Private, professional coaching in Performance and Communication Skills.

"Working with Matt and Susi was an amazing learning curve for me. Considering I had never performed a monologue before, let alone audition at Drama school, they were extremely supportive, enthusiastic and encouraging me to stretch myself in every way possible. They explored with me a whole pallet of exercises from building confidence, to games and further in depth exploration of actions, emotions and subtleties of the texts I was working with. I am so grateful for their generosity and time they spent with me, helping me chose audition pieces and building them into something which eventually led to me getting a place at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Throughout our sessions, I was never spoon fed on how to act a certain way, instead I was encouraged to "go for it", make mistakes and try again, all the while exploring different ways to achieve a better performance.

Whilst working I always felt at ease, comfortable to try out new things and challenge myself. They create a wonderful, comfortable and safe environment to have fun and just go for it!"

Anna Krippa

Case Study: Anna Training at RADA

Happystorm's tutoring programmes are designed for:

professional actors wanting confidential coaching to work on their audition technique, speeches, vocal or physical skills

young people seriously considering a career in performance

young people looking to build confidence or develop language skills (including public speaking, vocabulary and communication techniques)

drama school applicants (including university performing arts courses and musical theatre)

adults wishing to build confidence or develop communication skills (including public speaking, conducting interviews/appraisals, interview technique and giving presentations)

adults wanting to try something new or thinking about a career change

Sessions are held on a one to one basis for 60 minutes, 90 minutes or 2 hours.

You can have a regular weekly / fortnightly slot or you can book on a week by week basis.

Hours: Monday to Friday 10am - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am - 6pm

Tutoring takes places in Pendlebury. Free parking and good public transport links are available.

Sessions are £40/hour waged £25/hour unwaged £20/hour full time student/under 16/single income family. Book via susi.wrenshaw@gmail.com

Young people considering a career in performance

We can provide advice and guidance for young people and their guardians looking to support a passion or flair for performing. If you are seriously considering a performance career then we would recommend preparing for LAMDA Acting Exams.

For younger people (under 17), Acting Duologues (scenes between two people) can be a great way to get intensive training whilst working with another actor of a similar standard.

For those aged 17 plus or wanting to work alone, Solo Acting exams may be preferable. Solo exams are a great way to build up a diverse range of monologues which can be used for drama school auditions.

You and your guardians are very welcome to discuss any area of your development whether this is what to do for your options, getting TV extra work, finding an agent or to talk about how you are getting on with your LAMDA classes.

Young people looking to build confidence or develop language skills

Drama is a great way to build confidence in a supportive, fun environment. With a focus on structured play and self-expression, young people are able to explore their own voice, their imagination and their engagement with the world around them. Playing characters different to themselves can help them to feel more able to let go of unhelpful insecurities that may be holding them back.

Through working on scripts, tutors support each student in reaching a full understanding of the text. Home study is expected and tasks are set by tutors each week to make the most of the sessions. Parents have often commented on how much their child's vocabulary has increased since taking up drama classes. We choose plays, novel extracts, poems or TV scripts with each student so that they are set a challenging yet achievable goal. We have had a 14 year-old playing Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus, a 15 year-old working on Hard Times by Charles Dickens and a 30 year old performing a contemporary play by Dennis Kelly.

Subjects recommended for confidence building or language development are: Acting, Verse and Prose, Devising, Speaking in Public or Reading For Performance.

Preparing for LAMDA exams is a useful, structured programme where the young person will work on 2 to 3 pieces in depth which will lead to an exam and a recognised national qualification. The tutor will decide which grade to enter the student at during the first session. Students can still work through the LAMDA programme in any of the above subjects if they do not wish to take an exam at the end of the course.

Drama School Applicants

Happystorm tutors will work alongside you to ensure the best chance of success and a strong grounding in audition technique.

We can help with the following...

> Choosing the right classical and contemporary speeches to showcase your strengths.

> Creating believable, contrasting characters to show your casting range and potential.

> Directing your speeches to industry standard.

> Practising interview skills - what they are looking for, how to be yourself and sell yourself at the same time, showing a good knowledge of current theatre.

> Preparing you for what to expect from your audition experience.

> Taking you through exercises and challenges you may come across in your audition (especially workshop auditions).

> Drafting and perfecting your UCAS personal statement or application form.

> Where to apply - looking at the benefits of drama schools or university courses; what it means to be an NCDT (National Conference of Drama Schools) accredited school and why that is important in your decision; reputations and teaching styles of different schools.

> Careers advice - what you want from training, is it the right time for you, what to do if you don't get in and other ways into the industry.

> Funding - options for funding yourself through drama school including bursaries, sponsorships and private fundraising.

Adults wishing to build confidence or develop communication skills

Developing the skills necessary for delivering a performance, speech or public reading can have positive effects on your day to day communication in personal and professional interactions.

A lot of people report being very nervous before giving speeches or taking part in difficult conversations. Speaking in public is one of the most common fears in the UK. Learning breathing techniques can help to make you feel more calm when under pressure and allow you to appear in control and confident even when you might not feel it inside.

Using the techniques of professional actors and public speakers can show you how to protect you voice. When we experience stress or tension we are more likely to injure the vocal apparatus whether in the short or long term. Damaging effects can range from temporary loss of voice and minor discomfort or pain to the appearance of nodules or ulcers, inflammation of the larynx, breathing difficulties and swelling of the vocal chords. The tutors will work with you to identify your vocal habits which can become exaggerated when under pressure. You will be taken through vocal exercises at your own pace and given vocal / physical exercises to continue at home.

Sometimes people can experience negative physical symptoms from long-term unhealthy use of the body including poor posture, limited range of movement, excess tension or lack of necessary tension to support the body. Working with a healthy alignment based on the principles of the Alexander Technique can help to release tensions and tightness from the body whilst promoting healthy, supple movement in the spine. This can help to increase confidence, self-esteem and 'presence'. This type of work is often very helpful for people who may see themselves as being physically different to those around them ie taller, bigger, less (or more) attractive as well as those who may have developed physical traits due to emotional experiences such as bullying, feeling demeaned, under-valued or afraid.

The tutors will work with you to sensitively and slowly develop any of these areas which you feel ready to work on. This can be done through work in a number of ways depending on what appeals to you. You could work on a script / poem / novel. You can also bring your own material eg a presentation or you could work with natural speech (not pre-prepared, just using the spoken word). These options can be discussed in your first session and you might chose to use this to work toward a LAMDA examination if you would like to have that as a goal.

Adults wanting to try something new or thinking about a career change

If you fancy a change, want to perform some of your favourite characters or extracts from your favourite novels, we can work with you to develop your chosen speeches to a high standard. LAMDA exams can be a good way to explore different texts and include elements of performance as well as research and knowledge. You might decide to do Reading For Performance where you will put together a collection of verse, prose and dramatic speeches for a recital, linking the pieces and including your commentary on each one.

If you are thinking about a career change you might want to come and experience some private, professional training or advice to see if acting is the career for you. Alternatively, you might come to us to develop your interview skills when looking for a new job in any profession.

Get in touch...

Please note: to undertake any of our tutoring programmes you must be considered physically and mentally fit to do so. If in any doubt, please consult your doctor prior to your first class.

Any exercises provided by Happystorm tutors are intended to develop healthy use of the voice and body and are not a replacement for professional, medical advice. Any previous or existing medical conditions must be declared prior to the first session. You may be required to obtain confirmation from your GP that you are fit to undertake the programme if the tutor considers it necessary.

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