The Michael Chekhov Technique - My Experience of the Two-Year Part-Time Acting Course with Joerg Andrees
When I was 17 there was a boy I loved. I felt so akin to him that when I entered a crowded pub I could sense straight away if he was in it or not. And if he was not, I felt dead inside, as if I was filled with emptiness.
I had made the mistake in my teenage years of thinking that it was the boy who had created the feeling in me - and without the boy I could never experience connection at this deep level again.
It was years later that I discovered Michael Chekhov and my forgotten ability to sense. Through sensation, I began to re-connect with the world around me, to the people around me and to myself. I no longer felt like a disconnected being, blocked, uncertain and self-doubtful.
The technique is so simple, yet for it to work it requires you to trust yourself. This is at its core and is a recurring theme in the teaching method. Through it you begin to get a sense of your inner power. You no longer need validation or approval from others - you know what works and what doesn't because you can sense it for yourself. You learn how to lead yourself; how to centre and ground yourself; how to expand your energy to fill the space around you; how to connect with an audience and to the creativity you want to express; how to move fluidly and with ease in your body. You learn how to transform your body into a highly perceptible, sensory membrane that feels most alive and vibrant. It awakens something in you - perhaps what it truly means to be human.
My relationship to the world and to myself has changed and continues to change through this technique. I am a musician and came to acting because I was searching for a way to express myself on the stage without feeling constricted or exposed or self-conscious. I needed tools I could use to connect better with my audience and my art.
The technique, taught by Joerg Andrees, is an education in art and philosophy with such deep insights into what it truly means to be an artist and to be free in one's art - and this is only one side to the course content. I feel so lucky to have been led to Chekhov and this life-path and in particular to Chekhov through the channel of master-tutor and mentor, Joerg Andrees.
I can truly say that whatever your art, you will find new meaning and a love for what you do through this technique. It breathes life.
Emma Brennan, Singer-Songwriter, Ireland
As a facilitator & actor this course is the first step in the journey of bringing a character to life & bringing imagination back into our lives.
Edwina Albrecht, Actress/Director, Ireland
For me as an artist/painter, the Michael Chekhov work is about creating pictures, it's about creating imaginations - as Albert Einstein once said, "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
Helene Ravn, Artist, Denmark/Germany
I have never felt more excited about the possibility of my own creativity. The powerful tools of the technique allow the creative artist to grow and are relevant to all creative fields.
Mary Pat Moloney, Croí Anú Creative Centre, Ireland
During my two years studying acting in New York, I learned of the great acting teachers and their work, including Michael Chekhov. However, it was only on my return to Dublin in 2008 that I had the great fortune to learn the Chekhov technique in some detail from Irish enthusiasts and Joerg Andrees. In my experience, Chekhov's technique offers actors and singers like me the easiest ways to access text and songs. Joerg's passion, skill and enthusiasm combined with Chekhov's technique have helped me rediscover the joy of acting, rehearsing and singing.
Leona McEvoy, Actor/Singer, Ireland
This course helped to free me up as an actor. It offers not only a philosophy for acting, but a philosophy for living.
Anne Doyle, Actress, Ireland
A wonderful programme - moving, imagining, creating - exploring new connections in the work and in the group.
Moninne Dargan, Actress/Director, Northern Ireland
Joerg Andrees is an excellent teacher and a true proponent of Chekhov's vision and technique. At last, I can say I have found a clear path to discovering the character for the stage.
Rohan McShane, Actor, Ireland
I have really enjoyed my study and training in the Michael Chekhov Technique. It has been of enormous benefit not just to myself and my colleagues in our Contemporary Circus work but also to all the wonderful young people with special needs who perform in Circus Sonnenstich.
Anna-Katharina Andrees, Director and Teacher of Movement, Neuer Zircus & Circus Sonnenstich, Germany
To be larger than life, one must first imagine one can be - this is a training where cultivating self-trust is at its centre. To be able to get out of my own head so I am free to enter someone else's, in thought, movement and feeling, this is what I am learning to do. I was looking for more stage presence and slowly began to understand, through this learning, how to perceive and overcome personal limitations (as a singer). To feel whole again, as a connected human being, in mind body and soul - not just to react, but to react from a movement felt deep within - "prepare, do and let go". It's about exploring, not just the character in an imaginary world, but the relationship to oneself in this world - and how flexible that exploration allows one to be. I feel I have stumbled upon a secret knowledge which enables one to train oneself with an astute awareness. The word alchemy comes to mind. I had no idea how much Iwas confined until i I experienced, through psycho-physical training, a sense of what freedom in oneself feels like. With Joerg Andrees leading me through Chekhov, step by step, I feel continuously blessed and lucky. Thank you.
Emma Brennan, Singer/Songwriter, Ireland
Being part of this experience has completely revitalised and nurtured my artistic practice and creative soul. Joerg's approach is so open and inspiring, and through him Chekhov's technique is brought to life and made easily accessible to all. The benefits of this course are far reaching, and have enhanced both my acting skills and my daily personal life immeasurably. If you have the chance to take this course, grab it with both hands. It is, without question, the best there is.
Claire Blennerhasset, Actress, Ireland
This is a course in which I grew in confidence as a creative artist. A safe and nurturing environment where each person could, through a series of psycho-physical exercises, explore and develop their creative individuality. A liberating experience that can be practically applied to a performance filled with atmospheres that really draw the audience in.
Helena Browne, Actress/Director , Ireland