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Intro to Meisner Retreat Scholarship Recipient Pauline Tomlin's refections on her experience

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

During every Intro to Meisner course, we have the honour of getting to know a group of ten remarkable actors. All at different stages in their lives and acting journeys - some who have been in the industry for decades, and others who are forging their way in.

Our mission is to ensure affordable access to continual training for actors while spreading the message that you don’t need to suffer for your art. That’s why our scholarship programme is one of the corner stones of Both Feet Actor Training.

Where possible we offer a full and half scholarship to each of our courses and retreats and we actively encourage those who really would not be able to access the training without the support of the scholarships to apply.

Below is a blog written by the incredible Pauline Tomlin. She recently partook in the 12 day Intro to Meisner Retreat with a full scholarship place. She is a wonderful actor who touched us with her passion, humanity, fearless dedication and vulnerability, insightfulness and zest for life. The way she leaps into opportunities is an inspiration and we couldn’t be happier to call her a member of the Both Feet community.

Hello all, my name is Pauline Tomlin and after putting dreams on hold of being a performer, or what seems a lifetime… I guess 40 years plus is a lifetime, I have chosen ME and two, nearly three years ago I embarked on the road of being a Actress & Singer.

I finally silenced my head from shouting about all the ideas why I couldn’t do it… age, money, support, who wants to see YOU on TV etc. aligned it with my heart and made a commitment to myself. Nearly three years on I would say I’m no longer a nestling, but a fledgling about to leave the nest and fly.

I have some experience in front of the camera, have relished the joys of being on stage again and experienced the gift of some wonderful Acting tutors as well as learning from gifted colleagues. When I found Both Feet through a Google search I was looking to have something concrete, more in depth, but also a practical technique that could and would move my acting to a higher level of expertise. What was I hoping to gain from it?

Something that was less dependent on the intuitive and which could be reached for time and again in accessing characters and circumstances especially those I have no experience of. I want to be as versatile and as possible and have a tool, an ‘In’ into such scripts, characterisations and narratives.

I thought it would be much like any other actor training, but perhaps a more detailed dive into the Meisner technique, which I’d hear so much of but not really had much access to other than maybe two sessions at my part-time acting classes.

Meisner was a strong pull for me because those I have spoken to whether experienced or not seem to rate it as a methodology.

It has to be THE most fun acting training I would imagine you’d find anywhere. Steph’s techniques literally bring the light and fun back into your acting. She guides you in how to hold it lightly, so that you remember how to play and boy did I get to surprise myself with where I was able to go as an actor.

What I actually got was so much more than what I came for. In terms of the self, there was so much self reflection and space given over to truly getting to know some parts of my psyche and body, some for the first time and tune in to what makes me me, that do I want. Some of it surprising. Other times I learned about those programmed responses, that may not serve me in the best way (or maybe they do?) but the key thing was I was able to shine the spotlight on them in order to see them, see how the impacted me and my life and continue to choose them or not.

In addition to acting training, and self knowledge there’s the double whammy of the simply breath-taking Welsh countryside which served as a teacher in so many ways as Steph skilfully weaves lessons from nature and lessons in nature into the programme as well as the most marvellous camerarderie, love and support from Steph & Rebecca before the retreat and the group’s individuals who have all come with their various personalities.

Professionally I KNOW I have elevated my acting game If I maintain the knowledge, practise it and RE-member the tools we have been given. It’s just going to be there, like every single day, whether it’s character building, scene acting script analysis, Steph’s techniques and training will be an integral part of all I do from now on because they WORK… They provide, a practical, mental, psychological, emotional and physical workout and together you leave more integrated and definitely changed on so many levels.

The only advice I would give is DO IT, seriously… there is nothing to lose, all

Steph does is give, give, give and all you do is gain, gain gain. It is the most thrilling, expansive, integrated training I have experienced or heard of. I will be returning again and again as m career progresses. This has to be the BEST training around for actors working today. Interested in finding out more about Scholarship applications or the Intro to Meisner retreat?

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