Private Alexander Technique Lessons
with Kristof Konrad or Jean-Louis Rodrigue in Westwood, CA
A full understanding of the Alexander Technique will not be attained in one or two lessons. Rather, through a series of lessons, you can discover what balanced use is and gradually learn to employ this improved use in your daily activities and performance work. Students are encouraged to take two lessons per week during the first month of study, and then taper to once per week.
Students are financially responsible for canceled appointments unless notice of cancellation is received one full working day before the appointment. Each lesson is one hour long. Sometimes lessons run longer, so leave some flexibility in your schedule for that possibility.
‘Good Use’ implies economy and availability — to the moment, to the partner, to the emotion, to the unexpected — the essence of improviso and the enemy of rigidity. Good use implies choice about deciding to go into action and about what action to do and how to do it. Good use means we are capable of delicacy and subtlety as well as thrust and force. These are the qualities of movement that the Alexander student learns to distinguish, since all movement — picking up a pencil, a sprinter’s burst, the exquisite conservation of energy in a resting cat — becomes a source of observation and constructive possibilities. (Joan Schirle, The Availability of the Actor)
Director & Cast Collaborations
Film, theatre, and television.
As acting and movement specialists, Jean-Louis and Kristof’s purpose is to collaborate with the director to understand the creative needs of the project and fully grasp the director’s vision; ultimately, make his/her job easier. This is achieved by preparing the actors to be:
more calm, available, flexible, and easy-to-direct
clear about their character interpretations
ready to adapt to changing directorial requirements
This includes both work on the part itself and for the general development of the actor, such as elimination of mannerisms and bad habits to acquiring better posture, movement coordination, and improved voice production.
Be it character, archetype, alien, animal, or period roles, Jean-Louis & Kristof have a unique talent for helping actors, directors, and writers breathe life into their characters.
As specialists in period movement, Jean-Louis and Kristof focus on assisting actors in penetrating the period manners and behavior of historical times as deeply as they penetrate their acting roles.
When a script is about a historical or iconic character, it is vital to integrate every detail of the biography of the particular person: the period, the place, the beliefs, and the social and political climate of the time in which the character lives. Jean-Louis and Kristof help the actor map out the process, paying special attention to the details of the psychological, physical, and emotional journey of the character so the actor can discover and integrate the interpretation from within.
Jean-Louis and Kristof both share the belief that actors must see and feel the world through the eyes and bodies of animals. The study of animals enables actors to act and react in new ways and to enrich and expand their own physical and emotional world, which includes the discovery of new, surprising ways of moving and acting.
In order to “feel” the animal’s inner and outer life, the actor’s body must be able to physically respond like the animal in its natural environment and therefore acquire different qualities, such as floating, diving, vibrating, jumping, propelling, crawling, etc. Learning to connect to our shared head-to-spine relationship and to our physical center — our breath — unlocks a different rhythm in our bodies.
Fundamentally, we are animals and we have rhythm, shape, weight, texture, color. We have many things in common and also different ways of behaving — and animals may have a fresh point of view. Human beings most basic functions in life are exactly the same as animals; most importantly, birth, rites of passage, creating family, and death which all bring us most in contact with our animal self. Animals give the actor a direct link to truth, access to an exhilarating presence, and bring the focus to the moment. They are natural guides to connecting our innate human energies in order to create an unforgettable character.
Original and far reaching solutions through personal training sessions and specific project coaching for vocal and/or instrumental music.
Sessions include practical work on the specific musical piece, vocally and/or with the instrument. Jean-Louis and Kristof also offer solutions to the following problems:
- Misuse/Overuse Syndrome – Differentiating between misuse and overuse of the voice and improving the functioning of the musician in performance.
- Injuries and Pain – Addressing performance related medical problems. Dealing with stress and strain. Recovering balance and strength in the entire body.\
- Breathing – Acquiring a sense of unity between breath, body, the instrument, and the music. The results are a deeper and clearer sound, an energized quality of performance and increased pleasure for the musician.
- Stage Fright – Understanding the causes of stage fright and eliminating its presence in performance.