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EVALUATIONS

STUDENT EVALUATIONS

Comments are copied and pasted from reports, and as such may contain typos, spelling or grammar errors, etc.

Complete reports, with multi-facet numerical scores, available if desired.

 

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

Official course evaluation comments from Beginning Acting for non-majors,

Spring 2016

  • Kevin Inouye is a great teacher, I took this class to get better at being in front of people and not being so shy. This class has helped me open up. I really like how he had us do warm ups every day. Each class was a new way to experience acting, speaking in front of people.
  • I have enjoyed every class this semester. Kevin presents topics in an interesting and hands-on manner, accompanied many times by participation from the class. Some major topics could be covered a bit more in depth, but I feel like many of those are covered well with the Practitioner presentations. He is very constructive and helpful with his critiques of scenes acted out in class and chooses very beneficial warmups for any goal in mind. Journal prompts are focused on material either talked about in class or things done outside of class such as attending plays/musicals or reading certain articles and watching videos.
  • Kevin did a great job of showing different aspects of acting, and provided a lot of sources for knowledge. One thing that can be improved is the explaining of assignments in detail, and providing a better time window for practice, and drafting.
  • Kevin was a good instructor. He had us do some weird exercises but I guess that that’s just how the acting thing works.
  • Kevin is my favorite instructor this semester as far as effective Wyocourses use. He frequently posted announcements, which I like because I they go straight to my email so I don’t miss them, but I can easily go back and see them on the course page. I liked that he organized the front page of Wyocourses for the class. He took a photo of all of us and labeled it with names. That helped a lot. I also liked that he posted videos from time to time. I also liked having no textbook for this class. Acting is more about practicing and doing something than definitions. To be honest, I probably would not read the textbook if there was one. It would be a waste of money. I think it is more effective to get on the floor and try out new methods ourselves. I would have liked to do our “Proof” final scenes on one of the proscenium or thrust stages. I think it would be good practice for us to be in the actual space, and could help us learn to project better, which was an issue throughout the course.
  • Overall, I thought Kevin Inouye was knowledgable and engaged in his teaching. He had a clear idea of what he wanted to teach us, and effectively conveyed what he wanted us to do for the most part. I wish his acting advise consisted of a bit more positive reinforcement, but I suppose dealing with his criticism is likely easier than dealing with a director’s.
  • Mr Kevin’s method of teaching is highly effective, it makes you hungry for more and his relationship with his students is exceptional and unique. He makes you ready for challenges in the field. It was interesting to be part of his class.
  • Great teaching method. very clear and precise explaining the art of acting. Great Professor, encourages you to excel and be the best you can be. really motivated me to go a pursue acting. ThankYou!
  • I really liked that this was a very hands on course. Most of my classes are lecture only so having a class where we were required to move around was awesome! Most of the time, Kevin would teach by having us do something which I thought was very effective. it was a lot easier to remember something or understand a concept if I had had to physically do it. He is very organized and returns our grades back from assignments fast which was nice so you always knew where you were standing and could check it on wyocourses.

 

Official course evaluation comments from Movement for Actors, Spring 2016

(instructor’s note – this was the first time this course was offered on campus, and the genre of physical theatre and movement training all falls outside the scope of what some of our students have come to expect, as the first two comments show. The feedback will be helpful next time I’m able to teach this course.)

  • Kevin definitely knows what he’s talking about and has great intentions. One thing that this course is lacking is relating everything that we’re learning back to why it is important for us to know what it is that he is teaching. We cover a lot of stuff in the semester and it can get confusing when we don’t have the motivation to try as hard in the class due to the fact that we don’t understand why we’re doing what we’re doing and why it relates to us and why it’s important.
  • Lots of information which was great to listen to! This class was informative, I would have liked to have applied this to more scenes from shows we are familiar with.
  • Great class. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish there was more of an opportunity to explore other areas of physical theatre and such, but I digress. I thought Kevin was clear in his intentions and had a good grasp of what he was teaching. Assignments were easy and supportive to what we were learning in class; however, often assignments were solely on WyoCourses, which made them easy to forget. A little more structure in established performance dates would be nice. I feel we lost a lot of time by workshopping final pieces instead of just getting through all the performance on the given date then taking common errors and addressing them the next class.
  • I really enjoyed Kevin’s class! the material he brought to us was fun to learn about. It’s really hands on and the type of work where you just have to try it to learn and that’s what i like about his class.
  • I really enjoyed this class. I thought the schedule were put together really well and the class followed it very well. The material was fun and thought provoking and I feel like it really challenged me.
  • This class was so much fun! So many of the techniques learned are already becoming part of my actor’s toolbox and part of creating my character. I loved this class because not only did I learn valuable movement techniques, but I learned about different styles, which can still help in any type of performance. I had fun playing around rather than adhering to such strict rules – I realized how much exploration is valuable to character development and acting in general. I’m very grateful for this class, I know that my character choices will be so much stronger in the future!

Official course evaluation comments from Advanced Stage Combat, Spring 2016

  • I became rather disappointed that the class conflicted with the Faculty senate, missing one class a month was extremely detrimental to the morale of the class, as well as took up valuable training time, for a subject that is this hands on. Kevin is an excellent acting Teacher in addition to his impressive abilities in stage combat, and one of the few teachers that can seem to get me to stretch myself as an actor.
  • Spot on. Kevin is incredible in combat classes. He is insightful, knowledgeable, and affable. He clearly elucidates on any technique and acting questions. He is willing to work outside of class, which is very beneficial to every one. There is more of an obviously goal in this class than his other classes.
  • I loved this class. I wish this kid of class was offered all year round. I loved learning a little bit more about stage combat. I do wish we could have spent more time learning about different weapons like quarter staff. I loved going to the workshop we had as well i learned a lot from the instructors.
  • More focus on progression through combos and playing with weapons would be appreciated by me.
  • Professor Inouye has a great method of delivering the mechanics of combat, without the need for more abstract use of technique; which can often leave students floating around unsure of how to apply what they’ve learned. As someone trying to pursue a career with a deal of staged combat and stunt work, I find his class(es) invaluable, especially when the workshop commences and guest artists arrive. Given the opportunity, I would to continue to study stage combat/movement with Professor Inouye.

Official course evaluation comments from Acting Styles, Fall 2015

  • The way that Kevin teaches this class is helpful to understanding the different styles, however, I would enjoy learning about more of the styles that we as actors may work in (Shakespeare and Restoration are covered, but I feel Absurdism is also becoming more of a theatrical convention.). Kevin presents us with information about the different styles, but also gives us the opportunity to study them on our own, which I as a student found a challenge that was enjoyable.
  • Professor Inouye is really receptive to students, and also helps us grow a lot throughout the course. Since I had Intermediate Acting from him as well, I am used to the way he teaches now and I enjoy coming to class every day.
  • Kevin is always a fun teacher. He has a lot of practice in the things he’s showing us so we know it’s legitimate. I imagine it must have been difficult to teach this course and attempt to go over all the styles in acting in such a short period of time, but he did a good job of spreading out the time and we got enough time to look at each. I’d like to have more to work on and maybe just do workshop days where everyone is learning about a style at the same time.
  • This class gave me a lot of information about all of the different acting styles. It was a difficult course because there was so much information to sift through in such a short amount of time, but I felt that Kevin did a good job providing all of the information as well as giving us a decent amount of time to go in depth on one or two subjects. I almost wish there was a part two to this class so that we could actually look in depth at some of the styles that we were really interested in and get to play around with those styles because working with the styles has really helped me develop as an actor. For next time, I wish that the class was more structured. I personally am a very structured person and I like to know hard dates for when things are due and I am uncomfortable when e syllabus is changed a bunch of times. Also, I would prefer to do more practical work rather than discussion at work. Meaning, that when performer, I got scenes I would rather be given the opportunity to run the scene multiple times with small bits of feedback I between. The feedback sessions in the course could lean toward the lengthy side and when it was hard to stay attentive during those sessions because it was so much information all atone time without a practical outlet.
  • I find professor Inouye’s teaching methods to be among the best i have encountered at the university. It is a good combination of psychical activity related to the subject and mental activity. I would equate his style of teaching to that of a coach. He pushes and pulls people to get the best out of them in class. That said, i do have one issue with his teaching style. I feel that his standards for grading students, myself included, on their performances could be a bit more critical in nature. At the very least 10% more formal regarding the preparedness of those presenting. I feel that this would save a him a lot of trouble at the end of the semester
  • It was a good class. I did learn some tricks and tips in this class regarding different styles. I wish there would have been more structure as far as assigning specific scene partners. I found people would tend to keep working with the same people. It would be nice to be forced to work with others. Having a more clear understanding of when things start and when things will end would also be useful. Monologues as opposed to Duets/Scenes. Perhaps a sign up sheet at the beginning of the year or something to say specifically when you will do certain monologues. It wouldn’t even have to be at the beginning of the year. Just sometime in advance to performance dates.
  • I think the structure of the class was great. I think that this course was more focused on Elizabethan and restoration and there wasn’t much room for any other styles. I think this class should be a year long class to explore all acting/directing styles. I thought Kevin was knowledgable about the curriculum but we didn’t have enough time to dig deep into any style. We worked on both styles but I feel that I still need more lecture and study about the styles we did. I really appreciated the Commedia workshops we did. I think that they were helpful and it was nice to be able to play more. I think we spent too much time on scene work and monologues. I think that we should have done monologues for Elizabethan and Scene work for Restoration instead of both. Then, for the final, could choose a scene or monologue to work on from either style. I think having one on one class time to work with Kevin would have been nice. I think that with the size of the class it was difficult to achieve sufficient work. The text book though was so helpful, keep that.
  • Kevin has a very hands-on approach that I believe is necessary for learning aspects of acting, especially when it calls upon differences in physicality to create a period acting style.
  • I think Kevin is a good teacher for this course. It’s very obvious that he has a wonderful understanding of Shakespeare and the restoration style. I wish we spent more time on the isms. Each one was so unique that it would have been fun to experiment with them more. One way that would have made this class better was if Kevin were to make a schedule of exact days people were to perform. I think that would help the students be more prepared for their scenes and monologues.
  • I admired Kevin’s passion for teaching us as students, but I would recommend for future classes that there is a more grounded structure to the class and Kevin is more strict on performance dates and more time dealing with implementing the different styles instead of lecture.
  • I took this class along side Intermediate Acting so it was a nice comparison. The class itself focused mainly on two distinct styles of acting. I understand the time constraints, but would of liked more. Kevin did supplement this with the ism’s projects. That gave us allot more styles of acting. Kevin himself was laid back and worked with his students on time constraints and other class requirments.
  • With a topic like Acting Styles, it can be difficult to deal with such breadth. There’s a lot to cover in a short amount of time, enough that a lesser professor would not have been able to handle it. Some people may complain about Kevin’s tendency to stray from the matter at hand–Going off on tangents about things not directly related to our focus of the day. But, from my perspective, these tangents can be tremendously informative. Sure, some discussions are more pertinent than others. But I don’t think there is really anything about our in-class experience that needs to change. I feel as though I learned exactly the right amount for the class, not too much and not too little. That being said, I feel as though some things could be improved outside of class. This is something that has been discussed in class, but I feel as though there really is no need to purchase a textbook for this class. Acting styles is a much more active, ‘get up and do it’ sort of class. Learning by doing has been the name of the game all year. As such, we could probably have gotten the same amount of information out of a handful of packets that we did from the textbook. Now, my personal gripe ties back to the active nature of the class. I will be up front when I say that I was not great at completing my weekly journals. In fact, I was downright terrible. But I think there is more to it than just my personal laziness.  Journaling in a structured, formatted way is a very passive form of learning. Rather than feeling an impulse for something and deciding to jot it down, you are instead forcing yourself to essentially put into words the things that you already know. Now, I recognize the value of journaling, especially from an actor’s perspective. But, I fail to see the the importance of writing down a response to something that, just maybe, I didn’t feel terribly strongly about. Instead, I would recommend putting the WyoCourses discussion ability to use (something I still have not seen a professor use). That way, there is at least more active involvement. People could become invested, get in arguments, come to conclusions, and actually dive deeper into the material than I think anybody actually did with the journals. All that said, I did have a terrific time in this class. I was forced to push my boundaries and I learned some new things that I might be good at, as well as, more importantly, things that I am not capable. That is something that is often overlooked and very overrated in acting classes.

 

Journal excerpts from THEA201 Beginning Acting, Spring 2013, the College of William & Mary

Official Course Evaluation Form mean score was 4.26 on a 5 point Likert scale, with an 85.71% response rate.

  • Wow, I can’t believe we are at the end of the semester and the end of Beginning Acting class. It really has been a lot of fun and a learning experience. Acting was a class that I always looked forward to and enjoyed seeing what new warmups, games, exercises, or scenes would come our way. Not only did I really enjoy the class, but I was also impressed with how each person came out of their shell and embraced the acting more and more as the semester progressed. People seemed to come into their own style and step outside their comfort zone more. I think Kevin had a large impact on that. Kevin made people feel welcome and comfortable; he never judged and always encouraged us to make bold choices. The warmups and the games we played also helped. Whether it was getting in ridiculous yoga poses to loosen you up or running around playing tag, it helped lighten the mood and create a playful, comfortable environment. I would definitely encourage Kevin to keep the warmups and the games for future classes.

    The assignments always seemed appropriate and evenly spaced out. I really appreciated that the readings and reading responses were not piled up too close to other assignments- it was organized in a way to further our learning rather than add work or stress to a busy schedule. As a very slow reader, I really appreciated that the reading assignments were never terribly long. We had a good number of pages to read and respond to but never overwhelming amounts. The readings were interesting and helped with certain discoveries in class. I thought the organization of the syllabus and the assignments were good. I liked that we started off smaller with a personal story and eventually worked our way up to group scenes.

    I do think each assignment was useful and I appreciated when Kevin recognized when we needed to cut back on the monologues; he seemed to be understanding of our time and was considerate of other things going on. Kevin was very knowledgeable and willing to help. His insights were always witty and helpful. He seemed open to new ways of doing things and to people’s interpretations. I was very impressed with the way he handled the class and with the class schedule. To be honest, I really enjoyed the class and there is not much I would change- certainly no big things that I would change. I think it was an excellent class!!

  • It is actually sad writing “Final Class Reaction” as the heading to this last journal post- what a great class this has been and what a bittersweet day this is! I firmly believe that I have learned more in this class in terms of tangible and useful takeaways than any I have previously taken- I admire the way the class was structured and the amount of growth we experienced individually (as actors, students, and people) and as a collective whole. If someone would have told me that I would genuinely have a class at William and Mary where I would feel 100% comfortable sitting down to a meal with any of the other students at it’s completion, I would have been seriously doubtful. However, this interactive, fun, and interpersonal class helped me with my public speaking, conversational ability, and confidence in front of groups, while also providing me a needed break from the often mind-numbing nature of sit-down, straight lecture classes. I thank you, Kevin, for organizing it this way and for providing opportunities for me to make so many new friends and such a leap in my confidence around strangers….
  • I found my self completely in the zone today and not fazed at all by the fact that y’all were watching, though I was very aware that you were there. This is a huge step for me and I am really excited that I now feel so comfortable being in front of a crowd and just confident in myself and who I am. …I think that the structure of the course and the amount of work needed were absolutely spot on. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about the course- I just hope for the sake of future classes that they get as awesome of a variety of people as we had! Thanks again, Kevin, and God bless you, your family, and your career!
  • This class has helped me be a more confident person, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Enrolling in this class was such a big step for me; I absolutely hate getting in front of people and avoid it with great severity, yet here I was, taking myself about as far out of my comfort zone as possible and it did not end in disaster. I had a lot of progress and a lot of setbacks; there were many days when I was almost on the verge of tears knowing that I would have to come into class, and yet I still managed to come every day. An unexpected bonus was all of the great people I got to work with. It was so odd to connect with so many people and to actually have to trust them. I don’t think I have ever been as emotionally vulnerable as I was during this class. It is late (early?) and this is getting rambly, but I just wanted to say thank you. This class has helped me to become a more complete human being and, honestly, that is what education should truly be about.
  • Overall, I am glad that I took this class. I enjoyed every minute of it. This class really challenged me and that’s what I love about life. Defeating challenges. This class gave me a better insight into the acting world. I’m sure from now on I will be taking a more critical stance on plays that I’ll go see in the future. This class has also given me some tips on how I may approach my class one I start teaching. Since I will be an English teacher, I’m sure I can incorporate some warm ups when the class will be doing little things that require to be up and reading things. This class has really helped a great deal in dealing with the many curve balls that life has thrown my way this semester. It has also been a great stress reliever. So thank you for all you taught me this semester!!
  • Hi Kevin,I just wanted to thank you for all the efforts you made in instructing us this semester.  Your teaching and advice helped me overcome my natural shyness in class, and really did teach me a lot.  Historically, I’ve been rather silent in class, reluctant to participate.  However, participation was fun in acting!  I was much more willing to volunteer in acting because the things we did were fun!  I put off GER 6 until the spring of my senior year, but it ended up being much better than I could have ever expected.  I think this was due to you and the quality of students I had surrounding me in my classmates.  It was very rewarding and enjoyable to work with all of you, and I certainly do not regret taking Beginning Acting to fulfill GER 6.  Overall, I enjoyed the course a lot more than I expected to at the beginning of the semester.  This was due to a number of reasons.  I enjoyed class camraderie more than I anticipated, the material was more enjoyable, and the assignments were different than other sections of Beginning Acting.  I anticipated class to be like other classes, where students don’t really socialize except with close friends who are also in the class.  The development of a safe space and friendship among myself and my peers let me enjoy the experience more than I anticipated. Thank you for an enjoyable semester, and I hope you enjoy your students next semester as well.
  • To start, I want to say that I really enjoyed this class and want to thank you for everything this semester. It has been a great experience to, at times, get out of my comfort zone, make some new friends, and really learn something new. I definitely feel like I have a different perspective on some daily interactions and really enjoy reading into people’s body language more than before, even if that may not always be good since I now notice my mom always crossing her arms in front of her. I think I was able to grow as an individuals in ways that I truly will appreciate beyond this class. I am more comfortable with some public speaking exercises no matter what they may be, and combined with other experiences this semester, I really learned to appreciate the value in acting and appearing confident no matter how much I am actually lacking in confidence inside. Being a senior, I have some interviews lined up in the next couple of weeks, and I will try to always remember that fact! I think it helped to really hear that just as in acting, the hiring director wants to find someone right for the job and is hoping for the best from you. Besides, I found an enjoyment in getting out there and practicing your skill to ultimately put on a performance and ultimately entertain others. If an opportunity ever came up at the right time, I may be interested in auditioning for one of those real small roles. I really had no clue what to expect heading into the class as I knew it would be different than any other course I took at William and Mary. I came out really enjoying every class period and generally finding some take away lesson from each!As far as the course, I wouldn’t recommend changing much. I really enjoyed all the scene work toward the end of the course, and was thinking maybe to incorporate some of it earlier, but I also compleely see how for beginners, we really needed some of that work leading up to it whether than just to get comfortable with our class or to see how we work. Toward the middle of the class, all the work to prepare for the first scene may have seemed a little long at times, but after working on the final scene I wouldn’t really change anything there either because I definitely think it helped us to see such a variety of activities and understand how to really work a scene on our own. I also enjoyed the variety of fun games thrown in there at times like follow the leader. It was a nice change if of pace from a typical day in class, and really exemplified how you can learn some about acting in almost any situation.Thanks so much again for everything. I really enjoyed this, and I know that while I may have been real nervous about taking an acting class, I am so glad I did. It was a fun and rewarding learning experience that really helped me develop new perspectives on situations.
  • After all the hard work we have put into this class over the semester, I can’t believe today finally came.  It truly was a pleasure being in this class and working with everyone.  It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot about acting and myself as an actor. … I really did enjoy your class and again think it is so funny that you taught my brother, Michael, last semester and then here I am in your class this semester. The biggest difference between this class and other acting classes that I have taken are that this class was mostly with people that do not necessarily want to perform long term or don’t even like performing.  I have taken acting classes specifically for dancer or in a musical theatre setting and so on, but not in a class with people that don’t necessarily think about acting outside of the class they are required to take except maybe when they are watching a movie.  I really did enjoy this class though and will use a lot of the concepts and techniques you taught us about as I go onto Intermediate Acting and through the rest of my life.  Thank you so much for a wonderful semester.
  • I really learned this semester how to be comfortable in front of a crowd, and how to kind of take a step back, relax, and be comfortable.  I have gotten my breathing under control.  This is a skill that I know I will keep with me and continue to develop throughout my whole life.  In closing I just want to say thank you, Kevin!  I really feel as if I have come a long way from that shaky personal activity presentation to my last scene, and you played a big part in that!  My public speaking abilities have already improved so much in one semester, I want to keep improving and thinking about eye contact and “just being” instead of tensing up in front of a crowd.  This whole beginning acting process has really helped with my confidence in front of crowds and I will use this skill for the rest of my life! Thanks again, it’s been fun…I will miss it!

Journal excerpt from THEA230 Practical Acting: Broadway to Boardroom, Spring 2013, Christopher Newport University

  • I really loved this class and am going to miss being in the classroom with everybody. I think that the atmosphere and environment made it very easy to break down walls and make mistakes without judgment. I am going to miss this class immensely.
  • After reflecting upon this semester taking theatre, I have learned a lot about myself.  I have built up more confidence to speak in public, act goofy, and helped my stage fright.  Coming into this class, I thought that it would be an easy and fun class.  I learned that theatre is not easy!  Class was fun at times, but frustrating at others.  I found it very hard to memorize lines and even once lines are memorized, it is very difficult to remember them under pressure.  Sometimes I would get frustrated thinking that I would never use this in later life, but this class has helped me grow as a person.  It has helped me understand the theatre industry and how much time and effort that actors and actresses put into their work.  This class definitely pushed me to do better and work hard.  I am thankful I took this class, and grateful to learn about theatre.  I will take most of what I learned and apply it to public speaking.
    Thanks for a great semester!
  • I learned that understanding Shakespeare is possible! I have always struggled in English classes learning Shakespeare but when we acted it out it made so much more sense!

 Official Evaluations from SPCH121, Public Speaking, Spring 2013, Virginia Commonwealth University

Overall score of 4.62 on a 5 point Likert scale.

  • Great class. Have seen drastic improvement in my speech skills over the semester.
  • He is a great teacher. I came into this class not being very excited but I really like his teaching style and feedback.
  • I enjoyed the class. I wish there would have been more opportunities for us to speak with little preparation. Those were my favorite speeches. I learned alot (sic) about speaking though. Enjoyed class. …Needs to be required for certain majors, will make higher education more worthwhile.
  • Kevin did a great job teaching this class, and accommodating both the departmental/school requirements for the class, and the requirements of the students he was teaching. He made it a point to focus on each of our individual strengths and weaknesses, while bringing in real world examples for students to learn from. Since this was a speech class, it was necessary for all students to feel comfortable in their own skin, and he made sure to do that. There was no negativity felt from peer reviews or instructor evaluations. I feel that I was able to grow as a public speaker because of the teacher’s background and knowledge of the subject. I would highly recommend that students take this class with this teacher if they have the option.

Journal excerpts from THEA201 Beginning Acting, Fall 2012, the College of William & Mary

  • “Now that the class is finally over, I think it is time for me to reflect on the class as a whole and what I got from it.  For starters, I’m not really sure what I was originally expecting to get from this class when I had first registered for it.  The reason why I signed up for it in the first place was because I had recently garnered interest in the art of acting and performing since I was fresh off participating in a theater production in the spring semester of my senior year.  I found my time then to be very enjoyable, and I thought that this Beginning Acting class would be a perfect way to continue exploring this medium.

In the beginning of the year, we focused mainly on games and just getting to know ourselves and our own capabilities.  I found this to be both enjoyable and rewarding.  I feel that the time spent getting to understand why I get stage fright, and why I have the certain habits that I do, really helped me get a better grasp of myself as a person.  This is something that will prove useful to me, even though I do not plan on pursuing a career in theater.The beginning of the semester may have started of a bit slow in the sense that everyone was still getting to know each other.  I know we were all timid and more shy around each other.  The games we played became more and more fun as our true personalities began to emerge towards the end of the year. The latter part of the semester focused more on applying what we’ve learned on actual scenes and monologues to be performed in front of the class.  It’s one thing to learn and be lectured about techniques in acting, and it’s another thing to actually use them in a scene.  I feel that performing scenes and monologues is the best way to learn.

Overall, this class has changed the way I watch television or movies.  I have become more conscious about an actor’s performance in a movie or TV show.  I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, but I really now play close attention to what they do verbally and nonverbally.  I feel like I have become a much better critic of acting.  Prior to this class, I wasn’t really sure why certain actors win Oscars and others don’t.  But now I can really tell a good performance from a bad performance, which I think is pretty cool.  Unfortunately, now it is more difficult to ignore a bad acting performance.

In the end, I think my acting ability has improved greatly from the start of the class.  If I were able to go back in time with the skills I have now, I think I would have been able to do a much better job in the Moon Over Buffalo (the play I did in high school).  For Moon Over Buffalo, I had absolutely no experience or training and I literally just walked on and did it.  I didn’t have any technique or anything.  Now with what I know I would’ve been able to do scene analysis, understand my character’s objectives and work towards them, etc.

But who knows, maybe I’ll participate in something in the near future!”

  • “…Anyways, this class was a blast, I have  no negative things to say about it what-so-ever!  I learned things, I tried new thing and most importantly, I grew.  If you leave the same way you went in, then you didn’t do something right.  :-)”
  • “Wow, where did the semester go? I feel the entire class has come along way in terms of improving upon performance and approach techniques. I felt we all did an excellent job on our scripts and really listening to the feedback that we gave each other…”
  • ” Today I was thinking about my hopeful future career as an elementary school teacher, and I found myself wondering if many new teachers were nervous at first about being in front of a group of (sometimes unruly) students. Not only do teachers need to come off as calm and knowledgeable, they also need to constantly adapt their tactics to overcoming the various obstacles presented in a classroom (e.g. misbehavior, different learning styles/speeds, levels of achievement, etc.). In that sense, teachers need to be like actors. They present information to an audience while maintaining a dual consciousness in order to meet the audience’s needs. After taking this class, I feel like I’d be more comfortable and prepared to take on a classroom.”
  • ” In reflection of acting class this semester…
    I did not really know what to expect coming into this beginning acting class, especially being fresh at college.  I also wondered about its ability to challenge me because I was already a decently experienced actor at the high school level and from the first day of class, it didn’t seem that the majority of my classmates shared this experience or interest.  Now having finished the class, I have been able to take away more from it than I might have expected.  While I wish we had done more intense work on more scenes and possibly more monologues, I understand that this is a beginner class and a GER class, so my motives as someone who wants to pursue acting are very different from someone who is taking the class as a complete beginner or just for the GER.  However, I don’t feel that the class was a waste at all.  It actually reinforced a lot of the “rules” of acting that I sometimes look over.  It reminded me of the importance of doing thorough scene analysis and character background work  Having this be an assignment for our first scene made me appreciate the good it does because once we were required to do a good job on it, I realized how much more I knew about the characters when approaching the acting of the scene.  I also really enjoyed the group projects on the different “grandfathers” of acting.  For me, I thought it was very interesting and necessary because as someone who wants to study theater, I know that it is very necessary that I know all about these theater theorists and practitioners.  This class helped me in a unique way because I got to witness what a non actor or beginner actor will do when portraying a role.  I always tried to examine these performances and take note of what was missing and make sure then, that I tried not to make the same mistake.  Though I am by no means a great, or all knowing actor, I can recognize bad acting, or amateur acting to be more polite and I always feel like I tried really hard to be aware of what seemed amateur.  I tried to notice how I could make my acting more powerful that those who didn’t seem to attack or “sell out” on their roles as much. Unlike some of my classmates, I did not think that this class was too much work.  I found the work load relatively light and manageable.  Overall, I enjoyed this class and what it taught me and I appreciate everything you did for us, Kevin.”
  • “In class yesterday, Kevin mentioned the thought of revisiting our thoughts on the question of “what is acting” since the semester is coming to a close.  This prompt interested me a lot because for me, these definitions have changed.  This semester has been a very influential one for me because it was my first semester of theater experience at the collegiate level and my first experience outside of a high school theater department for that matter.  I came from a high school department that was the rainbows and butterflies of the theater world.  It was an inclusive, encouraging, and magical world that had a strong community.  The magic was the biggest part of it.  I see my high school director as sort of a mystical, Gandalf-like man.  Not in age or appearance, but in wisdom and insight.  His focus was creating a magical world full of anecdotal phrases about theater and acting.  While this is great for the budding actor, I have come to realize that that world is not forever and that theater in the real world is very different.  Having entered well into this department, I still find some of the same qualities but the childlike “everything will be ok and you are the best actor ever” atmosphere is not there.  I expected this change, but I didn’t expect how much I’d learn from it… “
  • “Thank you Professor Inouye for always providing insightful comments and suggestions following my performances.  Your observations helped me add energy and vigor to my scenes and made me reflect deeply about my choices on stage.  Thank you for keeping our classroom atmosphere professional despite some of my classmates insistence that we should play games instead of learning about acting.  Thank you William and Mary for providing this government major with the opportunity to take a class in the theatre department. It was a great experience and it’s opened up my eyes on a lot things, including how I view myself and how I present myself to others.”
  • “Overall, I found this class to be quite enjoyable. Although I’ve been doing theatre for quite some time, I never realized just how many perspectives there were on acting techniques so it was definitely interesting to be exposed to so many of them over the course of the semester. This class also served as the perfect dose of theatre that I needed.”

 

Feedback from guest lecture/workshop in THEA114, Acting I, Spring 2012 at VCU

Special thanks to instructor Thomas Cunningham for passing these and more on to me:

  • “Oh my gosh, I loved this! He brought up some really cool points about incorporating improv into a scene with already set circumstances. “A nice partner will let you win, a good partner will give you a hard time.” It really helped to get up and physicalize some of the Stanislavski steps rather than just talk about them.”
  • “Wow! That was fun! Made me want to do R&J again… I can’t wait to start applying what we’ve learned lately to my scene for this class and my work on Killer Joe.”
  • “It was fascinating watching my classmates grow into their respective characters. It was also great to see the tension building on itself with each new note Kevin would give the actors… by their physicality, voice, & movements.”
  • “…hence the deepening relationships with the scene partner. It obviously helps with external adjustments, but surprised me in the way it made obstacles more clear.”
  • “It was cool to see the progress from having all been standing around in a line watching to see what would happen next, to all very physical and clear motives creating a very real chaos. It all seemed much more genuine by the end.”

THEA311, Spring 2012 at VCU

  • “Kevin has really grown as a teacher. He seems more confident and comfortable when leading a classroom. He has nothing but excellent things to say and advise us on. He has such a trained eye when it comes to movement and anyone would benefit from working with him. He’s able to speak in both common terms and actor-specific lingo; a rare trait a lot of teachers.” (sic)
  • “Phenomenal professor. Understood concepts and explained with detailed verification and patience towards members of class with questions. Any class-issues were responded to with professionalism and respect. Content of course was extremely informative, enjoyable, and described with applicable application.”
  • “The instructor was excellently skilled and learned in his craft and teachings.”

THEA311, Fall 2011 at VCU

  • “This class was extremely well structured and filled with both content and the discussion of that content in application in our field of study.”
  • “I was able to easily recognize the professor was incredibly knowledgeable in his field, and was able to answer all my questions with thorough, thoughtful answers. I appreciated his willingness to go the extra mile and provide me with additional information to further my research and learning on the topics presented in class.”
  • “He has an eye for movement and his observations are spot on.”

 THEA211 & Mainstage Productions, 2011 at VCU

“I have seen Kevin work as an Instructor, Fight Choreographer, and Director and as one of his former students and colleagues I can truly say that he is among the best in any of these positions. He brings the same great attitude and skills to everything that he works on. I have not seen anyone else work with different skill levels and personalities as effectively as he does. Whether that is making sure all of his students are on the same page, or adapting choreography to fill the needs of the show, director, or actors even if those needs continually change. Kevin is also a great communicator, one of the first to respond to any requests, questions, or messages, that’s if he is not already a step ahead and sending you the information or asking the important questions. In my mind he is a prime example of the type of person I would like to work with in the future, and really just a great guy.”
Blair Russel, BFA Student in Theatre, Virginia Commonwealth University March 14, 2012 via LinkedIn

 

PEER EVALUATIONS

“I have been able to observe Kevin teaching in the classroom and can speak to his abilities as a teacher. In both the subjects of acting and stage combat, Kevin is a born professor. He has a vast and easy knowledge of both subject areas, and distills this knowledge into clear concise instruction for his students.”
— Dan Granke, MFA Student in Theatre Pedagogy, Movement Track, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PROFESSORS & MENTORS

“I have written many letters of recommendation in my career, but I have never before written what for me is the highest praise possible: Kevin is a man of deep integrity. He is a fine artist and teacher, and constantly strives to become even better.”
— Dr. Aaron David Anderson, Associate Chairman, Department of Theatre, Virginia Commonwealth University

“Kevin has a very strong and clear commitment to mastering the NMCA’s dynamic teaching, acting and directing system using Michael Chekhov’s theories. He was very quick to engage in the process, confident in sharing his inquiries and very capable in disseminating freshly acquired knowledge to his class. He embraces the work easily and generously as an actor and teacher. I am confident his students and cast-mates will benefit from working with Kevin. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”
— Lisa Dalton, President & co-founder, National Michael Chekhov Association

“Kevin has the ability to ask thought provoking questions that guided students to deeper insights and I often saw their excitement as they made realizations and understood connections that had eluded them. His students throughly enjoyed his class and his respect filled approach to working with them.”
— Ron Keller, Associate Professor of Design, Department of Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University

“As a theatre instructor, Kevin is passionate, energetic, dedicated, and knowledgeable, with an ability to fully engage his students. I find him to be an outstanding teacher of acting, movement and stage combat.”
–David Leong, Chairman, Department of Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

PROFESSIONAL FEEDBACK

“Kevin choreographed violent stage action for me on several occasions, typically working with actors lacking significant fight training themselves. Beyond his unshakeable commitment to the safety and comfort of actors, Kevin’s strength is in storytelling–using action to advance the narrative and engage the audience’s attention rather than for window dressing. The results were always spectacular–drawing gasps of delight, shrieks of horror, and exclamations of amazement from audiences–but never disrupted the forward motion of the narrative. I think one secret of this success is that his enthusiasm for his work is contagious, bringing actors–even those without previous experience–into a collaborative relationship so that they take ownership of the work, enabling them to fully experience and express the underlying drivers of their characters’ actions even as they execute the moves accurately and safely.”
–Matt Fontaine, Smartmouth Productions

“Kevin is flexible, competent, and able to work with a wide range of individuals with vary levels of experience. I hired Kevin to work with seasoned actors and young inexperienced boys. He was able to teach the boys the basics, help them feel confident and stress the importance of safety. His work with the adults was equally as polished and best used the skills each actor brought. He was a consummate professional. I highly recommend his work.”
–Naarah McDonald, Director, Lakewood Theatre

 

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

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