I have only recently discovered your material an Chekhov's Principles online and have fully enjoyed every minute of it.
Coming from a background in psychology and working on a book about the traditions of spontaneous movement, I was fascinated to see how you demonstrate principles which are also fundamental to practices such as Daoist alchemy, Tai Chi Chuan and Andalusian Flamenco - with such ease that it is a joy to witness.
Though I originally intended to send a question, I have meanwhile found the answer while browsing your blog.
Thus, all that remains for me is to say a heartfelt thank you for sharing your wealth of experience, which I have already benefited from in my own psycho-physical practices.
It’s an amazing adventure for me to see how Micheal Chekhov principles work on us when taking classes with Graham. He guided me so I could use them easily and in an artistic way.
A eureka moment occurred for me when I finally chose and identified a gesture for the character (Romeo). Suddenly, I felt more free; every line and movement felt as if it had a genuine purpose. I even discovered aspects of Romeo's character which I could never have conceived of by approaching the text on a purely intellectual level; it was as if I'd truly discovered him for the first time. I had no idea it was possible to perform Shakespeare with such a high level of ease and genuine enjoyment.
I made two major discoveries during the workshop. First, I discovered that an emotionally loaded phrase, when connected to a body movement, can become more objective, more 'impersonal', and for that particular reason more powerful, more effective. The drama of the character is lifted to a higher level. Second, I discovered that, when focussing on its rhythm, the Shakespearian verse reveals to us subtleties and nuances that enrich the dramatic discourse.
Michael Paulin: I had so many revelations on the Shakespeare course that I have been waiting in an attempt to distill the revelations into one. Of course, that has proved impossible. However, revelation came to me today during an exceptional day with Graham in the Intensive: Acting is poetry!
It was another wonderful opportunity to practice the principles of Michael Chekov with the guidance of Graham. How heavenly it is to understand Shakespeare. A phrase frequently traveling through the classroom: ''See! Shakespeare gives it to you!' Using the Chekhov principles to allow for the words to show their meaning in a text. ''I swear, mommy! Words that by breath and principles can come alive! It is true! It is true! It is really true!''
Simon Radcliff, Voice Coach:
Graham's skill in creating the atmosphere for creative work was a real lesson for me. And it depended on his honesty about the group process and clarity about the work. It was practical and it reached the soul. And it wasn't magical; I felt enabled to use what I'd learned very quickly.”
Thank you so much for the workshops, I not only truly enjoyed the people and the work we did but I came away with a greater and deeper knowledge of the technique and its application when working with actors. It was a really rewarding and inspiring time for me. You are a truly unique and brilliant teacher Graham and it was a pleasure to work with you over the last 3 months and I look forward to working with you again.
Lucy Richardson, Performing Arts Lecturer:
I found Graham generous, supportive, thorough and the structure of the sessions and the classes excellent. He has a clarity of vision and a passion for the work. He practices what he preaches. The course offered a real back to basics and then built a new attitude and approach for performers in an extremely real and useful way.