Here is what Bill Haugse, the Oscar-nominated editor of Hoop Dreams, has to say about class at Mother of Invention:
Andrew Utter is one of the most direct and persuasive acting teachers I’ve ever experienced, and I can recommend him without reservation to anyone who wants a solid grounding in the technique and craftsmanship of acting. The core of the classes is in-depth scene study, using a question-and-answer style which is both rigorous and gentle: Andrew will never crush the actor into compliance, at the same time, he wants the actor to examine and understand what’s going on as he develops a character. The goal in the creation of character is that the actor will be fully conscious of his or her own process.
Another aspect of Andrew’s teaching is a rich focus on the standards and traditions of the art, from Stanislavsky through Hagen to Howard Fine. He illuminates the harmony between these great teachers, giving students a thorough introduction to the concepts which have been found useful over time. There are some readings and lectures, unusual in some acting classes; this theory is delivered in such a way that students are never bored, as Andrew bounds energetically across the stage, enthusiastically sharing from the literature and from his own rich experience about particularization, or sense-memory, or “moment-to-moment.” But the greatest pleasure is watching the student’s character work unfold as the sequence of sessions proceed.
More on Haugse:
William Haugse An Oscar- and Emmy-nominated editor, William Haugse has edited a dozen feature documentaries including “Hoop Dreams,” “Sunset Story,” “Stevie,” and “No Impact Man,” and approximately 50 hours of network and cable documentaries. He was nominated for both an Oscar (“Hoop Dreams” Fineline) and an Emmy (“The Last Days of Kennedy and King” Turner), and received the American Cinema Editors Eddie Award among many other prizes. He has worked with Orson Welles and John Cassavetes, among others. His own film, “Breakfast in Bed,” starring John Ritter, was “finely crafted” according to the Hollywood Reporter and received festival awards both here and in Europe. As a director of short documentaries he has won several national prizes including Chris Gold awards. Starting during his days as a student at UCLA School of Theater, Film and TV he has acted and directed in live theater, including works by Pinter (“crisp and tantalizing” Los Angeles Times) and Albee. In the 1990s, he was a professor at the USC Department of Cinema for five years. In recent years, another art form has come to the fore; Haugse has had two-man shows and group shows of photography in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Haugse has lived and worked principally in Los Angeles, but also in New York and Chicago, where he engaged not only in filmmaking but also wrote, acted, and directed live theater. He returned to Los Angeles in 1995, where he has been working ever since.
And that, again, on the heels of this endorsement. So, if you haven’t taken the class, I ask you: what were you waiting for again?