Alexandra Billings


Beginning Viewpoints.
This class concerns itself with the primary elements of Viewpoints. The work consists of working the individual Viewpoints as tools for auditions, scene study, monologues, and both stage and on-camera work. There will be scene wok involved, but no memorization is required. This class is about process. It’s about opening up, discovering new ways to attack a scene, and finding out how the individual actor really applies themselves. It is much more than just a movement class. It will incorporate improvisation, scene study, and character development. No previous Viewpoints experience is necessary. This class works for novices of Viewpoints as well as advanced.

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Intermediate Viewpoints
The Viewpoints in Character Composition Work, and helping to open up the myriad of possibilities in creating characters for both stage and film. We will work on how the Viewpoints apply and are necessary in any and all acting work and how they can be layered on an acting process instead of replacing it. We will also work on getting rid of individual bad habits or if an actor feels they’re just stuck in a rut. We’ll explore both the inner and outer heart and soul of a character. We will also work on the Vocal Viewpoints and how voice work combined with physical work can sometimes make the difference in “playing at” the character instead of “being” the character. Memorization will be required. You must either have taken Viewpoints 1, or have previous Viewpoint experience to join this class.

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Advanced Viewpoints
We’ll work on text and the difference in creating characters for stage and film. This will be advanced Character Composition Work individually as well as in large groups. We’ll also apply the Viewpoints to monologue work and auditions and how to use them when no one else is familiar with them. We’ll also attack the idea of not showing your work. Making an actor’s work tighter, more compressed, and honest. We will use the Viewpoints in a way that directly applies to film and television. Memorization required. At least 2 memorized monologues required. You must have either taken Viewpoints 1 and 2, or have had previous Viewpoints experience.

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Viewpoints & Scene Study

Viewpoints is used here in direct application to scene and character work. We will discover the text together, opening ourselves up to the possibilities instead of the confinement usually felt when first reading words on a page. We will also explore character work and how Viewpoints can add to an actors already ingrained acting process, and yet still working from an inner "Yes". We work in 2 person scenes covering at least 2 scenes in a 12 week period. Class size is limited, so everyone gets a chance to work. Auditions are necessary unless previous Steppenwolf Classes have been taken. Memorization required. This class is sometimes taught solo by Ms. Billings, or co-taught with Steppenwolf ensemble member Jeff Perry, or TV and Film actress Shannon Cochran.

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Viewpoints & Improvisation

This class introduces students to The Viewpoints and utilizes Viewpoints work to build a foundation of improv skills, including improvising using text, improvised characters, discovering and developing relationships onstage, and improvised scene and group work. The class focuses on getting students out of their heads and into the scenes, active listening, and exploring each moment onstage. If you're intimidated, scared, or overwhelmed by improv - this class is for you! No audition required. This class is co-taught by Alexandra Billings and Eric Hunnicut.

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Viewpoints & Musical Theatre

"Viewpoints in Musical Theater” is a new way into the heart and soul of a song. This isn’t about how or why, this simply about being present in the middle of a song. Together we’ll work on where a song comes from, how individual and personal a musical scene is, and how best to discover your gift.

This is not a class about vocal technique. I couldn’t care less about how well you sing or how skilled you are. This is about the text beneath the notes, the heart underlying the melody, and the monologue that actually drives the music. Through the use of the Viewpoints, we will create character, re-discover your imagination, and worry less about getting it right and more about simply Living It. This is about a journey. Your journey.

We will work for a 10 week period, once a week, for four hours every Wednesday night. The first 5 weeks will be Viewpoints and character work with text, and the second five we’ll add the music with a live accompanist. By the end of week 10, you’ll be looking at musical auditions and musicals in general in an entirely different light. And with “Glee” on the rise, this is a great skill to practice.

We will deal with two musical solos. The first will be worked on for three classes, and the second will be worked on for the last two.

If you’re an award winning singer, or confined to singing back-up for Beyonce in your car, the Viewpoints will bring out your Joy and reaffirm what musical theater’s always been about: Intention and Imagination. Whether you’re Brian Stokes-Mitchell or Elaine Stritch, come play, face your Fear, and find your Joy. And as it’s true in your Life, it’s also true in your Art:

“Sing out, Louise!”

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Upcoming Classes
March 08 - May 10th!
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