For 30 years, Mark McGann has played critically acclaimed roles on Stage and Screen, from John Lennon to Ernest Shackleton’s right-hand man, and he wants to pass on his expertise and experience to others so they can share the uniquely empowering feeling that acting brings.

Now Mark McGann’s Acting Masterclasses are proving a real success and creating a real buzz, with many participants returning time and time again to benefit from his generous advice and support. As a member of one of the most famous acting families in Britain, Mark’s down-to-earth approach settles nervous students within a few moments. His reasons for wanting to run classes are based on what he describes as the most magical moment that can happen to an actor.

“It’s the moment when everything comes together, when you realise that you’re no longer being dominated by thoughts of where you’re supposed to be standing or what you’re supposed to be saying,” he said. “It’s one of the most special things that’s happened to me in my life,” he explains. “In my classes I describe it as ‘flying.’ The only thing I can parallel it with outside of the profession was the time when my father took the stabilisers off the back of my two-wheeler bike for the first time and I suddenly realised I was actually riding. It is that exhilarating! As a professional actor you’re probably lucky if that happens to you on a dozen occasions in your whole career as there are so many things to consider when performing publicly, but it only needs to happen once and when it does, you are changed forever, both as a person and a performer. I wanted to share that experience with people.”

This has led to him setting up Drama Direct 4 years ago and he says he’s constantly moved and inspired by the experiences people have at the classes. People taking part are sent their own designated script two weeks beforehand to give them a chance to get to know the part they’ll be focusing on at the class, but Mark insists that no previous acting experience is necessary.

“The lovely thing about the process of acting is that it’s available to absolutely everybody. We’re all born with the ability to do it, so with the help of some simple techniques, we all can experience that exhilarating feeling of the stabilisers coming off our bike. If people walk out of these classes empowered or enhanced in some personal or professional way and can take a little of these qualities into their own life – then I feel that I’ve done something that I’m proud of, truly proud of.”

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