AAF Youth Academy


Helsinki, Finland

Finally the awaited AAF Youth Academy is here! Join us for an inspiring two-week journey into the world of acting and creative expression. This course will be held in English and it is especially created for teenagers aged between 13-17 years, wanting to explore acting in a safe and fun environment. During the course, students will explore a variety of tools and approaches to support them in becoming freer in their own and unique creative expression and artistry, as well as strengthening their confidence. We will also look at the more technical sides of performance and screen acting as well as how the body and voice work. Participation in the course does not require previous experience.
The course teachers are Anna Tavaila, Monika Lindeman and Darren McStay.  

Mon - Fri 9:00 - 15:00
(lunch Break 12.30 - 13.30)


About The Event

Creativity is situated at the heart of a performer’s behavior, actions and ideas. Usually, kids are still one step closer to their free imagination and expression, but that talent needs to be kept alive. As actors and artists, we need to cultivate the creativity within us to help us bring text and character to life. The course emphasizes on understanding our individual creative practice. 

This course will be based on the Meisner Technique, but we will also look at other approaches. The most important thing we want for you is to become more familiar with yourself, find what works for you as a person and trusting that you are enough as you are.
Throughout the course, each student gets to work on 2-3 scenes. At the end of the course, we will film our final scenes and each student will get a copy of this.


The first week will be all about introducing the student to Meisner technique and improvisation which we will keep active throughout the curse. More specifically, we will become familiar with how to start approaching the actors craft. 

The second week will concentrate on the voice, scene work, screen acting and how to combine tools from the first week into working with text.

Each day we will do some sort of movement, which might be dance or yoga or physical theatre.

Meisner Technique
Meisner Technique helps the actor to get in touch with their authentic impulses and contact with the acting partner, as well as to live in the present moment. It helps the actor to start living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. During the course, Anna will guide you to the basics of the famous 'Repetition' exercise and 'Independent Activity'.


Improvisation happens when the actors' creativity is flowing and when judgment and limitations are thrown into the trash. Improvisation is one of the core techniques for the actor; it sparks imagination, teamwork and develops the actor's listening skills to name a few. Improvisation is a fun way to dive into the endless possibilities of performance.

The body is one of the most important tools for the actor. Being able to identify what is happening in the body and why allows the actor to connect stronger to his/her emotions. In addition, practicing mindfulness in movements such as yoga or dance enables the actor to truly step into each moment fully.



Cold Reading & Active Analysis
Cold-reading is basically the same as reading a script for the first time while remaining in the present moment without judging or interpreting the text too much. Active Analysis, as introduced by Konstantin Stanislavsky, is a more physical version of a connected free first touch with the text. We will practice these in ways to cultivate freedom of speech and creative practice. Each moment is new, each moment is fresh and unique - trusting your gut and creative impulses is so valuable for the independent creative performer.

Scene Work
Towards the end of the course, we will start bringing multiple tools and techniques together that allow us to approach a text, a scene in a unique and trusting way. Working with a partner, we will begin to understand the communal spirit of acting and how our independent work ties in with others' input. Acting is a collective experience. Throughout the course, each student gets to practice 2-3 scenes with different partners. At the end of the course, we will film our final scenes and each student will get a copy of his/her scene.

Introduction to TV and Screen acting

This workshop covers TV and Film Acting, offering a practical introduction to the skills and techniques relevant within these mediums. Monika will guide you through on-camera acting exercises with instant playback in a fun and supportive atmosphere.



It’s well documented that the most highly regarded professional acting training puts an enormous emphasis on voice and movement. Acting training is better enhanced by a thorough understanding of one's instrument (the body). Therefore In this workshop series, Darren will introduce the students to his methodologies surroundings the voice and how we can better affect our audience through remaining more present, resonant and articulate.


This course is for young people aged from 13 to17 (advanced and beginners in acting or any performing) interested in becoming an actor or improving their acting skills. We welcome anyone and everyone keen to explore their own creative practice and learn about different approaches to performance. You do not need previous experience but need to be open and enthusiastic to learn.



Upon finishing the course you will:

  • be more independent in how you approach your acting or any performing

  • be more confident in yourself and trust your uniqueness

  • understand the “performing body” more fully and connect with different parts of it; voice, body and mind

  • know more about different approaches to text and even different acting techniques that you can implement into your own practice in the way you want

  • have created an understanding of TV and Screen acting

  • you have gained lots of experience in different acting practices as well as being in front of others just as you are



• Dates: 6th - 17th July, 2020
• This course runs for two weeks from Monday's to Fridays, 9:00-15:00 (lunch break 12:30-13:30)
• Price: 395€ for workshop/student 

• Location: Actors Academy Finland, Pursimiehenkatu 26H, Helsinki

• Places are limited and will be filled on a 'first-come-first-serve' basis

• The booking for all events and workshops is binding. You can cancel 30 days prior to the event and receive a 50% return of your payment or you can pass on your spot to another person without an extra fee

• Course language is English (Please keep in mind that you do not need to have perfect English skills, and you do not need to worry about perfect vocabulary, accent and pronunciation)

• All rights to changes reserved

• You can also find the event on Facebook here



• a notebook and a pen

• water bottle  

• clothes that you can easily move and sweat in (Please refrain from wearing jewelry) 

• a willingness to be vulnerable and enthusiastic




Anna Tavaila is one of our teachers at the Youth Academy. Anna is a Theatre and Performance professional. She graduated from the University of Leeds in 2019. During her studies she fell in love with the richness of performer training, she has studied techniques by Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Meyerhold, Strasberg and Meisner. She has performed on-stage from a young age. Her theatre credits include productions such as Legally Blonde the Musical and Equus. Alongside acting, she has worked as a dance teacher both in the UK and Finland.


Monika is an international actor with credits in the UK, Norway and her home country Finland. Over the last six years, Monika has been working solidly on television. 

With a Masters Degree in Acting, Bachelors in performance art & pedagogical studies and a diploma in physical theatre acting, Monika has studied her craft for more than a decade. She works mainly on television but is still connected to her theatre background. 



Darren initially gained a certificate of distinction in Speech and Articulation from LAMDA before studying for an MA in Acting at East 15 Acting School. He also has an equivalent MA in Radio from the same school. As a stage actor, Darren has worked at The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, ENO (English National Opera), and has also performed in Warhorse in London's West End. As a film actor, he has appeared in over twenty-five films and he continues to work in both fields.

"I have been fortunate enough to have appeared before almost three and a half million people live worldwide. This has successfully led me to become an effective voice & performance coach, reaching over half a million people, in not only improving their voice and communicative potential but making positive changes to their lifestyle, beliefs and habits."