Bridgeport actor leads acting classes at Westport Country Playhouse

Bridgeport actor Tenisi Davis will teach "Acting for the Camera" virtually through the Westport Country Playhouse.

Bridgeport actor Tenisi Davis will teach "Acting for the Camera" virtually through the Westport Country Playhouse.

Westport Country Playhouse / Contributed photo

Young aspiring actors looking to hone their monologue chops can register for “Acting for the Camera,” a virtual acting class offered by the Westport Country Playhouse.

The class is for aspiring actors ages 14-18 and will be taught by Bridgeport actor Tenisi Davis, who’ll coach students on acting techniques, performance and setting up a home studio.

Davis has performed in theater, film, national commercials and on network television. Locally, he has appeared at Collective Consciousness Theatre in New Haven, at the Capital Classics Theatre Company in West Hartford and elsewhere.

“Acting for the Camera” will meet on Saturdays at 10 a.m. from April 10 through May 8. The students will perform a private virtual sharing of their workshopped pieces on June 4.

“My hope is to give a solid foundation that will prepare my students for a healthy and successful career in the performing arts industry,” said Davis. “The world is changing in so many different ways and we must be ready to adjust with it. With this workshop being presented by the legendary Westport Country Playhouse, I plan to give industry tips and secrets to do just that.”

Hearst Connecticut Media spoke with Davis about his upcoming workshop and his advice for aspiring actors.

TinaMarie Craven: What is your acting philosophy?

Tenisi Davis: My acting philosophy is that there is no one way to approach a role/character. The various techniques (Meisner, Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, etc.) should be treated as tools to go inside the actor’s tool bag. Vulnerability and integrity should be the foundation.

TC: How would you describe a good actor?

TD: I would describe a good actor as someone whose performance is believable. I mean, acting only works at its highest level when the audience believes in the journey you’re expecting them to go on.

TC: What do you want your students to take away from your acting class?

TD: Confidence! It's possible to achieve great things when you’re set up for success, when you KNOW what you’re doing. I hope to assist in this process by laying a solid foundation and being 100% transparent.

TC: How is acting for the camera different than acting for the stage?

TD: Camera acting is different from stage acting primarily because it is a much more compressed/controlled version of acting. Stage is just bigger; you have a theater full of people to reach from the orchestra to the mezzanine. When I filmed my first film, which was an independent that did very well on the film festival circuit, my director would say “Less Tenisi, less. In film, less is more.” I replied after a while, “I feel like I'm not doing anything.” His response? “Good.”

TC: What advice do you have for aspiring actors?

TD: Develop a close relationship with patience! Also, aspire to be an actor because you love it; not because you want to be famous. As they say about life, the more you put in the more you’ll get out.

For more information about the acting class, visit westportplayhouse.org .

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com