.  Deepak CHOPRA                          The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success

 9.  Robert EVANS                              The Kid Stays in the Picture (audio version)

10.  William GOLDMAN                      Adventures In The Screen Trade

11.  Uta HAGEN                                Respect for Acting

12.  Judy KEFF                                   Acting Is Everything

13.  Larry LANGE                               The Beatles Way

14.  Kristin LINKLATER                     Freeing the Natural Voice

15.  Art LINSON                                A Pound of Flesh, What Just Happened?

16.  David MAMET                             True and False

17.  C.T. ONIONS                              A Shakespeare Glossary

18.  Barbara & Alan PEASE                   Why Men Don't Listen And Women Can't Read Maps

19.  M. Scott PECK                             The Road Less Traveled

20.  Anthony SHER                             The Year of the King

21.  Edith SKINNER                           Speak With Distinction (know the Seven Points of Good Speech for Classic Plays)

22.  Eckhart TOLLE                             The Power of Now (audio version)

APPENDIX C - CONTACT INFORMATION

NEW YORK STUDIO & CONSERVATORY

212-362-8141

NYC Studio Weekly Class

NYCStudio@TomTodoroff.com

NYC One-Week Summer Intensive

NYCSummer@TomTodoroff.com

NYC Two-Year Conservatory

Conservatory@TomTodoroff.com

REGIONAL STUDIOS

To learn more about our acting intensives worldwide, contact us at Intensive@TomTodoroff.com or go to tomtodoroff.com and join the mailing list of the city nearest you!

Check out TomTodoroff.com/Events to see where Tom is teaching next!

Commitment +
Craft = Career
 

For more detailed information about classes, tuition or other concerns, we invite you to contact the Tom Todoroff Studio today by calling 212-362-8141, or by writing to us through our secure contact page.