Article Written by Stephen Bell – Marketing/Development @coffeescreative
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At Coffeeshop Creative we are not only passionate about designing and developing a unique web presence for our clients, but also sharing their stories. We are super excited to share another story in our series of blogs – Coffee With…. Today’s feature is actor & artistic director, Alon Nashman! As we are designing the upcoming launch of his custom website, we recently caught up with Alon in the busy Bloor West area, at Field Trip Coffee.
Tell us a little about yourself- the actor and artistic director?
OK… I am an insatiable man of theatre… a theatrician is the term I use. I remain fascinated by what happens when we refine the energy in a packed theatre to a taut filament which connects everyone present in thought, breath, spirit. The journey we take together is one of the great unifiers and clarifiers. The theatre is a space in which one can think in a unique and personal way while remaining part of a community. It is where I’ve learned all about life, and where I feel most alive (apart from some particular places, people and activities).
Alon Nashman in Kafka & Son
What inspires you with stage acting and direction today?
I find that I am inspired by other artists, to the extent that many of my solo plays have been about the act of creation, or of the imagination. I have made plays about a painter, a director, a writer, and a child who tells tales. For me theatre is an elemental act of re-creation, one which has similarities to meaningful ritual which spirals us back to deep knowing. I am also someone with a degree in history, so the unfolding story of humanity and the pivot points in that story interest me.
Alon Nashman – Hirsch
Which acting interpretation and or influences have shaped your career as an artist?
There are all kinds of theories of acting which have influenced me but most often I come back to the principles I learned in clown work, contact improvisation, and mime. Clown, which I learned with Leah Cherniak and Dean Gilmour, teaches one to be humble, to accept, even revel in, one’s stupidity, embarrassment and fears. Clown also reminds a performer to check in with the audience, to be in dialogue with the room and affected by what is really happening in every moment. Clown taught me to embrace the surprise. Contact improvisation is a dance style in which the performer/participant is sharing balance, weight, and space with another person. It teaches one the necessity of staying relational, co-dependent in acting. If I let go or lose contact we both fall. I did Decroux style expressive mime with Jean Asselin of Omnibus in Montreal. He was a genius in finding our connection to mythology, that we are all angels and heroes and royalty. I learned the epic quality of each person, the hugeness of our individual spirits.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am obsessed with Charlotte Salomon a relatively unknown genius of artistic expression, but one who’s creativity was snuffed out in Auschwitz. She imagined her life as a musical play, and painted almost 1000 gouaches reflecting her life as if is were a fiction, a graphic novel. I am working with a brilliant Czech composer, Ales Brezina, and a genius of art in theatre, director/scenographer Pamela Howard, to realize the music theatre piece Charlotte dreamt of in her magnum opus “Life? or Theatre?”
And there are projects about Freud, and the painter/environmentalist/architect/mystic Hundertwasser.
In Workshop for Charlotte – A Tri-Coloured Play with Music
Most importantly, favourite type and/or how do you take your coffee?
I recently discovered the flat white, which apparently arose out of the intense barista wars in Sydney Australia. Smooth consistent foam without any froth makes for a delicious and sensuous cup of coffee. But I’m not adverse to a cuppa good drip coffee with a bit of cream.