Eryn is joined with one of her favorite teachers ever! Currently, the Head Instructor of the Theatre discipline at the Fine Arts Center in the Upstate SC, Teri Parker Lewis is an actress, dancer, and choreographer from Laurens, SC. Teri received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Massachusetts. She also received her M.F.A. in acting from Columbia University in New York City, where she studied with some of the top theatre professionals of our time including Anne Bogart, Kristin Linklater, and Andrei Serban. Teri has studied at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in NYC and the Saratoga International Theatre Institute at Skidmore College. She has performed with the Marie-Christine Giordano Dance Company in NYC, as well as at The Warehouse Theatre in Greenville.
In this episode, Teri gives advice and experience from both a teaching and working point of view. Teri and Eryn first talk about training programs, college, the National Unified Auditions, and more! Finding colleges is like speed dating… you gotta find the right “personality” and the right fit for you in a short manner of time, for you’ll be spending a lot of time with wherever you choose.
As an actor, you gotta find the types of training that work for you. With all of the different methods of acting, movement, and/or voice, finds the one that clicks with where you need to be for your current situation or job. And by the time you get to high school and you know that performing is the thing you want to do, then this is when you should take into consideration your serious path of study.
Teri’s closing advice is to work hard and be able to sacrifice for what you love to do. And don’t forget, live a little! Spend some time out of the theatre, and learn how other people work, move, and breathe. You have to enjoy observing, focusing, and researching what’s around you.
Parents, keep it fun! If it’s not fun and enjoyable, then it’s not worth doing.
In This Episode:
2:43- How did you get into dancing before becoming an actor? How did you make that transition into being an actor?
3:43- Originally being from Laurens, how did you end up in Massachusetts and New York?
5:32- When earning your degrees, did you know that you would be teaching later on?
6:54- What components should one take into consideration when choosing a training program or a school?
8:21- How important do you think it is to invest in the idea of college VS. just going straight to New York and auditioning?
10:49- When you created the Theatre curriculum at the Fine Arts Center, was it to train professional actors or was it a broader goal to help students actualize themselves through the rigors of a theatre curriculum?
11:53- Could you put all of this is perspective… should one keep it simple and focus on a particular method of acting and training?
13:59- How would an aspiring actor prepare themselves for all fields of work? Or would it be better to just become a specialist in one thing?
15:25- Should an actor put all of his eggs in one basket?
17:10- Teri talks about the National Unified Auditions in New York.
21:13- How did you get the opportunity to work with people from all around the world? How does theatre differentiate throughout the world? (Oops, Teri hasn’t actually been to every continent!)
23:32- What brings you back to South Carolina? Was this when you started looking at teaching?
24:57- At what age do you think an actor should start a serious path of studying?
26:15- Do you have any advice for the parents for these aspiring young actors in preparation for their career?
28:47- Is there a certain quality or spark that all of your successful students share?
32:26- What advice would you give to aspiring actors in helping them reach their goals in acting or any field of the performance arts