Four Levels of Jack Garfein's Teaching System

The Jack Garfein Studio offers a system comprised of 4 levels, in which the technique of the actor and director is developed.

This training is offered in a comprehensive manner through a single 4-week intensive course. The course is taught by Jack Garfein, and is open to professional and non-professional actors. 

The scenes that actors and directors develop during this intensive course are presented to a live audience at the end of the course. 

level 1

The actor and director begin to comprehend the laws of nature that bring about feelings and behavior in imaginary situations. The actor starts to acquire a technique that will eventually lead him to a spontaneity and an effortlessness in playing.

Both director and actor observe life to sense how a gesture, an intonation can reveal the psychology of a person. They come to realize how the use of objects, the specific aspect of an environment, help to stir precise behavior.

The gradual exploitation of the text of the play, or script, eventually bridges the gap between their own experience and the hidden underlying meaning in the author’s writing. The director benefits by grasping his/her personal links to the author’s intent.

level 2

The level of work for the actor in this group starts with the definition, through practice, of the various requirements when acting on stage or facing the camera. The director learns the disparity between working with actors in the theater and on film.

The exploitation of the text continues in order to give the actor and director a firm grasp of the story. Improvisations are created, through which the actors and directors discover how the characters emerge. 

This is followed by learning about the processes of casting and the discovery of the way the character's traits relate to the actor’s personal qualities.

level 3

The work on this level centers on probing and scrutinizing the text, and setting the course of the rehearsals. It defines what is to be attained through the rehearsal:

  1. The aim of the first reading with the other actor.
  2. How to personalize the character’s references to their past and to the events in the play or script.
  3. The means to stimulate the imagination to make the character’s actions, feelings arise involuntarily and instinctively.

In this final stage, the actor appears in a detailed, specific setting with costume and a clear definition of the character’s desire in relation to the others in the scene. After that work, the actor and director master the ability of retaining and repeating with the same spontaneity; the behavior they discovered in the rehearsals.

level 4