Pandora is a nationally-touring, award-winning, spoken word artist and Script Analysis teacher with over 25 years experience. She has written eleven one-woman shows and is now sharing her gift with words to our students.
When did you begin acting?
I started acting in fourth grade because I was assigned a book report and I wanted to perform it instead of write it out. My teacher, amazingly, said yes! So, I performed my book report for the class and that was my first solo show. After that, I had a drama teacher named Mrs. Cosby who took me under her wing and gave me the confidence to move forward as a performer. The lessons I learned with Mrs. Cosby served as my foundation through my classes at SUNY Purchase in the BFA program and then through my work at the Mason Gross School of the Arts.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy as a teacher and as an artist is based in being truthful. Always be truthful. Be truthful on stage and be truthful in the classroom. Also respect. Respect students and respect the audience.
How has your relationship with spoken word shaped your teaching?
My relationship with spoken word hasn’t shaped my teaching as much as my teaching has shaped my relationship with spoken word. I’ve been teaching for about 25 years and I’ve been doing spoken word for 11 years. As a performer, I try to do as much teaching as possible. I try to edify with my performances.
Describe the process of script analysis and how it benefits actors.
Acting is learning to drive the car. Script analysis is learning to read the map. If you know how to drive a car, but you can’t follow the instructions to get anywhere, then knowing how to drive the car is pretty irrelevant. Script analysis teaches the actor how to read the text so that they know what, precisely, to act on stage or on film. There is no way to act a script without analyzing it at least to some extent. It is a set of vital tools in the actor’s toolbox, ones that can help immeasurably with auditioning as well as with performing.
What inspires you most about your craft?
I love teaching. I love the process of providing new skills to actors so that they can do what they love even better than ever. It brings me great joy.
Any advice for actors?
Forget about perfect and aim for excellence. Forget about your limitations and work on developing your strengths. Remember that self-confidence comes from the self. Remember to lower the stakes of everything in your life (vs. on stage), because nothing can be so critical that you forget to be authentically yourself and truthful. Remember that even baby steps are steps. Cherish the moment!
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