WHAT PEOPLE SAY
It was transformational! I think the best thing about the course and about the way Ashlie taught Meisner was the simplicity and effectiveness of focusing on one another’s feelings. While I’ve always had a part of me thinking whether I should provoke or not, act or not, do or not, be one way or another, or otherwise analyzing the right way of doing the repetition, with Ashlie I was able to settle down into my acting partner’s feelings as well as my own. It was powerful to just see the other person and let them affect me, to see how they affect me. In the end it all made me learn heaps about not only acting but myself as well. It’s come up in most acting related situations that “why go to therapy when you can go to acting class”, but Ashlie’s course took it to a new level. Hands down, I would give the workshop a 10/10.
- Timo Utterström, actor & writer
The Meisner experience with Ashlie was eye-opening for me not only from an actor's point of view but also from a human being’s point of view. I learned a lot about listening to your intuition, being "alive" and not thinking too much, and especially Ashlie's brilliant way to teach and how she guides away from controlling the scene is something to experience. It was a massive experience for me and for all the good reasons!
- Jani Airiainen, actor
Ashlie is a skilled professional. She gave individual attention, presence. The environment was safe. I learned a lot through practice how humans can connect to another human and what it does to one's feelings. Repetition exercise was excellent for that to happen. Cutting off thinking and connecting to feeling through another person in front. The course gave me a strong and different understanding of acting and definitely a more appealing way of acting. I grew as a personality and as an actor. Ashlie was skilled in creating the space for this to happen.
- Slava Dugin, actor
The workshop woke me up and got me into creative flow. I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I would give it 9/10. My only complaint is that I wish it went on longer!
- Daniel Imbert, actor & musician
So many great things - hard to put into words.
I am marveled by this practice of learning how to really listen and see a fellow human being. This has also made me much more aware of my own insecurities, defenses, longing to connect, to be seen and heard and also my ability to really connect as I SEE THE SAME IN THE OTHER! I gained a more refined sensitivity of my emotions and of those I interact with. Ashlie as a teacher is just in another league! Nothing gets past her, which is a genius skill. I especially enjoyed her firm yet sensitive teaching manner. The workshop was 10+ out of 10.
- Jenine Edward
It was safe, even therapeutic to work with Ashlie, and I feel that I was able to extend both my emotional scale as well as let go of learned patterns limiting it.
- Iris Olsson, actor & director
I can warmly recommend this workshop! I got better in touch with my impulses and became more aware of the manners that I had unconsciously built. It is really difficult to let go of all expectations and just let the authentic feelings
become visible. Ashlie and the whole group created a safe atmosphere to let go and jump into this great journey. I’ve never acted before so for me, this was not only an acting class but also a deeper journey into myself. The reflection of your partner together with Ashlie’s help is very powerful and eye-opening. Everyone should try this workshop and you will understand what I mean.
- Janna Salokangas
I've never felt this confident in my life. Ashlie's workshop just induces those kinds of feelings that you start to believe you can accomplish anything you desire. Which, I gotta admit, is not easy for a person like me with a fair share of self-esteem issues in the past. But indeed, because Ashlie's workshops are so awesome, little by little those mental hindrances get discarded into the ever-burning inner fire of my true, unmasked soul. The progress is slow, but the amount of freedom I've gained from doing just a few Meisner training workshops is priceless. And there couldn't be a better guide for this than the amazing Ashlie Walker, who seems to possess astonishingly great skill in reading and communicating with human beings. Her frank and pure demeanor and willingness to show all the insecure feelings herself, too, is a strong catalyst for extraordinarily fast mental growth in a very short time as she is able to push you (gently or sternly, depending on what you need) just the right amount, but no more, therefore leaving the impression of safety in your mind. You might feel perplexed after the class, but the next day you'll realise you feel so much better than before. And that's just the beginning. I would give the workshop 10 out of 10. Considering what I've gained from the course any other number would be insanity. Everyone should go through a Meisner course with Ashlie. If you are a human being, please take that course. Give yourself a better life.
- Kaisla Puura, actor
Ashlie's teaching ignited my passion for the craft of acting. She approaches teaching with an inspiring level of dedication, patience and compassion which she then, inevitably, instills in her students.
- Fola Evans-Akingbola, actor
Having worked with many international Meisner teachers along the way, Ashlie’s uniqueness above others is in her highly sensitive intuitive awareness and emotional accuracy and understanding. Her way to direct is gentle, yet never lets you off the hook to underachieve your best potential at hand. In other words; the best features in a coach an actor and human being could ask for.
- Nita Arpiainen, actor
Ashlie was my Core teacher and her precision and perception in pointing out and guiding during repetition are excellent. she made me feel safe one hundred percent. It’s the only way to learn with the guidance of a teacher who has acquired a deep understanding of the technique.
- Gill Broderick, actor
Ashlie is an incredible teacher. She has a natural way of being on it, cutting through the bullshit and helping you find a way out of your comfort zone whilst holding a space where you feel safe to be vulnerable and sensitive at the same time. I highly recommend taking her class!
- Ann Fianen, actor
Ashlie's intuitive nature, warmth and forthright guidance helped me develop as an actor, and the lessons I learnt under her tutelage remain with me in my daily work.
- Mairead Reynolds, actor
I found that the workshop was very inspiring and gave some incredibly useful insight and tools for cold reading and how to approach a scene. It was a great pleasure to work with Tom. You can tell that he is a professional but at the same time very approachable and relatable which makes the classroom a stress-free environment. The workshop gives much needed clarity to many questions and reminds us that acting is supposed to be fun. I would recommend this workshop for anyone seeking tools to navigate the challenges of the audition room and the means to approach a text from a more relaxed and creative state. Any actor or anyone working with actors can benefit from it. 5/5 stars.
- Rasmus Blomqvist, actor
I liked this workshop very much. It has given me a lot of new angles how to look at things, all round a good experience. I learned that we don’t have to overprepare or overthink it, we have a lot of information in us already. I would definitely recommend Tom’s workshop, it was a lot of fun, informative and insightful. I would recommend it to anyone looking to work infront of camera also if you are looking to make a transition from stage to camera work this would be very beneficial. I would give this workshop five out of five stars, it was an overall great experience and I also loved the Actors Academy Studio space, it’s amazing and cozy.
- Meri Lindblad, actor
I found the course really useful because I learned so many tips on camera acting which I have been struggling before and Tom gave me so many good points on how I can improve my acting, so now I know how I can work on myself. One thing I learned was how to take everything extra off and act from simplicity rather than trying too much. Tom was really good teacher, he really knows what it is to be an actor, and what is professional acting. He was empathic and kind when directing and I feel that he hit the spot when directing the scene. He has a lot of knowledge and funny stories of actors' life. Overall his knowledge combined with approbative attitude and great humor made the workshop fun and useful. I'm really happy I invested in it. Actors Academy has exceeded my expectations now both two times I've attended a workshop. I would definitely recommend it, it was a very good workshop for me. I would give it 4,5 stars, it was really good.
- Anna-Katariina Kyykkänen, actor
I thought the workshop was really great because it was just what I needed. I’m a person who struggles easily with text and I can get very much in my head and Tom can give very tangible solutions and suddenly the big problems seemed very easy. I was also able to take a lot of pressure from the learning process.Tom is a great teacher and he is also very easy to get a long. You can instantly tell that he is very professional and he knows what his talking about but still being very relatable and down to earth guy, it’s all very natural and the whole class environment was very stress free. I would recommend the workshop to anyone who wants to be an actor but also for people who work behind the camerea.
I would give this workshop five stars, as it answered some important questions for me and I already saw a progress in myself.
The workshop was really good. It was very insightful and I learned something new that I wasn’t expecting. One of the biggest revelations was how can I use silence and let the space tell the story, also learned something completely new about myself. Tom is very thoughtful, supportive and kind, and has great ideas how to improve and what to do. It was also very easy to understand him. I would absolutely recommend the workshop. The four days was a perfect time frame and the structure worked very well. I think that even if you are not an actor, this workshop can help you in your expression and confidence. I would definitely give the workshop five stars.
- Mimi Alén, actor
The worskhop was very exciting and I learned a lot of new things. Tom's way of teaching was very nice and very enjoyable over all. Tom is very knowledgeable, very supportive and encouraging, great to work with. I would definitely recommend this workshop. Anyone who is interested in camera work would benefit a lot from the workshop. I would easily give this workshop five stars.
- Juhana Stolt, actor
I liked the workshop very much, because before the workshop I had no confidence in building a character or self-taping and I got to see how it is done and that it doesn’t need to be so difficult. I got some great tools how to address the work. Tom is really fun, I felt really relaxed in his classes. I would recommend this workshop for anyone who is starting out and wants to have some experience in screen acting and self-taping. I would give five stars to this workshop. Good teacher, great people, loved it!
- Hope Achan, actor
I really liked the Tom Sawyer’s workshop because it was very authentic and he really talked from his own experience and was able to bring those really good examples which we were also able to take into the exercises during class. When we did the cold reading exercises I found his tips super useful on how to really connect with your partner rather than just staring and the paper and focusing on the words. I would actually recommend this workshop to anybody whether you are in acting or not because you actually exercise the muscles on how you act and react with other people. I would give it five stars as it was a very nice four days, very relaxing athmosphere and there was time and quality put into the excercises.
- Anna Schoults, actor
I really really liked it. Tom guides his students very gently, but also very clear and he is fun to work with. I was amazed at his endless energy, and him always giving so much. I learned a lot. It was really valuable experience for me and I would love for him to come back. It was super helpful to work on camera and then see yourself immediately after and get the feedback, as usually you don’t see your work or the results for many months. I would definitely recommend this workshop, it is super beneficial even if you have camera-experience as you get the feedback and new level to your acting. Also if you are new to this it will help you a lot. I would give the workshop 4,5 stars our of five!
- Hosanna Megumi, actor
I am very grateful to you for this opportunity. Especially because you accepted me as who I am...(a beginner). I felt cozy. For me this workshop was very inspiring and helpful. I feel that I want to go further and further. I made my first selftape for casting. Usually when I want to take part in the movie and be a background actor I send only some horrible pictures and hope that somebody notices them. Tom Sawyer is a very magical teacher. I don`t know how he did it, but he injected me with confidence. Thanks for that, it was like a therapy session and I need it more. This journey was amazing and from the heart I really recommend this workshop to others. I give 5 stars out of 5.
- Chris Kuningas
From Page to Screen workshop with Tom Sawyer was an absolutely incredible experience. Actors Academy Finland is truly a treasure here in Finland that everybody should check out! Tom is a brilliant teacher. Such a genuine and down to earth guy! He really takes into account each student and finds something new to work on. He’s able to create this relaxed, open and safe environment where it is easy to create and try something new. I feel like I could write an entire book about the new things I learned from this workshop. 100/5 stars.
- Julia Nurmi
I really liked it. I’m quite new, so there was a lot of information new to me. The cold reading technique and how to prepare yourself for the shooting was very good.
Tom is very nice, a down to earth guy. He is very inspiring and doesnt take an authority. I felt immediately i can really relax in the class. He has a lot of experience an really knows what he talks about. I would definitely recommend the workshiop to anyone who is interested in acting and especially if you are interested in camera work, then this is the place to go. I would give this workshop five stars out of five. It provided a lot of clear concrete and practical information, something you can start to use immediately.
I’m kind of new in this, so he helped me a lot on how to express your emotions and how to understand how you put the script to the screen and how to live fully and be in the moment. Tom helped me a lot in this four days, he helped me to understand myself in an artistic way. I like him a lot as a teacher, he gave me a lot of tips. I hope to work with him soon again. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested in acting. I would give this workshop 4,5 out of five stars.
Was a great pleasure working with Ben. He had such a gentle but professional approach to voice training through movement. Through Ben’s training I found - and started to release - huge tensions that has been blocking my voice as an actress. I will definetly continue working with Ben in the future as well.
- Johanna Ruonala, Actor
I really enjoyed our weekend workshop with Ben Joiner. As a classically trained singer I especially enjoyed the exploration of more primal sounds and how releasing a sound - totally uncontrolled - feels like. It was quite liberating and helped me to connect more with my body and my emotions. We also looked at how an open and receiving body looks and feels like in acting. The exercises for releasing the body through movement and awareness without judgement were just what I needed as well. Ben was an inspiring teacher with a very conscious and compassionate way of teaching, and I would definitely recommend his workshop for anyone wanting to explore their voices, or looking for ways to release tension in the body or for just more freedom of expression.
- Emma, Actor & Singer
Ben is a brilliant teacher! He’s a genius at what he does, and was able to create a supporting and safe learning environment by being a teacher as well as ”a peer” at the same time. He listened to the students’ needs and concerns and allowed for any feelings to arise. I would recommend this workshop for everyone and anyone interested in learning about their voice and how to use it well.
- Anna Tavaila, Actor
Nita, I already shared my gratefulness but I will repeat.
Somehow I needed to experience, see and feel exactly that from you at the retreat!
Your tools and passion amazed me. You also look like you could embody 'JOY' applying the tools to yourself and life.
You rock - thanks for the workshop, and thanks for being.
Thank you so much for your workshop at Eric Balance’s Sovereign Leadership retreat in Ibiza. This was one of the most wonderful days for me on the whole retreat.
Stepping into being fully yourself with your guidance was really amazing to feel. These exercises where we were fully present, being with another in an truthful honest connection, as well as experiencing how it feels to be in front of a crowd, being observed - was a fantastic journey. To also feel the other participants so truthfully was really touching.
Your guided meditation at the end felt breathtaking. It touched me and opened my heart and feelings.
The workshop has already helped me in my life in many ways. In the business and money world it has given me the trust and be present in my own truth and who I am. I don’t need to wear a business suit or show up in a way that is not me. Being my truthful self has immediately brought much deeper and authentic friendships for me in the business world.
Nita you are full of love and purpose in your work. You activate people in living truly form their hearts and I thank you so much for this.
The workshop changed a lot in my life, and because of you I can be more of me than ever before.
That single Meisner workshop was one of the most emotional and powerful things that have ever happened to me. It has been a month, I still think about the experience, and it makes me smile. The connections between people - I never knew that this is even possible and I am sincerely happy to know now that it is - that this magical world exists. I feel different now, I smile a lot more, I am a lot more curious about people and I definitely do want to explore more.
The Actors Academy Finland and Nita are one of a kind. Full of purpose, full of drive and dedication for the greater good and for the greater opportunity of how we get to represent real presence, to being present to one another’s beauty, to one another’s joy and light for the world. The way Nita holds space is magical. She has a very skilled and attuned way of allowing oneself to really bring the best version of truth, integrity and honesty for the purpose of one’s true personal transformation.
Something really shifted for me during this workshop. It was shocking to see how often we cover our real feelings with a smile, for example, and oh so liberating to explore some of the deeper emotions. I feel like I finally have the capability and “permission” to express myself more freely and I’m taking that with me to where appropriate. I find Nita’s ability to create and hold space for people to open up and get vulnerable so quickly really something! And she’ll push you past your comfort zone, I like that! Five out of five stars from me. If anything, I’d like the workshop days to be longer. Looking forward to other workshops in the future.
The retreat was very powerful and Nita is an amazing space holder. As individuals, and as a collective, we were given support and nudges to unfold and offload in many ways. The group was lovely, dynamic, fun and also very loving and respectful. It is a fantastic, intense program I would recommend to anyone whether they're into acting or not. It is a gift I am grateful I was able to receive.