Acting teacher takes the stage
The teacher of some of the country’s most promising acting talent is enjoying her own soiree into performance.
For the past 30 years Vicki Yiannoutsos has coached actors and directors now at the top of their craft – including Outrageous Fortune’s Anthony Starr and Sarah Wiseman and Whale Rider director Niki Caro.
Ms Yiannoutsos appeared in her first play in 30 years at the Maidment Theatre last month as a Dalmatian gumdigger’s wife in Anton’s Women. This month she makes her Shortland Street debut as a pastor’s wife.
The long-time Grey Lynn resident says getting up on the stage herself puts teaching in a new light.
“It connects me to the students more and what they go through.”
She trained at the Jeremiah Comey Acting Studios in Los Angeles in the late 80s.
When she arrived back in New Zealand in 1989, she saw there was a need for acting teachers in the country.
Since then she has taught film acting classes and di- rected both dramas and documentaries.
Her classes have recently moved to a new space in Westmere at Garnet Station.
She describes the classes as a gym for actors.
“It’s a bit like a jam session with principles and techniques,” she says.
She says film acting should be about working instinctively, intuitively and emotionally.
“Film performance should really be about connection and living in the moment.”
Having seen New Zealand film evolve since taking off in the 1980s, Ms Yiannoutsos says she is excited about the new generation of actors entering the industry now who are learning hands-on rather than in a classroom.
“What’s great is that it’s easier now to get out and get a film made.
“There’s a whole generation who are learning handson. That’s kind of cool.”
Ms Yiannoutsos is also working on a documentary about Greece and also has a script for a feature film.
“I suppose I’ve got my fingers in a few pies.”
For classes call 376-7229.
Into the light: Teacher and director Vicki Yiannoutsos says she is a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to performing.