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Atsushi Dempoya

Leader : Atsushi Dempoya

Date of Birth March 24, 1963. Place of Birth Yubari City, Hokkaido.

After graduating from high school he sought employment in Tokyo, but quit after one year. In 1984 he joined Yoshiko Nakaima’s acting school, became a staff member of the acting workshop. In 2001 he took over as director of Mrs. Nakaima’s workshop.

Before joining N・Y ACTORS WORKSHOP I had studied acting at another school. I studied at one of the “modern” drama schools in a big class. But after I graduated from the school, the teacher told me that no matter much I practiced I didn’t have what it takes to be an actor. What does it mean, “I didn’t have what it takes?” Why didn’t he train me to have the necessary skills for acting? I was able to “show” or “represent” feelings such as laughing or crying, but what did it mean to really have such feelings on stage? At the time I was thinking about these things a friend of mine gave me some flyers, and one of them had a picture of Sanford Meisner on it along with some writing including the word “Subconscious mind”. When I saw that word, it seemed to me a very deep thing, deeper than inner thoughts and feelings. And so it was that I began taking lesson’s at that workshop. What really made a strong impression on me at first was that we did improvs without any lines. This was what the “Meisner Method” was based on and was its most important principle. It is the basis of bringing out and developing feeling in actors and enabling them to have reality on stage. Such actors do not pretend to have emotions but actually feel anger, joy, sadness, etc. on stage and this is transmitted to the audience. Such acting is far more interesting than pretended emotions. “Since an actor is performing the role of a person on stage, it follows that he needs to have deep understanding of human beings” Stanislavsky once said. Meisner created an actor training method for students to actually practice this truth. Yoshiko Nakaima, who studied under Meisner, brought this method to Japan over twenty years ago. She devoted her energy to bringing out such talent in young acting students. The summer of 2000 I myself in found the courage to go to New York and study at the Neighborhood Playhouse, and I got high marks there. Because of this, I have been motivated to expand the activities of the workshop to include production of plays, and make a new start. We will put on any kind of play that seems interesting and moving regardless of genre.

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