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by David Grand, Ph.D.

by David Grand, Ph.D.

A revolutionary method which helps eliminate performance and audition anxiety while increasing depth, spontaneity and confidence in character development. Dr. David Grand, a world renowned expert in the use of Brainspotting, a revolutionary new emotional trauma technique, has developed an innovative approach which quickly and dramatically helps actors. Grand discovered that Brainspotting, which is extraordinarily effective in healing the effects of traumatic experiences, also profoundly enhances performance and creativity – with the most remarkable results found in the acting field. Blending traditional acting coaching techniques with a structured psychological approach accelerated by left/right brain hemispheric stimulation, David Grand developed Brainspotting Acting Coaching. He named it the Grand System, which helps actors quickly attain a deep state of relaxation, reduce or eliminate performance and audition anxiety, activate sense memory, as well as explore characters in greater depth and texture and perform on stage with increased spontaneity. The results are dramatic, immediate and exciting.

Here is an example of Grand System in action: The actor is guided to visualize a role and identify his/her negative thoughts and anxieties, identifying where they are held in the body. These thoughts and anxieties are then cleared using the Brainspotting technique of relevant eye position. The actor is then guided to into character and then create and experience emotionally and sensorially, while in roll, profound events and emotions which have shaped the character’s life (Active Character Memory – ACM). The Brainspotting deep brain stimulation quickly and deeply activates then brings these experiences to emotional life that are held bodily and unconsciously by the actor. The result is a startling power and vibrancy which spontaneously emerges from the inside out whether onstage or in front of the camera.

When George Morrison, Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts at the State University of New York and Director and Co-Founder with Mike Nichols and Paul Sills of the New Actor’s Workshop in New York City brought Grand to the Workshop to teach the Grand System in advanced scene work classes, he was astonished at the immediate results. Morrison states, "I feel fortunate to have found David Grand. In forty years of teaching acting, I have never witnessed such profound changes in an actor’s ability to reach inwardly and express outwardly, with great freedom and authority, a deeper and more complex sense of his or her character’s life – and this after twenty minutes of work with David. His work is the wave of the future for actor training." Grand’s work at the school has been observed by director Mike Nichols, who described it as "remarkable". Grand recently coached Evan Seinfeld, lead singer of Biohazard, for his recurring role on the HBO Series "Oz". Seinfeld described the Grand System as "amazingly effective – awesome!" Actor David Toney, in preparation for his role as Othello at the Virginia State Theater in Spring, 2000, found the Grand System to be "the most profound and extraordinary acting experience of my life." These responses are typical from actors who have encountered the unique effects of the Grand System.

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