A Masterclass by Film Director Gerard Johnson

One of the most enjoyable and useful aspects of being a graduating-year student at Drama Studio London is the wide variety of masterclasses and guest speaker Q&As we are given the opportunity to attend. As a third-year student on the BA course, I jumped at the chance to be one of the actors participating in a workshop with respected independent film director Gerard Johnson.

We were given a scene from a film that Gerard has recently been working on. We were especially excited to learn that it is still in pre-production!

When the evening of the class came, I felt uncharacteristically nervous, but Gerard quickly put everyone at ease. We hadn’t known exactly what to expect, but his approach was refreshingly straightforward- he asked each group to read the scene, slowly, without trying to “act”, then asked what we thought of the characters and story. He had everyone read their scene 3-4 times, occasionally reminding us to breathe and relax before beginning. He gave us insight into the characters’ backstories, personalities, and motivations between each repetition. We all remained seated, “table read” style, for each scene.

The masterclass confirmed for me that my training at DSL has prepared me well for real-life auditions in the industry, and that there are no mysterious pitfalls that can’t be handled by putting the work in ahead of time through script analysis techniques we’ve been taught. And it was encouraging to find that a DSL alumna, Elisa Lasowski, had appeared in Gerard’s feature film “Hyena”!


By MaryAnna Kelly, BA (Hons) in Professional Acting