Methodology

Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures
Peter Jackson works with cast and crew on the set of Heavenly Creatures

Miranda worked intensely with Melanie Lynskey to help her find the character and win the role of Pauline Parker in Heavenly Creatures. She got great results quickly! 

Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson — Heavenly Creatures

Miranda was absolutely invaluable during my audition for Heavenly Creatures. In the course of just a few hours, she managed to help me give a performance that would convince Peter and Fran to trust me with such a difficult role. She taught me about screen acting, and gave me techniques that not only could my 15-year-old self easily understand and put into practice, but that I am still using in my work today. She helped me bring the intensity and emotion out of myself that the role required in a way that didn't damage me emotionally- she had a great understanding of what I was mature enough to handle, and pushed me without ever being scary or pushy, just supportive and encouraging."

Melanie Lynskey — Heavenly Creatures, Two and a Half Men, Up in the Air, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 

METHODOLOGY

Miranda uses five simple ideas as the basis for all her work:

  1. Connection
  2. White Space
  3. Internal Landscape
  4. Vista and Objects
  5. Journey

Reference material and clips are drawn from cinema, TV, the worlds of fine arts and the performing arts, sports and nature, documentary and archival photography.

Miranda draws on her work in prisons, with documentary and verbatim text, with the Deaf community and in theatre to bring a unique approach to every individual actor and director.

 

Connection:

Miranda references age-old clapping games from the school playground as well as tools to easily and quickly achieve intimacy and conflict, in rehearsal and on-set.

 

White Space

A tool based on John Keats’ Negative Capability, Miranda shows paradigm-changing visual material and ask actors to concentrate less on the information-transfer of the text and more on the thinking/feeling space in the beats/pauses/silences/ellipses/breaks. 

 

Internal Landscape

We work on the invisible landscape of real memory and how it can impact on the believability of a performance. Miranda references documentary material.

 

Vista and Objects

Miranda works with the environment of the actor or character, how this can affect actors’ behaviour and how the nearer world of objects and props can advance character and performance. She asks actors or directors to bring real objects that carry a story.

 

Journey

Journey is about writing and how the actor can trust the text as the intricate roadmap for performance. It is about charting development from the beginning to the end of a scene. Miranda references documentary and sportscast material in which the performer does not know how the event may end.

 

I had an audition today, and I used the techniques I learnt in your class. It was the most amazing audition I've ever had, I've never felt so free and real. It wasn't forced or planned, and was completely connected to the reader. The things that happened surprised even myself. It was an amazing experience. The things I learnt from you are revolutionary to me, and have changed the way I will approach auditions, and screen acting in general, forever. Thank you for your class

Dena Kennedy (actress and director)