Call for Actors for 5-Day Travis Technique Intensive


DEGNZ invites actors to apply for a rare learning experience as a participant and observer in our 5-Day Travis Technique Intensive Workshop for Directors.

The Intensive with Mark Travis is designed to fully immerse five directors into story, characters and staging. The five days are all about process and collaboration. Each director will develop their scene script and characters in collaboration with two to three actors. Actors may be cast as one or two characters. Final rehearsals will take place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Actors need to be available for their half-day rehearsal slot(s). 

Although not compulsory for actors to take part in the full five days, we encourage those selected to attend as much of the Intensive as possible. In this way, the actor will get to fully participate in working with the directors, and experience The Travis Technique of allowing their characters to emerge organically from deep within.

“I love working with Mark. It’s as if he opens the top of my head and rummages around in there until all my internal voices are alive and conflict… then he calls action. I can’t plan or play it safe, I am forced to exist in the moment. It’s a gift for an actor.”

The Travis Technique

The greatest obstacle for directors and actors is their desire to control the characters. Directors control by demanding results. Actors control by planning their performances, thereby effectively blocking the characters from emerging freely and organically.

The problem is that most directors are not given the training in how to engage with actors in a creative and collaborative way. Without these skills for inspiring and supporting the actors, directors will revert to result directing. This forces actors to fabricate the emotions and attitudes they think will please the director.

With The Travis Technique, directors can bring out the characters’ emotional truths from the actors without falling back on result directing. Actors can release their characters from within – complex and unpredictable, lusting and tumbling through the drama of their lives. Even the most vanilla scenes will start to breathe and pulse.

Once directors and actors have worked together in rehearsal, exploring the characters’ relationships and dynamics in the scenes, the quality of performances will be markedly heightened. During production, multiple takes can be tweaked quickly and efficiently, saving time and money.


Our Tutors

MARK W. TRAVIS is one of the world’s leading authorities on the art of film directing, writing and storytelling. On-stage, he has directed over 60 theatre productions in Los Angeles and New York. Author of two important books on filmmaking and winner of over 30 directorial awards in theater, Mark Travis has developed a fresh and innovative approach to writing and directing that cuts to the living and breathing core of every story, script and character. Mark has taught his dynamic Travis Technique at over 50 film schools and director’s guilds around the world. Affectionately called “the director’s director,” Mark is in constant demand to consult on film projects worldwide.

ELSHA TAYA BOHNERT is an award-winning artist and poet, and the author of Don’t Trip over the Garden Hose (Deuxmers, 2013). Elsha has been a longtime student of Mark Travis’ autobiographical storytelling workshops in Hawai`i and is the only person authorized by him to teach it. With her background in multicultural learning and narrative medicine, she helps students learn The Travis Technique through playful and provocative games. “You have to be like an ancient four-year-old,” she says, “clueless and wise about the enchanted worlds we come from and still carry around in our bodies.”

Workshop Details

When: 14 – 18 August, Wed to Sun 9am – 6pm.

Where: Samoa House, The Actors’ Program, 283 Karangahape Rd, Auckland

Actor Price: Free

To Apply

Application Deadline: 10AM, Wednesday 24 July 2019

Please complete the application form below. You will need to supply a link to your acting profile.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications closed.

This workshop is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.



Last updated on 20 March 2020