A professional actor of 15 years, Chris has been working in all facets of the industry whether it is theatre, film, television, voice and new media. He is a graduate of Second City’s Conservatory and for the past ten years honed his skills as an actor and storyteller at Carter Thor Studios and later Straeon Acting Studios. Most recently Chris played the role of Paul in Stephen Adly Guirgis' 'Den of Thieves', Jerry in Eric Bogosian’s Skunkweed and Henry Cape in George F. Walker’s The End of Civilization. He also made his directorial debut with the Canadian premiere of Freeway Strangler, which had a successful run in 2014. Other theatre credits include Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley, Neil Labute’s Bash – The Latterday Plays, A Clockwork Orange, Moat & Castle and the cult hit Coed Prison Sluts - The Musical. Some of Chris’ film and television credits include: Murdoch Mysteries, A&E’s The Breakout Kings, Rogue and the web series Asset which was screened in the LA, Vancouver and Toronto Webfests. He also voices multiple characters in the upcoming animated series The Bagel & Becky Show.
Alchemist Actors Studio – Scene Study Class
Coach: Chris Whitby
Email for more info:
“My goal as a coach is to help my actors push the boundaries of the character and story, jump into 'the reality of the scene', to trust their instincts and ultimately feel empowered and ready to succeed. As actors (and people) we should always be growing and striving to be better. Whether you need help preparing an audition, working on scene study, getting perspective in this crazy business or just getting out of your own way – I can help guide you.
I have been working in all facets of the industry for over 15 years gaining extensive experience working in film/TV, theatre, voice and commercials. Primarily an actor, I've also directed and produced. I've worked on such productions as 'The Silence' (in theaters later this year), 'Breakout Kings', 'Murdoch Mysteries' and 'Rogue'. Some notable people I've had the pleasure of working with and learning from: Stanley Tucci, Gavin Hood, Miranda Otto, John Carroll Lynch, John Leonetti, Jock MacDonald, Kiernan Shipka, Yannik Bisson, Sarah Carter and Helene Joy. I'm also a founding member of the actor collective Triple Bypass Productions".
This will mostly be a scene study class with emphasis on film & TV. We’ll start classes with a discussion period, then work on your scenes alternating 1st and 2nd works week to week. We’ll also discuss auditions and, baring time, we’ll do some as well.
The Mission – The heart insists on its destiny
Some of the things we’ll be exploring:
- Understanding the stakes of the scene and the ‘trouble’ the character is in
-Working from your heart and less from your head (Feeling your way rather than thinking your way)
-Trusting your instincts
-Connecting to your character, scene partner and the story
- Understanding the story from the actor’s point of view (not plot)
- Breaking through boundaries and crutches
-Love vs Power (fear)
-Exploring the archetypal energy of your character
-The power of stillness and that less is sometimes more
-Finding your empowerment as an actor
-Navigating through the business
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME:
As an actor I keep incredibly high standards for myself and I will keep the same standards as high for you as well. I teach from a place of truth and from the heart, just as I do in my acting. I will keep you honest. I will be tough but generous. We’ll have fun but be ready to work.
WHAT I EXPECT FROM YOU:
-Be off book and prepared.
-Push your boundaries and play dangerously
-Be open and ready to discover
In the most uncomfortable and challenging times in our lives is when we have the most growth. In acting it’s no different. It is in the challenging and uncomfortable scenes where you’ll have the most growth in your acting.
“Chris Whitby is, hands down, one of the best acting coaches I've ever had. He not only has inspired me to be a better actor, but has also changed the way I look at my craft. The way he works is so simple and pure yet exciting and scary leading to truth and authenticity. Chris’ intuitive way of teaching is pure magic. He simply is one of the best actors I know!” -Amanda Armagon, ‘Nurse 3D’ , ‘Being Erica’, ‘Triple ByPass Productions’
"I've had the immense pleasure of being directed by Chris on one of the most challenging roles of my career. The play as well as the role itself was an emotional roller coaster ride that took a lot of courage and I could not have surrendered completely if I had not trusted my director. Chris embodied that fine line of creating a safe place but also not letting me get away with any shit. Loved the experience! I look forward to collaborating with Chris again." -Craig Thomas, ‘Source Code’, ‘I’m Not There’
“Chris is a wonderful coach and he will never let you off the hook until you’ve exhausted all emotional options. I coach with him and I book the job, simple as that.”
-Nathalie Nadon, ‘Warehouse 13’, ‘Les Chiclettes’
"Chris is the real deal. I knew the moment I auditioned for him that he was going to be relentless in extracting the best possible performance...and that's exacting what he did. He has an unwavering love for courageous storytelling and it shines through in his coaching and directing"
- Altair Vincent , 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Bitten', 'The Transporter'
“I go to Chris as a coach/director because he is open, direct and honest. He doesn't put people in a box, limiting their choices. Chris is kind and perceptive adjusting the manner in which he coaches based on age and experience. He pushes you, doesn't let you off lightly, and he points out the work you need to do. He asks me questions forcing me to point out what's missing rather than telling me. He's not just coaching me in a scene or an audition; he's making me a better actor, facilitating my ability to make myself better and more truthful. Chris is humble and unintimidating as a coach, allowing me to open my heart to these characters and stories without fear. He see's characters and stories from multiple perspectives and drops little pearls of wisdom on acting and life along the way. Every time I leave a session with Chris I feel a little more evolved both as an actor and a person.” -Melanie Pyne, ‘Triple ByPass Productions’
“After working with Chris, I received extremely positive feedback for my audition from a well-known casting director. He seamlessly provides clarity, guidance, and confidence to the material you are working with.” -Kathryn Aboya, ‘Downsizing’
“As actor's we hit canvas walls forgetting that we have the tools to paint masterpieces. Chris guides us into finding the tools we need, these being: the moment before, objectives, obstacles, doings, and so many more.” - Dony Lugo, ‘Freeway Strangler’