Masterclass: Samuel Jackson Teaches Acting

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As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. In his online acting class, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.

Instructor(s): Samuel Jackson
Class Length: 21 video lessons (5 hrs 0 min)
Category: Arts & Entertainment
Course Materials: Class Workbook.pdf

Course Lessons:

  1. Introduction
    03:36
    You know Samuel L. Jackson from iconic films like Pulp Fiction and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Now he’s your acting teacher. Sam shares his goals for his MasterClass, as well as his mindset toward acting: it’s an adventure.
  2. Creating Characters
    20:37
    Learn how Sam imbues every role with a sense of purpose and complexity of character—even if they only appear on screen for a few minutes. In this lesson, he shares the fundamentals of his characterization process.
  3. Physical Characterization
    12:32
    Sam dives deep into the myriad ways actors can use their bodies to reflect their characters’ personalities. Learn how to use posture, gait, voice, and physical appearance to add complexity to your characters.
  4. Case Study: Caveman’s Valentine
    10:56
    Sam breaks down the nuances of his characterization process and performance as Romulus, a prodigal but schizophrenic and homeless concert pianist, in The Caveman’s Valentine.
  5. Student Session: Breaking Down a Script – Part 1
    15:27
    Sam directs student actors in a workshop, and the first scene on the docket is the iconic diner scene from Pulp Fiction. In this lesson, Sam helps them break down the script to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ intentions.
  6. Student Session: Breaking Down a Script – Part 2
    16:43
    Get inside Jules’s head as Sam breaks down the Ezekiel passage and walks the students through the different ways the character could perform the scene.
  7. Student Session: Character Biographies
    15:10
    Creating in-depth character backstory is an integral part of Sam’s process. He pushes the students to develop a connection with Jules by imagining his life story and how he got to this moment in the diner.
  8. Student Session: Make It Your Own
    08:10
    One of the student actors puts a unique spin on Jules, showing that there are many “right” ways to create characters.
  9. Voice & Character
    19:48
    Sam reveals how his childhood experiences have informed his approach to character voices throughout his career, and discusses his method of developing a vocalization plan.
  10. Student Session: Plumb Your Emotional Depths
    13:28
    Sam directs the actors to perform a scene from The Negotiator in which two characters—Danny and Farley—are on opposite ends of the power spectrum. Students play the scene and then switch roles.
  11. Student Session: Use Your Voice, Use Your Body
    21:56
    Sam analyzes the students’ choices of power positions when playing Danny and how movement and stillness can each convey power in a different way. He shows how posture works on each side of the phone as each character is pushed to their limits.
  12. Working With Directors
    12:24
    Learn Sam’s tried-and-true methods for developing strong working relationships with directors.
  13. On-Set Collaboration
    13:13
    Sam describes the movie set environment as “a moving circus.” Learn his code of on-set conduct, which has earned him respect throughout the industry as a true professional.
  14. Student Session: Developing Characterization
    21:05
    On the surface, this Kingsman scene is a simple conversation between two characters. The actors’ task is to dig deeper, access the subtext of the exchange, and create characters who will make the otherwise “bland” dialogue more interesting.
  15. Student Session: Making Bold Choices
    14:48
    When it comes to characterization, it’s better to show up with too much rather than not enough. Sam pushes the student actors to take risks and commit to their choices.
  16. Enriching Your Acting Practice
    10:54
    Sam encourages you to nurture a sense of curiosity and explore stories set in worlds that you are unfamiliar with, so that you have a more expansive view of the characters you take on throughout your acting career.
  17. Auditioning
    13:18
    Don’t walk into a casting room thinking about the job; go in with the goal of demonstrating your skill as an actor. Sam gives you this and more time-tested rules for auditioning.
  18. Growing Your Acting Career
    20:28
    Sam walks you through the most important business relationships you’ll form as an actor, and offers wisdom on how to best work with them.
  19. Sam’s Journey From New York to Hollywood
    19:04
    Learn how Sam got “plucked” from the Negro Ensemble Company, where he performed alongside Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, to go to Hollywood.
  20. Hollywood Lessons
    09:28
    Sam shares three very personal lessons learned over the decades he’s spent in Hollywood.
  21. Conclusion
    07:17
    When you finish this MasterClass and continue your career in acting, Sam urges you to remember your responsibility to your audience—and to the world at large.

Course Content

Masterclass: Samuel Jackson Teaches Acting Section
dameluthas

dameluthas

For a decade, Dame Luthas collaborated with global United Nations Organizations on the most pressing, multi-dimensional challenges. The experience uncovered new opportunities for tomorrow; and reinvigorated a clarity of vision and passion for empowering organizational, business, and technical harmonization here in the United States. In this spirit, Mr. Luthas also created The Luthas Center for Excellence - committed to the establishment; and strengthening of collaborative global mastermind networks enabling multi-lateral network empowerment of Women and Children via the maximization of inherent gifts, talents, and abilities.

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