Tag "Asolo Conservatory"

  • Lynne Bernfield sings “The Sweet Single Life”

    4-9-20 Interview

    I spent much of my 20’s worrying about the fact that, although there were always men in my life, I wasn’t MARRIED! When I moved from NY – where I was born and raised – and moved to LA, I began a new life. One day I realized that I was not only very happy, I no longer cared that I wasn’t MARRIED. And I wrote this song in celebration.

    The Sweet Single Life is the first cut on My CD “I Won’t Go With A Whimper”

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  • Interview with Johnny Epstein – Midsummer Nights Dream

    3-28-17 Interview

    3-28-17 Johnny Epstein has had a long career as a Shakespearian Player and acting teacher. Although he knew from age 7 that he was comfortable on stage – when he spontaneously adlibbed to cover a fellow student missed cue – it was a series of unplanned and unintended actions and comments that lead him to realize that acting was his career. To help him overcome a fear of water his parents sent him to Tuffs Magic Circle summer day camp because campers were encouraged to swim and, by the way, spent the mornings doing theater. Johnny spent 3 years there enjoying doing plays but did not think of acting as a “profession.” Following his first performance in a Shakespeare play (As You Like it) the shop teacher a “plain man with little exposure to Shakespeare” said “I saw that As You Like it – you’re a great actor – is this going to be your profession” This was the first time Johnny considered of acting as a profession. Listen to this knowledgeable, articulate man describe the ironic way he got his first role on Broadway and talk about his life, the work of acting, and the upcoming production of Midsummer Night’s Dream– performed by his class of 2nd year graduate students at the FSU Conservatory for Acting Training.

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  • Interview with Amanda Friou

    March 3, 2015 Audio Interview

    Amanda Friou is in Sarasota to direct the Asolo Conservatory production of the Broadway musical Title of Show. Although she’d been performing since she was little, Amanda always thought she’d be an astrophysicist. Fortunately her show choir teacher told Amanda that she was really meant to be in theater and gave Amanda opportunities to use her acting and directing talents. These experiences, which Amanda didn’t ask for and were often intimidating, set the stage (so to speak) for Amanda to realize the theater was where she belonged. Listen to this delightful woman talk about the way things just seemed to “fall into her lap,” until she decided that if she wanted to be a director (which she did) she had to take the reins of her life in her own hands. And come out to see the results of that decision in her direction of delightful musical Title of Show.

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  • Interview with Roxanne Fay

    9-17-13 Audio Interview

    Roxanne Fay fell in love with words when she was very young and participated in “forensics competitions” – the reading of poetry – in elementary school. Her love of “words that she wanted to say,” never left her and she relentlessly pursued those “nourishing words” as an actor and playwright, but it wasn’t an easy journey. Not accepted in to the BFA program at university and not accepted to the Asolo Conservatory program Roxanne persevered despite a “broken heart.” She attended the Burt Reynolds acting program (which in retrospect was the better choice for her), and has never looked back. Travelling to work in Hawaii, Chicago, New York, and Orlando and finally finding herself back home in St Petersburg Florida where she has been working steadily as an actor, playwright, and stage manager. Listen to her talk about the work she and her Blue Scarf collective partners have done, her extraordinary two part piece called Home Fires Burning, (which if you get a chance to see you shouldn’t miss), the one woman narrative she is writing about Mary Magdalene for which she won a grant, and her upcoming work in The Birds which will open on Oct 2nd at American Stage Theater in St Petersburg FL.

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  • Interview with Brendon Fox

    1-1-13 – Audio Interview

    Brendon Fox was always interested in music, theater and literature, but it was in Jr. High School that he had the experiences which would define the rest of his life – listen to Brendon describe his father’s moving response to his performance. As much as he liked acting Brendon discovered that he also really liked directing – hear him describe the curious and serendipitous way his directing career got its start. Brendon’s path took him from Northwestern University to the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, then to Los Angeles and a Masters in Directing at UCLA, and now to a teaching position at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota FL where he is currently directing a production of The Aliens.. In this interview Brendon essentially gives us a crash course in directing and also describes the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training philosophy of teaching – demonstrating why it is one of the top ten conservatories in the country.

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  • Interviews with Angela Sauer and Will Little

    6/21/11 – Interviews – Asolo Conservatory Graduating Students Angela Sauer and Will Little not only define themselves as actors, but are dedicated to “being of service,” and to “giving back.”

    Angela Sauer vacillated on the way to deciding that she was an actor. Her Mom put her in acting and dance classes by the time she was 3 and 4 years old. In high school she auditioned for roles in musicals, in order to be with her best friend. In college she hedged her bets by minoring in theater and majoring in just about everything else. And even when she took a full time job, she spent her nights in plays. Finally deciding that she needed additional training, Angela auditioned for and got into the FSU Conservatory Program where she learned to do things she “didn’t even know, that she didn’t know how to do.” Angela says that “there are times when it’s really difficult to be an artist,” but knowing that she can “change people’s lives” with her craft, makes it all worth it.

    Will Little – was a jock, he had no interest in acting. But in high school recognizing that his over abundance of energy wasn’t being satisfied by athletics, and wanting to “stay out of trouble,” he enrolled in acting classes. It wasn’t till his senior year that he finally took a role in a play; saw that his performance was making people cry, and thought perhaps this was something he could do. Following a friend who’d been accepted into the Howard University Acting program, Will got applied, got accepted and his” life as a thespian started to kick off.” Listen to the internal struggle that a very talented and head strong young man, endured in order to complete the three rigorous and confining years that are the FSU Conservatory program. And the dedication he has to giving back for the gift of his talent.

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  • Interviews Asolo Conservatory Graduating Students Dane Dandridge and Devereau Chumrau

    June 14, 2011

    Interviews Asolo Conservatory Graduating Students Dane Dandridge and Devereau Chumrau are not only extremely talented actors but well rounded individuals, who made unusual choices on their way to the Conservatory, and stating once and for all – I am an actor

    Dane Dandridge was in his first play when he was six years old and has not been out of work as an actor for more than 4 months since then. But while continuing to work as an actor from the very beginning, in college Dane chose to major in Spanish and International Relations, taking the opportunity to live in Mexico and Spain. He was on the verge of submitting a proposal for a Fulbright scholarship to live in Spain, when he was accepted into the Asolo Conservatory Program. Listen to Dane talk about the painful first year studying under “guru-guide” Andrei Maleav – Babel, and hear him quote fellow graduating student, Angela Sauer’s description of that first year with Andrei. (Hear Angela’s interview next week.).

    Devereau Chumrau fell in love with the vision of her six year old self on a TV monitor outside of Sears at the Mall where grandma would talk her for tea. Shy and unsure of herself she nonetheless communicated her love of performing to her Dad, who got her private acting lesions when she was fifteen years old. With this teacher Devereau found the confidence she’d lacked. She had an agent, and was working professionally by the time she was 18. But Deveraeu wanted to expand her horizons and so she went to study in West Africa., where she no only completely her college course work but had an opportunity to act and direct. Listen to Devereau talk about honoring the “scared little girl” within and still becoming the glittering person she is on stage.


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  • Interview with Andrei Maleav-Babel

    6-7-11 Interview

    Andrei Maleav -Babel – is a Russian Immigrant. The son and grandson of writers and artists, Andrei wrote musicals and directed his parent’s friends in his plays, by the time he was 10 or 12. Luckily coming of age as Perestroika was occurring in Russia, Andrei was able to start his own theater as a very young man. Barely able to speak English, he met, courted and married an American Sociology student and became a Professor of Acting at the prestigious Asolo Conservatory in Sarasota Florida. Listen to his amazing story and his ideas about training actors. Keep these in mind when, in the following weeks, I air interviews with many of his students who have just graduated from that program, and talk at length about the impact that studying with Andrei had on them.

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  • Interview with Wes Grantom

    4-26-11 Interview

    Interview – Wes Grantom‘s grandfather would gather Wes and his 7 cousins around the campfire on weekends and tell stories – stories the kids believed were real. Including the night grandfather and uncles woke them up in the middle of the night pretending to be rustlers who’d come to steal the horses. These events are still clear in Wes’ mind and perhaps are the genesis of his desire first to be an actor and then to realize his calling as a director; a spinner of tales, a teller of stories – other people’s stories. Listen to Wes describe his trepidation at having to tell his grandfather and father that he’d given up his place on the football team to be in a show. And how he came to be directing Tartuffe for the Asolo Conservatory and about his involvement in the emerging piece The Steadfast, based on painter Steve Alpert’s extraordinary painting “Legacy.”


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