Actors From the London Stage Mentor BYU Students in Personalized Masterclass
On January 26, BYU Theatre students were treated to a masterclass with two cast members of “Actors from the London Stage,” Jonathan Oldfield and Hilary Maclean. This masterclass was part of the ongoing BRAVO! Performing Arts Series, which gives performing arts students the opportunity to learn from experts in their field.
During the masterclass, Oldfield and Maclean emphasized the need for knowing one’s values as they work in different acting roles in film, television and theatre. Oldfield said, “You'll notice that in film, television and theater work, you often go from one job to the next. Having these values will help you be consistent like a firm boat to sail on. Now is the time for you to start thinking about who it is that you want to become and what you want to accomplish.”
After introducing the importance of values, Oldfield invited each student to come up with one word that encompasses who they are in different aspects of their life. Oldfield said his value was “listening” because both his interactions with others as well as his practice as an artist comes from listening. “I listen because that matters to me,” said Oldfield. He also said he has had to find peace with his value because it is not always popular to be a listener.
“I had a personal negative association with the word listening because I felt it meant an action in which one had to step back and be uninvolved,” said Oldfield. “However, I have learned that listening can be incredibly active and very front-footed.”
Maclean said her word was “kindness” because to Maclean, kindness is “lack of judgment, and care” for those around her. “After lots of different jobs and life experiences, that's what matters to me. The rest is actually irrelevant,” said Maclean.
Donelly Clark, a student majoring in acting, said her word was “truth” because she feels like she tries to be honest with everyone she works with and in everything she does. “Nothing can get done if we are not honest and genuine with each other which takes time and effort,” said Clark.
Ruth Lyons, a Pre-Acting Major, said her word was “joy” because she feels her purpose is to bring joy to others. Lyons also said, “It does not mean that I am never sad because feeling negative emotions is a part of joy. It takes effort to be joyful even when life isn’t perfect.”
The students said they enjoyed the class because they could tell how much Oldfield and Maclean genuinely cared for them. Clark said, “I liked working with these experts in an intimate setting because I felt that their advice was very relevant and genuine. I am excited to apply their expertise in my career.” It is admirable that BRAVO! Performing Arts Series arranges phenomenal masterclasses for students to learn crucial skills for their future careers.