On the Plane to Moscow – Where IS the Travis Technique?
I’ve been in Munich for over a week teaching Master Classes in the Travis Technique, meeting with old friends, making new friends and then participating in a Teleseminar generated out of Los Angeles on the topic of creating your own one-person show. This is a typical week for me in one of my European tours. Now I am on a plane to Moscow where I will conduct another three-day Master Class on the Travis Technique.
And I am realizing that I do way more teaching and training of the Travis Technique in Europe than I do in the US. Why is that? Well, part of it is economic; I’m hired by schools, institutions and organizations all over Europe to spread the good word. It’s a great way to make a living and see the world. But the other reason is more serious. Perhaps it’s cultural, perhaps it is just me, but for whatever reason there seems to be a greater appetite, curiosity, desire to explore and experiment in Europe than in the US.
Here’s one response I heard in the US several years ago when I approached a first-time director (member of the Director’s Guild) about the work I was doing and how it might help him expand his experience and effectiveness as a director: “I’m a director. I’m a member of the DGA. I don’t need more training.”
And here’s the response I heard earlier this year from a highly accomplished and experienced director in Amsterdam who was representing the DDG (Directors Guild in the Netherlands) when I made the same suggestion, “We need this. We need to keep learning. I need to keep learning. I’ve read your new book (“Bag of Tricks”) and I’ve already used two of the tricks to great success. Thank you.”
But I am determined to bring these techniques back to LA. The good news: the DGA Special Projects Committee is going to be sponsoring a series of Master Classes in 2012 on Directing the Actor and I will be doing one of them. I’ll keep you informed when it will be happening.
And in future blogs we’ll begin discussing what the Travis Technique really is. There’s a book coming (it’ll take a couple of years) but these will give you all a head start.