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Michael Coleman - Vancouver Actor

Why Michael Coleman's Acting Training is Top of The Charts
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Training review from Coleman’s student Jay Wiebe

It is clear that Vancouver actor Michael Coleman is not only confident, but strongly gifted when it comes not only his craft, but to educating others with Story Institutes well diversed acting classes. Some courses among the institute include voice over, career development, story analysis, along with audition tactics.  There are also writing courses as well as many other upcoming classes such as music, accents and many more in the works.

Throughout my time at story institute taking the full time acting course, I have never felt uncomfortable or felt as though I was not learning.  The instructors are phenomenal and full of diverse teaching strategies as well as extensive knowledge in their field of acting. Everyone makes sure there is mutual trust between each individual within the school.  The selected class for the first semester program is amazing! Everyone has some form of knowledge and are open to helping one another out. Michael Coleman has successfully created a safe educational environment for a course that definitely requires all of the above qualities listed.

Valuable lessons learned

Michael and the other instructors at Story Institute have taught me many things over the last 8 months that I have known him for. The first thing I learned was not actually in school.  It was before I had even met him in person or had attended an acting class. He taught me that even though things can seem scary and impossible it is still okay to go for what you want no matter who you are, where you come from or how old you may think you are.

He reminded me that it is okay to do what you want as well as what will make you satisfied in life as opposed to doing what others think is good for you. For a while I had forgotten to think of my happiness and he reminded me that it is okay to put yourself first sometimes.  Once I got to acting school however, other knowledge began presenting itself in large portions. To give a little bit of a break down our weeks are fairly structured and consist of the following teachings on these given days…

He taught me that even though things can seem scary and impossible it is still okay to go for what you want no matter who you are, where you come from or how old you may think you are.

Jay Wiebe

A Week With Michael Coleman

Mondays consist of career development.  This not only includes knowledge of the industry but also has learnings such as acting as a career, agents, visas and green cards, budgeting and learning how to properly educate others about the things we have been taught to ensure our knowledge.  Most importantly career development also includes how to have a prosperous mindset and how to use the key “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” for a rewarding future career in acting.

Tuesday are voice over days, where we learn about our vocal resonators as well as how to project our voices from different locations in our bodies such as, nasle, throat, head, chest and abdomen. We learn how to project our vocals; for instance, how to be a perfect seller in a commercial/radio advertisement, how to narrate a script or read for audiobooks as well as playing with our capabilities for animated cartoons and series, just to give a few examples.

Wednesdays are our days to play around with improve. Improve is definitely one of the more difficult classes in some ways however, they are also a great day to bring out your imagination with open scenes.  In improve we re-learn in some cases “how to be dragons”.  What this means is that it teaches us how to let logic go and act without thinking. As Michael would put it,  “If you’re going to be a dragon, just be dragon. Don’t think about it. Just do whatever your gut tells you to do and the rest will follow.” This saying has now become an improve motto of our classes.

Thursdays involve breaking down scenes and really disecting what is going on in the story itself along with the characters thoughts feelings and understanding to what is happening in that specific setting.  It is a very in depth process and the breakdown can be very educational in regards to scene understanding. A big thing to lean in scene study is how to react based on your environment that your character is situated in.  It’s important to understand key factors to help create your character and why they are acting and reacting the way they are. Are they in a situation with a best friend? An ex? A lover? All these can identify how one should react when in discussion.  Location can play a huge role as well. Is it a familiar setting? Do you know where you are? Is it comfortable? Or are you in a strange place and is it awkward? Reactions and interactions are important to an actors success.

On Fridays we learn all about the processes in going into an audition.  We learn tricks to help guide us to success along with looking exceptional for casting directors amongst others who may also be in the audition room.  We are videoed throughout our auditions that we prep every week, that way we become used to the camera and learn how to counteract our own mannerisms on screen.  We have learned the importance of preparation and have also been taught how important it is to make a lasting first impression. As well as in scene study we learn how to find ways to make our ‘auditions’ stand out from others in creating characters who act and react in their own way making lasting impacts on those observing the videos.

Great Opera With Coleman

One of the main components we are required to learn are summed up into the acronym GREAT OPERA. Each letter stands for a different thing that each actor portraying a character in a scene or picture needs in order to be successful. GREAT OPERA’s letters stand for the following… Goal, what does the character want from the scene and or scene partner? Result, do they achieve their goal? Emotions, how do they feel about the result of their goal? Assertion, how does the character feel about the world right now?

Tactics, anything said or done can be a potential tactic within the story. Obstacles can be anything in the way of you getting your goals such as a person versus person, person versus self, or person vs their environment. Personalization, how does one relate to the character they are portraying? Environment, what are your surroundings and where are you? What do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste etc… Relationship, what is your relationship with your scene and or scene partner? and finally Age, how old are the characters? When in time is this story taking place? What time of day or year is it?. All of these aspects create the foundations of a character in any given story. Without the knowledge of these diverse concepts a scene can easily fall apart.

Vancouver Actor Michael Coleman gives back to the community and encourages everyone to do the same in return. An incentive for students to make sure that they continue giving back to the world is the purpose of scholarship.  This grant encourages students to give back to the world we live in and in return, receive funds that go towards the school tuition. I personally believe this is a great opportunity to encourage others to enlist themselves amongst their community with volunteerism.  Making the world a better place is a great goal and a wonderful tactic to pave the way for an ideal society for future generations to come.

As a mentor, Michael Coleman has been a brilliant educator throughout my time at his acting school, Story Institute. It is very clear that he knows exactly what he is talking about and that he knows what he is teaching through and through. The thing that separates Story Institute from other schools is that the educators believe in their students. Without Michaels guidance I do not think I would be the person I am right now. Having known Michael for this short while, I feel as though I am not only growing into a better person, but am shaping into a fine actor thanks to his wisdom and expertise.  With Michael as an educator, I feel incredibly confident in my future career as an actor. I know that with the continued teachings of him as well as the other instructors have given not only myself, but my fellow classmates and colleagues as well, we will all find success in our new field of work. I have full faith in his program and school will continue to have amazing success and impeccable results in the many years to come.

Story Institute Acting Classes in Vancouver

At Story Institute we believe you need to create your own measuring assessments for success and not let anyone else define this for you. Everyone has different goals and we can can not measure ourselves all by the same benchmarks. Comparison is the thief of joy and if this is in an industry in which you are pursuing because it brings you a level of joy, you can not use other people’s goals as your own measuring stick.

One of the greatest aspects of pursuing a career as an actor or in storytelling is the constant change in your goals as you evolve in your craft. If you ask any seasoned veteran they will often tell you what is important to them today has changed from what was important in the beginning. And it has likely changed or evolved several times along the way.

When actors or writers first begin there is often a need for validation through securing paid work. Any paid work. And if this is to be your career there is definitely some logic to this concept. But as you grow and as your learn, you may often find yourself gravitating less towards whatever pays me and what will pay me, while bringing me joy. Even the most “successful” people in their chosen careers when measured my money or awards can result in an unhappy person. We often look at these people and wonder how they can be sad with all of that money and fame. We believe the true definition of success comes from not only pursuing these accomplishments but doing so in a way that also brings you parallel levels of happiness.

One of the differentiating factors with our school and other drama classes and acting schools is that we believe it is imperative for actors to set their own goals and reassess them and reset them a couple of times a year, throughout their entire career. What is important to you at 19 is not likely to be the same at 30 or 40 or 50… It is equally likely that your goals will change from year one to year two of pursuing the craft of acting full-time. Another important element of Story Institute’s educational philosophy is our commitment to a lifetime of mentorship. This means you can explore your goals and assess them and reset them all with a trusted mentor who has known you and worked closely with you from the beginning.

Our coaches have helped actors book work on shows like Riverdale, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, the Handmaid’s Tale, The 100, My Little Pony, Lego Star Wars, Legends of Chima, The Flash, Arrow, iZombie, The Man in the High Castle, and countless others. Establishing roles on your resume from notable shows is often a common benchmark of success for many actors but it is rarely the be all, end all. Many actors find the desire to book roles and projects that speak them differently as they grow in their craft. Some desire roles that challenge them to explore characters or ideas outside of their comfort zone, others find themselves drawn to other parts of the industry, such as writing or directing movies and tv shows.