Actors’ Voice: #MeToo Changing The Script of Acting Schools

Since the movement of #MeToo, sexual harassment is no longer hiding in the dark. Silence-breakers bravely break the glass of shame and expose their stories under the light. Although the concern of sexual harassment has been physically modified in the changing of policy or rules, we as, people are the ones who really bring the positive power into our lives. In other words, the awareness of self-worth or self-value in ourselves gives us the power to push the boundaries and speak up when we feel uncomfortable.

Now, a year long after of the event of Harvey Weinstein, both the trainers and students of acting schools demonstrate this power of #MeToo in the institutions of the acting world.

At Ryerson University’s School of Performance in Toronto, Canada, students bring in an intimacy coach to assist them with several sexually-sensitive scenes in the play, The Penelopiad. Alyssa Potheir, one of the leading actors, said that now when they deal with sexual elements in the show like rape, they feel more comfortable to go up to professors or instructors and ask their opinions on how to act out the scenes.

From here we can see that, on top of the school's policy, students themselves are the ones who make their surrounding environment safer. As actors take action, the environment for creating artistic work becomes more comfortable. It also drives their trainers to be aware of this kind of concern.

Another example is Margie Haber. Haber is an acting coach at Los Angeles who had taught many Hollywood’s biggest stars in the past. She says that in the past, she wasn't asked to address any issues relating to sexual harassment. However, now she begins to talk about it in practices. For examples, she includes intimacy exercises in her class for her pupils. She encourages them to speak up whenever they feel uncomfortable and helps them set up self-boundaries for auditioning.

In the light of these positive actions in the acting institutions, I believe, together, we will make the world a safer place by being confident to speak up for others and ourselves.


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