“No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.”
– Edward Hopper
Combing acting techniques and mindfulness, Eliza teaches an evolving toolkit of practices that facilitate the experience of present, spontaneous flexibility by energizing the relationships between body, thought, affect, emotion, and awareness. Each aspect of the self modifies and illuminates the other aspects of the self, expanding the whole which leads to a greater potential for understanding and expression.
A method that allows bold, honest, shocking possibilities to intuitively flow through the whole of you: body, voice, thoughts, and emotions.
“Eliza’s warm and enthusiastic style made me not only excited about acting but excited about living. More than an acting class it was a life class, getting to know ourselves in a way we never imagined.” -Anna
“From day one, Eliza gave us tools to easily channel our way into characters, using fun exercises and challenging assignments to apply our lessons to a practical situation.” -Sarah
Private Sessions and Workshop Inquiries
ABOUT: Eliza Richmond Lay teaches and researches at Boston University. She has taught in programs at Harvard, Boston University Communications School, Columbia Business School, Saint John’s University, other professional and educational performing arts programs, and privately to students ages 5-80. She has acted, directed, and choreographed in film and theater in Boston, New York, and DC. Eliza takes a truly multidisciplinary approach to acting, because acting is truly multidisciplinary. She has served as the Head of Acting for The New York Film Academy at Harvard.
TEACHING TESTIMONIALS FROM The New York Film Academy
“Mingling a love for intellectual rigor with the spirit of curiosity, Eliza challenged me to see the world, and myself, through new lenses. She is deeply intuitive, able to see and respond to the unique needs of the people around her. You could call Eliza a movement coach. You could call her a director, or a teacher. But in the end, through her remarkable sensitivity to expression, Eliza is a guide, who provides spaces for her students to become more alive.”
“It is amazing how a few exercises taught by a good teacher can make you understand things and even understand other people and relate with them, even if they’re strangers. After Eliza’s class, my way of thinking and of course my way of acting completely changed, it’s unbelievable how noticing your movements and noticing your body can really make a change in you and in others.”
“I entered in class to become a better actor and I went out of there like a better person. Because know I’m able to create a character based on observing other people but without judging. I can relate the body to the feelings and create a personality based on the person problems background etc. So now if a person is angry or with too much feelings and can try to understand without any judgment and I learned all this with a wonderful not just teacher, but person.”
“From day one, Eliza gave us tools to easily channel our way into characters, using fun exercises and challenging assignments to apply our lessons to a practical situation. Each day she brought a new technique to class while simultaneously encouraging us to incorporate what we had previously learned. Able to meet each student at their level, Eliza managed a class containing a wide range of skill and experience level with ease. While exuding a strong sense of self, she possesses an openness that draws students near. Eliza is truly an inspiring teacher who loves her students and desires to see them grow in their craft and reach for their stars, whatever they may be.”
AdoptAdapt: A blog about Acting+Mindfulness for greater choices in Education, Business, and Life.
Work with youth:
wholeflow lab philosophy
“To flourish, living systems must be more than just organized. They must be dynamic. Systems must constantly move and change if they are to carry out their functions and maintain their integrity and their interrelations with other functioning systems. A system that becomes static—unable to change and adapt to varying conditions—will quickly perish. Social, psychological, or biological systems must be able to stretch the limits of their current patterns of organization, and even to actively guide and reorganize the relations that constitute their structure.” -Kurt Fischer
How? One way is through super-mindfulness, self-flooding, self-priming techniques, derived from acting’s techniques and suggestive sensory inspirations.
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”-William James
All of the ways we are -being, thinking, feeling, doing, speaking- are related to and affect the others. By purposefully experiencing new ways of being, thinking, feeling, doing, and speaking we can shifts the neuronal firings of the brain, creating new patterns of neuronal activity, biochemicals and hormones.
“Minds are not merely brains that happen to be in bodies. People’s minds are parts of their bodies, and their mind-bodies act, think, and feel in a world of objects and other people.”-Kurt Fischer
How Acting Reveals Life:
The ability to temporarily suspend the self in order to experience and then include another world view enables more intelligent choice making in the development of selves, and social systems.
Social structures and constructs are extensions of human internal structures and constructs. When one experiences varied internal structures in the first person then open, empathic conversation becomes possible and non-fear based actions and choices present themselves for consideration. By experiencing the motivating factors of different individuals we can understand the otherwise impenetrable “why” of differences in belief and behavior.
If we can impartially empathize with divergent internal constructs (perspectives) then maybe we can find the most useful aspects in our varried social constructs and synthesize them to create a better society, develop more effective rehabilitation methods, organization structures, and cross-cultural relations. We can experience another person’s point of view and from that vantage point we can better understand where we overlap, where we differ and why. We can then make take the most helpful aspects of all points of view, merging them into a new course of intelligent action. Revealing people and society, what each can be, and how they co-create each other.