Future stars of stage and screen get a lift in Whistler 

LB Productions to offer Acting Techniques for Stage and Screen course

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - Louise Robinson
  • File photo
  • Louise Robinson

Wanna be in the movies? How about taking to the stage in a production of Ibsen, Stoppard or Shakespeare?

Now you won't have to drive for 90 minutes to an acting class in the Lower Mainland in order to perfect your skills.

Whistler's LB Productions is offering an eight-week Adult Acting Techniques for Stage and Screen class with recent addition, acting teacher Louise Robinson. The classes started Jan. 21 and cost $180.

Anita Burleson, the owner of LB productions, says they decided to offer the course because there had been a number of requests for some kind of program for straight acting.

"People thought they would have to go to Vancouver to take courses like this and we have the staff here who are so capable and I thought we should start offering it," Burleson says.

Robinson says the acting techniques course has "more of a purpose and allow people who take the course to see where they could be going," than the drop-in improv course previously offered in the same slot.

"This course will be for 16 to 70 year olds who want to know more about how to perform in theatre and films," she says.

"This is great for people who want to get into acting but also those who want to build confidence. An adult going into a new line of work that involves a lot of public speaking and who has a fear of it would be helped.

"When I say acting, I would say it is all about learning about people and learning about yourself. To be an actor you really need to understand about different types of people who are around you. In film you will often get cast in a role that suits the way you look... you need to be aware of yourself before you can act like someone else."

Character development, movement, voice and script work will be a big part of the program, she adds.

"This could open up a world in Whistler to those people who aren't necessarily the sporting types but want to do something different," she says.

Hailing from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Robinson studied in Brisbane. She holds a degree in drama and another in secondary education and has been teaching on and off ever since.

An early job teaching drama to troubled high school teens, some victims of sexual or physical violence, left an impact and a sense of the transformative potential of performing. It was so important, Robinson says, for these youngsters to be able to tell their own stories.

They would explore issues like mental health and body image issues.

"Teaching at that school was very fulfilling for myself and the kids," she says.

"I loved it. Some kids would join in when they were 12 years old and by the time they left they had achieved so much and completely changed... from possibly ending up homeless to getting into college."

After this, like so many Australians, Robinson decided to travel and "do the two-year visa thing in Canada" and moved here in April 2012. She is currently applying for her permanent residency.

When she moved to Whistler after a brief stint in Lake Louise, she began working at the Cinnamon Bear at the Hilton Hotel. While there she has helped bring in LB Productions' comedy night, which played to packed houses and got local graduates of LB's comedy program on stage last fall.

"That was very good for both LB and the Cinnamon Bear. And while I was working there I saw an advert and called Anita, and it's been a whirlwind," Robinson says.

She currently teaches sketch comedy to teens.

Visit www.lbpentertainment.com.

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