Steven Hartley: Teaching

Steven Hartley portrait

Steven Hartley is one of the most recognisable faces on British television having appeared in over fifty TV shows including most recently the BAFTA award-winning Happy Valley, Silent Witness and Ripper Street.

He has starred in numerous films in the US and the UK, in West End and RSC plays and in plays for radio.

Steven is an award-winning voice over artist on television and radio and has voiced numerous video games.

Steven trained at LAMDA.

He has worked with such luminaries as Sam Mendes, Marlon Brando, John Voight, Franco Zefferelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Schrader, Benedict Cumberbatch, Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Benecio Del Torro, Clive Owen and Lauren Bacall to name a few.

Steven has lectured and delivered workshops at LAMDA and Performance Preparation Academy, Guildford as well as working with many young actors on an individual basis.

Steven is Patron of the Acting course at the Performance Preparation Academy and is involved with the Mentoring programme at LAMDA for final year students.

View Steven's home page


Steven Hartley portrait

Workshop 1: Decision Making

“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” Malcolm Gladwell

Nowhere is this truer than in acting.

In a profession where, increasingly, audition material for self-tapes is sent to us at only a few hour's notice with five pages of dialogue or a long monologue to learn, these decisions need to be made as quickly and efficiently as possible. It may be that we have more than one audition that day and a self-tape to send by the evening.

With little or no preparation time, or input from the director, how do we make appropriate character choices? How do we implement those choices? Are they choices that work?

When working in episodic Television, often the scenes that the actor has carefully prepared for that day are changed at a moment's notice due to scheduling issues. We find ourselves shooting a scene with little or no preparation time. What is the best way to maximise the little amount time that we have?

With TV and Film schedules and budgets growing ever tighter, there is often no rehearsal time: “Block it for camera then shoot it” are words familiar to any experienced actor.

The decisions you make have to be real and truthful and be made quickly.

Using knowledge gained from over 30 years filming and audition experience, in this workshop Steven covers the pitfalls and misconceptions of fast auditioning and quick turn over Television.

Steven will explore how to best utilise the actor's training and instinct to get the best from ourselves in these high-pressure situations working with students on a variety of Film and Television scripts.

Steven will deliver practical techniques to help actors when auditioning and when working.

This workshop is suitable for all levels of Drama students and can be adapted as a lecture or practical workshop depending on the number of students in the class.

There will also be a Q&A at the end of the session and time for the students to reflect on what they have discovered.

Steven Hartley portrait

Workshop 2: Self-Tape: Friend or Foe?

Self-Tape is now an industry standard and Love it or hate it we can't ignore it.

Self-tape can be a great tool- if used correctly and intelligently. Many actors have secured high profile work as the result of a self tape.

Yes there are disadvantages but there are also huge benefits.

In this workshop the students will learn how to use Self Taping to their best advantage, how to prepare, shoot and edit a self tape, the best equipment and editing tools that are available so that they have practical solutions to overcome the dread of this kind of audition.

On a practical level we will try some short pre pared self-tape monologues using some of the applications now available, also the resources and techniques we have covered.

This is an afternoon or 3-hour workshop for students of all levels but will be particularly beneficial to final year students.

Steven Hartley portrait

Workshop 3: The practicalities of Screen Acting

This is a workshop tailored for all levels of students.

The students will be given short scenes appropriate to their casting to prepare in advance to be rehearsed and recorded on Camera.

The workshop will involve a discussion on general set etiquette and understanding the work process.

We will cover practical technique, understanding the shot sizes, personal continuity, eye lines and bringing the scene narrative to life. Students will critique what they have shot and explore ways to improve their performance.

This workshop length is dependant on the number of students but would be suited to an afternoon or full day.

Steven is currently developing an intensive one-day screen acting workshop with renowned TV director Steve Hughes whose recent credits include Wolf Blood, Land Girls, Suspects, Dr Who and Midsomer Murders.

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