Apparently this past weekend at an orientation session someone brought up my blog post and mentioned they would prefer not to attend classes with Barbara Gannen
based on what they read.
I learned that if you Google
"Margie Haber Review" my website is one of the first few to come up (cool).
Margie told me over and over again that in the past few years how Barbara has changed, how Barbara has gone through things and is now a better teacher.
At the time Barbara was the worst acting teacher I ever met.
It's still true, as I haven't taken an acting class in a long time.
Did other people like her
was already teaching for years and years when I attended the school.
That was part of my problem, she
felt stuck in her
rut and obsessed with what was "right" and "wrong" with each scene.
I was unfortunate to have Barbara Gannen
as a teacher.
was, bar none, the worst acting teacher I have ever experienced.
Let me explain.
Every class (except one) was run the same way.
The actors came in, were given a script to read and then sent out.
A few minutes later the actors would come in and do the script in front of a camera.
After everyone emoted we would take a short break and then watch the tape together.
The first thing Barbara
did after showing the tape was to ask the class if they had any opinions on the matter.
After watching a tape of our audition Barbara
would pause the tape and ask the class what was right and what was wrong.
This was a class of people who had never acted before and certainly weren't being well paid for their opinion.
So that was a waste of time.
After the students had their say Barbara
would announce what was "right" and "wrong" with these scenes.
That sounds like a point four.
Point four, she
had been using the same materials for the past half-decade (at that point) and had decided exactly how each scene should be done.
I'm not saying that I'm such an amazing actor that I always take a piece someone's seen a billion times and blow their minds with a totally new rendition but there was no wiggle room.
Often times she
didn't actually know the source of the material.
If it was a sit-com and you played it like a sit-com she
'd tell you that you needed to pause dramatically at certain points because she seemed to think it was a drama.
The process would then repeat.
Even though I took this class years ago and everyone says horrible things about Barbara, I was shocked today to find out she still works at Margie Haber's.
At this point I could tell the story about how Barbara
used "The Method" as she
saw it to demand actors relive horrible memories and tragedies from their past for the benefit of a single pretend audition (where each person could only say one word) but I think I've made my point.