For 30 years he’s played critically acclaimed roles on Stage and Screen, from John Lennon to the Ernest Shackleton’s right hand man – and wants to pass on his expertise and experience to others so they can share the uniquely empowering feeling that acting brings.
Now Mark McGann’s Acting Masterclasses are proving a real success and creating a real ‘buzz’, with many participants returning time and time again to benefit from his generous advice and support.
As a member of one of the most famous acting families in Britain, Mark’s down-to-earth approach settles nervous students within a few moments.
Georgina Cotterill from Salisbury is one of those who felt trepidation as she turned up to one of Mark’s stage acting masterclasses held at Bemerton Heath. She has been left with memory problems from a head injury in a car crash five years ago.
“It was quite scary to walk through that door,” she admitted
“It was a big room full of people I hadn’t met and being coupled up with a stranger is another sort of semi-fear of mine.”
“But Mark had a great way of making sure everyone feels confident and gets to know each other.”
“I definitely would do it again especially if Mark was doing it because I just felt he had so much experience.”
“It was just nice to have someone who knew what they were talking about and actually enjoyed it and wanted to make it fun for everyone else.”
Mark’s reasons for wanting to run classes are based on what he describes as the most magical moment that can happen to an actor.
“It’s the moment when everything comes together, when you realise that you’re no longer being dominated by thoughts of where you’re supposed to be standing or what you’re supposed to be saying,” he said.
“It’s one of the most special things that’s happened to me in my life,” he explains. “In my classes I describe it as ‘flying.’”
“The only thing I can parallel it with outside of the profession was the time when my father took the stabilisers off the back of my two-wheeler bike for the first time and I suddenly realised I was actually riding. It is so exhilarating.”
“As a professional actor you’re probably lucky if that happens to you on a dozen occasions in your whole career as there are so many things to consider when performing publicly, but it only needs to happen once and when it does, you are changed forever, both as a person and a performer. I wanted to share that experience with people.”
This has led to him setting up Drama Direct 4 years ago and he says he’s constantly moved and inspired by the experiences people have at the classes.
People taking part are sent their own designated script two weeks beforehand to give them a chance to get to know the part they’ll be focussing on at the class, but Mark insists that no previous acting experience is necessary.
He said: “The lovely thing about the process of acting is that it’s available to absolutely everybody. We’re all born with the ability to do it, so with the help of some simple techniques, we all can experience that exhilarating feeling of the stabilisers coming off our bike.”
“If people walk out of these classes empowered or enhanced in some personal or professional way and can take a little of these qualities into their own life – then I feel that I’ve done something that I’m proud of, truly proud of.”
Sun 2nd OCT – STAGE
Sat 29th OCT – SCREEN
Sun 18th DEC – STAGE
BATH THEATRE ROYAL (USTINOV THEATRE)
Sat 3rd SEPT – STAGE
Sat 15th OCT – SCREEN
THE BERRY THEATRE, EASTLEIGH, HAMPSHIRE
Sat 4th FEB – STAGE
email mark@dramadirect for further details or call 01373 471486