WHAT PEOPLE SAY
FEEDBACK FROM ASHLIE WALKER'S WORKSHOPS
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
Oh, gees. What did I get? Would be easier to state what I DIDN'T. Well, for starters, 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.
Also, you'll make a boatload of friends. And you'll be sharing a lot of the dark stuff with them, making you bond quicker than I've ever thought humanly possible."
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
FEEDBACK FROM TOM SAWYER'S WORKSHOPS
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, actor
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.
- Laura Faarinen, dancer & actor
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.
- Sanjay Shrestha
FEEDBACK FROM BEN JOINER'S WORKSHOP
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
FEEDBACK FROM NITA ARPIAINEN'S WORKSHOP
!I absolutely loved it. ❤️ It changed me forever and I can’t wait to have more of it. I so needed to go to those places within me and feel liberated and I am literally so hungry to learn more and make use of those tools in my career. Nita is a wonderful soul and guide and I’m so grateful to have met her. Thank you thank you thank you!!! - Mayela
Nita you are a pure diamond in this Universe. Thank you so much!
I was scared when I entered the studio on Friday, about to spend two days with total strangers and the to be honest the idea to reveal the inner me to those fellow students felt scary as fuck. But as terrifying as it was - now I just want to learn and explore more. I am so grateful for the whole workshop. I feel free, I feel brave and weightless. I feel so present and I feel more ready for the whole life than in ages - so it was magnificent. So if you’re interested in acting, or just exploring what’s inside, digging deeper or interested in human behaviour, I highly recommend it. Oh and what comes to Actors Academy Finland and Nita - solid five stars! So yeah, go for it people, it’s totally going to be worth it. - Tintti
I was shaken in the best way possible by Nita’s workshop. I learned so much about myself as a performer and it opened for me an entirely different way to approach the craft of acting. Even with a group of persons that I had never met before I felt safe, connected, and free to explore my capabilities as an actor. I would so recommend this workshop to anyone and everyone! Even if you are not an actor, it is a way to tap back into the humanness of the self. FIVE STARRRRZZZZ! - Marja
This two day Meisner technique workshop with Nita was way more eye opening- or I should say heart opening than what I had thought it would be. I only have a glimpse of the repetition method now but I already feel like I opened up as an actress - and more - also as a person. After the first day I wrote down things I realized about authentic acting through this method and after the second day I wrote about three pages about everything I learnt about my feelings and my relationships through this method. Now I want to do more Meisner to become a better actress. Thank you for the course Nita! - Iirs
Thank you very much for the workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nita was a very patient, compassionate coach. The workshop was intensive and challenged everyone to be brave and open to the unknown depth and dynamics of our rich inner life. Nita made sure that we felt safe and supported in doing so. What I find most useful and important in the Meisner training is its focus on the other. By being utterly present with the other, I can be free to feel the emotions that arise from the circumstances, authentic feelings, not manufactured in my head. I think this sense of inner liberation in authentic human connection is something anyone can benefit from, not just actors. I can only wish that the course like this would be available more often and for longer periods. - Yuko
Based on first weekends experience at one year program I would recommend AAF workshops and studies for everyone. And with everyone I mean esveryone.
Thank you Nita. An amazing weekend. And the best of it is that this is only the beginning. - Anssi
FEEDBACK FROM ONE YEAR TRAINING STUDENTS
We are not even half way through our training, but I'm already sad it will end one day. I love that the training consists of practical exercises and a more holistic side. Not only does the training give me tools to use as an actor, but I am also getting to know myself in a whole new way. I would recommend this training for actors, beginners and professionals, but also for just about anyone who is interested in getting to know more about the human psyche and well, themselves.
- Johanna Tilus, Actor
The one-year training so far has been amazing. The teachers are top of their class and you can see it in their teaching methodologies and the ways they approach the students. Within only two months, I have become more confident in my acting and how I feel on stage. This training has absolutely made me a better performer. Our wonderful lead coach Ashlie has a holistic approach to her teaching which has worked wonders for me; I have grown not only as a performer but as a human being, which in turn has contributed into my creativity. Creativity is at the core of this training. I would definitely recommend this training to anyone. You do not have to be a performer or want to be, the sole premise of developing your creativity and learning about yourself more is what takes this training to a whole new level. The training also includes sessions on yoga, meditation, industry knowledge and skills on how to navigate in the Creative Industries. I have found these classes inspiring and thought-provoking in the best sense. The emphasis is always in one's own well-being and how that fuels creativity and aids in succeeding in the industry. The teachers truly want to change the concept of "a suffering actor" and inspire everyone to find a creative flow state. The training effectively combines mental and physical - even spiritual training in terms of belief patterns and fears etc. - aspects. No stone will be left unturned, which makes this training the most demanding, but also the most effective and rewarding!
- Anna Tavaila, Actor
One of the great things about the AAF One Year Training is that you are constantly creating and refining your actors' toolkit without the pressure of having to understand everything right away. You have the time to learn and to fail - or even to learn how to fail. That's something I think is invaluable.
- Rasmus Blomqvist, Actor
It's a safe place where I feel I can be just the way I am, who I am, with all that is in me at each moment.
To my current understanding, being an actor or an artist of any kind is about authenticity and connection. It's about being curious and open enough for letting things move inside you; present enough to grab that fleeting thought, emotion, image, sound or impulse; and courageous enough to let it express itself through you. It's also about wanting to explore yourself and grow as a human being. With its beautiful holistic touch and wonderful, committed teachers, the one year training has already supported me in so many ways during these first few months on this very demanding but deeply meaningful path.
- Emma, Actor & Singer
Now, after the first weekend, all I can say is WOW. I noticed I don’t know anything about acting and that was in fact relieving. I was able to throw myself fully into the capable hands of Ashlie and give myself permission to be a rookie. At its worst it felt terrifying, at its best magical - it felt like I was growing as a human individual... All of us have the potential to be actors. The aim of the training is to learn to let go of the beliefs that limit the potential.
It took me a while to find myself at the place I am now, but I am finally doing something I want to do and love to do. - Jarno
The first weekend of AAF One Year Training was truly inspiring and both an educational and an emotional roller coaster ride. Having been to AAF Meisner technique workshops before, the OYT takes the whole learning experience to a completely new level. - Juhana
It's wonderful to experience and witness the raw state of emotions. This is the safest place to explore all that we have inside and strenghten the ability to use it in our craft. - Meri
The working environment is the best. Its safe, positive and happy. The teachers are amazing, Nita and Ashlie. I have seriously enjoyed it and learnt a lot in just 3 days. I dont even want to have days off. Thank you Nita for this opportunity. - Pravi
AAF YOUTH ACADEMY
I got so much out of the course and it was a wonderful experience for me. I know that I will always remember it fondly. It was great fun making new friends and getting to try out all sorts of different things. I think my favourite thing about the course was simply doing such a huge variety of things that I'd never done before such as the Meisner technique and camera acting. The coaches were also all very friendly and I really felt safe with every one of them. I had such a nice time that I can't think of anything I'd like to change! I would give it five starts out of five! - Edie
I really enjoyed the camp and got to meet awesome people. I really liked how the coaches treated us like we were kind of like friends, not just students. I loved this camp a lot. All of the coaches had great classes and I got to learn some things I’m probably going to use in the future, for example meditating more, doing exercises before using my voice and so much more. I would give the camp 5/5 stars, it was an amazing experience and I would love to have the fall group come together. I loved how we would always start the morning with positivity and having fun. I would and kind of already have recommended this to my friends and hopefully we would have a group for the fall so we could continue! I had so much fun, and Loved the week we had! <3 - Hilla
The AAF Youth Academy gave me new experience, useful acting techniques and courage. I can’t choose what was my favourite thing because all that we did was the best. Nita, Maria, Darren and Monika were the best teachers ever. They were very encouraging. There was nothing I would’ve improved, it was perfect. I would give 5/5 stars and recommend the Youth Academy to everyone! - Emma