Edwin Richards

How long ago did you graduate from The Meisner Technique Studio?
Four years
In your time away what is the #1 thing you’ve learned about going after your acting dreams?

Stay connected.

Since you graduated tell us about the different projects you’ve worked on and are currently working on. And please share any links from your current and past projects.

A couple of short films, the play “Lakeboat.” I am also planning to direct a play “Katie” in its West Coast Premier in October and continue to work on a one person show.

If you’ve taken a break or stopped – please talk about that decision and what you are doing now.

I am using the Studio to stay connected with acting.

What do you read/listen to – blogs, books, podcasts, resources – that help you personally and professionally as an actor?

NPR has some good radio shows/ segments – “The Moth,” “Storycorps,” “This American Life” people telling stories about pivotal moments in their lives, which gives me ideas for stories and exposes me to strong, truthful doings.

What groups or connections have you found in your market that have helped you stay artistically healthy.

The Studio.

Sanford Meisner was…

someone who had tremendous insights into acting and people and who was generous enough to share them.

The #1 thing I learned in class was…

you are enough.

The best advice I can give current students at the Meisner Technique Studio is…

Keep at it. Some people have easier lives than you, some people have harder lives than you, but keep at it. The training lasts a little over two years. If you are lucky enough to have a normal lengthed-life, two years will be a small fraction of that, but the benefits of the training to you as an actor and a person will be manifold. When we graduated, none of the class said, “I wish I’d quit.” If you signed up for the class it was because you wanted the training, so see it through. Commit and persevere!

The #1 thing I learned personally about myself through the training was…

I have a defensiveness that can be self-defeating.

The hardest adjustment since I graduated was…

The lack of the structure provided by the class framework.

The #1 thing I miss about being in class is working…

with the deadline of the next class.

The #1 thing I don’t miss about being in class is…

trying to find parking in San Francisco to practice with someone who lives there.

The #1 thing I now know that I wish I knew while going through the training is…

everything about the training.

My biggest obstacle in my growth during the training was…

I was more ego-centered and self-defensive, which limits one’s horizons. It’s better to be open.

If I could go through the training all over again I would…

apply all the knowledge I have now.

The funniest thing that ever happened in my class was…

Geo Hart gave a monologue that involved some kind of therapy circle and probation that was very funny.

My best activity that I ever did was…

Perhaps, making connectors for a cork model using a metal coat hanger.

My “aha break-through moment” in class was…

Perhaps the coat hanger activity. It was a very simple thing to do, but because what I was doing meant something to me, it helped to ground me. It wasn’t necessarily an “aha” moment at the time of doing it, but that came later on, reviewing what I’d experienced. I had been wondering when we were going to do some acting, but I realized that the activities we were doing were having an effect on us as we worked. I began to get a flicker of understanding that maybe Sanford Meisner really did have some special insights, just like I’d been told. I wanted to learn more from these two teachers whose seemingly manic devotion to Mr. Meisner, the craft of acting and truthful behavior I found a little unnerving.

Could you share any advice/tips about getting an agent?

N.a.

The # 1 thing I took away from the business of acting class was…

acting is a business, among other things.

One year from now I’ll…

have finished writing my one-man show.

Five years from now I’ll…

be leading a better life than now.

The best thing about where I am in my dream is…

that although it often feels very much like an unpleasant part of the desert, I continue to grow as an actor and a person.

The worst thing about where I am in my dream is…:

sometimes water seems very distant.

Are there any resources you can share in your marketplace – photographers, classes, private teachers, websites etc. – that you can highly recommend?

The radio shows mentioned above.

One year from now I’ll…

have finished writing my one-man show.

If I could work with any actor, it would be…

Santiago Rosas.

If I could re-cast a Hollywood movie role with myself, it would be…

The non-Hollywood movie, The Dresser.

My greatest influence(s) are/were…

My parents.

I first knew I wanted to be an actor when…

Not sure, but I have a strong picture of the wooden boards of the stage at school.

I’ll always be grateful for…

family, of course, the teachings of Jim and Melissa, the Studio, fresh air.

My greatest strength as a dreamer is…

an infinite capacity to daydream.

My greatest weakness as a dreamer is…:

I don’t impose adequate structure and discipline on my life.

I wish…

everyone had enough to eat.

Someday I’m going to…

perform my one man show.

My favorite film is…:

Difficult to say, but I really liked “The Lives of Others” and “The Remains of the Day.”

Best website for actors is…

no idea.

My favorite book is…

I find certain passages of the Bible very refreshing and uplifting. My favorite book to read to my daughter is probably “The Cat in The Hat” (though she’s moved on). At one time “The Outsider” by Albert Camus was my favorite book, and at another, “A Burnt Out Case” by Graham Greene.

When I get overwhelmed I…

should go for a run.

The biggest waste of time is…

in some contexts: always doing what you’ve done and expecting to get a different result. Being shy is also a waste of time.

If I were not an actor I’d be…

I will answer that when I am a full-time actor.

Courage is…

often a characteristic in people I admire.

I’ll never…

know, if I don’t try.

Is there anything ese you’d like to say?

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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