a film by Gillian Wearing
Though the film is mostly categorized as a documentary, for me I considered quite early in our preparation that the film was going to be a piece of art – a truly creative improvisation. One of the things that attracted me to SELF-MADE was the opportunity to do something both collaborative and therefore truly imaginative rather than make another piece of glossy product. The film’s greatest asset is how, at each screening, the audience is clearly affected, informed, inspired, and challenged. This is a rare thing in the modern day of mass media. For me personally, the four months working with Gillian as we prepared the workshops and the filming was some of the most inspiring artistic exchanges I have had. The three weeks of shooting became the greatest artistic journey I have taken so far.
Method very much embraces this notion that the creative state of being comes from how the actor works with the material around them as well as inside of them. Strasburg – the founder of Method – made it clear that talent was irrelevant and that only the willingness to engage in a creative process defined an actorâ€™s work. And it is the participants’ willingness to work from their own humanity, which is the greatest asset of this film. It is hard to convey in words how proud they should be. This film is not about them, it is from them. All creative beings work from the self, though all of them had no real body of work or formal training, what they achieved in the film should be truly validated rather than misinterpreted as just a document of their personal issues.
Constantine Stanislavsky, who started this ball rolling with regards to the creative state of being, titled his autobiography MY LIFE IN ART. It was a clever play with words because though the book tells of his own personal history, what it really examines is how history and the self inform every action we take. That each action is informed by the life inside of us and therefore what is inside of us is potential Art. As I said I consider this film to be Art not only because it comes from Gillian and her body of work as an artist, or the collaboration and contribution of myself as well as the immensely important contributions of others such as Roger with his camera, Jamie in the art department or Luke who unlock the film with his editing, or all the others who worked tirelessly. No, it is the seven: Lian, James, Dave, Leslie, Ash, Jerome, and Simon, that ran with SELF-MADE so willingly, making from themselves so creatively which defines its art, the art of life, and the life of the film
WORK & BIOG
Sam’s evolved body of work as a teacher centres on the notion that started with the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky. How does the actor enable the creative state of being. Sam teaches an intensive class program in month long classes spaced through the year at www.methodacting.co.uk The actor examines in a studio environment the process and craft of actor: how to unlock the actorâ€™s instrument and bring about a genuine inspired engagement with the character and the text. Centering on the work of Lee Strasberg, the actors in class address the central creative challenges of relaxation, comprehension and inspiration. Sam’s unique intuitive skills not only reflect his training in both method and the traditional classical form, but also a long path of personal examination in Jungian analysis. His highly evolved sensibilities are reflected in his capacity to assess as well as address an actorâ€™s creative blocks and truly unlock a greater creative potential.
In late 2004 Sam founded The Ensemble with invited members from his class. Its motto â€œEach to their potential and the potential of allâ€ being the logical extension of his work in class. As a theatre director, Sam has evolved the work on the creative state of being into the living space. The notion that craft & the conscious mind are a springboard into the richer unconscious world that informs all art. His own work as a theatre director and his evolved body of teaching is reflected in his collaboration with Gillian wearing in SELF-MADE. The Ensemble recently presented their second full-length production TRADING FACES to critical acclaim and two OFFIE nominations. This followed up their first critically acclaimed production WORK of 2008.
Since joining the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain in 1980, Sam has worked and focused on the craft of acting. In his five years at the NYT & Lyric Youth Theatre, he received a broad theatrical training in improvisation, mime, devised theatre, and performing both classical and modern scripts. He then went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before becoming a professional actor. He has worked with amongst others Helen Mirren, John Thaw, Bill Paterson, Penelope Wilton, Roger Lloyd Pack and John Simm. He has subsequently gone on to become a leading Method teacher and a respected acting coach.
In the mid 1990â€²s Sam started training with Tony Greco in London, Los Angeles & New York. Tony was a member of the Actors Studio and one of 14 people to study with Lee Strasberg in a program to train members of the Studio to teach Method. Taking his teaching qualification in 2001, Sam then started teaching Method at Warrington College in their various acting programs and started his own Class in 2002 which is now in its ninth year. He is a regular lecturer at the Actors Centre as well as running classes in both Sweden and Denmark. He also works privately with several established actors from stage, screen and TV.
Self Made is Sam Rumbelow’s first collaboration with Gillian Wearing.